Fair trading

Our trading standards team is at the frontline of consumer and business protection.

Consumer advice is available by calling 0808 223 1133.

This includes making complaints about a trader, product, or to report a scam. This service is provided on our behalf by the Citizens Advice service and they will pass details of enforcement issues to us.

It deals with issues that affect everyone, such as falsely described or counterfeit goods, underage sales, loan sharks, misleading prices and uninvited doorstep sellers.

It is committed to working with business to:

  • help businesses to understand and comply with regulations and cut red tape
  • ensure that businesses compete with one another on level terms
  • promote consistency in the approach to enforcement

Reporting traders selling counterfeit goods

If you suspect that counterfeit goods are being sold, contact the Citizens Advice service or by calling 0808 223 1133, who will investigate the complaint and react accordingly. General points which should raise suspicion are:

  • quality - inferior quality of the product and packaging
  • pricing - dramatically reduced prices
  • designer clothing - the trader needs to be authorised by the trademark holder to sell such goods, so items like Gucci or Prada would raise suspicion if sold at a market or car boot sale

Ensuring goods you purchase are genuine

Buy your stock only from reputable wholesalers and ensure you have a receipt describing the goods. Do not buy goods from people who approach your stall, no matter how good a bargain it seems. Bear in mind that some brands are only ever sold in their own shops. Other brands are restrictive about who sells their goods, so the goods are unlikely ever to be on sale in a general wholesaler's or from the back of a van.

Business loss from traders selling counterfeits goods

The impact on retailers is one of the reasons that Trading Standards takes counterfeiting so seriously. This is also something the courts recognise when dealing with counterfeiters.

Fair trading and pricing - advice and guidance

See our fair trading and pricing advice and guidance here

Contact us

For Trading Standards business advice, please contact Trading Standards and we will be happy to help.