Dyson has warned consumers about counterfeit versions of its products sold on online marketplaces, as it heralds the successful prosecution of a number of people involved in selling fake Dyson hair dryers online.
The brand has spoken out after 35 people were convicted for manufacturing counterfeit Dyson products in Shanghai last week.
Chinese authorities handed down custodial sentences and heavy fines after raiding the fraudsters’ premises and finding fake goods.
At the time of the raid, more than 19,000 counterfeit hair dryers had been manufactured by the group, according to the court.
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Dyson says counterfeits ‘mislead customers with potentially dangerous, inferior copies’
Dyson’s Supersonic hair dryer is one of the priciest ones you can buy at just under £300, so it’s easy to see why a cheaper price might be tempting. And the fakes aren’t necessarily easy to spot as they are designed to look just like the real thing.
Misleading phrases such as ‘suitable for Dyson’ were used on online shopping sites to confuse customers and associate counterfeit products with the brand.
Counterfeit products pose a ‘significant challenge’
Dyson said it faces a significant challenge ‘given the number of counterfeit products available on online marketplaces’ and that counterfeit products ‘may cause harm and be inefficient’.
The fraudsters in this case had established a factory to manufacture counterfeit Supersonic hair dryers in Shenzhen.
The court held that they not only seriously infringed the Dyson trademark, but the products also had quality issues that could put consumers at risk of personal injury or property loss.
Simon Forrester, Group IP director at Dyson, said: ‘We welcome this verdict which should serve as an extremely powerful deterrent to other counterfeiters who are risking the safety of consumers with potentially dangerous, inferior copies.’
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Shopping safely online
This isn’t the first time issues have come up with shopping on online marketplaces.
Unlike high street and online retailers, online marketplaces have fewer responsibilities for the safety of products on their site because you’re buying through them, rather than directly from them.
In previous investigations, we’ve found a range of unsafe products being sold on these online platforms.
We’ve also uncovered issues with fake reviews giving undue prominence to certain products, making you think they are highly recommended by other shoppers when they are not.
Check out our guide to shopping safely online for more advice and tips on avoiding dodgy products or practices.