One of the biggest problems facing online shoppers is the prevalence of counterfeit goods in the market. There are many online sellers of Mother Garden products, particularly on social media websites and popular online shopping platforms. How can you tell if a seller's products are authentic? More importantly,why should you care?
HOW TO SPOT FAKE MOTHER GARDEN PRODUCTS
For this blog post, we purchased a Mother Garden Sweet Cafe set from a seller on a prominent online shopping site. We then performed a comparison between the online shopping site set and our original Mother Garden set.
At first glance, both sets look exactly the same. Upon closer inspection, we found that the online shopping site set box did not come with a bar code and hologram sticker, both of which can be seen prominently on the back of the original box
Online set on the left, original set on the right. Sticker and bar code on the bottom right of the original box.
A closer view
As a counter-measure to the rising tide of imitation Mother Garden products, Creative Yoko, the Japanese owners of the Mother Garden brand decided to issue to authorised distributors hologram stickers. These hologram stickers come with a unique serial number and will be attached to the packaging of all Mother Garden products. Since the hologram sticker was nowhere to be found on the online shopping site set (from hereon known as the "counterfeit set"), we believe it is most likely to be fake.
#2. Wooden Box
Again at first glance, the two boxes appear to be largely similar. The counterfeiters have certainly put some effort into duplicating the packaging and the contents of the set.
Counterfeit set left, original set right
Examining the box covers more carefully, we can see a difference in the colour and painting.
Counterfeit box cover
Original box cover
Other than the obvious difference in colour, the flower prints on the original box cover can all be seen clearly while some of the flower prints on the counterfeit box cover appear faded.
#3. Wooden Parts
Counterfeit swiss roll on the left, original swiss roll on the right
Inspecting the contents of each box, the differences in craftsmanship and quality are apparent. The original swiss roll on the right is coloured evenly while the colouring of the counterfeit swiss roll appears to be faded and inconsistent.
Can you tell which banana comes from the counterfeit set?
The painting on the original banana (the one on top) is again sharper and more consistent while the counterfeit version fails to even fit properly together.
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Finally, the main reason why you should care if the Mother Garden products you are buying are authentic. We know children have the tendency to put everything into their mouths, including and especially the toys they play with. The unique selling point of Mother Garden wooden toys (other than the delightful design) is the fact that they are handcrafted from quality wood, hand painted with non-toxic paint and finished with an anti-bacterial coating. The paint used is certified safe by the EU Toy Safety Directive and the Japan Toy Safety Standard and has also passed the Japan Food Safety Law test carried out by external organizations.
Here at The Happy Toy Store, we firmly believe that the safety and well-being of your child is of the utmost importance. All our products are authentic Mother Garden products imported directly from Japan. While counterfeit products may be cheaper and may even look similar on the surface, they are not held to the same stringent quality and safety standards that a reputable brand such as Mother Garden holds itself to. After all, the counterfeiters are just in it to make a quick buck, and are more likely to use cheaper but potentially dangerous materials such as lead-based paints in order to save costs.
To summarise, look out for the hologram sticker on your Mother Garden product. If the product you bought does not come with a sticker, it is likely to be counterfeit. Other tell-tale signs of a counterfeit product include faded paint and poor craftsmanship.
We hope with this post, our readers will be more aware of the differences in quality as well as the potential safety concerns over counterfeit Mother Garden products. Just remember, if it seems too good to be true, it usually is!
The Happy Toy Store
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