A shopper smelt something fishy when a youth offered to sell her what appeared to be a quality perfume but was far from such.
The second such incident in Surrey Street Market in recent weeks, it has prompted the council’s trading standards team to warn shoppers to beware buying from unlicensed sellers what appear to be boxes of high-end perfumes at knock-down prices but which turn out to be very poor-quality counterfeits.
Closer inspection of the package offered to the market shopper revealed that, while the box indicated it contained Chanel, the bottle inside was actually no more than a poorly presented fake.
The shopper complained to the market inspector, who immediately stepped in and confiscated the goods, which were subsequently handed to trading standards officers.
Police were called but the youth, who was selling the goods from a plastic carrier bag, ran off before they arrived.
The confiscated items, all 100ml bottles, were being palmed off as Chanel No 5 eau de parfum, and D&G Hidden Code eau de toilette. They had price tags of £96 stuck to them but were being offered for sale at less than £10.
The “Chanel” boxes bore a logo similar to that of Chanel’s trademarked symbol – two intertwined circles, as opposed to the legitimate back-to-back capital Cs. The bottle inside the box was labelled No5 Chamele.
“It’s a shame this rogue chose to target Surrey Street for his criminal activities. Our historic market is the workplace of many good, decent traders, making an honest living, and they certainly don’t want this sort of thing happening in their midst.
“It’s a sad fact of life that there are people who are prepared to rip off others by producing vastly inferior goods and selling them as trusted brands at what appear to be bargain prices.
“In truth, the goods are anything but a bargain. The fact they were being sold from a plastic carrier bag should have rung alarm bells.
“The old saying that ‘if it looks too good to be true, it very probably is’ should always be borne in mind. The sensible thing to do is to not buy the goods, and report the matter to the police at the earliest opportunity.
“Early reporting increases the chance of the crook being caught, and stops him hoodwinking other shoppers who might not be quite as alert.”
Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council