The internet has a new wave of scam websites causing misery for Irish consumers selling poorly made counterfeit goods that are claimed to be real designer labels for a cheap price. Many young people are eagerly awaiting the start of the Irish debs season so this is the catalyst for the wave of scam clothing sites.
The UK European Consumer Centre has released a strong statement advising consumers to be vigilant when ordering fashionable designer clothing online.
Frequently these rogue retailers use credentials that are listed in European countries to add to the professed legitimacy of their site. However, this is often a smoke screen and the businesses were not situated in that country at all. In many cases they were outside the EU completely.
Many of these scam sites are claimed to be based in Europe, but the fake clothing is from elsewhere with big producers based in countries such as Hong Kong, China and Thailand.
If a product is purchased from one of these nations, chances are that they'll be a fairly long waiting time and product ordered will not match up with the quality expected.
If the merchandise is produced outside the European Union, the customer will not be covered by the European consumer rights law and Asian countries usually make no effort to prosecute people for these type of matters.
As a result the European Consumer Centre warns that when purchasing clothing online, make sure ample and diligent investigation is carried out on the seller and check that there are no suspicions red flags, for example omitted contact-us information.
As a rule if it seems like an exceptionally good deal on designer items then it could very well be scam and there will be a high chance that the clothing will be shoddily made and counterfeit.
You should use PayPal to pay for goods as it's a secure dispute and refund system.
You can check out Irish online businesses with solocheck.ie to make sure the credentials are correct. See Lyoness on solocheck.ie to see what a trustworthy company offering reductions on designer and high street clothing such as Next and Dorothy Perkins should look like.
European Consumer Centre Ireland
National Consumer Agency Ireland