CONSUMER ALERT: New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Advises Consumers to Beware of Websites Offering Poor-Quality Counterfeit Dresses

The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General released a consumer alert warning on the presence of websites selling counterfeit dresses and formalwear. The consumer alert warns that it “can be very difficult to tell the difference between a website selling genuine designer dresses, from one that sells counterfeits. Websites offering counterfeit dresses have been known to use photos and other images that are copied directly from those used by brand-name designers.”

The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General advises, “There are several steps consumers can take when shopping online for a wedding dress or other formalwear:

  • If you are seeking an authentic brand-name dress, one way to ensure its authenticity is to buy from a retailer who is authorized by the designer to sell their dresses. If a store, website, or retail company offering the designer’s dress is not listed on the brand name’s website as an authorized dealer, it may be part of a counterfeit operation.
  • If you are shopping for a specific dress across multiple websites, pay close attention to the advertised retail price. If one store or website is offering the same brand-name dress at a substantially lower price, it may be selling low-quality counterfeits.
  • Be sure to thoroughly read the seller’s return and cancellation policies. You should know these policies even when dealing with a genuine wedding dress retailer.
  • Find out whether the online retailer is associated with a brick-and-mortar location. Find the website’s contact information, and make a phone call to determine whether it is a listed, working telephone number.
  • Call the seller. Speak with a real person and ask as many questions as necessary to determine whether the business is legitimate. Ask for written confirmation of any guarantees they make. Ask for proof of the quality and brand name of the item you consider purchasing.
  • Learn as much as possible about the company’s reputation. Perform an Internet search for positive or negative customer reviews.
  • Consider paying by credit card. This means of payment provides a clear record that may enable you to dispute the charges with your credit card provider if you are cheated.
  • Many websites offering counterfeit dresses are operated by overseas businesses. Beware that, if you are cheated, it can be extremely difficult to obtain a refund from a company not located in the United States.”

To read the full Consumer Alert, click here.

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