BLACK FRIDAY BARGAINS NOT ALL THEY SEEM
Research by leading safety charity, Electrical Safety First, reveals that an estimated 638,000 Scots – more than the population of Edinburgh – have seen counterfeit electrical products for sale near them, or online. And over 195,000 Scots have bought a fake electrical item in the last year.
Now Clare Adamson, MSP for Motherwell and Wishaw, is helping the charity raise awareness of the dangers of counterfeits, ahead of Black Friday (25th November), when the Christmas shopping bonanza begins and high street and digital retailers offer a range of special offers and discounts. Clare has put forward a Motion in Holyrood to highlight this issue, commending the Charity for its fight against counterfeits and noting that next Monday (21st November), sees the launch of Electrical Fire Safety Week.
Ms Adamson, who is the convener of the cross-party group on Accident Prevention and Safety Awareness at the Scottish Parliament, commented:
“While everyone wants to snap up a bargain, this research by Electrical Safety First makes it clear that consumers must beware of fakes. Particularly since the Charity has also found that 3 out of 5 fake electricals are purchased online, with a third of buyers experiencing major problems with the item.
“And with around 70% of fires in Scottish homes caused by electricity, this is a risk you don’t want to take. A fake designer bag won’t endanger you or your loved ones but a fake electrical product could.”
However, further research by the Charity found that it’s not always easy for people to spot a counterfeit product. Three quarters of UK consumers were unable to identify Genuine GHD hair straighteners and 3 in 5 could not spot a fake Apple charger – and with the rise of online shopping, it can be even more difficult.
One in 5 online shoppers admitted they didn’t consider the authenticity of the product, with over half simply presuming that the electrical items for sale online were genuine.
And, of course, some people are deliberately buying fake products. One in 6 of those surveyed said they would consider buying a product – even if they suspected it was fake – if it was cheaper than the original.
“Fake goods are often cheaper because they omit key components which can affect both the safety and functionality of the product”, adds Clare. “To make sure you buy ‘the genuine article’, Electrical Safety First has developed advice to help people spot a fake electrical product. Visit: www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guides-and-advice/electrical-items/safe-shopping/ to find out more. I’m urging all my constituents to check this before they splurge on the Black Friday bonanza.”
Date: 21 November 2016