Description of goods
Goods and services sold by a trader should be 'as described'. If they are not then you may be able to get a refund, replacement or compensation. In some cases, a false description may be a criminal offence. For advice and information contact Consumer Direct (new window) .
Frequently Asked Questions
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Some fakes may look very good and it often takes an expert to identify these. However many goods are obviously fake, from their price, quality and labelling, for example photocopied CD labels. More importantly, fake goods are not subject to the same safety checks as legitimate goods so could actually be dangerous.
Counterfeiting causes harm in several ways: Buyers are misled into buying inferior goods, badly reproduced videos or CDs; retailers selling genuine goods lose out to those selling cheaper copies; manufacturers lose income and have to make job cuts; manufacturers' reputations are damaged when poor quality counterfeits are mistaken for the genuine article. Fake goods are also not subject to the same safety checks as legitimate goods so could actually be dangerous.
Fakes are often produced by organised crime to launder drugs money. Fakes such as car parts or perfumes may not be safe and are certainly not properly tested. The cost of counterfeit goods to Britain in 2002 was 1.7 billion and cost an estimated 4,200 people their jobs, many of which were in the Scottish clothing or electronics industry.