No matter what you are buying, doing your research ahead of time is always the best course of action. However, when it’s a purchase for your wedding, it’s even more crucial to get it right. Sadly, there are a lot of bad actors out there that have no problem taking your hard earned money for junk products. And, when it comes to knock-off wedding sparklers, it can be difficult to know who to trust. Luckily, we have been providing sparklers for weddings for well over a decade and can easily spot the cheap imitators. Here are some tips to help you avoid purchasing mistakes and getting the quality that you deserve.

What Defines a Genuine Wedding Sparkler?

A lot of people think that all sparklers are created equal. However, there are some very real parameters that define what is considered a sparkler designed for weddings. First off, they typically need to be made using a steel wire for the main structure. Versions made from wood are impractical for a variety of reasons and should always be avoided. Second, they typically create gold sparks since it doesn’t require color pigments. Pigments create a lot of additional smoke; something most couples would prefer to avoid at their celebration. Lastly, they need to be presented in elegant boxes that aren’t off-putting visually. If you combine all these elements, you can accurately call your sparklers made specifically for weddings.

Red Flags to Avoid

Image of Fake Sparklers for WeddingsWhen shopping, it’s easy to run across knock-off wedding sparklers at some retailers. I always cringe when I hear about the low quality products some couples end up receiving. Fortunately, there are some simple red flags that you can spot to avoid making a purchasing mistake. Here are some tips to help you avoid getting bamboozled.

No Pictures of the Packaging

One of the easiest ways to spot a scammer is by looking at their website. If they are offering a high quality product designed for your needs, there should be pictures of the items you’ll be receiving. Beware companies that only show “action” shots because you’re likely going to get a cheap product in a tacky box. This is a popular deception technique because purveyors of junk will try to mislead you at every turn.

Phony Product Reviews

Another common tactic I’ve seen is the creation of bogus product reviews. A lot of times a company will pop up and they will only have a few reviews on their products. Then, all of a sudden, there are hundreds in the span of a few days. Not only is this unethical, it’s actually a serious crime to publish fake reviews on your website. Luckily, by using the wayback machine to look at saved versions of a site from the past, it’s easy report and shut down these bad actors on a regular basis. I suggest you utilize this tool yourself before placing an order while the proper authorities eliminate these wrongdoers.

Only Appear in Paid Ads

10 years ago, people didn’t know how to discern between the paid ads that run on popular search engines from the organic results. Fortunately, most consumers have figured this one out, but some people still drink the Kool-Aid. When a company only shows up in the paid ads, it means they have no track record and are trying to buy their way into a market. This method isn’t sustainable, and these companies come and go all the time. Luckily, only legitimate companies make it for long. However, make sure to scroll down to find a company that the world has deemed reputable enough to not need to rely on paid ad spots.

Extremely Cheap or Overly Fast Shipping

In the US, there are many shipping regulations that need to be followed. When it comes to shipping sparklers, the simply cannot be sent via air. Sadly, there are a lot of companies out there that ship them via these illegal methods. The result is either faster or cheaper shipping charges. However, this is also a major crime that we have to report all the time. The authorities in charge of regulating shipping don’t have a sense of humor about illegal shipping practices. Trust me; you don’t want to be involved with any company breaking the law when sending you a package.

Lack of Third-Party Verification

Lastly, you should never rely on reviews or testimonials that appear only on a company’s website. As I mentioned, a lot of people selling knock-off wedding sparklers will post fake reviews on their own page to create fake confidence in your purchase. To avoid this, make sure you check popular third-party websites like Wedding Wire, Google, or Facebook. These sites make it harder for scammers to publish fake reviews, so it’s pretty obvious when they don’t have any real clout upon a closer examination.

Indicators of a Trustworthy Brand

36 inch Wedding Sparklers imageConversely, there are some easy ways to spot whether or not a particular company is trustworthy. Most of us cannot simply look at a set of sparkler brands and discern which ones are legit. However, with these simple tips, you can verify things for yourself quite easily. Here are some of the best indicators that you should look at before ordering.

Easy to Find Website

Having a strong web presence takes much more than a fancy marketing strategy. Over time, the reputable companies tend to float to the top of the search results. When a search engine puts you at or near the top, it’s similar to a vote of confidence. If a website ranks high in the natural results, it’s much more likely that they are reputable versus one that only appears in the paid listings.

Long Track Record of Customer Service

Time is one of the best indicators of a company with a great track record. If a company has only been around a short time, there’s no way to know if they are hucksters or a quality brand. There are many ways to check how long a retailer has been in business. I like to glance through their social media accounts since it will tell you how long they’ve been signed up. Additionally, checking for older reviews on third-party sites can shed light on this as well. If a company has been around for a decade, chances are they’re doing business ethically.

Comprehensive Photos and Helpful Information

The content of a website can also tell you a lot about who you’re buying from. If they offer multiple photos that show their actual sparklers, that is important to note. Additionally, there should be a lot of useful tips and information on the site that reads well, has proper grammar, and isn’t “thin”. This can take many forms such as inspiration for creating sparkler centerpieces or tips on how they should be lit. By expecting professionalism, it’s easier to spot for bad fakes out there.

Proper Packaging and Product Features

As I mentioned before, there are a lot of factors that determine whether you are getting knock-off wedding sparklers or the real deal. The most obvious tip-off will be the packaging since it needs to be elegant enough for a wedding. Furthermore, they should be made from metal wire and produce gold sparks. Typically, they will be available in certain lengths like 20 inches or 36 inch wedding sparklers. By making sure they meet all the criteria, you can be more confidant you are ordering the right thing.

Large Customer Review Footprint

Lastly, a reputable brand should have a large review footprint across multiple sources. Not only should there be genuine reviews on the website, but also on third-party sites across the web. Make sure to check social media and niche sites that showcase wedding-specific companies. If you verify a retailer’s reputation across multiple sources, you can get a better picture about how they conduct business.

Potential Dangers of Using Knock-Off Wedding Sparklers

There are a number of potential safety hazards that using fake wedding sparklers can present. Some of them are just irritating, but some of them can actually be quite dangerous. For instance, some poorly made products can actually fall apart during the performance! This can lead to things like burn holes in your wedding dress or even a serious burn on your body. Furthermore, they can create a lot of smoke that ruins your photos, or they can be incredibly difficult to light. No matter how you look at it, choosing legitimate sparklers for weddings is always the safest route to take for your event.

What is the Best Way to Protect Yourself from Knock-Off Wedding Sparklers?

As technology continues to advance, it’s sadly getting easier for scammers and wrongdoers to gain traction. As nice as these modern digital conveniences are, it can certainly muddy the water. Fortunately, these tips should help you sort through the knock-off wedding sparklers and find a brand that is reliable. In the end, doing the legwork is always the best way to protect yourself. Beyond that, make sure you understand the different types of sparklers available and the features you desire. By balancing all of these factors, you can rest assured you’ll be happy with your purchase. Good luck and I hope you found this helpful!