Do counterfeit bags make you a bad person?The subjects of what kind of person buys counterfeit bags and what buying counterfeit says about a person have, admittedly, been discussed to death. On our forum and in other places, both the fake haters and the fake lovers have very, very strong opinions. People in this debate seem to get offended quickly and take the choices of the other side personally. Fake buyers think that real buyers are fashion-industry dupes; real buyers think that fake buyers are cheapskates that want everyone to think they’re rich.

The issue of counterfeiting is rife with the problems of legality, intellectual property, socioeconomics, and conspicuous consumption. Great thinkers like Jean Baudrillard have struggled mightily over the value of authenticity, the role of the replica, and what said role says about the society which embraces it. Handbags are obviously only a part of the overall authenticity question, but when Louis Vuitton can increase earnings even in a global recession, they might be a part worth considering with increased seriousness.

And that’s exactly what Duke and MIT researcher Dan Ariely did.

For all the chatter and hand-ringing over black-market handbags, there’s been very little, you know, SCIENCE conducted. And most of what has been done has been research concerning how this black market (just like every other black market on the planet, duh) contributes to more intense kinds of crime, like drug and human trafficking. As with most things, though, fake handbags probably tell you more about how someone views themselves than how they view white slavery (consumers of all sorts of goods tend to put global issues out of their minds when it comes to buying useless crap that they just HAVE to have). So, sure, buying fakes is indicative of certain attitudes. But once someone is in possession of a counterfeit bag (or sunglasses, or whatever), can it change the way they view themselves and, therefore, how they act in other morally dubious situations?

That’s what Ariely set out to test. After receiving his first designer item, a Prada messenger bag as a thank-you for speaking at a conference, he was surprised at how different he felt when carrying it, even though he kept the logo turned in so no one would notice it. He hadn’t considered himself a clotheshorse in any way, and he found the power that his real Prada bag had over him kind of disconcerting. So, he decided to do a series of studies to find out if the possession of real or counterfeit designer goods would make test subjects act differently.

And his findings were pretty conclusive. In the first study, he gave over 200 test subjects a pair of designer glasses to wear – half were told that they were real, the other half that they were counterfeit. The subjects were then given a number of tasks to do to mask the fact that they were really being tested on whether or not they would cheat on a particular one of them – a math test, seemingly unconnected to the glasses. Of the subjects told that they were wearing real glasses, 20% cheated on the test. The ones who were told that they were in possession of fake glasses? A whopping 60% cheated on the same math test.

That particular study has its flaws – no control group to be found, for example – so it’s hard to say whether the the designer goods made the real group play up or the fakes made the replica group play down. With such a huge difference, though, you’ve got to think that it was a bit of both.

Another of Ariely’s studies asked participants to rank how “authentic” having 1, 2, 3, and 4 counterfeit items made them feel, and the result was equally interesting; there was a huge difference between having no counterfeit items and having one, but when additional counterfeit items were given to the participants, the law of diminishing returns seemed to be in effect. Participants reported little difference in feeling after the counterfeit ball had begun rolling.

Both of these studies seem to indicate the same end result, and it’s a result that’s been replicated across human behavioral studies that otherwise would have nothing to do with the counterfeit industry. The first time a person violates his or her own moral code is the hardest; subsequent violations are much easier. In both of these situations, that initial violation was the possession of an illegal replica item. Whether the second or third violations were cheating on a test or possessing more illegal items, it appears that the first move to dubious ethical ground makes those later actions much easier for many test subjects.

What I think is most interesting, however, is that this study seems to confirm a lot of people’s criticisms of those that buy fakes: that they’re essentially comfortable with deception and unconcerned with the ethical ramifications of their choices, as long as they like the end result. Perhaps a bit of harsh criticism for something as simple as a handbag, but far too often people forget that every choice made says something about the person making it.

Image via Flickr
Article via NYBlog

  • dela

    Great article, Amanda. I love it when math and fashion come together.
    I would also like to see some research about different income brackets. For example, how would a person feel about carrying fakes if they have the budget to easily afford a real thing.

