Tech gear is expensive, so it’s no wonder that consumers are always on the lookout for bargains and markdowns on expensive gadgets like tablets. Sometimes, a small retailer might try to move inventory of an older model to make way for a new version, and it marks down prices.
While there are deals to be found, there are also a lot of counterfeiters who are preying on your desire to score a deal. Te Smith, vice president of communications at MarkMonitor, a brand-protection firm, says the number of online listings for counterfeit, cloned or “gray market” tablets rises on a daily basis as the market demand increases.
Here are his tips for avoiding being duped by a tablet knockoff:
Give the business a call. Look for a toll-free customer service number on the site. If there is one, call and see what level of service you receive when asking some basic questions about shopping.
Watch out for “typosquatters.” Those are URLs that contains typos that closely resemble big brand names. Counterfeiters sometimes buy up these URLs and then use brand’s legitimate imagery – logos, stock photos and other identifiers – to boost the credibility of their scam sites. “Smart consumers should examine the URL for the site in their browser, too,” says Smith.
If it’s too good to be true … Counterfeiters are getting savvier by discounting 40%-50% (along the lines of a good end-of-season sale), rather than eyebrow-raising 80-90% cuts, says Smith. If a price seems too good, then do some more digging to find out way.
If you do make a purchase, learn how to spot a fake. BusinessInsider offers excellent tips on how to tell if various tech products are authentic, from recognizing fake serial numbers to looking for imperfections.
Have you ever purchased a knock-off tech gadget? Share your experience below.