Single Sisters Speak Out

The Modern Life of the Single Sister

SSSO Educates: Counterfeiting July 14, 2009

Filed under: Single Sisters On... — cuzzo @ 10:31 pm

I feel that an informed consumer can make educated decisions about their purchases. Thus, I’m sharing this information that I had to read for one of my classes last semester with you.

Fashion counterfeiting is defined as illegal, deceptive copying of registered logos, brand names, or ornamentation. In deceptive counterfeiting cases, consumers are unaware the product is fake and believe that they are purchasing an authentic item – more relevant in nonfashion product areas (consumer electronic parts, auto parts, pharmaceuticals). In nondeceptive counterfeiting, consumers either know or strongly suspect that the product is not genuine but purchase the product anyway (u’ll see these folks in your local chinatown).

My POV prior to being informed:

Counterfeiting is harmless and if someone wants that fake Gucci, do you. I personally, would not indulge in the purchase of a fake bag (from the article, I’ve learned that tons of things are counterfeit beyond handbags, but to me, they are probably the biggest offense), albeit tempting. $1,200 for a bag is outrageous but if you can’t afford it…there are other non-fake options. As for the hustlers, pimping the product, just like the consumer…no harm…no foul.

Points from the articles:

  • estimated that up to 7 percent of our annual world trade – $600 billion worth – is counterfit or pirated
  • fakes are believed to be directly responsible for the loss of more than 750,000 American jobs
  • everything from baby formula to medicine is counterfeited, with tragic results
  • counterfeits and the crime syndicates they work with deal in human trafficking, child labor, and gang warfare
  • counterfeiting is used to launder money, and the money has been linked to truly sinister deeds such as terrorism
  • “I remember walking into an assembly plant in Thailand a couple of years ago and seeing six or seven little children all under 10 years old, sitting on the floor assembling counterfeit leather handbags…The owners had broken the children’s legs and tied the lower leg to the thigh so the bones wouldn’t mend” , a passage from the book, Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster
  • counterfeiting is a part of the economic black market, in that perpetrators pay no or few taxes and incur no or few business costs resulting in a loss of government revenues

My POV now:

I cannot walk through Chinatown without rolling my eyes. I’m not going to force anyone not to make the purchase that they’d like to purchase but I will do my best to inform people that buying counterfeits adds all of the above. I was highly upset that this illegal activity robs the government of money…money that has to be made up elsewhere. As a designer and future business owner, I’d hate to see my stuff on the streets.

What was your POV before being informed of what counterfeitting entails? What is it now? Would/Do you buy counterfeit goods and why?


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28 Responses to “SSSO Educates: Counterfeiting”

  1. […] Read more: SSSO Educates: Counterfeiting […]

  2. Mikki Says:

    I had no idea it was illegal to make fake bags. Last week i almost brought i fake coach bag but dude would not come down on his price so i said bunk it. I dont own any counterfit bags its never really been a big deal. but some peoplw care to keep up an image of some sorts??

    After reading this i probably will not be trying to bargan with the hustle man that comes in the salon tryin to sell purses any more!

  3. I’ve always hated the ideas of counterfeit because I hate the thought that someone needs to feel good about themselves so bad, that in order to wear what the famous wear, they have to purchase something that is fake. I think people put too much weight on clothing labels.

    You have now given me new reasons to hate them, thank you. 😉 But seriously, the part where the children’s legs were broken is ridiculous- all of that to feed into our thirst for looking like we have more than we do.

  4. Mikki Says:

    Nic its sad isnt it??

  5. @Mik: It really is…. it doesn’t seem like anything new in other countries. No one fights for the kids.

  6. Shawnta` Says:

    Hey, y’all!

    @Cuzzo: Good topic.

    I’ve always known that counterfeiting bags (& anything else) was illegal and drives the prices up on the ‘real deals’. I don’t own any fake bags namely because I don’t feel as if I HAVE to have a ‘name’ bag so badly, I’m willing to settle for a fake but also because I would be embarrassed if I were called out on the fake bag…lol. 🙂 Women think they’re fooling other women with fake bags, wallets, wristlets, etc. but believe me, there are some women (& men) who can spot a fake a mile away. These women (& men) can be at the other end of the mall or the other side of a club and they can just glance in the direction of a fake and know it’s fake.

