Holiday shopping: How to spot a fake

Holiday shopping: How to spot a fake

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Every year, there are hot items that your kids say they just have to have for Christmas.  But moms and dads who are trying to save some cash and fit those must-haves into their budget might not be happy if what they end up with is a fake.  

While parents might not be able to spot a fake, your teenager will.  So, here are some tips to make sure you get what you're looking for.  

Any Apple accessory is a hot item on many wish lists, and that includes the LifeProof iPhone case.  YOu can actually put it under water, and it's great for the beach or taking underwater photos or video.  All of that comes with a hefty $80 price tag.  

Shannon Van Buskirk, who runs an e-commerce company, says while it's tempting to look for a better price, on an item like this, there are no deals.  At least there aren't this year anyway, but the fakes are already out there.

Name brand sunglasses, she says, are big with kids this year.  But know that if you get a great deal on a look-alike brand, the UV protection may not be included in the bargain price.  Kids also love watches-- the bigger the better.  

But how do you know if you're getting a real brand-name product?  Buskirk says you should go to the manufacturer's Web site and look at what they're offering.  Then, compare it then to the product you're looking at.  Does the manufacturer even make the color or style you're about to pay for?  And while you're on it, check out the list of authorized dealers.  If your vendor's name is on that list, they're probably authorized to sell the product.

Buskirk also recommends you take a look at the logo to make sure it's authentic.  A fake will mimic the original by pretending to have the same logo, but there are knock-offs out there which are less expensive that are made to look like the real thing, but still maintain its own identity.

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