Sections on this page
- What Are Fake UGG Boots?
- Real vs. Fake UGGs: 6 Red Flags to Look Out For
- Identify Fake UGGs in the Listing
- What to Do If You Purchased Fake UGGs
- Where to Buy Real UGGs
- Where Are Fake UGGs Sold?
- Frequently Asked Questions
With millions of fake UGGs floating around, you'll need to do your homework before shopping online to avoid getting scammed. Fortunately, spotting a fake UGG boot or slipper from the real deal isn't difficult once you know what to look for.
What Are Fake UGG Boots?
UGG boots have a distinct style, and there's nothing wrong with brands jumping on the trendy sheepskin bandwagon. However, there's a difference between selling alternatives and fakes.
Alternative UGG boots share a lot in common with original UGG boots, but they don't pretend to be the original. They usually use cheaper materials and style variations to create a more affordable shoe for those who can't afford UGG's hefty price tag.
UGG boots usually refer to the general style of boot, regardless of the brand. In this article, we refer to genuine UGG boots as made by the brand UGG®, not to be confused with the Australian brand UGG Since 1974.
Fakes, on the other hand, work hard to create knockoff UGGs under the brand's name. These shoes lack authentic materials and craftsmanship, leading to quality and durability issues.
“Some of these boots are produced to resemble Timberland and UGG boots in design and color, but significantly, are generic," reads a complaint after the arrest of a counterfeiter in New York. “That is, these boots are imported into the United States without the inclusion of logos that are trademarks registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.” Afterward, scammers stamp these shoes with false UGG logos to sell them for a premium.
In short, there's nothing wrong with alternative UGG look-alikes—and there's a lot wrong (and illegal) about fake UGG boots.
Real vs. Fake UGGs: 6 Red Flags to Look Out For
There isn't a standard of quality when it comes to fake UGGs—some can be made reasonably well, while others may have undeniable flaws (think an OGG instead of UGG logo). Regardless of where the fake UGGs are sold, there are some common things to look for to find a fake, including the:
- "Made In" label
- Security label
- Hanging tags
- Fur lining
1. "Made In" Label
UGG boots are made in China, Vietnam, The Philippines, Cambodia, The Dominican Republic, and the U.S.—they're not made in Australia or New Zealand. Despite the original UGG Australia logo, UGG boots aren't made there.
If you see an UGG boot that claims to be made in Australia or New Zealand, then it's likely a fake.
NOTE: UGG Since 1974 is an Australian-owned and operated business that does sell UGG boots (referring to the overall design of the boot, not the brand) manufactured in Australia.
2. Security Label
Nearly a decade ago, UGG® boots began to include a sewn-in QR code label. You can scan this code to be taken to UGG's website to verify its authenticity. There's also a holographic sun logo that'll change from black to white when you rotate it 90 degrees.
If your shoe doesn't have these security features, then it's likely a fake.
Newer models use a sun-like tread pattern instead of a zigzag pattern. If you're buying brand-new UGGs in 2021, then there's a high chance it'll have a sun-like tread pattern.
Authentic UGG boots have a sturdy yet flexible outsole. It's built to offer support while also providing a generous bend in the forefoot. If your UGG boot's outsole refuses to budge, it's likely a fake.
4. Hanging Tags
UGG boots don't use hanging tags on their original products. Some scammers use well-made convincing hangtags to sell counterfeits—if you see a hang tag, proceed with caution.
UGG products never arrive in a bag—not even a fancy, UGG-branded bag. These bags are only provided in in-store purchases at an UGG store. Genuine UGG boxes also feature the tell-tale QR code and accurate image of the product inside.
Fake UGG boxes often don't include the product logo to create the labels at scale. They also typically don't have a QR code.
6. Fur Lining
UGG's genuine sheepskin has the fur naturally adhered to the suede. The fur is not an inner lining, so it should never pull apart. If you can separate the suede from the inner fur lining, then the UGGs are fake.
Counterfeit UGGs will have stitching that's noticeably worse quality than genuine UGGs. They may also have double stitching while genuine UGG boots only have a single row of stitching.
Identify Fake UGGs in the Listing
Once you've learned the tell-tale signs we went through above, it's easy to distinguish the reals from the fakes. However, it's not so simple when you're buying online.
Often, scammers can use fake product images in their listings, making it impossible to detect a fake with shoe know-how alone. You'll need to be able to do a little bit of research to double-check the seller's authenticity and the listing. Here's how:
- Double-Check Sender Identity: Ensure the sender's name, email address, and other digital forms of identification are consistent.
- Scrutinize the Reviews: Don't just take a 4.7-star product rating at face value—dig deeper into the actual reviews to see if they're legit.
- Check for Typos: Scammers aren't copywriters. You'll often find grammar errors and typos in their product listings. Use a plagiarism checker to see if they lifted the product description from UGG's website or another credible retailer.
- Investigate the Images: Make sure the seller is using images they took. If the pictures look like they were taken from UGG's website, then be wary moving forward.
What to Do If You Purchased Fake UGGs
Even with all the know-how in the world, you might accidentally buy a fake pair of UGGs from a scam listing. Don't panic! Depending on where you purchased the UGGs, there are potentially guarantees to protect your purchase:
- eBay: Contact eBay about their money-back guarantee.
- Amazon: File an A-to-Z Guarantee with Amazon's customer service.
- Craigslist: Craigslist can't recover your money, but they can protect you and others from future scams—contact them about the fraudulent seller and listing.
- Facebook Marketplace: Facebook Marketplace doesn't have any money-back guarantees or protections.
- Walmart Marketplace: Walmart's Marketplace Promise can help you track purchases and request refunds.
Beyond contacting the e-commerce site, you should reach out to the FBI's digital division and report the issue to your credit card company. If the selling platform doesn't give you a refund, then you can potentially request a chargeback from your credit card company.
Where to Buy Real UGGs
UGG boots are a popular piece of footwear, which means you can find authentic pairs in various places. Here are a few of the top retailers you can trust to sell real UGGs:
Authentic UGG boots usually cost around $100-$200 for a new pair. Fake UGGs on the other hand are usually sold for much cheaper, even as low as $25. Some retailers may mark up the price of fake UGGs to make them seem more genuine, so be sure to always be on the lookout for the red flags.
Where Are Fake UGGs Sold?
Scammers sell fake UGG boots on various e-commerce platforms and local listings. However, authentic sellers use these platforms to sell real UGGs, too (and often at significant discounts). Here are some of the most common places you'll find fake UGGs:
UGG boots are relatively expensive, though, making these platforms a go-to for customers looking for great deals on these popular shoes. However, you don't need to avoid shopping on these e-commerce sites—you just need the know-how to spot the fakes from the real deals.