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​Counterfeit footwear products are a growing problem in today’s digital age. New imitation websites and social media accounts pop up every day that are selling fake products from brand names like UGG, Timberland, Dr. Martens, Keen, and more. Many of these sellers put a lot of effort into looking legitimate by illegally using brand logos, images, and messaging without company permission. Other sellers offer up knockoff products on auction or resale websites and platforms. When purchasing online, it’s important to do your homework and know who you’re buying from.

Because of the large number of counterfeit sellers online these days, the best way to avoid purchasing fake or knockoff footwear is to buy solely from authorized dealers. Many brands have links to authorized dealers on their website. Boot World is proud to be an Authorized Dealer of most major footwear brands.

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Counterfeiting Defined

Counterfeiting means illegally selling or promoting imitation products as brand-name products. Counterfeiters often use another company’s exact trademark, logo, or design (their brand) without the owner’s consent. Counterfeit products are also known as “fake” or “knockoff” products. Even though imitation products may look very similar to brand-name products, they’re often made of poor-quality materials and do not have the same level of fine detailing and craftsmanship of name-brand footwear.

Is Buying Counterfeit Products Really That Bad?

You might be thinking that knockoffs aren’t really that big of a deal. Think again! There are tons of reasons why counterfeiting is a bad idea, especially for consumers. Here’s our top three.

It Puts You At Risk

Buying imitation products can put your security, finances, and health at risk. Many websites that sell counterfeit products aren’t secure and don’t offer the payment protection and standard encryption technologies used by legitimate companies online. Putting your financial information out there runs the risk of identity theft.

Counterfeiters aren’t held to the consumer protection regulations that prevent use of certain toxic chemicals, materials, and manufacturing processes in consumer goods. Knockoffs that use these toxins could put you or your loved ones’ health at risk, especially if you have an autoimmune disease or skin allergy.

Profits gained from the sale of counterfeit products may also contribute to financing terrorist groups and other types of organized crime. We know you don’t want to risk that.

It’s Illegal

Counterfeiting isn’t just unethical, it’s illegal. In most countries around the world, penalties for counterfeiting include fines and even imprisonment. Some governments also penalize consumers who knowingly buy counterfeit goods.

It Endangers Others

Not only have millions of jobs been lost due to the growing counterfeit industry, but counterfeiters often violate child labor and anti-sweatshop laws, endangering our most vulnerable populations for profit.

How To Detect Counterfeit Sellers
  • Beware of auction and resale sites. It’s difficult to verify if products on sale on these platforms are genuine.

  • Watch out for look-a-like websites that use brand or style names in their domain name, have odd or suspicious contact information (like a gmail address or overseas phone number), contain unusual or questionable links, or include blatant misspellings or grammatical errors.

  • Counterfeit footwear products often don’t carry genuine branding. Pay particular attention to inconsistencies in the shoebox, shoe labels, and product tags.

  • Scrutinize the stitching and detailing, which is often sloppy, uneven, or poorly made.

UGG Counterfeiting

As an Authorized UGG Dealer, Boot World takes UGG counterfeiting seriously. Counterfeit UGG products are a growing problem, and we encourage our customers to educate themselves about how to recognize an imitation UGG product.

Remember that genuine UGG products are known for their ultra-soft twinface sheepskin and extremely fine craftsmanship. Here are a few things to watch out for:

  • Packaging: No authentic UGG product ordered online will arrive in a shopping bag. Receiving an item in a bag is a big red flag.

  • Heel labels: The heel labels on counterfeit UGG boots often have mismatched or multiple colors or use enlarged fonts or different font styles.

  • Lining: Counterfeit UGGs usually have a synthetic lining that will feel thinner and less plush to the touch.

  • Shoe box: Genuine UGG boxes are made out of sturdy cardboard with a removable lid. Many imitation shoeboxes are of a hinged, briefcase-type style with a handle. The cardboard is often poor quality, wrinkling or crumpling easily.

  • Product tags: Classic UGGs do not carry hang tags; be wary of supposed UGG products that have hanging tags.

  • Outsoles: The outsoles of genuine UGG boots have give and are flexible. Counterfeit products typically have stiff outsoles that are difficult to flex or bend.

As UGG product experts, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have about counterfeit products. You can reach us at (888) 502-4600 x 116 or email [email protected]. Come into our stores today to try on a pair of genuine UGGs and feel the difference!