    While I don’t have fake ‘name’ bags, I do have bags, shoes & other items that are similar to ‘name’ items but they are made by someone else…think of a magazine’s “Get the look for less” section. I might see a bag that I like, see the price, know I am not willing to pay that amount and then get online or look in magazines for the “get the look for less” section. This is different from purchasing counterfeit items because it isn’t trying to pass the item off as Coach, LV, Kate Spade, Dooney & Bourke, Juicy Couture, etc. It’s an entirely different brand.

    I have two ‘name’ bags. One I purchased for myself & the other was a gift from my husband. I honestly don’t care about the names but I really like the style and they are both versatile enough to go with just about anything. And the ‘name’ bags that I like are so plain, no one would probably know whose it is. I don’t like the ‘signature, classic’ ones with the name all splashed across the bag. I like the ones that are plain so I’m not really advertising for them. 🙂

  7. Anna Says:

    Personally, unless the company is paying me I see no point in paying to advertise them by wearing logos all over my body. To me, that screams, “I’m desperate! And tacky!” Whether it’s real or fake. Child labor is horrible, but I would warn that it’s not limited to the counterfeit industry. Remember when Kathy Lee Gifford got called out for using little kids at her manufacturing plants? There’s a lot of triflin’ stuff going on in this world.

  8. “Remember when Kathy Lee Gifford got called out for using little kids at her manufacturing plants?”

    I remember that. I’ve never been one for rocking even the real logos either- like how you see in urbanwear clothing companies.

  9. cuzzo Says:

    Good Morning Ladies. Counterfeiting is not limited to handbags but it’s the worst offense in my opinion. Since polo and lacoste (and brands like that) shirts have that embroidered emblem on them, they are easily counterfeit as well. I once bought a counterfeit North Face jacket, unbeknown to me that the counterfeit goods ran the gambit like this.

    @Shawnta – What you were talking about is known as a knock off or replica, which are not illegal. Stores like Zara and H&M make it their business to knock off runway looks.

  10. peyso Says:

    Counterfeiting bags actually drive the prices down b/c companies try to recapture that part of the market. I dont buy fake sh!t b/c they’re poor quality. Ppl forget that yea a bag or shoes may cost $1200 but they are usually made well and come with a lifetime guarantee. I paid $200 for my handmade leather wallet but I have a lifetime warranty. So after u pay $20 for yours and end up going through 10 of them in your life, my one wallet will still be around and kicking. Counterfeits have no standards and no name to uphold

  11. Shawnta` Says:

    “What you were talking about is known as a knock off or replica, which are not illegal. Stores like Zara and H&M make it their business to knock off runway looks.”

    @Cuzzo: Exactly.

    “Ppl forget that yea a bag or shoes may cost $1200 but they are usually made well and come with a lifetime guarantee. ”

    @Peyso: VERY true. The items are so expensive because they are made with quality materials and meant to last a lifetime. There are also some bags (& other items) that’s like making an investment…such as Hermes Birkin.

  12. cuzzo Says:

    which brings me to, if you really want to have an expensive handbag try http://www.bagborroworsteal.com – a website where you rent all kinds of luxury handbags…in case you wanna front on vacation, lol.

  13. @Cuzzo: Co-sign on “rent” a bag.

  14. Shawnta` Says:

    @Cuzzo & @Nicki: This is a cool concept. I remember this from Sex & The City but I initially heard about it from Kelly Ripa because she’s always talking about how she uses it although she has money to buy her own…I wonder if they’re paying her as a spokesperson…lol.

  15. J Money Says:

    I don’t think guys encounter this as much as women do except when it comes to shoes like Jordan’s or Air Force One’s. Maybe watches too but I hate those big-face shiny watches that try to look like Jacobs. Other than that I can’t really remember anything I have been offered clothing wise that was a knock-off. I think women are targeted more bc you all are the shoppers and you all have more things that can be made into knock-offs.

  16. So … what your saying is that I shouldn’t by the misses a fake Gucci so that I can appear to be the man without selling my motorcycle? Damn!

  17. peyso Says:

    @ J Money – You, my friend, are mistaken. Guys get got too. Fake northface, fake lacoste, fake evisus, the list can go on

  18. @Shawnta: I looked on the site just now and some of that stuff is just as expensive as just buying a good bag. I saw one you could rent for a season for $325.

    But again, some people are just concerned with toting a name brand.

    SBM: YOU BETTA NOT! lol

    @Peyso: Wow, they really have people selling fake crocodile emblemed stuff? People are crazy. I thought it really didn’t go further than the purses and the Gucci-like stuff.

  19. Ms. Eighty's Baby Says:

    I personally don’t do knockoffs…….. And I actually side eye people who do……..

  20. Ms. Eighty's Baby Says:

    I thought it really didn’t go further than the purses and the Gucci-like stuff.

    @Nick.. Them “discount malls” are something serious…. The lady who did my eyelashes works out of one… They had everything counterfeit up in there….I’m talking about everything from jeans to shoes to purses and whatever else…… SMH

  21. “I’m talking about everything from jeans to shoes to purses and whatever else…… SMH”

    WOW. That is like, so much energy to do that. THey probably have those type things at our flea market, I bet.

  22. Danielle Says:

    This is a great conversation. After reading the major points from the article, I am sure that I would never purchase a knock-off, but this won’t be hard to do. I’ve never purchased one in the past and have never had a name brand bag that wasn’t a gift….I’ve just never been into labels. I prefer to wear what looks good on me. Sometimes that might be a name brand pair of jeans or it could just as well come from Target….and people never know. I think it’s good to mix it up, not just because you’ll save money, but some cheaper items are comparable to the real deal.

    Another tip is to try thrift stores or consignment shops where you can get the real deal for a lot less.

    I only have one remaining question…I wonder if this knowledge became published to the masses, if they’d be willing to walk away from knock-offs? Or is the pull to look like celebs and pretend that you have money when you don’t a much bigger draw?

  23. “Or is the pull to look like celebs and pretend that you have money when you don’t a much bigger draw?”

    Danielle: I’m thinking they would prolly still be buying the items- just because their main concern seems to be is “portraying” something that they aren’t.

  24. J Money Says:

    @Peyso: I don’t buy all that stuff so again it is not something I run across all the time. My thing is I don’t see people selling it either. It may be a geographical thing, I don’t know.

  25. I think it is geographical. Peyso is up there in the city… The main thing we see in the southermost states is GUCCI. lol

  26. Reecie Says:

    I have some designer bags. I would never buy a knockoff because I don’t believe trying to keep up with others if I can’t. If I want to treat myself to something nice thats fine, but pretending really isn’t my deal–in any aspect of my life. If I can’t afford it, I buy something cute that I can afford instead. its simple for me. I mix and match…whatever I think is nice I will buy. equal opportunity shopaholic over here!

  27. enyfilms Says:

    The problem with the bootleg is cost. If and I dont know if its like this where you guys live but come by Pennsylvania and Flatlands Ave and you’ll see it-you can get apir of ACG for say 75 bucks-fools go out and buy three pair of the joints, also if you continue this pattern you’ll spend more on fake clothing than real. In the end its a placebo effect-if you THINK you are getting over than go on then but then I always get the “where did you get that from” with my taste of clothing. I own no Gucci-Prada-or Coach I buy things with no name on it and usually shirts with cool graphics but I dont look like some 30 yr old high school senior

  28. LD Says:

    I’m still stuck at the part where they broke those poor children’s legs and then tied them to their thighs.

    How cruel. I hope they did the same to them in the criminal jails.

    I feel like dumping the couple of fakes I have just on the strength of that sentence.

    -LD


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