New site to fight fake online goods

Trading Standards Institute is aiming to combat the rise of online counterfeit goods with the launch of a website called Brand-i to help shoppers avoid buying fake brands.
In 2010, more than 5 million counterfeit items were seized by UK Border Agency officers – nearly 1.5 million more than in 2009.
The site, www.brand-i.org/, will work like a search engine where the user looks for brands like Adidas or GHD and will be shown a list of approved retailers.
Andy Foster from the Trading Standards Institute said the site will protect shoppers from rogue retailers.
“You can search for a particular brand and up will come a list of authorised distributors,” he said. “You can search for a category like handbags, shoes or sunglasses and then you’ll find a list of brands which sell that type of thing.
“Or if you are thinking of buying something from a particular site and you’re not quite sure of its legitimacy, you can type it into Brand-i.”
But Foster said the site is just “one check that you can make” and shoppers should not automatically assume that a site is dodgy if it isn’t approved on Brand-i.
To launch the site, the Trading Standards Institute has partnered with the likes of the BPI, which represents the British music industry, as well as brands like Chanel, UGG, Adidas, GHD, and Hollister.

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