Brides beware – Five tips to avoid fake frocks online

12 Apr 2016

With budgets and timescales to stick to, the cost and convenience of online shopping offers an inviting experience for brides-to-be. Yet the web presents a whole host of risks that may not become apparent until the dress arrives. Wise up on the warning signs and be online savvy with these tips from MarkMonitor.

The traditions of wedding dress shopping are no longer a priority for some brides, who would rather save time and money by buying the all-important gown online. Yet with promises of designer dresses at a snip of the RRP, are these online suppliers all that they appear to be?

There are a multitude of counterfeiters making a living out of selling fake wedding gowns. In today’s online world, there are certainly no guarantees that the bargain designer dress will be genuine. Online brand protection experts, MarkMonitor have compiled the following list of top tips to ensure that brides-to-be are extra vigilant when shopping online:

Price: Counterfeiters are wising up and realising that sometimes it can be more convincing the less the dress is reduced. Search around for the recommended retail price (RRP) and even if the dress only has a small discount, such as 20%, it is worth checking other elements of the website to see if they stack up.

The site itself: Although some websites look professional at first glance, counterfeiters aren’t always so careful with the ‘About’ or ‘FAQ’ page. These sections need to be examined, including the delivery details and where the company is based, to ensure it matches up with the designer dress company’s credentials.

Return and Privacy Policies: These should be clear. If the dress doesn’t fit or is damaged, it may need to be sent back – a genuine seller should provide an option of how to cancel and where to return goods. Counterfeiters won’t usually invest the time to craft a clear, strong privacy policy, so if there isn’t one on the website, that could be a warning sign.

Check the web address: Impersonation of a brand’s website and what is referred to as ‘cybersquatting’ are on the rise. When doing an initial search for the brand name, the link should be checked for spelling mistakes on both the website and the URL address. If the address begins with https://, the ‘s’ tells you it’s a secure site. Some of the big brands have dedicated pages on their websites so consumers can check whether a seller is authorised.

Online marketplaces: Even if the marketplace itself is a known brand, the reviews of the seller should be thoroughly checked before that dream dress is purchased

www.markmonitor.com

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