    • PAULA JANSEN

      Visiting two Flea markets in Pensacola T AND W Flea Market W Street and Mobile Ala you would never know it is illigal,displayed right out in the open and sold as REAL,are Coach handbags wallets and shoes.NFL Jerseys tshirts jackets,Nike sneakers,all boasting authentic,and the prices you could get the real thing at an outlet store,and these poor naive buyes dishing out cash for fakes,How do I know I REALLY THOUGHT THIS GUY IN 277 BOOTH WAS SELLING REAL,HE HAD SIGNS AND EVEN FLYERS,with the whole NIKE catalog,and Coach catalog,give him a deposit and he would fill the order.Next they have in booth 245 a Chinese vendor with a Van labled I FIX HOUSES full of Coach and Tommy Hilfiger fake bags,he has the boxes behind the counter,where most buyers do their shopping,no one wants what’s out.You move on and find tons of fake LV,dvds,games,
      and football jackets and other fakes out in the open selling almost at the outlet prices.
      The fakes are not even good ones.
      Central Florida is full of these fakes as I DO NOT think the police have been trained nor give a darn,they seem to care only about high profile murders and killings .I thing the companies are losing the battle,police do not seem to take in seriously,and as long a Flea markets do not care,this money will slip into the hands of criminals out of this country

  • MizzJ

    Interesting article! The results make a lot of sense, so it’s nice to see some validation of them. You also have to distinguish between an “inspired by” and a knock-off too? I personally wouldn’t buy any fakes, I would just feel like a fake holding it and constantly worried that someone would call me on it.
    http://highmaintenancewoman.blogspot.com

    • Judy_banks

       Why would you “feel like a fake”? You’re holding the bag that you bought with your hard earned money, you didn’t steal it. Are you willing to pay hundreds of $ on a real bag just so your friends would notice it’s authentic? That’s a fake attitude!

  • QueenMAB

    A very interesting article. So even if no one knows what you’re carrying, YOU know. and it’s up to you to uphold your own standards. Really thought provoking.

  • cathealey

    It’s kind of fun to conduct ‘research’ but anything can be ‘proven’ with statistics. You have to look at the method to evaluate whether the results have any merit. This one doesn’t sound valid to me.

    I do agree that the first time someone does something questionable is the hardest and it easier from there. There is a tendency that people who cheat at little things are more likely to cheat at bigger things. Those are proven human characteristics. I can’t say I agree it is because they are carrying counterfeit bags while being asked to take a math test. There’s too many unknows about the people selected.

    It is an interesting article though. About the most heady I’ve seen here.

  • Cathy

    Coming from someone who has conducted psychology-type studies, I think it is important to highlight that there is no control group, and that there don’t seem to be any correlating studies. I can’t access the article right now, but I would question the scientific rigorousness of a study that doesn’t have a control group – that’s just good science.

  • http://graduationday.wordpress.com Amanda Mull

    @Cathy – I found some parameters of the study a little bit odd as well, particularly the lack of control group, which I mentioned. It struck me as odd, since apparently this particular researcher is well-reknowned; you’d think a study as straightforward as this would be very simple for him. I’d be interested to know if the findings are replicable.

  • Kathy

    As consumers, it’s your responsibility to gather as much information as possible on the things that you decide to invest your money in. There is no excuse because this is the information age and as a result, consumers have better ability to carefully evaluate potential investments. I watched on the Discovery Channel how fake bags are used to fuel the drug industry and I’m sure you’ve heard of this via other sources.

    We are responsible for the choices that we make. If someone is fully aware that counterfeit goods are being used for that purpose and buy them anyway, that just goes to show the kind of person they are. (If they weren’t aware, then what they did was a mistake, but really, no one can afford to be ignorant nowadays.) On the other hand, if someone mindlessly indulges in luxury goods without even considering the needs of those who are less privileged, then his or her character can be comparable to that of the previous example.

    I don’t think counterfeit bags can make someone a bad person necessarily because you’d have to look at his or her intentions and motivations before judging. What I do believe is that the everyday choices you make add up to the person you are today. Then you can tell if you’re one of the good apples or the bad ones.

