A few weeks ago we posted an article about counterfeit golf apparel, clubs and accessories and how they were making their way into homes of unknowing consumers.
Today, we’re going to be talking about how to avoid buying counterfeit golf clubs and accessories online. With KeepGolfReal.com removing more than 250 fake golf websites last year, the problem is real and growing.
Below are a few tips and tricks to make sure you are shopping safe online:
- Feedback: Always check the reviews before purchasing a golf club online. If there are several complaints about a product not shipping, the products quality or the website’s poor customer service, these could all be signs that you are dealing with a fake website.
- Great Deal: Even on auction websites, if the deal is too good to be true, it is. Often times knock-off sellers will justify the low cost as “received as gift” or “won in a raffle.” Don’t let it deceive you – it’s fake.
- Serial Numbers: When in doubt, ask for the serial number. If the company or seller refuses to provide it to you, it is a clear indicator that it is not a real product.
Always remember, if you are curious about whether you are on a true authorized reseller of the product you are looking to purchase, you can always check with the manufacture. Many times manufacture websites will gladly provide a list of their licensed resellers.
DSS and AuthentiSite can help consumer and brand owners alike prove website’s authenticity. To learn more, please visit www.AuthentiGuard.com
In 2013, federal agents raided a counterfeit ring in South Carolina and withdrew large quantities of fake goods. Typically when this happens, onlookers see hundreds of luxury goods or fake pharmaceuticals being confiscated, but this time it was something different – golf clubs, balls, bags and apparel. (Source)
The good news is that the chance of these counterfeit goods making it into a retail store setting in the US is slim. The bad news is that this does not apply to customers shopping online. Counterfeit golf merchandise is being purchased at the speed of broadband as consumers around the globe are unknowingly purchasing tens of millions of dollars in knock-offs from fake websites. In fact, it is estimated that 95% of counterfeit golf merchandise is located online. (Source)
On Canal Street, it would be difficult to find a customer upset that their Chanel purse is a fake – some consumers simply buy for a name. But, when consumers spend the money and do the research, they expect a high-quality product in return. Unfortunately, the majority of the time quality is not what these online customers are purchasing.
Tom Jaronski, President of The Golf Connection LLC, talked to us about the downside to counterfeit golf merchandise. “The sophistication of counterfeit golf merchandise is growing at an alarming rate– long ago are the days of quickly spotting a fake due to exterior irregularities such as chipped paint or leaking glue. Now it is all about what is on the inside. Counterfeit golf merchandise is comprised of low-grade materials and manufacturer irregularities that will cause a user’s performance to suffer such as; poor shaft composition, unbalanced interior walls and supposedly hollow iron-head cavities that instead, are solid steel.”
For now, it seems brand owners are (yet again) telling consumers to simply use common knowledge when shopping online– the age old saying “if it is too good to be true, it probably is.” By using DSS’s simple AuthentiGuard smartphone APP, consumers could identify authorized resellers online and have peace of mind that the product they just bought is of the quality they deserve.
For more information on how AuthentiGuard can help brand owners and consumers alike, please visit www.AuthentiGuard.com