Following on from the discovery earlier in the year of dangerous imitation crampons, gear manufacturers have since discovered and publicised further examples of imitation and counterfeit products. How can you avoid the fakes, and what should you do if you end up buying one?
It's no big deal for the consumer if their swag looking watch isn't in fact a Rolex but a cheap knock off bought online, perhaps more concerning for a manufacturer wishing to maintain the good name and image of their brand. It's a whole different ball game though, when the imitation products are important items of safety equipment where the consequences of failure can be fatal.
Our previous feature detailed some dangerous imitation crampons, and since then Petzl has been investigating counterfeit versions of their crampons, amongst other items of kit. You can find out more from their UK distributor Lyon Equipment.
How to avoid fakes
Buy from a reputable supplier, whether that is a brick and mortar retailer or an online seller. Find out who you are buying from before you part with your cash. Most manufacturers list their retail partners, is the seller listed as an authorised retailer by the manufacturer?
How to spot fakes
This can be quite tricky for some of the more realistic copies, but often the lack of quality is the big giveaway. Check that any brand names or markings look authentic and look for serial numbers and the correct documentation for items of PPE.
If you have bought a fake
You may be able to get your money returned in some circumstances either through your payment provider (e.g. PayPal) or the sales portal (EBay). It is also important to contact your local trading standards office.
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