7 rules for protecting yourself

Counterfeiting is not always obvious. Follow several simple rules to avoid unknowingly purchasing counterfeit goods.

1. Avoid buying overly cheap products; a very low price may be inviting, but it is an indicator of poor quality; it may seem like a great deal, but you are actually buying a product which will not last and will deteriorate much more quickly than the original.
2. Always use authorised dealers for your purchases, as they offer clear warranties on the origin of the goods; be wary of products usually sold through official sales channels which are being sold on the street or on the beach by illegal vendors, at impromptu stalls and market stalls, etc.
3. Before making expensive purchases, always consult people who have greater knowledge of the product.
4. Always check the labels on the products you purchase (it is their "identity card") and be wary of those with extremely small or unclear writing or lacking any indications of origin and the "CE mark": the most correct labels are those which guarantee the best knowledge of the product: transparency of the trademark, production process, place of manufacture and characteristics.
5. Only purchase products with undamaged packets and packaging, with the manufacturer's name, checking their origin and any quality marks or certification.
6. Be wary of "door to door sales": if you do not receive precise information on the seller's identity and contact details (telephone number, domicile, etc.), these may be counterfeit products.
7. Pay particular care when purchasing products over the Internet or through television programs, particularly when it is not possible to see the goods before purchasing them and return them once received.
In order to support responsible choices by consumers five Anti-counterfeiting guidebooks (sub-titled “Knowing about problems in order to deal with them better”) are available, prepared by the Directorate-General in collaboration with consumer and business associations. Each Guidebook is dedicated to a merchandise sector particularly affected by this phenomenon: food, clothing and accessories, toys, cosmetics, spare parts for cars/motorbikes and household appliances. Dynamic and attractive graphics and simple and direct language are used in the five Guidebooks to present the different types of counterfeiting, the specific precautions to adopt for each sector upon purchase, the procedures in the case of non-original or faulty products, regulations supporting claims.



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