Apparel and Footwear Industry Cautions and Educates Consumers about Safe Shopping This Cyber Monday

November 30, 2020 | WASHINGTON, D.C.

Industry trade group provides consumer checklist when shopping online.

As Americans check through their shopping lists this Cyber Monday, the American Apparel & Footwear Association is encouraging consumers to shop safely and ensure they are purchasing authentic products this holiday season (#ShopSafe #ShopAuthentic #FightFakes). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more shoppers are conducting their business online than ever before. In fact, ecommerce sales have increased by more than 30% during the past three months, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. However, as commerce moves online so too are counterfeiters taking advantage of third-party online marketplaces and popular social media platforms to swindle consumers. With this in mind, AAFA has compiled a safe shopping checklist to help consumers ensure they are purchasing legitimate product. 

"Ecommerce is an essential part of today’s retail environment, and has played an indispensable role for businesses and consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, as sales of legitimate items have increased online, so has the sale of counterfeit goods," said Steve Lamar, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association. "Counterfeits directly threaten American ingenuity and American jobs. Further, counterfeit products unnecessarily put consumers in harm’s way. There is no incentive for counterfeiters to follow safety regulations regarding chemical management, flammability, or choking hazards. In the past, marketplace 'red flags' were easier to detect and consumers could elect not to buy the items in question; however, constraints of online shopping boost the likelihood of consumers unknowingly purchasing fakes. This is why AAFA has prioritized safe authentic shopping as part of our brand protection efforts." 
In particular, AAFA recommends that consumers ask themselves:

    • Is the online marketplace an authorized retailer of the brand?
    • Who is selling the product?
    • Where is the product coming from?
    • What do the reviews say?
    • Does the product description include any red flags (e.g., misspellings or references to "replica" or "inspired" brands)?
    • Can I rely on the images of the product?
More information on these and other recommendations are available via