Consumer alert: Cheap, counterfeit toys fooling online shoppers

ROCKY RIVER, OH (WOIO) - Fingerlings are one of the hottest toys of 2017, but the hotter the toy is, the harder it is to get your hands on.

Hatchimals, Lego Boost and L-O-L Surprise Dolls may top your kid's wish list this holiday season too.

"That's something that is knocked off all over the place, in fact, you can hardly find a name brand doll. They're all generic," said Once Upon a Time Toys owner Jack Seelie.

Seelie prides himself on selling well-made, quality toys. He's had customers come into his store complaining about cheap knockoffs they found online.

"When they're online, they're in the wild west," he said.

Moms, like Terri Blough, know holiday shopping can be a challenge, especially when their kids want what's popular.

"I think the Hatchimals are back, of course, my daughter likes the toys, definitely," Blough said.

Although online shopping is convenient, Blough knows there are risks -- that's why she usually shops in the store.

"I'd definitely be disappointed (if I received a counterfeit toy). We all work hard and we spend good money for items our children want, so it's really important to get the real thing that we pay for and want," she said.

"If you buy a toy here and it's not what it's supposed to be, or even if it's what it's supposed to be but it's not good quality, I'll take it and I'll dump that line," said Seelie.

For those who choose to shop online, experts recommend steering clear of heavily discounted name brands, which is a sure sign an item is counterfeit.

Once an item arrives, check for:

  • spelling errors
  • faded packaging
  • damaged packaging
  • anything that doesn't look right

The good news is, in most of cases, Amazon and Walmart refunded people who were deceived into buying the fake toys; however, people aren't always that lucky. Make sure to do your research before buying anything online.

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