Fake UGGs – When is an Ugg not an UGG?
Real Genuine UGG® Australia Boots and “Ugg Boots”
How can you tell fake “Uggs” from Genuine UGG® Australia Boots? Or when is an Ugg not an UGG? To add to the confusion “Ugg” is a word in general use now for a certain style of Australian Sheepskin boot. So merchants selling products as “Ugg Boots” mostly aren’t selling legitimate UGG® Australia Boots (a Deckers Corporation brand). An annoying number of “Ugg” retailers bring out models that look like UGG Australia boots and have similar names.
My feeling is that though it might not be technically illegal, it is certainly very misleading, and if the purpose is to dupe customers into thinking they’re buying the legit and genuine article when they’re not, then it’s totally wrong. Lots of customers have been duped by the offer of bargain “Ugg boots” and lots are really confused by what’s out there.
UPDATE: Be sure to read my footnote regarding websites with UGG in the name – its at the bottom of this post. NO SITE with the term ‘ugg’ in the domain name sells legit UGG® Australia boots apart from uggaustralia.com the official site.
So how do you tell a retailer is selling genuine UGG® Australia Boots? Lets deal with a couple of issues first.
“Australian Ugg Boots” are not UGG® Australia products
Let’s first clear up one thing – the generic Australian makers of “Ugg” Sheepskin boots, often trading with websites ending in .au and registered to Australian Companies. These guys are generally okay and sell, in the main, good quality sheepskin boots – they often describe their boots as “100% Australian made Uggs”, “Australian Ugg Boots” and the more responsible ones specifically dissociate themselves from UGG® Australia and Deckers Outdoor (the brand owner) in the footer or on the About Us page so customers don’t get confused. These guys have been selling these types of sheepskin “Ugg boots” for years and as long as people understand these products are NOT the UGG Australia® brand then its fine in my book.
Sellers of Chinese UGG fakes/copies are not selling UGG® Australia products
This is where UGG buyers can get seriously stung and have been (see all the responses below). There are a HUGE number of websites cropping up on the Google Adwords system (Googles “sponsored” ads) and in the search results offering UGG Boots that are in fact low quality fakes/copies of UGG® Australia boots.
These websites do nothing to dissociate themselves from UGG® Australia and deliberately set out to trick people into thinking they are buying genuine UGG® Australia products when in fact they are cheaply-made, low quality Chinese fakes shipped direct from a counterfeiting factory in China. Don’t fall for the “factory direct Ugg boots” line or “buy Ugg boots direct from the manufacturer” – they are all bywords for FAKE.
Furthermore there are many many cases of customers being overcharged on their credit card, being asked to pay twice, not receiving any product or receiving incorrect colours and sizes. Packages coming from China are often stopped in Customs – some are seized as brand fakes and for others the recipient will need to pay import duty. All a shock if a customer thinks they are buying legit UGG® Australia boots.
As we have seen in the stories below, after sales service is nonexistent and returns, exchanges and refunds are near impossible – often the websites even demand a hefty restocking fee! Plus you have to pay for your own courier service to China. All in all a total nightmare if you’re stuck with these nasty (and often very smelly) copies and a big hole in your bank balance. These chinese websites only aim is to make money quickly – they are run by people who have no interest in serving customers – in most cases they are breaking UK and US law and many are run by criminal gangs.
If you e-mail them and ask if their boots are genuine of course they will say yes and then spend ages and ages e-mailing nice messages, giving money off offers, freebies etc. until you pay (normally by Paypal) and in a good proportion of cases thats the last you’ll ever hear from them. Often the website closes down within a few days and just like that – you’ve been scammed. Be aware that a whole month’s salary in china can be than the cost of one pair of these fake boots! So its a massively luctrative scam for them.
The intention of this article is to warn customers that these websites are out there in google, yahoo, msn and other search engine search results offering fake products and customers should AVOID them. I have a list of these fake UGG websites at the end of this article which I will maintain as we discover new sites. If the website is on the list my strong advice is to AVOID.
So how can I spot a fake UGG website?
Here is my checklist from all we have found out so far:
1) UGG® Australia brand – it might be a really obvious point but it can identify about 80% of fake UGG sites. The simple rule is … if the product is not described as UGG® Australia then it’s not that brand! Do not be tempted by the fancy pictures because they may well be pictures of genuine UGG Australia boots being used – some fake sites have even taken the images directly off UGG® Australia’s main site! The products on these fake sites are made to look like UGG Australia Boots, some are even photographed standing on boxes that appear to have the UGG® Australia logo printed on them and they are not the genuine article at all.
Don’t be fooled by the descriptions either – if you see a product described as “UGG Classic Tall” or “UGG Cardy Boots” it is not the same as the “UGG® Australia Classic Tall” or “UGG® Australia Classic Cardy”.
