Peaches Boutique has an urgent warning for bargain buyers: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Knock-off dresses are created and sold with the intent to defraud consumers. The counterfeit crisis has long plagued the fashion industry, but escalated with online purchasing. It’s also not an exclusive issue for brides; it’s a problem that crosses all lines of formal wear – including prom, pageantry and quinceañera.
Peaches Boutique urges consumers to beware of counterfeits when online shopping.
Tips to consumers:
- Find the designer’s website and utilize the “Store Locator” for a list of retailers authorized to sell their dresses. If the website/store is not listed, then beware that they are not selling true designer gowns.
- Websites use images of authentic designer dresses to lure unsuspecting buyers for that deep discount. Cropped photos could be an attempt to disguise copyrighted images. If the models’ heads are cropped off in the advertised photos, the site likely may be using them without the designer’s permission.
- The “Contact Us” page should provide a phone number and address (preferably within the U.S.), not just an email, for customer service. If the site has a phone number or address in China, that’s a red flag. Some U.S. phone numbers merely forward calls overseas.
- In most cases, authorized retailers for designers cannot accept returns unless the merchandise has a factory defect. Beware of sites that claim you can return a dress for a full refund.
- Professional dress and bridal shops in the U.S. typically rely on a few key measurements, as specified on the designer’s size chart.