When you’re out and about shopping for electrical goods, it’s very easy nowadays to get caught out by a fake. Almost everything can be a counterfeited these days from TV’s, hair straighteners to mobile phones and their chargers.
Counterfeit products are almost impossible to spot and with nearly 9 out of every 10 electrical fires caused by products, either through misuse or faults, you need to be vigilant. It’s more common to purchase a fake item through online shopping as shoppers are being misled through the use of images taken from official sites, fake official safety marks and believable pricing. It’s something anyone can fall for.
In this blog, we’re going to look at the different ways you can spot a fake electrical product so you can shop safely.
How to know if you’ve purchased a fake electrical product
There are tell-tale signs to look out for when you’ve received your product and you’re wanting to know if it’s a fake or not. Inspect the product and the packaging it comes in carefully and look out for flimsy packaging or substandard printing such as spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. There should also be a legitimate safety certification label on the product you’ve purchased indicating that it’s been made by the proper manufacturers. Just double check that the label is on the actual product and not just on the packaging as this can indicate that it’s a fake.
When you start using the product, check that everything that’s supposed to come with it is there, this could include manuals or a product registration card. Also, if you’ve bought the item from a UK retailer, the appliance should have a three-pin UK plug or charger, if it doesn’t this should raise alarm bells.
Most of the time, if you go on instinct, you’re usually right. If you have concerns about your item compare yours to others on the high street and if yours looks different in any way, stop using it immediately.
Spotting fake electrical products when shopping online
It’s a lot easier to purchase a fake electrical item when you’re shopping online as photos can be deceiving. When you’re shopping online, one of the best ways to tell if the item is legitimate or not is by reading customers reviews but be careful, if a product has a host of five star reviews double check that they are actually real – some websites cross-reference user reviews with their buyer database and label those people as “verified purchasers”.
If you look at the price and think ‘That’s too good to be true’, you’re probably right. Some fakes are on sale just under the usual retail price so don’t fall for an absolute steal, have a look around first and do some research before you buy. Another aspect to look at is the URL of the website you’re on, if it ends with ‘.co.uk’ it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s UK based, and if there is no address supplied on the website this is a sign that you could be on the wrong website – many fake electrical products are made overseas using cheap materials and skipping important safety checks.
The more you shop on the high street and online, you will soon pick up the characteristics of fake electrical items and know not to fall for them, no matter how tempting the low price tag is.