I READ that many people going on holiday make a point of buying fake designer label goods while they are away.

A survey by Kelkoo showed that 45% of Brits buy fakes abroad, whether it be luggage, watches, handbags or clothes.

And 29% of holidaymakers even choose their destination with bargains in mind – with Spain top choice followed by Turkey, Thailand and Greece. If these shoppers were to buy the same items in the UK, retailers would receive an additional £12bn a year in income. Except that people wouldn’t buy them here because they are too expensive.

It is, apparently, illegal to knowingly buy fakes abroad and bring them back into the UK. But how do you know they are fakes when you buy them?

I have never bought anything fake abroad, but that’s probably because I go to the wrong places. We usually go to America where I do my shopping in the US equivalent of T K Maxx, where discount clothes are half the price they are here.

But if I went to Turkey, for instance, and needed a couple of extra polo shirts, would I start demanding the provenance of a Lacoste label? Or just buy it at a bargain price?

I mention Turkey because many years ago, a pal regularly holidayed there and said good polo shorts were dirt cheap. I gave him a tenner and he brought me back half a dozen.

And could you tell the difference?

Well, yes, actually. Five of them became misshapen or the colours ran after the first wash and looked like tat. They were swiftly binned.

The sixth is still going strong after 10 years or more and bears its Lacoste label with pride.

I like to think this one is genuine.