Initiative against fake goods launched on Richmondshire Facebook groups

Buy, sell, swap Facebook groups in Richmondshire are taking part in a national trial that aims to protect consumers from buying fake goods.

The Real Deal Online programme sets out to increase awareness among administrators of social media groups of their legal responsibility to prevent the promotion and sale of counterfeit goods and other illicit products within their groups.

It has been developed by the National Markets Group for IP Protection (NMG) in conjunction with the National Trading Standards eCrime Team (NTSeCT), which is hosted by North Yorkshire County Council and City of York Council.

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It will be rolled out locally by Trading Standards Services and establishes a process for trading standards officers to contact administrators of social media buy-and-sell groups to help them run a fake-free group.

Administrators are invited to follow the Real Deal Online Code of Practice.

This requires group administrators to welcome local trading standards officers as members and to agree to five steps designed to prohibit and combat the sale of counterfeit and other illicit goods.

A pre-launch trial was implemented by NTSeCT with North Yorkshire Trading Standards Service.

Seven social media buy-and-sell groups in the region, with a total of more than 41,000 members, agreed to the Code of Practice and now display the Real Deal logo on their selling pages.

Mark Bonney, administrator of three buy-sell-swap groups in Richmondshire and Hambleton, said: “The idea behind the Real Deal initiative is sound, getting folks to read the info is a different ball game.

“However, I’m most happy to support what in my eyes is a much-needed lean towards tighter control.”

County Councillor Andrew Lee, executive member for open to business, said: “Hosting the National Trading Standards eCrime Team in North Yorkshire gives our Trading Standards team a great opportunity to be at the forefront of initiatives such as this.

“I’m delighted that the work trialled here has not only found favour among local buy and sell groups but is now being embraced nationally.

“It is essential for the healthy economy of North Yorkshire that we do all we can to protect consumers and legitimate traders.”

The initiative is an extension of the NMG’s Real Deal campaign, which has been in place at physical markets and car boot fairs for nearly ten years.



Groups that follow the Code of Practice can display the Real Deal logo to assure shoppers and traders that it is a fake-free shopping zone.

More information about the campaign visit