Isle of Man Government
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Isle of Man Government Office of Fair Trading

Get Real this Christmas – Don’t Buy Fakes

As Christmas appears on the horizon the Office of Fair Trading and Isle of Man Crimestoppers are highlighting the need to think twice about buying goods which may be counterfeit. Unscrupulous traders selling counterfeit goods gear up for the festive season just as legitimate traders do and consumers can sometimes be tricked into buying fake goods without realising what the consequences might be.

Although you are more likely to come across counterfeit goods when you are shopping on the internet or in markets in the UK and abroad, the Office has in the past found a range of counterfeit goods for sale on the Island, including perfume, sportswear, designerwear, footwear, children’s clothing, sunglasses, watches, toys, mobile phone accessories and computer games.

Counterfeit goods are often unsafe or of poor quality. These are some examples:

  • fake batteries
  • fake perfumes, which are unregulated and could be harmful to sensitive skin
  • counterfeit children’s clothing that can easily go up in flames
  • electrical hair styling products, containing fake fuses and plugs
  • fake 'designer' sunglasses that may not offer protection against UV rays
  • counterfeit alcohol and cigarettes
  • fake mobile phones and accessories

Apart from the safety and quality aspects there are other reasons for not buying counterfeit goods:

  • They are often made in poor countries where the workers are not paid fairly for the work they do. The workers in the factories making the real goods can lose their jobs because people are buying the counterfeit goods and not the real ones.
  • The profits from counterfeiting are often used to fund serious organised crime.
  • Counterfeiters do not pay their dues to the community. Where legitimate businesses contribute to the wellbeing of a nation by paying taxes, creating jobs and treating their employees fairly, counterfeiters do not.

Chairman of the Office of Fair Trading Bill Henderson said “Please think twice when you buy your Christmas presents this year. There is a huge trade in counterfeit goods particularly on the internet. Counterfeiters are making vast profits from these goods and don’t care who gets hurt in the process. It is simply not worth the risk and our Island community loses out. Buy your presents from reputable local retailers as the goods are much more likely to be 'real' and you know that the shop will still be there after Christmas if you have a problem. If you have any concerns about what you have bought or someone who you think may be selling fakes contact the Office of Fair Trading on 686510. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”


Top ten Christmas fakes in 2008:

  • DVDs
  • Computer Games
  • Character Merchandise (e.g. clothing, accessories and toys featuring children’s TV characters)
  • Clothing and footwear - especially sportswear
  • Designer accessories, such as handbags, watches, belts etc.
  • Mobile phones and accessories
  • Perfume and cosmetics
  • Electrical goods and batteries
  • Music CDs
  • Business software
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