    • Judy_banks

       Really @d7221d379c649e879fe3f13eb4512b0a:disqus ?? Good apples or bad apples? You’re judging a person by the way she’s dressed or by its purse, don’t you think you’re a little shallow? You’re saying that “fake bags are used to fuel the drug industry” but do you know it for sure? Have you ever been to China to one of those factories? Just because you saw something on TV doesn’t make it real.
      Everyone buys fake bags but no one admits it. If you buy the from a reputable seller like this one, http://iker.co/qk, no one will be able to tell the difference.  There’s no shame in buying a fake bag.

  • fearandclothingblog

    I think how a person feels is partially related to social conditioning. There are plenty of nice bags out there that don’t require a hefty outlay. Many times I’ve thought that Prada is overrated (for the price) and it’s all about the little logo.
    I don’t think that buying fakes immediately denotes a bad person. Tacky and desperate to fit in, yes, but who is really to blame? The fashion journals that blather on about a particular label and how x, y, z label is akin to Bill of Human Rights?
    In regard to your observations about Louis Vuitton, I think their profitability is about something else, and that is the rapidly expanding Asian economies and the fact that this wave of Asian consumer is more about owning brands than displaying personal taste. I’m doubting that a Parisian is going to go ape over the Stephen Sprouse collection, however Asians go nuts for gimmicks. You have to live in a tourist area to see what these people wear and buy -just to fit in.

    • Judy_banks

       But aren’t we all try to fit in? Whether it’s a new school, a new work place or a new group of friends, we all try to fit in and to impress. Clothes, bags, shoes are just a tool that we can use in our favor. We all fake it sometimes but no one admits it.

  • fearandclothingblog

    Also…
    Sometimes it’s not about the ethical issues, it’s about the personal budget. Obtaining the look without endangering the personal credit rating or bank balance You have to admit that some accessories are overpriced. I can give you a list of premier designers that expect us to pay thousands when their goods are made in China.
    I’m not saying that China manufacturers bad quality items, but in accepting this, you, and others, as well as myself, in fact all of us, accept communism, we accept a one party ruled nation and the fact that its workers have no rights. How is that for a moral implication? But brands such as Coach continue to have goods made in China.

    • Shelley

      I agree wholeheartedly with this comment about designers charging huge dollars for their brand whilst employing the lowest possible paid labour to produce them. Perhaps the same labour that also make the replicas. I’ve been a fan of replicas for quite a few years now, and I don’t feel I am ripping anyone off. When I was single I spent thousands on designer pieces, which do date believe it or not. Now I am married, I have children and a morgage I still like to have the ‘look’, I dont believe I’m a try hard, it just that my expendable income is far less than when I was single. In this day and time I believe their is room for both, there will always be the wealthy who will pay $8000 for a single item. I’m confident enough in who I am no matter whether I dress in chanel or target and I will continue to buy both

  • hazel

    That is an interesting study, I do think more studies with control groups and probably a larger/more varied sample need to be done before we can really say anything conclusive, but it is interesting anyway. It sounds plausible that the clothes you wear might make you act differently, I know that I’ve experienced acting with more decorum when I’m dresses nice and being loud and obnoxious when I dress loud. And morality is totally a slippery slope, I remember reading that people’s ideals change with their actions. For example if someone is totally against drinking, but then starts to drink to fit in or because it looks fun, they’ll rationalize it and change their view point rather than feel bad about drinking.

  • me

    Interesting. I think that many of the people who buy fakes don’t really see it as a crime, so it wouldn’t affect their moral standards. Some do, obviously, but there are plenty of women who aren’t aware of child labour, etc. and wouldn’t think about the intellectual property dilemma. I wonder if the glasses were really designer and fake or identical. And how anyone figured out who cheated on the math test.

  • Jen

    interesting article.. but the test doesn’t seem that convincing to me..
    also, i personally HATE counterfeit bags. i totally understand that not all people can buy several designer bags, but why does that mean you have to buy a fake one?! if i didn’t have the money to buy marc jacobs, chanel, w/e.. i would just buy a bag that’s in my budget, that ISN’T a knockoff.
    i think it would be more embarrassing to be caught with a counterfeit bag than a cheap bag.

