Errol Market Celebrates Eight Years with Real Deal

It is always great to catch up with market operators who are part of the Real Deal. At the NABMA annual conference in Harrogate recently, we were delighted to meet with representatives from Morris Leslie who operate the Errol Sunday Market in Scotland. Errol Market has grown over the years to become Scotland’s largest weekly market and car boot operation with a wide range of traders and over 250 car boot sellers. The market signed the Real Deal Charter in November 2015, working with Perth & Kinross Trading Standards Service to ensure that visitors enjoy a fake-free shopping experience.

Commenting on Errol Market’s longstanding Real Deal status, Gavin Terry, Chair of the National Markets Group for IP Protection (NMG) and the Chartered Trading Standards Institute’s Lead Officer for IP, said: “That such a large and diverse market can implement Real Deal procedures and maintain this standard over many years, goes to show that running a fake-free event is something that can be achieved by all market and car boot venues working in partnership with their local trading standards service.”

Pictured (left to right): Andreja White, Rolley Fraser and Keith Payne of Morris Leslie celebrate Errol Market’s eight years’ membership of the Real Deal with Gavin Terry, Chair of the NMG.



Presentation to United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

In 2007, the UNECE Working Party on Regulatory Cooperation and Standardization Policies adopted Recommendation M on Use of Market Surveillance Infrastructure as a Complementary Means to Protect Consumers and Users against Counterfeit Goods. This recommendation establishes the importance of having all agencies at the border working together to combat counterfeit products.

On 21 February 2023, the partnership approach of the NMG was highlighted in a presentation by NMG Chair, Gavin Terry, at a meeting of UNECE to review and discuss Recommendation M 15 years after its introduction.  The presentation looked at various successful NMG initiatives including Real Deal and Tick Box. More information is here: Market surveillance role in combatting counterfeit products | UNECE

Real Deal Work Recognised in Trading Standards Hero Awards

Gavin Terry (right) collected the CTSI Hero Award from Graham Mogg from the WRi Group.

The work of the National Markets Group for IP Protection (NMG) was highlighted recently at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute’s (CTSI) annual Hero Awards ceremony.

Two key members of the NMG’s Real Deal initiative – Gavin Terry, CTSI Lead Officer for Intellectual Property and Chair of the NMG, and Patricia Lennon, Real Deal campaign manager since 2008 – were jointly awarded the CTSI Hero Award for Intellectual Property (IP) for their work on the campaign to help keep markets fake-free.

The awards, hosted by CTSI at the House of Lords in November, recognised significant contributions to consumer protection across the UK.

Continue reading

Crackdown on counterfeits as UK shoppers hunt for bargains

  • Enforcement campaign launched with Meta to remove hundreds of potential counterfeit listings from Instagram.
  • New polling shows that just over 1 in 4 are considering or intending to buy fake products this year2 while over two fifths (45%) of people have reported problems after purchase
  • Electrical devices among top targets for consumers tempted to buy fakes
  • Don’t Blow Christmas campaign hopes to save shoppers at Christmas this year by urging consumers to avoid faulty and hazardous counterfeit electricals

 A crackdown by enforcement bodies and Meta has been launched to remove listings of potential counterfeit products from Instagram. The listings cover counterfeit electrical goods – such as phone accessories and potentially dangerous chargers – as well as fake clothing and fashion accessories, jewellery, tobacco, car parts and copyrighted photographs.

The crackdown – which launched in advance of Black Friday and is still ongoing – comes alongside a revealing new survey1 showing that just over 1 in 4 UK shoppers are considering or intending to buy fake products this year2. Additionally, almost 2 in 5 (37%) said they want to buy the same amount of presents as last Christmas, which could lure more people into unknowingly purchasing cheaper but unsafe counterfeit products.2

 Electrical devices (such as smartphones, tablets or laptops) and accessories (such as chargers and earphones) are among the top targets for consumers planning or tempted to buy fakes this year. These illegally-sold items pose substantial risks for shoppers, as they can be both poor quality, leading to wasted spending, and incredibly dangerous. Previous research by Electrical Safety First found that 98% of fake Apple chargers failed safety tests3, and the consequences can be dire, with recent Home Office data showing 10 UK house fires each day are caused by faulty appliances and leads4.

