More than a quarter (26%) of UK consumers have been fooled into buying a counterfeit product while shopping online in the last 12 months, according to an independent report released by online brand protection providers, Incopro. The report, titled ‘Counterfeit products are endemic – and it is damaging brand value’, showed that the sale of counterfeit goods came at a significant cost for individuals. UK consumers spend on average £1,250 online each year, yet just 45% of those who were ripped off received any kind of refund from the seller or online marketplace despite reporting infringements.
The findings, conducted by independent research provider Sapio Research, also showed that one in five (22%) of consumers surveyed said they have lost between £100 and £500 in the past 12 months from buying products that turned out to be fake. And it seems it’s the youngest that are hit hardest when it comes to purchasing counterfeit goods. The research showed that 18 to 24-year olds are most likely to get ripped off online, with 25 percent having lost between £100 – £249 from counterfeit goods in the past 12 months alone.
Simon Baggs, CEO and Co-founder of Incopro, said: “The report confirms our fears that consumers are being hit hard by counterfeit operations. The sophisticated techniques of infringers are making it increasingly difficult for consumers to spot fake goods until it is too late – money has changed hands and the consumer ends up with a poor-quality and sometimes hazardous imitation. “That consumers have reported counterfeit sellers after being ripped off and still not received any kind of refund is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. It’s clear that consumers need more protection from online marketplaces and brands to combat counterfeiting, especially as online spending rises in the future.”