  • sals

    i don’t think buying counterfeit bags necessarily makes you a bad person. different people have different priorities and for some, bags are not something they should spend big money on, even though they like the look of some authentic bags, and to a certain extend i can appreciate their decision.

    from my experience, when i try to warn people about the drug-trafficking and child labor connected with fake bags, they’re not convinced or maybe they don’t want to believe it. they usually think it is some kind of bag companies’ scheme to close the counterfeiters’ business, even if they news is from a legit source. they think it is ok, as long as it doesn’t happen to them or someone they know. i really wish there’s a way to let people know that it’s really not worth it to buy fakes, not only because there are illegal things going on in the background, but because they’re really wasting their money for something that’s not real, so buying it is really a disadvantage to themselves and not just other people.

  • RichK

    Is this what we’ve come to? Just because someone uses a counterfeit luxury good they are a “bad person” who makes an “unethical decision”? No. Someone who can’t afford $1,000 and up for a handbag will buy one for $100 that gives them the same feeling, the same look and the same impression on others. Some experts can point out a fake Louis Vuitton in a crowd, others cannot. But rather than thinking that a teenage girl carrying an imposter Louis Vuitton Bucket bag cheapens your authentic one, think of it as flattery that someone wants what you have. And with the manufacturers getting much more sophisticated, there are some knock-off products that are of the same quality as authentic ones.

    This is an ongoing debate that will never have a resolution, but for the sake of being polite, please don’t call someone who buys a non-authentic product a “bad person” because they aren’t. How about stroking your egos and thinking of them as people who are jealous of you?

  • Olga

    I agree with RichK and I don’t think this study was well-conducted, but I’d love to see the results of a similiar study that was better structurized.

  • MissB

    I agree with RichK too…this test is ridiculous just reading it. Is it implying that people who don’t buy auth are all the immoral people of the world and the reason why society is so corrupted?? Are you serious?

    and please, it’s not even a real study, no control group, no validated method to see who is “cheating on a test” and then automatically attempting to link it because of sunglasses? and you can’t just put 20 people in the room and make a sweeping claim on MORALITY of all things. Again, I agree with what RickK said.

  • victoria

    I agree with RichK too…. These desighners are way out of line with the prices and the markups they put on these so called luxury goods. 2500 for a handbag give me a break! As long is the designers keep increasing the prices the way they do this will never end.

  • hpb2c

    I do not think buying a fake bag makes a bad person, and neither does cheating on a math test. There is more to it when determining whether someone is bad or good.

    However, buying a fake bag to “stick it” to a company who charges high prices is RIDICULOUS.

    I am sure there are lots of other luxury goods and services that are overpriced, like nannies or landscapers, so maybe I should just find some child slaves to do the work for me for cheap! That’ll show that rent-a-nanny!

  • KathyB

    I agree with RichK and Victoria. As long as the designers keep raising the prices of handbags and such to levels that become impossible to afford, the counterfeit market will remain and will continue to flourish.

    I’m not a fan of counterfeit bags, either, but you can’t let a handbag define you — fake or otherwise.

  • DTC

    Actually I agree with the conclusion. “What I think is most interesting, however, is that this study seems to confirm a lot of people’s criticisms of those that buy fakes: that they’re essentially comfortable with deception and unconcerned with the ethical ramifications of their choices, as long as they like the end result”

    Let’s think about it this way… identify the unethical choices being made: 1) someone who downloads a pirated movie, 2) someone who steals television satellite signals, or 3) someone who shoplifts from a boutique. In all three cases, unethical choices are being made – in fact, it’s theft. It’s just that the further away we can identify a “victim”, the more likely that we think of the behavior as less unacceptable.

    At the end of the day, what one needs to determine is if buying counterfeit bags is wrong. Unethical is this context points that people who are willing to purchase fake bags are are willing to break rules, specifically laws. Which brings it back to the author’s conclusion that one that knowingly breaks laws is comfortable with deception and are unconcerned with the ethical ramifications of their choices.

  • dangster

    I think don’t think people who buy fake handbags are necessarily bad, but it can say a lot of things about that person. When a person knowingly and willingly purchases a fake bag, to me this says:

    1) They can’t afford the real thing (obviously).
    2) They are so desperate to be perceived in a certain way (rich, stylish, trendy, better-than-everyone-else, etc) that they’re willing to resort to deception so that others will view them that way.
    3) They have no moral qualms about enabling illegal activity.

