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The Better Business Bureau warns counterfeit goods may be cheaper but they're also cheaply made, impossible to return and illegal.
“Brand obsession fuels the market for knock-offs of products ranging from purses to perfume, from computer games to computer tablets,” a spokesperson for the BBB said in a news release.
Top 10 most common counterfeit gifts:
1. Purses, shoes and leather goods
2. Smart phones, computer tablets and other electronics
3. DVDs and CDs
4. Software and computer games
5. Sports memorabilia and apparel
6. Watches and jewelry
9. Blue jeans
10. Sporting event and concert tickets
If you are scanning the Internet for deals, the BBB has advice for how to avoid buying fake products.
· Shop in established stores and on reputable websites.
· Beware of “great” deals that seem too good to be true.
· Buy directly from the brand's store or website.
· Be careful buying brand-name merchandise and big-ticket items from online marketplaces like eBay and Craigslist where you cannot inspect the products before you buy them.
· Ask for a certificate of authenticity on autographed memorabilia.
· Have an independent appraisal done to verify the value or jewelry or artwork.
· Buy sports merchandise that is officially licensed by the NFL, NBA or other sports organizations.
"If you find out that the merchandise you bought or received is counterfeit, you are probably stuck with it," said BBB President Tom Bartholomy. "It's hard to return pirated software or fake tickets."