Don't get ripped off this Christmas with fake leather goods!

Date: 28-Oct-2013 - Written by Debbie Davies

It is not always as easy to tell the difference between genuine and fake leather as you might think. So watch out as you run the risk of being ripped off when searching for leather gifts this Christmas.

If you are buying an item from a shop or market stall, make sure you check to see if there is a label saying that the product is leather. This probably seems obvious but it's an easy place to start. Purses, wallets and bags made from real leather with usually state this inside or on their label. If the wallet or bag you are looking at is a fake, you will most likely find the words 'made from man-made materials' on the label. Never risk it by buying a product that has no label. The next step is to check what the leather actually feels like. Various leathers feel different to the touch. Some leathers feel rough and whilst others feel soft and smooth. An obvious sign of a fake is uniformity of texture. Man-made materials typically feel really smooth. Real leather, however, is not so consistent in texture. Leather is a natural material that's never perfect. You'll find pores, wrinkles and perhaps even a few differences in pigmentation. Fake leather may try to replicate these natural features but you will notice they appear in a regular pattern, rather than at random as they should.

If you are shopping on the internet, only purchase your Christmas presents from a reputable retailer or trusted website to avoid disappointment. If you come across a brand or website you've never heard of before, make sure you do your research before buying anything. Are there any other sites that stock the product you are interested in? Are there any reviews of the product, brand or website? Do lots of people 'like' it on Facebook? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you are probably okay to go ahead with your purchase.

Remember to always trust your instincts. If something seems too good to be true, it most likely is.

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