Overseas Bargains

Think you’re getting a steal of a deal on that Rolex watch you bought from a street vendor in Russia? You may be the one getting swindled. Dempster Leech, a private investigator at Harper Associates in New York, says there’s only a 10% chance that what you buy from a street vendor or store is the real thing. Counterfeit goods have become so sophisticated it’s hard to tell the difference, but a few tips can help you spot the real thing from the fake.

Shop at a reputable store and/or authorized dealer and examine the goods closely. Quick tip-offs include misspelled and poorly designed logos, such as a three-legged pony on that supposedly Ralph Lauren polo shirt.

When buying gold jewelry, analyze the color (faux gold will be too bright and yellow) and the weight (real gold is heavier). Check tiny details. On a genuine Cartier watch, for example, the Roman numeral X will spell out “Cartier.”

Before buying a bag, try out the zipper. If it sticks, it probably is poorly made and not the real thing.

On clothing, inspect the seams and stitching. Fakes will be poorly constructed.

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