Shoppers who turn to counterfeits risk, at best, disappointing financial loss but also serious harm. 45% of survey respondents reported problems after buying fakes across all product types with top issues relating to quality and products not being fit for purpose. Similar quality concerns around knock-off, unregulated, electrical goods could have devastating impacts for households this Christmas.

The IPO has launched its Don’t Blow Christmas campaign today (@dontblowchristmas) in advance of the peak online shopping season and is urging people to buy authentic electrical goods from legitimate retailers. The IPO said that it was launching Don’t Blow Christmas to highlight how unregulated illegal electrical products are particularly dangerous and not worth the risk, as they are often unsafe and untested. They warned if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.

The enforcement campaign was coordinated by The National Markets Group** for IP Protection, a multi-agency enforcement group that includes the Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG), the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and National Trading Standards (NTS). Shoppers can be easily deceived to think retailers and their products are legitimate, because they may appear on familiar or trusted e-commerce or social media platforms, so the group worked  with Meta to instigate the takedowns in advance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Mike Andrews, National Co-ordinator, National Trading Standards eCrime team, said: “Removing counterfeit goods from Instagram means families will be safer this Christmas. Buying fakes can seem like a harmless way to get what you want for less, but counterfeiting is not a victimless crime. Aside from being poor quality, fake electrical goods can be a fire hazard, while copycat toys can be deadly to children as criminals don’t care about safety standards. Even fake designer clothes and accessories cause huge harm as the trade props up organised crime. We’re delighted with the results of this operation as we continue our mission to reduce the harm counterfeiting causes in communities and across society, to people and to legitimate businesses.”

Lesley Rudd, Chief Executive at Electrical Safety First, said: “We urge people to be vigilant against counterfeit goods. It may seem like a bargain but the cost of buying fake electrical items could be that you or a loved one suffer an electric shock, or a fire starts in your home. Many people may not even be aware the products they are considering purchasing are counterfeit, so it’s important they follow the IPO’s tips on tell-tale signs.”

Tips to avoid being duped into purchasing counterfeit products

1) Vet the seller. Do they look official? Have you bought from this seller before, is the website or platform well known? Does the seller have a returns policy? If you are in doubt, look for a genuine online review, not just recommendations from influencers to buy the item.

2) Avoid payments by bank transfer. Always beware of retailers asking for payment to be made via bank transfer. Well known credit card providers like Visa or Mastercard, and services like PayPal offer protection to buyers if the goods don’t arrive or are proven to be counterfeit.

3) Trust your instincts. Does the item on offer look and feel like an authentic product? Sellers of counterfeits often make spelling mistakes in their descriptions and sometimes on the products themselves, which is an obvious warning sign. Spelling and grammar mistakes can indicate fakes!

4) Look for EU and UK safety markings. The safety standards of counterfeit items are poor and can be dangerous, especially when they are shipped from abroad. Do items have EU and UK safety markings? You should always check for the correct age restrictions and hazard warnings on the packaging.

5) Question the price if much cheaper than elsewhere. Whether buying online or in person, always think about the price. Scammers often sell counterfeit goods at discounted prices to make you drop your guard. If the item is significantly cheaper than you’d expect, that’s a good reason for alarm bells to ring. If the price looks too good to be true, it probably is.

If you or someone you know has purchased a counterfeit product or suspects that a website is selling counterfeit products, report it to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

For more information on how to avoid buying fake electrical products visit

Naturally North Coast & Glens Market and Trading Standards Service, Ballymena sign the Real Deal Charter

 (Naturally North Coast & Glens CIC)

Eoin McConnell from Naturally North Coast and Glens CIC signs the Real Deal Charter alongside Damien Doherty, Chief Inspector of the Trading Standards Service and Shauna McFall, Market Manager. 

