How to spot fake Castelli online and steer clear of counterfeit garments in the murky world of the internet.
Like many industry-leading brands, Castelli's success has led to copies of their products making their way onto less-than-reputable websites. This compromises the brand's image and your enjoyment of Castelli if you're unlucky enough to end up with a fake.
Before we get into how to spot counterfeit Castelli, why should you care if it's not real? Well, for one thing, you won't be getting the unfair advantage that comes with a Castelli product – or the brand's two-year warranty against manufacturing defects.
If you don't care about the performance and just want the little scorpion symbol, bear in mind the sad truth that counterfeiting is mostly carried out to fund other criminal activities such as people smuggling, prostitution, terrorism and drugs trafficking.
Buying something that can do the job with a massive saving is tempting but counterfeits really don't do the job and soon fall to bits – so you will have wasted, not saved, whatever you've spent on it.
All that said, here's how to avoid fakes and ensure you're only buying genuine Castelli products.
An unreal price bargain one of the surest signs of an unreal product. Ask yourself how someone can sell a brand-new £250 Castelli Windstopper jacket for £60? The chances are it's because it's a fake. You won't end up with a £60 bargain, but a poorly printed garment made of cheap fabric with none of the performance technology that makes Castelli's products so great.
Check the product images. One big giveaway is the Castelli logo – if the scorpion has coloured-in eyes, it's a sure fake. Canny counterfeiters will often use official images of Castelli products to advertise their shoddy wares. Don't believe the images if the price sets alarm bells ringing in the first place.
Google the address of the retailer and their phone number to find out who's actually selling the product. If you can't find details on where the business is based, don't buy from them. Remember that if you're buying from abroad – even from a legitimate retailer – your warranty applies to that country, not the UK.
In the UK, Castelli does not allow any authorised retailer to sell its products on auction sites, such as eBay, or on Amazon. Products being sold as new on these sites are likely to be counterfeit.
Many online stores provide you with a way to give feedback on your buying experience. Google the retailer and read what other customers had to say, and you'll soon find out if the site is legitimate. Be wary of multiple reviews that all sound similar to one another or offer no comments – this could be a sign of fraudulent reviews.
A number of organisations such as PayPal, Verisign, TRUSTe and Trusted Shops provide some sort of verification and seal of approval. However, these logos can be copied, so be cautious. If in doubt, go on a Google journey to ensure they're a verified partner.
Use our Castelli dealer locator to source your kit – all shops listed are genuine UK stockists.
Castelli Cafe is run by Saddleback, the home of elite performance products and exclusive UK distributor of Castelli. We know all our Castelli dealers, so drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you're at all unsure.
If you think you've spotted a fake, we want to know about it! Email us with details to email@example.com.