Counterfeit shoes – worth the cost?

Counterfeit goods have been around since the start of brands, with global counterfeiting estimated to be worth up to half a trillion dollar a year or 2.5% of all global imports. We’ve all seen lookalike products that are a fraction of the price on street corners, but the counterfeiting business is now not mainly sold through street retailers but from online retailers instead.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Francis R. Malasig/Epa/REX/Shutterstock (7932208b)
Filipino Workers Destroy Counterfeit and Pirated Shoes Inside a Warehouse in Manila Philippines 24 February 2015 the Bureau of Customs (boc) Destroyed Over 150 000 Pairs of Smuggled Counterfeit Footwear Products Worth Over One Million Us Dollar According to the Customs Commisioner Philippines Manila
Philippines Counterfeit Goods – Feb 2015

Why do people buy counterfeit?

There are many reasons why people buy counterfeit goods, usually they can’t afford a genuine fashion item and would like to buy the style or the design. The demand for goods that look like the real thing will exist as long as luxury fashion items remain high in price. People also unwittingly buy counterfeit goods because they don’t know the are buying counterfeit goods, they simply think they are getting a great deal on the genuine article.

Where are counterfeit shoes made?

Counterfeit shoes are generally made in the same countries where the real shoes are made, most notably in Asia. There are various theories as to how counterfeit manufacturers make their shoes. The first is that they buy a copy of the blueprints from the factory that is producing the real shoes. These are then taken and copied in another factory. The second theory is that the factories who make the shoes receive dies, cutting sheets and anything else they need to make shoes from a manufacturer. They then receive the materials for producing a run. Once these materials run out they then source similar materials (usually at a lower cost and quality) and the counterfeit shoes are produced using inferior quality materials. This is done to maximise profit when the counterfeit shoes are sold. The final theory is that the shoes are bought from a shop and reversed engineered, which produces shoes with questionable quality.

Protection against counterfeiting

In the UK, you are protected by law against the sale of counterfeit goods. You can ask for a refund within 30 days of your purchase under grounds that the item was not as described. If you have paid for good by debit card you can use the chargeback scheme at your bank, where you can have your payment reversed and your money refunded. You have to do this within 120 of payment for your item. If you paid by credit card, if your item cost less than £100 you can use the card provider’s chargeback scheme, or for purchases between £100 to £30000 you can use a Section 75 claim. If you used PayPal you can use their resolution centre within 180 days of purchase.

To reduce the risk of buying counterfeit shoes buy from a reputable supplier. If you’re looking to save some money, don’t buy from a potentially dodgy retailer online. You can use these excellent Office discount codes to guarantee you buy genuine shoes.

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