Ahead of this year’s Valentine’s Day, NetNames, the leading online brand protection specialist, has today warned that leading brands, such as Ralph Lauren, Paco Robanne and Coco Chanel, are being targeted by online counterfeiters.
Perfume is the gift of choice for many couples celebrating Valentine’s Day, and brands must be vigilant about fake products being sold in their name online. Highlighting the extent of this threat, NetNames has identified large quantities of suspected fake perfumes available for purchase on marketplace sites in the UK such as eBay and Gumtree, in the run up to Valentine’s Day.
Counterfeit beauty products have become a growing problem. Thousands of counterfeit labels and packaging are available for fraudsters to purchase from as little as 50 pence online from marketplace sites such as Alibaba and Make Polo.
Advances in printing techniques and quality have allowed fraudsters to produce authentic labels and packaging illegally. When these labels are combined with high grade glass bottles they are shipped to the UK, manufactured into fake beauty products and sold to unknowing British consumers. Earlier this month, European authorities seized 9,000 bottles of fake champagne, along with 40,000 perfect copy fake labels, designed to con consumers.
Worryingly, a NetNames consumer survey recently revealed that over one in eight (13%) Britons would knowingly buy their partner a counterfeit present. Buying a knock-off perfume or fake make-up could have serious health consequences which should not be underestimated.
Gary McIlraith, CEO of NetNames, says that “high-end counterfeit products like fake perfumes are a particularly serious problem for brands. When a fake is sold at an unrealistically low price, the consumer knows that it is likely to be an illegitimate product. However, when a product is being sold at only a marginal discount, the consumer often mistakes it for the real thing – this is when poor quality knock-off goods become associated with a brand. The resulting reputational damage can be hard to reverse and many established brands have struggled to recover from the effects of sophisticated fakes trading under their brand name.”
“Therefore, luxury brands and online retailers must safeguard genuine online traffic and guide their customers to legitimate market sources in order to protect their reputation, grow sales, and most importantly, ensure the satisfaction of a loyal customer base.”