World Cup fans beware: Counterfeit products are on the market.
FIFA runs a global licensing program allowing licensees to produce Official Licensed Products for the FIFA World Cup™ and legitimately promote merchandise. However, as we all know, where there’s a business opportunity – counterfeiters lie in waiting to take advantage. Consequently, it’s important that fans be very careful when purchasing these items, whether a football, hat, jersey, t-shirt, toy, keychain, World Cup trophy or really any other products.
Tickets, too, are a hot commodity for counterfeiters. In fact, just recently, more than 3,500 counterfeit 2018 World Cup tickets were sold to Chinese soccer fans. It’s believed that one agency in Russia sold more than 10,000 counterfeit tickets — and at prices four times the value of the actual ticket.
For your consumer, identifying whether or not a product or ticket is a counterfeit is not always easy, especially when purchasing online. With in-person purchases, the tell-tale signs are more prominent: poor quality, missing labels, misuse of trademarks and hang tags, or that the product is being sold by a street vendor instead of an official store). Online, however, many of these discrepancies get missed.
So what are signs to identify whether or not you are purchasing a legitimate product? Here’s how to educate your consumer:
• Check the website address. Does it use a brand name with a slight variation, maybe an extra letter or substituted letter?
• Check the level of professionalism in the website design, particularly language. In some cases, they'll make the main part of the website very good quality. But if you did deeper, such as into the return policy or FAQ, you'll find typos and careless mistakes.
• Check the price. Is it better than good? Counterfeiters often lure shoppers who use "discount," "cheap," "bargain" or other shopping search terms. But counterfeiters are aware that shoppers are too smart for absurdly discounted prices, so they may adjust the cost modestly to make the price point seem more legitimate. So a slight discount isn’t necessarily a sign of legitimate goods, either.
• Look for consumer reviews. Or include the site name and "scam" in a search. The number of reviews, quality of reviews are often great indicators.
• Check the return policy. Legitimate sites make it easy to find and the policy is very clear.
• Not all sellers in established marketplaces are legitimate. Do your due diligence and to be safe, just go to the authorized website to make purchases.
The safest way to purchase online is to go the authorized site directly and purchase directly from the source.
If you are buying from a third party site or marketplace, do your due diligence before purchasing the cheapest option they have available. For all of the FIFA World Cup fans out there – it’s important to support the legitimate authorized channels, ensure quality and safety and fight illegal channels and counterfeiters.
I hope everyone enjoys the games as much as I do, and good luck to all the teams playing!
For more details on AntiCounterfeiting programs, check out our Resources.