Spot-the-fake site launched
The Trading Standards Institute has launched a site to help consumers spot fake branded goods.
The site, Brand-i, lets you search by brand and shows a list of official retailers for that brand. But even a quick check suggests this runs the risk of branding perfectly legitimate small firms as rogue retailers.
Search results do come with a disclaimer: "This is not necessarily a fully comprehensive list of stockists for this brand. There may be other e-commerce sites which are legitimately selling genuine products, but these sites may not be controlled, endorsed, checked or confirmed by the brand owners and so do not appear in the directory."
But depending solely on the brand owners for this information risks labelling legitimate companies as dodgy, since most brands are sold through a web of distributors and wholesalers.
The site is still collecting brand information, and also offers advice on checking physical addresses, VAT registration and secure payment services. It also advises punters to search online for evidence of other disappointed customers of an unknown retailer.
We've been promised an interview with Brand-i later today. ®
Re: Protecting who
I agree. This smells more like something to try to stop people buying Levis in Tesco to support the Levis agreed retailers (and the higher margins that they make in the UK). I don't see any reason to "protect" Sony from people buying Sony kit in Germany and then selling it in the UK.
I can see companies like Scan being left off the list because they buy parts from the "grey" market, despite the fact that they are more trustable and likely to be around longer to honor warrantees than a lot of retailers.
Spot the fakes would be better if it told you how to check (e.g. Sandisk memory cards) and had an easy way to report fakes centrally so that the perps could be stopped.
I find official retailers continually frustrating.
Only the other day I was trying to find a particular item, and starting from the manufacturers site I visited the various official retailers. Many of them only carried a small part of the range (sods law means that would not be the part of the range I was interested in) and some of them didn't show anything by that manufacturer at all!
I eventually resorted to amazon and google shopping.
The links to retailers are only any good if the manufacturers actually look after them and check them, something which my experience shows is sadly lacking.
but what they do need
is a non-shit name
like "COUNTERFEIT WATCH" "THE FAKE DETECTIVES" "KNOCK-OFF NIGEL NAILS NELLY"
okay maybe not that last one.
but seriously, what the fuck is "Brand-i"?
Sounds like a crap brand of knock-off brandy made from ground up kidney stones. "Well I have Ebola now so I might as well drink some Brand-i".
I should work in marketing.