Trading Standards officers are backing a new internet shopping directory in Sefton that was created in an attempt to help consumers from being ripped off on the net. Online illegal shopping and counterfeiting sites are getting larger in number and more and more consumers are losing out. Fake luxury websites are attracting more than 120 million visits a year and over £82 billion is spent on counterfeit goods.
Brand-I (www.brand-i.org) was made in order to help resolve the problems and works by allowing consumers to search through data that includes their favourite brands and gives them to chance to find the genuine online stock. Andrew Naisbitt the Sefton Council Trading Standards manager said the internet is not policed well and it is becoming even harder to track.
The new site is a way for consumers to get through hundreds of counterfeit stores that pop up on search engines or on social media sites. It is supported by the Trading Standards Institute (TSI) and helps when purchasing online. It is an important tool to help with fighting internet crime and consumers can also report sites they say have ripped them off or those they suspect are not real.
The founder of Brand-i, Jenny Dalton said the idea of the site was a give a better way of assurance to online shoppers that those stores where they are shopping are authentic and selling products that are genuine. The directory is free and new brands are being added as shopping trends dictate.