Naturally North Coast & Glens Artisan Market is the latest market in Northern Ireland to sign the Real Deal Charter with their local Trading Standards Service. 

Welcoming the development, Shauna McFall of Naturally North Coast & Glens Community Interest Company, said: “Our Trader Product Standards and Code of Conduct naturally meet the requirements of the Real Deal Charter, so this is a fantastic additional standard for safe, fair markets. It gives shoppers that extra confidence that goods purchased are safe and legal. As well as counterfeit items, the Real Deal charter covers all laws and regulations that would be enforced by trading standards including copyright infringements, weights and measures and product safety.”

Damien Doherty, Chief Inspector of the Trading Standards Service, added: “Fake items may appear attractive, but consumers should be aware of the wider implications and the risks to their own safety. There has been a worrying increase in potentially dangerous fake goods being sold to consumers such as electrical equipment, toys, personal care products and medicines. 

“Counterfeit goods are big business, a drain on the economy, cost jobs and are closely linked to organised crime both in Northern Ireland and abroad. Counterfeiting and piracy also cause considerable damage to legitimate businesses.”

Continue reading

Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead Trading Standards and Royal Windsor Horse Show sign charter to ensure consumers get a Real Deal

 All smiles as Jonathan Goold, commercial director of HPower Group (left), and Councillor David Cannon, the RBW&M cabinet member for public protection, sign the Real Deal Charter at Windsor Guildhall in advance of this year’s Royal Windsor Horse Show.

Visitors to the Royal Windsor Horse Show can be assured they are getting a fair deal at its shopping stands thanks to a partnership between the council’s Trading Standards service and event organisers.

They have secured Real Deal accreditation for the show’s shopping stands, signing a charter demonstrating a commitment to providing a safe and fair shopping experience by preventing counterfeit or illicit goods being sold and maintaining the very highest standards with the retail offerings.

It was signed on Thursday 3 March at Windsor Guildhall in advance of this year’s show, to be held from 12 to 15 May in the private grounds of Windsor Castle.

“As a council we are committed to investing in prevention and support measures that enable early intervention to address problems before they escalate.” Cllr David Cannon 

Continue reading

Gloucestershire Trading Standards and Cotswold Markets launch ‘Real Deal’ at Moreton-in-Marsh

Gloucestershire County Council’s trading standards department and Cotswold Markets are continuing their work together under the Real Deal banner to prevent shoppers from being conned into buying fake designer goods and other illicit items

They have jointly signed the Real Deal Charter to promote legal sellers at Moreton-in-Marsh Market, run by Cotswold Markets. The campaign is a national initiative to ensure markets are run legally and have a working relationship with trading standards.

Patricia Lennon, national manager of the Real Deal campaign, said: “We are delighted to welcome Moreton Market into the Real Deal. By signing the Charter and displaying the Real Deal logo, they are joining with hundreds of markets across the country in saying ‘no’ to counterfeits and rogue traders.”

Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member for trading standards at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “It is important to ensure legitimate traders are protected and those who feel they can make easy money are deterred at the earliest stage.

“Shoppers want to know that they will be buying genuine items so I’m pleased this partnership working through the Real Deal scheme will offer that reassurance.”

Dave Joynes, managing director of Cotswold Markets, said: “This is a great initiative that will see us working together with trading standards to protect consumers and local businesses from the harm caused by the trade in counterfeit goods.

“We’re really proud of our market’s reputation and want to reassure residents, visitors and businesses that we’re committed to maintaining a safe and fair environment in which to shop and trade.”

It comes after Cirencester Market, jointly run by Cirencester Town Council and Cotswold Markets, signed up to the Charter in July last year.

Since its launch in 2009, more than 500 markets across the UK have made a commitment to fake-free trading by signing the voluntary Real Deal Charter with their local trading standards.

