Brand-i is a new website which has been launched to aid shoppers in buying branded goods online. Users can log on and search the site by brand or product to find a list of approved retailers. The Trading Standards Institute, who want to help to protect shoppers from rogues online retailers, have partnered with the likes of BPI which represents the British music industry as well and brands like UGG, Hollister, Chanel and Adidas. The site is set to grow as more brands come on board and more information is added, though the Trading Standards Institute are keen to point out that the site is just one check that you should make and that shoppers shouldn't assume that some sites not listed are not genuine.
The BBC reported that in '2010 more than five million counterfeit items were seized by the UK Border Agency officers - nearly 1.5 million more than in 2009.' In the past shoppers have often managed to reclaim lost expenses through credit card providers, but for some, the damage was more serious than lost cash. Rebecca Day suffered when she purchased a set of fake hair straighteners online. Her hair was badly burnt when she used them and it fell out in the shower.
Visit brand-i.org to find out more.