There has been an unprecedented rise of both fake LEGO products and fake LEGO websites, and being able to spot them and avoid getting scammed is especially important to talk about during the holiday shopping season. LEGO put together a press-release and also released an info-graphic to educate LEGO fans. Below are the details.
We are currently receiving several emails and calls from parents and fans around the world regarding fake LEGO webstores claiming to sell LEGO products often at very low prices.
The sites, which are usually promoted on popular social media sites, often look genuine. Many feature the LEGO logo, theme logos, photos of real LEGO sets and a similar design to the official LEGO webstore, www.LEGO.com.
We’re doing everything we can to protect consumers from fraud, and we take the issue of fraudulent and scam websites very seriously. We’re working harder than ever to identify and report as many of these sites as possible and the following simple steps can help you spot a fake, fraudulent or scam LEGO webstores.
Be cautious of very low prices. When you see very low prices being offered on LEGO products, it may be a fake webstore that uses the tactic to lure you in to either buy fake LEGO sets or simply take your money.
Pay with a debit or credit card. When buying a LEGO product online, a credit or debit card will often provide greater protection if you’re unfortunate enough to buy fake or non-existent products.
Check customers reviews. Look at various websites that collect customers reviews – use multiple sources. Check websites that alert about current scam sites.
If you see a potentially fraudulent or scam website claiming to sell LEGO products, contact customer services at LEGO.com/service.
That’s the end of the press-release, but here are a few additional thoughts based on my personal experience. The safest place to shop is directly from LEGO, at the Online LEGO Shop. Their web address starts with LEGO.com or you can also use the old address shop.LEGO.com, which will redirect to the new address. The second safest place to shop for LEGO is well-known online retailers like Amazon.com, Wal-Mart.com, and Target.com (or whatever is popular in your country). If you want to be extra cautious, make sure that you purchase directly from the retailer and not from third parties that may be partnering with the retailer (both Wal-Mart and Amazon works with third party retailers). Amazon has its own dedicated LEGO store where you can find all the currently available products. Here is the link: AMAZON LEGO STORE. Do not shop from random links you clicked on via a Facebook ad and redirect you to weird web addresses such as legofanstore, or legobrickshop, or toplegoshop, and the like.
If you are planning to buy retired or used LEGO via BrickLink or eBay, you need to be more cautious. BrickLink is now owned by LEGO, and they haven’t had any major issues with fraud, but you should always check the seller’s history and feedback to make sure they are experienced. eBay has also been good at updating their security and they do offer buyer protection. However, read the seller’s description carefully, not just the title. If they use terms like “LEGO compatible” and/or they are shipping from China, you are going to get inferior quality fakes and not genuine LEGO. If the seller shipped what they advertised, you didn’t read the description and expected something else, it is going to be a lot harder to get buyer protection. You can avoid all that hassle by just reading the description carefully.
I also recommend that when you purchase LEGO sets at any other place than directly from LEGO (both online and at local retailers), open the sets right away to make sure the content is all there and genuine. If this is a gift, you can always just tape back the box. It’s unlikely that the recipient would care or even notice. I have been reading too many sad stories of children excitedly opening their Christmas LEGO presents only to find random garbage inside. So be cautious and smart. Shop from LEGO directly possible, or from trusted retailers.
What do you think? Have you run into any fake LEGO shops? Did you ever get scammed? Are there any other tips you would like to add for shoppers to stay safe? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below!
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