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Counterfeit, fake and copied Perfume

WATCH OUT for knock off perfumes here in AUSTRALIA

First story as seen on Channel Sevens 'Today Tonight' program.
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Second story as seen on Channel Sevens 'Today Tonight' program.
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counterfeit perfume
Looking at the image above, can you tell which are the fakes? They have EXACTLY the same designers name, almost identical bottle, label, box (but contain less, inferior and dangerous substances!) and very similar fragrance! The bottles on the left of each type above were brought to our attention by concerned people. We confirmed they are fakes. Apparently bought from street vendors, and markets for under $20 each.

HOW CAN YOU TELL WHAT is FAKE?
It's not easy. Counterfeiters have become masters of their crime with the aid of modern digital imaging and printing techniques. They are capable of producing almost identical replicas of ALL the major leading perfume brands on the market today. As a consumer you may never really know, UNTIL you experience the actual fragrance which may be close to but not exactly as it should. You'll discover that the perfume does NOT last as long, perhaps as little as one hour instead of half a day or longer as is the case with original designer perfume.

Fake perfume in bali
One of our staff took this photo of FAKE perfume whilst on holiday in Bali. They look real but are of course rubbish!

Get your FREE copy of our in house - "20 Point Authenticity Checklist"
- How to Spot Fake Perfume
(PDF format)
Click here to download NOW

Authenticity Report - Verification Service
Have you bought a FAKE perfume?
Do you need a written report verifying if it is a fake? Often with disputes that involve payment services such as PayPal and/or auction sites like eBay, you are required to obtain evidence. Perfume.com.au can provide you with an official written report stating whelther or not the perfume you bought is a fake. We have successfully helped out many Australian consumers in the past with their disputes.

Note: This used to be a free service, but due to the dozens of requests we receive weekly, we now need to charge a $95 service fee which helps to recover our staff costs for the examination time & a written 3 page report.

To proceed, you need to send us the perfume with as much information as you can. e.g. Where you obtained it from, how much you paid for it, what makes you think it is fake etc. Send all the original packaging including the cellophane wrapping (if any).
Include your credit card details or a money order for the $95 (extra bottles are charged at $55 each).

We can normally email/fax or post the report to you within seven working days.
There is also a packing and postage charge to return your fake items if you require. ($25)

Send to:
PCA - Authenticity Services
10 Elvie St,
DONCASTER EAST, VIC, 3109.


Click on any of the following articles for some very interesting reading:

- CHOICE magazine review
...most consumers are unaware that highly sophisticated knock-offs are also finding their way onto retail shelves. It's easy to be fooled...

- L'Oreal to take legal action against eBay sale of fakes .
- $75,000 worth of counterfeit perfume, cologne during traffic stop.
- LVMH wins French case against eBay over fakes.

Counterfeiting is a huge problem globally, with millions of counterfeit goods being produced and sold every year. It is estimated that up to 10% of perfumes and toiletries in the market place are fakes...

HEALTH RISKS
Counterfeit perfume does not undergo the usual safety standards that are applied to all cosmetics and toiletries around the world. When cheaper, inferior ingredients are used, these may cause allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin and could also stain garments.
Click here for newspaper article on FAKE perfume causing itching.

OUR IN-HOUSE QUALITY CHECK
We have established a 20+ point checklist which covers such things as:- label material & embossing; bottle thickness & quality; cap molding marks; typesetting, clarity, colour and fragrance of the perfume etc.
Click here to download your FREE COPY

SOURCE OF SUPPLY
Repuatable Merchants only deal with respected and well established suppliers and manufacturers around the world. They do NOT buy from market stall holders, backyard importers, suspect overseas web sites, or anyone that has not been verified as legitimate.

BEWARE OF OLD STOCK and STALE PERFUME
Perfume does deteriorate. The time period depends on temperature, light and length of storage. Sometimes when stores close down, they SELL OUT their old perfume stock. Don't get caught out. Repuatable Merchants always ensure their perfume is FRESH, not old.

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Article - Is counterfeiting growing?
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First understand the difference between knock offs and counterfeits. Knock offs are SUBSTITUTES for the real thing. Generally they are marketed with the pitch that the consumer will save money by purchasing this cheaper "version" and still enjoy the scent of the original.

Counterfeits pretend TO BE the genuine fragrance.

Knock offs are sold on SCENT imitation; counterfeits are sold on BRAND imitation. The knock off is only an effective imitation in USE. The user feels (fairly) confident that their knock off perfume will make others think they are wearing the more expensive original.

Counterfeits may imitate the scent of the real (the bottle has to contain something so why not a knock off of the genuine fragrance!) but what they really imitate is the trade dress -- the packaging, bottle, and trademark -- of the genuine product. In this case scent is a secondary issue and quite likely many purchasers of counterfeits are unfamiliar with the genuine scent as its cost may be beyond their means.

What the purchaser of the counterfeit gets is a product that people are likely to think is the genuine and more expensive. This makes it a great gift item to decorate a woman's dresser.

A number of companies are currently engaged in selling anti-counterfeiting technology to prestige brands. Counterfeiting is probably on the rise (I have known people who knowingly purchase counterfeits) and it has been suggested that this is due to brand -- rather than product -- fame.

Women are aware of the big name brands and aspire to own products -- handbags and perfumes for example -- bearing the logos of these companies. The logo itself provides the status but the cost of genuine goods can tax a woman's budget. And, from my experience, I would also suggest that the cost of genuine articles may tax her credibility. Can she (the unsophisticated buyer) see any logic in spending $350 for a genuine perfume when a friendly street merchant will sell her a counterfeit for a fraction of that price? While women aspire to top name luxury goods they are also very aware of their pennies.

What intrigues me about the world of counterfeits is how the logo has become more important than the product itself. Quality products cost more. It is a simple fact. But the market in counterfeits is driven by an urge toward prestige, which is not at all the same as quality or style. (I think of a host of logo ladened "prestige" goods marketed over the last thirty years that are more garish than stylish yet have sold quite well.)

There was a time when the marketing of perfume was segmented. Top prestige brands were sold only by top prestige retailers. Lesser brands were distributed through less prestigious retailers. But mass is where the money is -- volume sales -- so prestige brands have created two or more tiers for their products. The ultra exclusive continue to be distributed only through ultra exclusive retailers. Only the rich are aware they exist. But an Estee Lauder or Ralph Lauren might reach all the way from high to (relatively) low so it is not impossible to find their products in drug chains and on shelves of other mass merchants.

But the outlets that really give rise to questions are some of the fragrance specialty shops set up as stand alone stores at malls and, in some cases, in highway rest stops. (I saw one at a New Jersey Turnpike rest stop recently.) These small name or no name retailers offer prestige brands at what appears to the consumer to be a favorable price. The consumer, of course, is innocent of any ability to verify the authenticity of the perfume. Yet they can judge that these "floating" retailers (who may be gone tomorrow) have a low overhead and may believe they are getting the real thing at a low price because of this.

Years ago I worked in the trucking industry which put a lot of the "real thing" on the market thanks to hijacked cargos. Perhaps some buyers of off price brand name perfumes simply hope they are buying hot but genuine perfume rather than counterfeits of questionable quality.

Most of us who sell our own perfume will never have to worry about counterfeits. Our businesses are too small; our fragrances too unknown. Discovery of a counterfeit might give us the feeling that we have at last arrived. But on that day we too will begin to worry. May that day come quickly!

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