Lets be clear – a brand is a mark of quality – products that are not of that brand will not be that known quality. This goes for anything you might buy. The brand that most buyers mean when they talk about real/authetic/genuine UGG Boots is UGG® Australia – no other similar sounding name means that brand. The same as you would not expect Kokacola to be genuine Coca-Cola, names like “Australia UGG”, “UGGs Australian”, “100% Australia UGG”, even “Genuine UGG” are often used by the fakers to fool you – they are meant to trick you. Just remember the brand and don’t be tricked!
2) Websites with UGG in the name
In Aug 2009 UGG® Australia issued an explicit conterfeit warning on their official website. To summarise: Any website’s domain name (thats the bit before the .com or .co.uk) that has the three letters ‘ugg’ in it, is not selling UGG® Australia brand. For example the website uggbootsforsale.com is therefore not legit because it has UGG in the domain name.
This nows covers 90% of the sites you might be concerned about however we are not done quite yet some sites are even more shameless and use the legal name UGG® Australia and have a domain name without UGG in it.
3) Do a domain check – So the website does say UGG® Australia or has what appears to be the UGG® Australia logo but I’m still not sure? Next step is to do a simple domain check to find out who registered the domain, in what country and when the domain was registered. Use the website http://www.domaintools.com and type in the domain name into the whois tool. If the registrant is in China (country code CN) or the domain has been created within the last three months then my strong advice is AVOID. These fake sites are often only live for a few weeks so they appear to be very recently created. If the domain is held by a proxy service or c/o a domain regsitrant like networksolutions then my advice is AVOID as this registrant is trying to hide their identity. On a good honest domain regisistry entry you are looking for a persons name or company name, a real local street address with postcode/zip code and local phone number.
4) What are the other identifying features of fake UGG sites?
Only UGG Boots: UGG Australia work only with a select number of online boutiques and high street retailers. All have other designer brands available in their range. If you see only UGG products on the site then that’s a tell tale sign.
Shipment Times: This is a good give-away! Check the shipment times on the FAQs pages. If they cannot offer a quick shipping option like overnight shipping it may indicate the product are being shipped from China.
Support methods: If the website does not offer a local phone number and only offers an input form for support or a simple to set up e-mail account like gmail of yahoo or IM support then AVOID. Legitimate UGG Australia retailers are much more established sites with proper support methods, local contact numbers and local addresses.
Poor English: If some of the text on the FAQs pages and product pages seems a little odd then take that as a warning sign that the creator cannot speak english – a translation programme may have been used to create the text. If it reads a little odd, has odd turn of phrases then that’s a warning.
Cheap Prices: Remember the odd addage – if it sounds too good to be true then it generally is. Put it this way UGG® Australia is a premium brand sold only though major outlets and established websites that you have heard of before. Deckers deliberatly restrict the brand to merchants with a good reputation and the right product mix – getting Authorised status is no cake walk! General rule of thumb for UK buyers – don’t expect pay less than £90 for genuine UGG® Australia adult boots. This is a PREMIUM brand and expect PREMIUM prices – no fire sales, job lots, factory direct deals. Sorry folks but those are the facts.
If you are asking the question “is this website legitimate?” you probably already know the answer!
Are genuine UGG® Australia products now made in China?
Finally a question I’m asked a lot and one that confuses a lot of people especially if they buy UGG boots from a legit high street chain and find a “made in China” label inside. The answer is “YES BUT”. YES UGG® Australia, like Converse, VANs and many other footwear products today, are now made in China BUT under working conditions and quality standards supervised by Deckers. Many branded goods are now assembled in China and many attract brand fakers. Expensive branded goods in short supply will always attract people wanting to make a fast buck with fake product!
There is a BIG difference here between the fakes and real products – Deckers UGG® Australia uses 100% A1 grade Australian Merino wool and each boot is made to the stringent standards that Deckers expects and supervises. This is a common practice with designer goods – they are then shipped to legitimate UGG® Australia retailers worldwide and sold to the public with all the workmanship guarantees and returns options you would expect with a premium brand.
The Chinese rip off sites are an entirely different kettle of fish. They produce inferior UGG® Australia copies which do not use the same quality materials like nylon instead of wool and sheepskin and poor construction methods or standards – which means the products quickly loose shape, rub and fall apart. Occasionaly the boots come in branded boxes and even have a fake version of the care card – but however convincing they might first seem if your package came by courier from China its 100% FAKE product – no exceptions.
Though both are “made in china” they are two totally different products. If nothing else – let’s be clear on two points.
UGG® Australia do not allow their legitimate products to be stocked in China and sold direct to the public.
“UGGs” shipped from China may look legit but they are NOT UGG® Australia products – they are ALL poor quality copies.
If were just about to buy a product and you have googled the website’s name and got to this article then I hope we have saved you from disappointment. If you have fallen for the “UGG boots” scam then read below about a few sucessful people who have managed to get their money back. It is possible but you will have to register a dispute with Paypal and/or contact your bank.
