11 Signs That Will Help You Tell the Difference Between a Fake and an Original

While the big brands are at war with illegal copies, customers still can't resist the temptation to buy fake products — for less money than the originals, of course. However, the worst thing is when crooks sell a cheap item for a high price, convincing buyers that it's original.

Bright Side made a list of the 11 most faked brands along with some recommendations on how to avoid being deceived.

11. MAC Cosmetics

  • Examine the case carefully: MAC products are sold in cases with tiny shining particles on the surface that make them glimmer a little. Fake products are often produced in dimmer cases with a different shine.
  • Check the name of the product. Fake products are often sold with other names in contrast to original MAC products. In order to make sure that the product is original, go to the company's website, and look for the name there. If it's not there, it's either a fake or a product that is not sold anymore.
  • Examine the logo and the letters on the pack. MAC has its own trademark with a unique font that is used on all packs. Fake cosmetics have the same logo, but the letters will look different: they may be stretched or distorted in some way. Besides, the letters may be in a different location. For example, the MAC logo is always placed in the center, whereas the logo on a fake product may be placed closer to the top or the bottom of the pack.

10. UGG boots

  • Check the manufacturing country. UGG is a registered trademark that belongs to the American company Deckers Outdoor Corp. Its products have nothing to do with Australia/New Zealand. Original UGGs are manufactured only in these 3 countries: China, Vietnam, and the US. A seller's claims that the shoes are manufactured in Australia is a guarantee of a fake.

  • A sticker on the box with a QR code and a tag with a QR code are the most effective ways of protection against fakes. All you need to do is scan the QR code using a special app on your phone to make sure you are looking at an original product. If the shoes are original, you will be automatically redirected to the official page, which will say that you bought a genuine UGG product.

9. Michael Kors bags

  • The hanging metal logo that defines many styles of Michael Kors bags should match the color of the other metal parts. At least, that's true for original bags. Besides, you can tell if a product is authentic by the weight of the locks, the chains, the zippers, and so on. Original bags have very high-quality metals, which are quite heavy.
  • The bags are manufactured in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Turkey. Crooks might tell you that the bag was made in Italy, France, or the US. Don't believe them.
  • Since 2015, the company has put a tag with a 10-digit number inside. It can tell you the model number and the shipment number. You can check this code on the official website. There is also a leather tag in an inside pocket that matches the bag's color.

8. PANDORA products

  • The standard manufacturer sign of PANDORA products are the 3 letters ALE, which stand for Algot Enevoldsen, the founding father of PANDORA. All PANDORA jewelry has ALE engraved on it (except for the smallest items).

  • If you are buying a bracelet, look at the PANDORA inscription. It must look even, careful, and neat. The font should be clear. A distinctive feature since the year 2008 is a crown over the letter "O."

  • Since 2011, PANDORA has added capital letters regarding the quality of precious metals with the following indication of purity: "S" for silver (S925) and "G" for gold (14-carat gold - G585, 18-carat gold - G750). The indications should be on every charm, bracelet, ring, necklace, and pendant. If they are absent or far from the ALE stamp, you have bought a fake.

7. Zippo lighters

  • Open the zipper: a genuine Zippo lighter makes a distinctive click. The Zippo click sound is special. It's also patented, so it can easily be used to tell if the product is original or fake.
  • Examine the bottom of the lighter: original Zippo lighters have a stamp at the bottom, which proves that it's genuine. It also helps to determine the date when the lighter was made. Fake lighters either don't have the stamp at all or it looks very different.
  • Examine the fuse: original Zippo fuses are made of polymer, and they always have a metal thread. Fake lighters have cheaper low-quality fuses.

6. Timberland boots

  • The manufacturer always attaches a nubuck leather tag to the right boot of a pair of Timberlands. On the original leather tag, there is a logo and the "Guaranteed Waterproof" inscription. Fake models often have paper tags. It's also very important to examine the logo itself, which is made by burning the outside part of the boot.
  • Timberland is an American company, but all its official factories are located in China and the Dominican Republic. Crooks often write "Made in USA" inscriptions on their products. Be careful: Timberland boots, which are supposed to be imported, are not currently manufactured in the USA.
  • Another feature of original Timberland boots is a unique serial number on every pair. You can use the number to find the pair on the internet and check if it actually exists.

5. Beats headphones

  • Original boxes have a serial number printed on the sticker, which is located on the bottom of every box. Fakes don't have stickers, and the number is usually just printed on the box itself.

  • The description on original boxes is in 5 languages: English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian. If there are more or less, it's definitely a fake.

  • On the headphones, there should be the name of the brand: Beats. It must be on both the headphones and the wire, and it must be engraved and easily read. Fake products often have a cheap inscription or don't have one at all.

4. Adidas sneakers

  • Examine the box carefully. All inscriptions should be even and correctly spelled. The serial number on the box must match the number on the inside part of the tongue. The serial numbers on the right and left shoes must be different. If they match, the product is fake.
  • The logo on genuine sneakers must be embossed. On fake ones, it's either glued or just drawn. And examine the lace holes: on many classic models, there are no holes at all, and all fake ones have them. In this case, check the product on the official website.
  • A clear sign of a fake product is a tiny triangle of leather on the back of the shoe. There should be no triangle on original models.

3. Louis Vuitton bags

  • Examine the bag carefully: masters of the brand never sew the bag so that the letters LV are not visible. Other details may, but the letters never disappear.
  • Take a look inside the bag: the colors inside the pockets, the rings for keys, and other details of the interior must be a perfect match to the color of the bag itself.
  • All Louis Vuitton bags have a stamp on a leather tag. It has the country of the manufacturer (there are only 5 options: France, Italy, Spain, USA, and Germany). Every bag has a special code of 2 letters and 4 numbers. The letters are another indication of the manufacturing country, which often doesn't match the country on the outside.

2. iPhone, iPod, and iPad

  • The safest way to avoid buying a fake product is to check the serial number on the Apple website. In order to check it, you need to find the serial number in the settings. You need to make sure that it matches the number on the SIM card slot and the box. Then enter the code in the field on this website. If the product is genuine, the website will give you information about the model, how much warranty is left, and other important information.
  • Another method of checking if an Apple product is original is iTunes synchronization. The program automatically sees the connected device, shows all the information about it, and can quickly detect a fake product. So when you are going to meet a seller, just take a laptop with you with iTunes installed and internet access.

1. Nike sneakers

  • Check the sneakers. If you've had Nike sneakers before, compare your new pair to the old one. The style and position of the elements should be pretty much the same. If you notice that some key elements are missing or there is no name of the series, unfortunately, you have bought a fake pair.
  • Real Nike sneakers are not as bright as fake ones. This is because Nike products are made with genuine materials. So if you spot some very bright colors, it's a fake.
  • Examine the SKU number. The number on the sneakers themselves must match the number on the box. Fake sneakers almost never have matching numbers.

Have you ever bought a fake product? How did you find out about it later? Tell us your stories in the comment section below!

Preview photo credit Nike
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