Blog: Buy with care this Christmas

John Milbank, BikeSocial Consumer Editor
By John Milbank
BikingMilbank BikeSocial Consumer Editor, John owns a KTM 1050 Adventure. He's as happy tinkering in the workshop as he is on twisty, bumpy backroads, and loves every bike ever built (except one). He's bought three CBR600s, two Ducati Monsters, several winter hacks, three off-roaders, a supermoto pit bike, a Honda Vision 50 and built his own custom XSR700. 

Fake Premier Helmets

We all love a bargain. If you’re picking up something for yourself or a friend/partner, the first thing many of us do now is to Google the best prices... But be careful – fraudsters are looking to steal from you.

Italian helmet company Premier, whose website is www.premier.ithas issued a warning that a counterfeit site has been launched, using many of the images and links from the genuine company.

http://www.premier-helmets.com is, the company tells us, a fake site claiming to offer Premier products direct from the factory. It is not an authorised retailer, and Premier reports that those buying from the site are not receiving items after ordering.

“The cited website is not an authorised retailer of Premier products and it is swindling many people who, after having paid for the goods, do not receive the ordered helmets,” a representative of Premier Helmets told us. “To protect our registered trademark, our good name and to protect our customers, we are moving on multiple fronts to try to block this site and to identify the perpetrators of this fraud. We believe that the web site www.premier-helmets.com is a violation of our intellectual property rights and we will take action against it. The official Premier website remains www.premier.it. Fraud attempts and involuntary purchases of counterfeit products can be avoided by purchasing Premier products only from dealers listed ion our retailer's page: www.premier.it/dealers. If you have any further information that can help us, we kindly ask you to write to: exportdivision@premier.it

We attempted to contact the premier-helmets.com site for a comment, but have yet to hear back.

If buying from a site you haven’t used before, there are a few things you can do to help verify its authenticity:

  • Is the branding correct? The logo on this reportedly fraudulent site does not match the official Premier branding.
  • Is there a physical location on the ‘contact us’ page and a phone number? There should be, and you can check it easily. One site selling counterfeit goods in the UK gives an address, but when you check it on Google Maps, it doesn’t exist. Take five minutes to verify that the address is correct by using Street View in Google Maps, to see what the premises looks like.
  • Ask a question – if someone replies promptly and accurately to your query, it helps to reassure you that you’re dealing with a genuine company.
  • Is it a secure site? While it’s not always the case (including the official Premier site), most retailers will use an https web address, as opposed to http.
  • Are the prices too good to be true? Huge savings are a good clue that things might not be what’s promised.
  • Is there an ‘about us’ page – if there is, how believable is it?
  • What’s the returns policy? Is there a return address?
  • Check any social media links – on this suspected site the social media links don’t work. Always try them and see where they go. If there is a social media page, does it have a large number of followers? Some small brands might legitimately have a reduced following, but you’ll soon get a feel for if they’re genuine by the quality of their posts. It still never ceases to amaze me that people believe that a big brand would give away a free car or flight or cruise for some Facebook shares – check the name of the page. Do you really believe that something claiming to be a big brand but with 500 likes is going to give you a car?

 

In isolation, these points aren’t a guarantee of safety when buying online, but take a few minutes to check them all. If it seems too good to be true, it really is most likely to be.

If you’re in the slightest doubt, find the official company’s website; most will have a list of official distributors around the world, but if not you can always ask them.

Please don’t rush into buying something. There are good deals around, especially with Black Friday offers, January sales etc, but you needn’t become a victim of fraud by those hoping to take advantage of bargain-hunters…

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