If you’re looking for that perfect Christmas gift for the special someone in your life, be careful: you could be putting their life in danger by buying a fake item!
That’s the warning from Ealing Council’s trading standards who are urging shoppers to have a safe Christmas this year and avoid buying fake or dangerous goods.
The team are calling on consumers to be extra vigilant after coming across a number of items on sale at various hot spots across the borough.
Goods including electrical lamps, ornaments and keyrings labelled under designer brands such as Chanel, Gucci, Dior and Jack Daniels have been seized.
And with Christmas just around the corner, the team are concerned that rogue traders are cashing in on the festive season by selling harmful and substandard items that have not been subjected to electrical safety tests or even meet the basic safety standards.
Other popular products such as fake perfume and aftershave could contain ingredients that are unknown and could potentially be unsafe.
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for decent living incomes urged Ealing residents to be wary of pop-up stalls and pedlars circulating in the area, who could be selling fake goods.
“Each year, we anticipate a rise in the number of rogue traders who suddenly turn up in busy shopping areas and exploit the gift giving season.
Del Boy antics
“Times are particularly tough right now, and many people in Ealing are facing a difficult Christmas financially. It can be very tempting to buy what looks like an eye-catching product at a never-before-seen-price from a seller on the street or online. These goods may be cheap but there is no guarantee of their quality.
“We love watching Del Boy getting up to his antics on the telly, but we don’t want anyone to be duped, tricked or spend their hard-earned cash on dodgy items that are cheap are quality and highly dangerous.
“It’s really not worth the risk.”
What to look out for
When shopping it’s wise to follow these simple tips:
- Check the labels of electrical products and toys – products must have a UKCA or CE mark which means the product complies with the required safety standards – avoid buying fake items
- Remember: brand names such as Chanel, Gucci have their own unique product range and do not currently manufacture lamps or key rings.
- If the price is too good to be true, it probably is – only buy from reputable traders who have solid record of selling genuine products
- Avoid toys with small parts – they can be a choking hazard for small children. Check that toys are clearly marked with age restrictions.
Counterfeit goods may also be linked to the funding of organised crime such as modern-day slavery, drugs and child labour. Traders selling counterfeit goods undermine genuine trade and business and do not contribute to the UK economy.
Councillor Mahfouz added: “During the Christmas season, I would encourage shoppers across Ealing to do their homework to make sure that they’re only buying from well-known, reputable traders. As Ealing’s high street recovers from the financial effects of COVID-19, we can all do our bit to promote and protect good businesses across the borough and making sure we’re shopping safely is a big part of that.”
If you think you’ve been a victim of an unfair trading practice please contact Citizens Advice consumer service via:
- The Adviceguide website
- Call 0808 223 1133 for a Citizens Advice consumer service adviser