One of the best parts of welcoming a little baby into the world is that mom and dad get to do some serious shopping. Especially if this is the first baby, there are a lot of things that mom and dad need. It doesn’t take long for mom or dad to get sucked into this baby universe, filled with adorable items that they are sure are must-haves.
A lot of the time, a new mom assumes that the products she is buying are 100% safe for her little one, why would a store sell them if they weren’t? The truth is, the counterfeit market is huge, and it is getting bigger every day. These ‘companies’ have caught on that the baby item market is hot right now and it will never go cold. Gone are the days when people only hear about counterfeit handbags and movies, those are not bringing in the income like they used too. It is all about the baby gear.
Even if someone is not personally expecting a baby at this moment, chances are she either does or will soon know someone who is. This means they will need to buy that little baby a gift, and they would not want to buy something that may potentially be dangerous. That is the bigger concern here, that these products could be dangerous. A knock-off Michael Kors bag is not about to cause anyone harm, but a bath seat that has not had proper safety testing done could have a huge impact.
We have gone through and found a lot of fool-proof ways to help someone determine if the product they are looking at is real or fake. Along with some reasons why this is not something to brush off to save a few dollars.
15 Do Your Research
A lot of people become victims to counterfeit products because they do a lot of impulse shopping. They may be out walking around the mall or at the local baby show and they see an item that they believe would be useful and they purchase it.
We are all victims of impulse shopping, but this is what counterfeit companies are counting on. A person not doing the proper research.
Making sure one does the proper amount on investigations before purchasing a product is the best way to avoid buying any counterfeit products. Before a purchase is made, go online and do some quality research. Look up the company’s website and look at their list of approved retailers. These are the specific stores that can sell their products. If the product was seen at a place that is not on this list, chances are that the item is fake.
14 Why Do We Fall for These Products?
If someone has ever fallen for a fake product, they normally end up feeling like a gullible fool, but they shouldn’t. A lot of people fall victim to these scams and it has nothing to do with your IQ level. So, why do we fall for these products?
The reason so many people are victims of fake products is because the companies that produce them are very good at what they do.
Of course, there are some companies that make a laughable attempt at recreating a product to make some money. For the most part, these companies are masters at replicating. They can make a product so close to the original that it could even fool the CEO of Graco. Even their websites look legitimate. They offer their products at such a reduced price that parents are quick to pick up what they see as a steal.
13 Be Wary Of Amazon
Online shopping is here, and it is here to stay. More and more people are choosing to purchase things online rather than go out to the store. This is a godsend to a mom who has other younger children at home. She doesn’t need to worry about loading up the car and wrangling a few kids around a busy shopping mall. We are all just a few clicks away from scoring some great products.
Amazon has become a popular retailer for moms to shop from. You can get anything from baby clothes and diapers sent directly to your home. Amazon is a great place to buy baby products, and a lot of them are authentic and rightfully sold through Amazon.
Amazon is also a place where you may find counterfeit products because anyone can list something for sale on the website. Make sure to check the “sold by” link on the page, as it should list a manufacturer that you can look up online to verify.
12 Grammar Is Important
When screening a company’s website, the grammar can tell you a lot about them. A reputable company will take the time to make sure that their website is professional and is free of any spelling errors or grammatical faux pas. They have a whole hired team to run their website and make sure that everything is OK. They know that this is often the first impression a customer has of their product.
Counterfeit companies don’t really take all of that into consideration. They won’t spend as much time spell checking their website.
This means that if someone comes across a baby product that they want to purchase on a website that is full of grammatical errors they can safely assume that this is not a legitimate website, and their products are not real.
Websites can be tricky, so we have a few more entries coming on how to spot websites that look too good to be true.
11 What’s The Big Deal Anyways?
We have been conditioned to believe that something that is not brand named is not a big deal. I mean, food that is not name brand is just as good. When it comes to counterfeit purses and movies, the only people you are hurting is the companies who are losing money. These items don’t cause any actual harm to people. It is completely different when we talk about baby products.
Baby products go through intense testing to make sure they are safe for little ones.
When a product is counterfeit it has gone through absolutely no safety testing.
Baby carriers undergo testing to make sure that the baby will fit snugly and that there is no chance the baby will fall out. They also make sure that the baby sits well in them and has no chance to harm their limbs. A counterfeit baby carrier will not have these tests done, and it would be a disaster if the carrier is not made well enough to hold that little baby close to you.
10 Just Stick To The Basics
The best way to make sure that you are only buy authentic products is to stick to the basics. If you stick to buying directly from a manufacturers website than you can be at peace knowing that you are getting an item that has been properly tested for safety and use. Make sure to follow the signs for determining if a website is legitimate, because those counterfeiters are really good.
If someone does not like shopping online, there are still people out there who like to look and feel the item before purchasing, make sure you look at well-known retailers.
Stick to the basic baby supply stores that we all love, because they have direct relationships with manufacturers and are a lot less likely to have counterfeit products on their shelves.
It may mean a bit more money, but the safety of your child is priceless and not worth compromising.
9 Sales Are Not Always A Good Thing
While we are on the topic of money, having a baby is expensive. There are so many things they need, and it never seems to end. It probably won’t until they fully leave the house either. This means that mom and dad are desperate to find a good deal. To find any way that they can to save money. When it comes to baby items, this is never a good idea.
Be wary of drastic sales on items, or advertisements that there are a limited number of items left. These are all ways that counterfeit companies bait people into buying their products.
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Of course, there are sales that you can look out for but make sure they are either on a products actual website or at a reputable baby supply store.