If you have any concerns about items sold at Moreton-in-Marsh Market please contact Trading Standards on 0808 223 1133.

Operation MONTY keeps shoppers and businesses safe from counterfeit goods in the run up to the festive season

Social media: Operation MONTY keeps shoppers and businesses safe from counterfeit goods in the run up to the festive season!

The National Markets Group for IP Protection (NMG), a multi-agency focus group aimed at reducing the availability of counterfeit goods at physical markets and online, is warning consumers to watch out for fake, and potentially dangerous goods, that may appear on social media in the run up to the festive shopping season.

With Black Friday fast approaching and consumers vying for bargains, traders in counterfeit goods are looking to exploit the retail shift to on-line buying by attempting to offer often dangerous, counterfeit goods on social media platforms.

“Counterfeiters operating on social media draw in unsuspecting consumers, using well-known brand names, to sell their illicit goods” said Graham Mogg, Intelligence Co-Ordinator at the Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG) and Chair of the NMG.

“This criminal activity undermines the fabric of society, robbing legitimate business of their income, placing consumers at risk and funds serious and organised crime. A whole range of counterfeit products including clothing, footwear, accessories, watches and even potentially dangerous goods such as toys, cosmetics, perfumes and electrical goods are being offered on these platforms.”

Continue reading

Stevenage Indoor Market is the Real Deal!

Traders from Stevenage Indoor Market, in partnership with Stevenage Borough Council, recently signed up to the national ‘Real Deal’ campaign – demonstrating a joint commitment to ensuring safe, fair and legal sales at Stevenage Indoor Market.

In signing up to the Real Deal Markets Charter, it means traders at Stevenage Indoor Market have pledged to continue working with Stevenage Borough Council to stop rogue traders from selling counterfeit and illegal items.

The Real Deal campaign is a cross-sector, partnership initiative, bringing together local authority trading standards services, market operators and traders, industry groups, and copyright and trademark owners, all of whom are united with a common commitment to tackling this problem.

Councillor Joan Lloyd, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Resources at Stevenage Borough Council said: “It is important to us that customers know they can shop at the Indoor Market with confidence. Fake products are untested and potentially unsafe. The sale of fake goods also means our local businesses lose sales and revenue is lost from our economy.”

She continued: “This is a fantastic initiative and confirms our joint commitment to ensuring consumers and local businesses are protected from the harm caused by counterfeit and illicit goods.”

Councillor Morris Bright MBE, Executive Member for Community Safety at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “The Real Deal initiative is a fantastic way to protect Hertfordshire consumers as they shop at the Stevenage Indoor Market. Our Trading Standards officers have inspected the market and its traders, so that our residents can have confidence that they won’t be purchasing counterfeit, unsafe, or non-compliant goods.”

If you have any concerns about items sold at Stevenage Indoor Market or town centre please contact Trading Standards by calling 01707 292429.

It’s the Real Deal – Cirencester Market and Gloucestershire Trading Standards are working together to protect consumers and legitimate businesses

Left to right: Jason Poole, manager of Gloucestershire Trading Standards, Dave Joynes, managing director of Cotswold Markets, Becky Coles, Community Services Manager, Claire Bloomer, Mayor of Cirencester, and Cllr Gary Selwyn, lead member for community services, at the signing of the charter

Cirencester Market, which is jointly run by Cirencester Town Council and Cotswold Markets, is the latest to join the Real Deal programme to stop shoppers being duped into buying rip-off fakes of designer goods and other illicit items. On Friday 9 July, the market operators confirmed this commitment by signing the Real Deal Charter with Gloucestershire County Council’s trading standards department. 

Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member responsible for trading standards at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “It is important to ensure legitimate traders are protected and those who feel they can make easy money are deterred at the earliest stage.

“This is a great initiative that will see us working together to protect consumers and local businesses from the harm caused by the trade in counterfeit goods.”

Continue reading