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Warning to Xmas shoppers over fake goods

Monday, December 16 14:24:07

As the busiest shopping week of the year kicks off in earnest, Retail Ireland today warned consumers of the dangers of buying counterfeit products this Christmas.

The group advised shoppers to only purchase from legitimate retailers to ensure that they avoid being sold faulty merchandise, which they cannot return. The group estimates the loss to the economy from illicit sales to be over E500 million per annum.

Retail Ireland Chairman Frank Gleeson said: "2013 was another good year for the black marketeers. Everything from fuel and tobacco, to fashion and entertainment was targeted by criminal elements who fool consumers into thinking they are getting a bargain. No taxes are paid on these sales, and consumers forfeit their rights to returns and refunds if, as is very often the case, the products are faulty."

"Consumers need to be aware that illicit fuel damages their car engines and shoddy counterfeit merchandise is of inferior quality. Not only are consumers losing out, but the illicit trade costs jobs in the legitimate trade and costs the state revenue. Our conservative estimate is that around half a billion euro in taxes is lost in illegal sales every year."

"Recent seizures by Revenue and the Gardai are very welcome, and retailers around the country applaud their efforts to tackle the black market. This Christmas, shoppers can play their part by shunning illegal traders and availing of the fantastic value available to them in legitimate retailers around the country."