8 The 5 Senses
Sometimes we know a lot more than we think we do.
Have you ever held counterfeit money in your hands? If you have, chances are that it feels wrong.
The weight is different, the smell is different, and it just feels weird in your hands. This is the best way to screen for counterfeit money. No one is ever able to duplicate something exactly so there will always be signs that something is not real.
This same skill can be used when trying to determine fake baby products. Hold it in your hands. Does it feel weird to you? Maybe the material feels cheap or has an odd texture. How does the product smell? Does it smell like it is full of chemicals? This is a good screening test when it comes to anything plastic, as plastic items that are not well made could be full of harmful chemicals. This is incredibly dangerous if this item is meant to go in the baby’s mouth; think teethers or pacifiers!
7 Facebook Marketplace Scams!
Online marketplaces have become very popular over the past few years, even Facebook now has its own marketplace feature. This is where people can come together and sell their lightly used items and some of the most popular items on these pages are baby items. Babies outgrow the items they use so it is nice for mom and dad to make a couple extra dollars and help another mom out with an item at a reduced price.
It is very important to be wary of buying a baby item from someone online.
That is because you want to make sure this item is authentic and when you buy from someone online it can be hard to determine the real from fake.
Now, the people selling them may not even be aware that they bought a counterfeit item, so it is not always an intentional scam. If you see someone selling 50 Bumbo seats, this is a clear indicator that they have counterfeit items that they are trying to profit from. Why would someone have 50 of these seats?
6 Can You Contact Them?
Social media is going to play in our favour in for making sure that the items we are buying are real. When you are doing your initial research on an item, make sure you see if the website has a ‘contact us’ option.
You want to make sure that the company is available to contact, if they are not than this is your first warning sign that they are not legitimate.
If you want to take your spy game to the next level, try and contact them. How easy are they to get a hold of?
You can also use social media to help detect if a company is real or not. Companies in the year 2018 know that social media is the way the world works, and they will make sure that they are very active on all their accounts. It is all about publicity and getting the word out there. If a company is not very active on their Facebook or Instagram accounts, it is safe to say they are not a reputable company.
5 Counterfeit Websites Are A Large Problem
Counterfeit websites are such a problem that they need their own section. We have briefly discussed the warning signs when it comes to websites that are not valid, but we are going to talk about it in a bit more detail. These counterfeiters are so good at what they do, they are even out there replicating authentic companies' websites. This means that you may be on Skip Hop’s website about to purchase an item that you are certain is real, but it turns out the website is not even real to begin with.
The biggest indicator of an authentic website is the grammar and spelling. We have said this many times because it may be the one thing that saves you from buying a potentially dangerous item. If you see one to many grammar mistakes, warning bells should go off. Now, we are all human and the odd mistake is bound to slip through the cracks, so now is a good time to check that ‘contact us’ option and see if that exists. These are your two best weapons in defense of counterfeit products.
4 Be Wary If It Comes From Asia (If You Are In The US Or Canada)
If you live in Canada or The United States, all of your baby items will come from either Canada or The United States; it is as simple as that. If you find an item that you just must have for your baby and it ships from somewhere in Asia, do not buy the product. It is not safe or real. It is always best to buy products that come directly from the country where you live, and this is important for two reasons.
The first reason is that it is always important to support companies that are run in your own country before giving money to a country that you do not live in. The second, and most important reason, is that this is one of the only ways to make sure that the item you are buying is safe.
Each country has their own guidelines when it comes to safety testing.
You also want to make sure that your item is legal in the country you live in. For example, baby walkers are illegal in Canada and can result in a hefty fine.
3 Does It Feel Wrong?
It is amazing how often we ignore our gut instinct. We are always told that our gut will tell us a lot about different situations and if it is safe or dangerous. We shrug it off as a hoax, or not something to be taken seriously. However, it is always a good idea to trust your gut when buying a baby product.
If you are at a baby show or a marketplace and you see an item you really want, but something is telling you that it sounds too good to be true, it is best to walk away.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t end up buying it, but this should signal you to do more research on the item you are interested in. Go home, look online for the manufacturer and who is authorized to sell it. It is possible that the item is completely safe, but your mommy gut was just warning you that something does not feel right.
2 Who Is At Fault?
We always want to point the blame when we get scammed or when something goes wrong. The truth is, when it comes to counterfeit baby items, there are a lot of people at fault. No one is at fault more than the people who are producing and selling these items that they know have not been tested for safety. However, we can all fall victim and be part of the problem.
When a woman selling her used baby items is selling a fake item, not only is she a victim of being scammed but she is unintentionally putting another child in danger for selling the product. Even when we go and buy a product that we see on a Facebook ad, we are at fault. We are at fault for not doing our due diligence in ensuring this item is safe, and we are also supporting a company that only survives because people like us buy their product. If we all did out part, we could shut these counterfeiters down for good.
1 You Fell For A Fake Item, What Do You Do Now?
OK, so you fell for a fake item but what do you do now? Most people would just throw the item out and not really think twice about it. However, that does not do much good when it comes to protecting other people from falling for the same scam. The first thing you want to do is contact the retailer who sold you the item and demand a refund. If they refuse to offer you a refund, or you can not get through to them let your credit card company know.
Credit card companies want to protect you against fraud, so chances are if you bought a counterfeit item then they will be able to refund you the money. You can also report these companies to the police, just don’t call the emergency line. Make a report and let them advise you on anyone else you can contact. There are agencies out there who make it their job to shut down these types of places, but they need your help to do it.