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How to spot fake UGG boots

Seven On Your Side
November 16, 2009 9:43:30 AM PST
They are wildly popular and have been for years. And with the popularity comes the knock offs. One woman thought she was getting genuine UGG boots at a bargain, but ended up with such a bad knock off that they were un-wearable.

"I said, I can't believe it, I bet you, you know, something's not right." That was Irene Curto's reaction when she opened what she thought was a pair of UGG boots.

She ordered them from what looked like a discount UGG website, spent nearly $90 for a pair, about half off retail. There's just one problem, Irene's boots are counterfeit.

"She (my daughter) can't even get her foot in here," remarked the Long Island mom. "So they run narrow. She (my daughter) can't wear them."

We brought Irene's boots to an UGG boot expert. Her diagnosis? "These are counterfeit UGG boots, yes."

Kristen Thomason is a member of UGG's boot brigade that spots fakes. It didn't her take long for her to label Irene's boots as bogus.

"It's an on-going battle," the UGG rep remarked shaking her head. "2000 websites have been detected as of now that sell counterfeit UGG product."

UGG Australia, the company that makes the boots, tries to shut down the counterfeit websites, but it's hard to stay ahead of them.

"The top three (web) servers are located in China, the United States, and Panama, if you can believe it," said the UGG spokesperson.

So how do you spot the fake? The most noticeable is the difference in the fur inside. For example, real UGG boots have shearling. The knock-off we found has a shiny synthetic material. The stitching and trim will be slightly inferior on a fake, but that could be hard to spot. The fakes even come in boxes with the UGG logo that looks real.

"They're able to copy our logos, our verbiage, everything and increase their prices so they're duping the customer even further," said Kristen Thomason.

But if you order them online, you could be stuck. As Irene found out the hard way. $30 to return the boots to China and no guarantee that she would get a refund.

What's the only way to be sure you're buying genuine UGG boots? Go to the UGG website which has more ways to spot fakes and also has a guide to counterfeit websites.

How to spot fake UGG boots

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Story by: Tappy Phillips


Produced by: Steve Livingstone

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