How can I buy genuine UGG® Australia boots at the cheapest price possible?
I’ve done a ton of work on this. If you are looking for the best prices for the genuine thing my UGG® Australia price comparison pages will get you the rock bottom, lowest prices across the full UK range of Genuinue UGG® Australia products. I’ve negociated some special deals with UGG® Australia approved UK retailers so you’ll struggle to find anything cheaper AND genuine. I’d love to tell you I’ve found adult UGG Australia boots for under £90 but I’m afraid they are still pricey – but they are the real thing and I’ve done my best to get you the best deals on each and every product. Here are the links.
If real UGG Boots are too expensive for you then my best advice is to at least have a look at similar looking high quality products from EMU Australia, Just Sheepskin, Rocket Dog and Skechers (the Keepsakes and Cunning range is good). I have UK price comparisons on each of these brands and tons more on the main website. These options are way better than the junk shipping in from China.
Anyway folks – stay safe and Happy UGG® Australia Hunting!
Do you know the facts before you buy?
- UGG® Australia is a premium designer brand – expect to pay designer prices
- The only way to obtain genuine UGG® Australia (a Deckers brand) products is from Authorised retailers.
- There are less than 120 Authorised online retailers serving the UK market
- All Authorised UK online retailers of UGG® Australia are listed here.
- There are thousands of Fake UGG websites on the internet
- Hundreds of fake UGG websites are created every week
- Any website with the word UGG in its website name is fake – only the offical UGG site is has that word in it
- Most are registered and hosted in China and are beyond of the reach of copyright law and trading standards
- If you order or receive boots from China they are 100% fake and counterfeit – no exceptions
- Counterfeiters don’t abide by child labour laws, anti-sweatshop laws, or restricted substances laws, putting both workers and the environment at risk
- Despite the name UGG Australia is not an Australian company – it’s American. Genuine UGG Australia boots are not made in Australia. Don’t fall for this line.
- There are no UGG clearance sales, UGG outlets or secret stocks of products that discounters are giving away for cut prices. They simply don’t need to – its a brand in high demand.
List of 660 websites now identified as selling fake UGG® Australia boots from China
do not buy from any of these websites – you will be ripped off
Many thanks to all those who have helped me indentify these sites. Sadly this is not a definative list and more sites will be created this week to scam people. Just because a site is not on the list it does not mean its genuine – do the checks outlined above if in doubt walk (click) away.
If you have been scammed then let us know by using the reply feature at the bottom of this thread. Sorry the thread is so long now!!
……. UPDATE … AUG 2009……. UPDATE … AUG 2009……. UPDATE … AUG 2009……. UPDATE … AUG 2009……. UPDATE … AUG 2009
……. UPDATE … DEC 2009……. UPDATE … DEC 2009……. UPDATE … DEC 2009……. UPDATE … DEC 2009……. UPDATE … DEC 2009
Many thanks to “Words of Wisdom” for finding this on the BBC website. His advice and comments have been very helpful since this thread was started.
As many of you know I’ve been reporting this problem to all possible agencies like trading standards, BBC watchdog in fact anyone who will listen. I’m please to say the Metropolian Police central e-crime unit have taken action against certain sites using “co.uk” domains to falsely represent themselves.
“Consumer minister Kevin Brennan said scam websites cost the economy thousands of pounds each year.” — hey Kevin – make that MILLIONS!! (I estimate there’s a million pounds lost just on this one thread)
This is certainly a step in the right direction and very welcome but I must emphasise that this is only a small proportion of what’s out there and the problem is still massive. So please read the above article if you have not already done so.
……. UPDATE … AUG 2010……. UPDATE … AUG 2010……. UPDATE … AUG 2010……. UPDATE … AUG 2010……. UPDATE … AUG 2010
About three weeks ago UGG® Australia announced the new Winter 2010 UGG Boot range and I’ve been watching to see how long it takes for the Chinese sites to start ripping off the new styles. Answer: about 10 days. As we know these copies are going to be poor but even so that’s really frightening if you are a genuine UGG Australia retailer trying to get resonable ranks on Google and make a living.
Anyway I know is very early in the season but I’ve just been trolling the internet (once again) for fake UGG sites and I now have 500 published above. And yes it was super depressing
As before – anything with a UGG in the domain name is not authentic UGG® Australia product and most are cheap chinese fakes. Wanna give your credit card details to some unknown counterfeiter bod in China? No I thought not – so please check the uggaustralia.co.uk site for genuine retailers or use my Compare tab (top right) and pick UGG Australia from the brand list via the top navigation of this page. We have all the new styles listed.
So this thread is once again destined to be one of the busiest on our blog and feel free to share your stories below and please facebook/twitter/ link to us to get the message out – oh and click our “Like” button at the top of this post.
If you are asking about websites with the word “UGG” in them we’ll happily post your question but your answer is already written very clearly and several times over in the post above.
Happy Genuine UGG® Australia Hunting