Authentic or counterfeit product? How to distinguish them


For a consumer, verifying the authenticity of a product is not always easy. In particular for certain types of products such as medicines, cosmetics or food, this is rather complicated. On the other hand, however, for products such as clothing, accessories and footwear, there are a number of universally recognised rules and tricks that, if observed, can lead the consumer to understand quite easily the distinction between an original and a counterfeit product.

Some of the elements you need to pay attention to are:

    • Price: Do not be tempted either by a much lower price or by a price that is in line with or slightly lower than that of the genuine product. Retailers of counterfeit goods often use this trick to convince the potential buyer that they are getting a deal.
    • Packaging: Carefully evaluating the packaging of the product, the packaging and any other element that, if obviously of low quality, sets off alarm bells, is always crucial.
    • Feeling by touch: Fake products are often much heavier and stiffer than authentic ones because they are made of cheaper and poorer quality materials.
    • Label: The label is one of the main detectors of a product’s lack of authenticity. Blurred, careless-looking labels with missing information are a clear warning sign that the item is fake.
    • Certifications: When expressly required by the relevant regulations, it is good practice to request and demand that a retailer provide the consumer with a document attesting to the authenticity of the products sold.
    • Other signs: Further indications of a counterfeit product include generic differences in design, non-adherence to the original products on the manufacturer’s official website and inconsistencies in product descriptions compared to the originale.


We have already mentioned the importance of always checking the labels of purchased products as the true ‘identity card’ of the products themselves. More specifically, the Ministry of Enterprise and Made in Italy, among the rules to protect oneself from counterfeiting, indicates to be wary of all labels with tiny or unclear wording, lacking indications of origin and the ‘CE mark’. While, on the contrary, it recognises the validity of labels that guarantee the best knowledge of the product by indicating transparency of the brand, production process, place of production and characteristics.

In particular, the ‘Safe Products’ campaign promoted by the MISE raises awareness among citizens to pay more and more attention to the CE marking, the first safeguard of health and safety for consumers, which manufacturers must affix to certain categories of products – toys, electrical equipment, personal protective equipment, medical devices, recreational craft, drones, radio equipment – in order to move goods within the European Union.


Speaking of the difference between counterfeit and genuine products, especially within the European Union, it is essential to also mention the falsification of EAN codes. The EAN or European Article Number, in fact, is the code used to identify products sold within the European territory. More specifically, the EAN code, which is approved according to GS1 standards that allow anyone to read a barcode, creates a ‘common language’ for manufacturers and distributors of products who should always take care to check its validity.

Deciphering an EAN barcode is in fact quite simple and very useful. The first two digits indicate the country of origin, the next five correspond to the identifier of the company that manufactured the product, while those between the eighth and twelfth position belong to the specific item. Finally, the barcode ends with a check digit, which serves to confirm the correctness of the code.


To detect and help stop counterfeiting, in addition to human verification, there are now more advanced digital verification systems, valuable allies in certifying the origin of a product or content. lab-go’s Brand Protection and Authenticity Certification service was created precisely for this purpose: to guarantee the authenticity of products purchased online and offline in a simple and innovative way and to eliminate any risk of counterfeiting.
Want to know more?

20 / 02 / 2023

Recent Post

EU Digital Product Passport

EU Digital Product Passport: from theory to practice

The idea of a digital passport, in particular, comes from the Commission's desire to create a tool capable of accelerating the transition towards a more circular and sustainable economy.


Customer engagement

Customer engagement: current trends and future developments

Customer Engagement refers to the need to create a relationship and a deep connection with the customer through the creation of personalized and engaging content.


Customer engagement: why it increases the value of your company

Customer Engagement literally means “customer involvement”, in marketing it's defined as the interactions aimed at creating a strong relationship connection with the customer.



Authentic or counterfeit product? How to distinguish them

For a consumer to verify the authenticity of a product is not always easy. In particular for some types of products such as specific medicines, particular cosmetics or foods, this is quite complicated.


Lab-go & The Nemesis together for an innovative project

Lab-Go & The Nemesis have signed a new partnership: an ambitious and innovative project that brings authenticity certification in the metaverse with Anti-Counterfeiting Project.


Atalanta & lab-go: new partnership for authenticity

Lab-go has entered into an important partnership with the football club Atalanta B.C. to provide all Atalanta fans with a more unique and authentic customer experience with their favourite team.


Share this post on: