How to Avoid Buying Unauthorized Goods This Mother’s Day

Blogs | May 7, 2021

Mother’s Day is just a couple days away, and time is running out to make your final gift purchases online. With that in mind, we asked our expert eCommerce team for a list of what to avoid when buying popular gift items online – because genuine moms deserve genuine gifts!

Candy & Chocolate: 
Did you know that we are currently in the middle of Amazon’s Summer Ship (May-October), and added protocols are in place to keep perishables from spoiling during this time frame? This is particularly important for any consumables, meltables, and many food and beverages. Here are a few things to pay attention to when ordering candy and chocolate online: 

  1. Is the product expired? If your product arrives spoiled, make sure you can return it. 
  2. Is the carrier equipped to handle temperature-sensitive goods when required?
  3. If it’s a cold ship item, does it include the proper coolant, such as an ice pack, gel pack, dry ice, etc.? Perishable items should never exceed more than 60 degrees Fahrenheit while in transit. 

Going the extra mile to check for these things will ensure Mom doesn’t open a package full of melted chocolate! 

Cosmetics & Fragrance: 
The perfume industry has recently surpassed $12B! As with many luxury and designer items, perfume is one of the most counterfeited items on the marketplace. Some third-party sellers illegally copy a brand’s likeness (intellectual property), including its packaging, descriptions, logos, and even scents! Luxury items are a hot commodity online and are sometimes sourced by organized crime groups. Rogue perfumes can be hazardous if they contain harmful toxins. Some brands are now applying tracking devices, ID tags, and holograms to their products to chart the distribution chain, providing an added safety measure for consumers. Here are few things to look for before adding Mom’s favorite fragrance to your shopping cart: 

  1. Buy directly from the brand itself or a reputable authorized retailer.
  2. Ensure your product arrives in its original packaging.
  3. Make sure the safety seal is not broken or tampered with in any way.
  4. Check to see if the package includes the proper labeling for items containing alcohol. In some cases, it must be marked as a hazardous material.
  5. If buying from a retailer, ensure the security tag is still intact on the packaging.

Flowers & Plants: 
Believe it or not, you can buy a whole garden of live flowers and plants online! Throughout the pandemic, the sales of indoor plants skyrocketed as consumers looked to liven up their indoor and outdoor spaces. You can now buy over 4,000 kinds of fresh flowers on Amazon through its Plant Store. Companies like Lively Root and Urban Stems emerged as front runners in the houseplant space. Of course, there are always risks associated with buying any live products online. Here are a few things to look for: 

  1. In most cases, same-day delivery is not available through the marketplace, so flowers might not arrive as fresh as a traditional florist.
  2. When plants arrive, be sure to open boxes outside to avoid any potential bug infestation and leave empty packaging outside or discard it immediately.
  3. Read product reviews and look at customer photos to ensure you are getting what is described.
  4. Consider paying for expedited shipping to ensure healthier plants upon arrival.

Clothing & Apparel: 
Perhaps you are considering getting Mom a scarf, some pajamas, or a warm sweater. Many of us have become expert online shoppers over the last year, but here are a few reminders when buying clothes online: 

  1. We can’t stress this enough, buy directly from the brand itself or one of its authorized retailers whenever possible.
  2. Check and double-check your measurements against the measurement chart from the listing. Sometimes the clothing is coming from overseas, and the size charts may not be familiar to you. 
  3. Again, read customer reviews and look at their pictures to better understand what you are buying.
  4. Look for apparent counterfeits. If the price is too reasonable to be true, it probably is!
  5. Look for obvious IP infringements. Ensure the logos, descriptions, and photos in the listing are consistent with what is offered on the retailer’s website. 

Jewelry: 
Last but not least, jewelry. If you are thinking about buying jewelry online, whether it’s inexpensive costume jewelry or more expensive custom pieces, here are some best practices to consider: 

  1. Do your research. Look at reviews and condition reports. 
  2. Look for photographs of the jewelry to ensure the size, shape, color, and fit aligns with your expectations. 
  3. If you have already made the purchase, do The Magnet Test. Gold and silver are not magnetic. If you purchased a piece that is marketed as real gold or silver, do the test to check for authenticity. 
  4. Ensure the seller’s eCommerce website is secure.
  5. Make sure there is an appropriate return policy in place. Any site mentioning zero returns is a red flag. 
  6. And again, if the price is too good to be true, it probably is! 

Have you ever been misled by a product you bought online? We’d love to hear about your experiences on the marketplace. Please shoot us a line at www.potoosolutions.com/contact-us. Follow our blog for more tips & tricks throughout the year!

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