Buyer Beware - How to Spot Counterfeit Dresses
I was recently shopping on a popular online retail site and came across a counterfeit tulle skirt. What tipped me off was seeing several photos from different well known designers being used by one company with an unusual sounding name. Copycats, like this one, often lure buyers in with super low prices and stolen photos. Since I live and breath the wedding industry, it was very easy for me to identify this copycat; but I worry that other customers who didn't see the red flags will get stuck with a shoddy product. I've heard too many horror stories about girls getting scammed on their dresses so I want to share some cautionary advice to help you avoid a possible disaster.
If it looks too good to be true, it probably is
Pay attention to price patterns. If you see a dress that ranges around $200, but find a deal for $60, be wary. Also, know who you’re buying from. If possible, research the company and see if you can find reviews or information about the designer. That goes for both online shops and brick-and-mortar stores. Most tulle bridesmaid skirts range from $125 - $175 but the Amazon one was listed for $39.
Photo from Amazon.com
Compare company photos to customer submitted photos
Many sites allow customers to submit photos with their reviews. When I looked at the customer photos on Amazon, it was very obvious that the skirt they received looked different than the stolen photos. The waistband on the Amazon tulle skirt was much wider and everyone complained about the puffiness of the skirt even after hours of ironing (probably due to lower quality materials).
Inaccuracies and inconsistencies
Take a close look at the site and product description. Misspellings and grammatical errors are a good indication that you're dealing with con artists. The product description on Amazon said " Wear Ways:you can match simple white T-shirt like usual dress and wear like petticoat make your dress fluffy." Sentences that sound like broken english should make you very suspicious!
Photo from Amazon.com
When the same picture of the same dress keeps popping up, think about where it came from. Usually copycats will crop out the model's head, making it more difficult to trace the photo back the original designer's site.
Unfortunately most counterfeit creations come from overseas companies where legal recourse is usually nonexistent. If you take a chance and buy from these copycats, you end up stuck with what you pay for. Check out these real buyers that received bad copys from counterfeit companies.