JOPLIN, MO.--- Dress shop owners are warning consumers against counterfeit designer dress websites.
"The dress you see is probably this dress, and the dress you get is something else," said Roanna Rose, TJ Formal Owner.
Prom season is nearly upon us, but before you bargain hunt, make sure you know what you're buying.
"A lot of people think they are going to get a better deal, so they order online from one of these sites, and they find out it is a fake designer dress, not the real thing," said Rose.
TJ Formal Owner Roanna Rose says counterfeit sites often steal images off of American sites.
"They put them on their site and then they offer to make the dress for you for about 75% or 80% of the cost we would have to charge," said Rose.
The cost may be cheaper, but it's not the same quality as you buy in the store.
"The dresses were really flimsy. The fabric was just not very high quality," said Jackie Arwood, Country Cakes and Bridal Shoppe Owner.
Country Cakes and Bridal Shoppe Owner Jackie Arwood says in the past, customers have come in with counterfeit dresses.
"On these, there are the Swarvoski crystals. You don't get those on the other ones, you just get plain sequins," said Arwood.
So what are some signs the site you're on may be counterfeit?
"If it's in China, you know it's a counterfeit site. There are no legitimate companies over there selling directly to the American consumer," said Rose
Shopping around for different prices is also a good indicator.
"If you see a dress that you've seen on a legitimate website, such as TJ Formal.com our website, and you find that the price is much, much less, that is really the biggest red flag," said Rose.
The TJ Formal owner is also the Secretary of the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association and keeps a list of counterfeit dress websites. She says recently a district court judge granted a seizure notice allowing them to seize more than 1,100 domains of counterfeit sites.
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