Online Shopping Made Safer with New Tool

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

Consumers shopping online are to be protected from online counterfeiting with a new tool which will help shoppers identify illegal shopping sites.

The online shopping directory termed Brand-i has been created to resolve the growing problem of unknowing consumers being caught out by fake luxury brand websites. These websites can attract over 120 million visits a year with an estimated £82 billion being spent online on counterfeit goods.

Brand-i allows consumers to search through their favourite brands and find the genuine online stockists.

“Because the internet is largely unpoliced, it is becoming increasingly difficult to track,” said Andy Foster, Trading Standards Institute operations director and a partner of Brand-i.

The directory is free to use and new brands will be added to the site when they appear – some of the brands currently involved include: UGG, GHD, Chanel, Pandora, Ted Baker as well as two Premier League football clubs.

“If we are looking for consumers to do more of the right thing then we need to make it easy for them and Brand-i does just that – connecting consumers with official sources for the products they want,” added Liz Bales, from the Industry Trust – an affiliate of Brand-i.

Local High Streets Suffer

In other news, the British consumer is changing the way they shop as research by uSwitch suggests shoppers believe high streets today offer high prices and poor choice – reflecting the popularity of online shopping.

The study revealed 22 percent have already turned their backs on their local High Street while just six percent of people remain loyal.

For 41 percent this is because there is a poor choice of shops, for 29 percent it is due to high prices and 12 percent think their local high street is shabby. A further quarter blame the recession for the closing down of many local shops.

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