Whether you’re buying lights to trim the tree or power tools to wrap as gifts, beware of bogus “bargains” this holiday season.
Many home products can be illegally counterfeited, placing the purchaser — or the recipient of the perilous present — in danger of using faulty electrical equipment that does not meet product safety standards.
As you do your holiday shopping, inspect your purchases for a mark from a reputable product safety testing organization, like CSA International, which offers these tips to help you spot illegal counterfeiting:
- If the product has an unbelievably low price, it’s probably a fake. Compare the prices and warranties of similar products.
- Touch and examine the product. Counterfeits are often light and feel cheaply made.
- Check for misspelling or unclear printing on labels, packaging and instructions.
- Poorly designed or unclear packaging with only partial illustrations could be the sign of a fake.
- Look for missing items in the product box and for items that appear different from those described on the packaging.
- Don’t count on the retailer to weed out the offending merchandise. Even reputable vendors can be duped.