FAKE goods worth more than £200,000 have been seized by officials across Gloucestershire over the past five years.
Figures released to the Gloucester Citizen by Gloucestershire County Council Trading Standards show almost 3,500 counterfeit items and cigarettes with a street value of £206,757 were taken out of circulation.
Fake fashions are all the rage off the high street as well as on it, it would seem, as big names including Barbour, Nike, Ugg, Adidas, Chanel, Gucci, Dolce and Gabbana, Superdry, Armani, Abercrombie and Fitch, North Face, Vans, Diesel, Fred Perry, and Ralph Lauren have been ripped off and sold on.
Fake cigarettes, jewellery, DVDs, pornography and sportswear have also been taken off the streets.
Josh Williams of contemporary menswear store Hayden Taylor, in Westgate Street, Gloucester, said customers know the difference.
“People who buy from us want the real thing, so I don’t think it affects us in that way,” he said.
“Certain brands tend to be faked more than others but it’s not too hard to tell the difference.”
But one shopper, who did not wish to be named, explained how buying fake goods depends on quality and price.
“I have purchased a few fake names as they are cheaper than the real thing,” said the woman, from Gloucester.
“However I never go for anything cheap - quality wise.
“I tend to buy a lot of handbags, for example a Prada one but even though it was fake it still cost me £90 from Turkey.
“If the quality looks the same, why would you pay more for a real one?”
Officers hit the jackpot when they seized fake jewellery worth more than £20,000 in February last year.
Some 399 silver Pandora bracelets, worth £50 apiece if they were the real thing, were the major part of an operation to crack down on the trade in counterfeit precious goods.
Another 50 silver Pandora bracelets of differing sizes were also found, worth around £3,000.
Another raid in 2010 netted 672 pairs of fake Shamballa-style earrings, worth £20,160 if they were genuine.
Councillor Will Windsor-Clive, Gloucestershire County Council cabinet member responsible for Trading Standards, said: “Sometimes you can spot a counterfeit item just by looking; for clothing it could be the quality or the label, but with items such as electrical goods it’s often harder to tell.The main giveaway is the price. So if you spot something that looks like it is counterfeit or is too much of a bargain to believe it is real then report it.”