    Probably 95%+ of the world population can’t afford a real designer bag. And you know, that’s perfectly fine. I can’t (realistically) afford a $1000+ designer bag either. Sure, there are many designer bags that I admire and I would like to own one, but I’m not gonna spend next month’s rent just so that I can get the “it” bag of the moment. It’s not that important to me, so I just stick to what I can afford (Marc by Marc Jacobs, in my case). The “I-don’t-have-enough-money-to-buy-a-designer-bag” argument doesn’t fly with me. If you can’t afford something, DON’T BUY IT. No one needs a LV purse that badly.

    I agree with Jen that it would be far more embarrassing to be caught with a fake bag than a cheap one. I’ll go with a cheap authentic bag over a fake designer bag any day. At least my conscience will be clear.

    What I got from reading about this article was, if a person is willing to sacrifice authenticity and enable illegal activity in name of appearances, what else would they resort to in order to achieve something else? It’s a slippery slope.

    • Shelley

      I feel sorry for you after reading this comment. Who are you to judge what makes a person tick because of their ability to afford or not to buy authentic designer. Many large designer companies over the years have used exactly the same labour to produce their goods as the replica designers do. The big design companies are more interested in turning a huge profit than buy paying a pitance to an asian workfore with little concern for the welfare of the workers who produce their product. Its easy for them to turn a blind eye in pursuit of profit. At least people who buy replicas show some common sense, whilst people who buy authentic are really trying to say I’m better than you, maybe they too should consider replicas and give the saved money to a charity that helps these impoverished people. It is well documented that people with the least are the most charitable

  • dangster

    I should also add that the purchase of counterfeit goods is NOT illegal in the US. So if you buy a fake handbag, you have not broken any laws (which is probably why some people don’t feel bad about it). However, you will have enabled illegal activity–mainly the distribution/sale of counterfeit goods.

  • JojoBean

    An interesting study, but as others have pointed out, it may or may not be methodologically sound. As someone who works full time in biobehavioral research, I can say that a control group is oft considered one of the “gold standards” of RCT’s (randomized controlled trials) but isn’t always necessary. Important too are things like generalizability, power, and the type of analyses performed.

    Anyway, as someone who owns both real luxury handbags AND a select few counterfeits, I would say that for me, affordability isn’t really the issue. Neither is “fitting in”, or giving an impression of wealth. For me, it’s more about (believe it or not) things like weather and application.

    For example, I own a real LV Hudson, as well as a counterfeit Hudson. When the sun is shining and I’m going to be in the office all day, bringing along the real Hudson is fine. But if I really want to carry that bag, and it’s stormy…or if I’m going somewhere that it might get ruined (happy hour at the local bar, let’s say), I’m apt to carry the counterfeit. Although I can afford luxury bags, I don’t have enough EXTRA money that I’d be OK laying out another $1695 if Hudson got ruined (which happened to my Alma, when she collided with a gin and tonic that ruined her pristine vachetta).

    So does that make me a bad person? I guess one might argue that on those days that are inclement or not suited to an expensive bag, I could just throw my stuff into a Coach (which I think could get run over by a Mack truck and be unaffected) and get on with it. But I like being able to carry the bag I want, when I want.

    I’m sure I might be the exception rather than the rule, and I’m sure there are many of you booing and hissing at my willingness to carry a counterfeit.

    But just for the record, they don’t make me cheat on tests, they don’t make me feel more powerful, and they don’t try to portray something I’m not. They just protect my investments!

  • the authentic self

    What about the other side – the pretentious side of carrying around an over-priced “authentic” handbag. “Look at me, I’m so rich (or my credit cards are maxed) and I have this thousand dollar designer bag – I must be special.” It would be interesting to see if people feel like they can buy self-confidence and that’s why they are stuck in the designer trap.

    Seriously, it’s just a handbag.

  • JojoBean

    Self:

    To you, it might be “just a handbag” much as to me, a collection of rare and expensive wines might be “just alcohol”.

    We all have vices; things we love, yearn for, are touched by, and are attracted to….and for me, that happens to be handbags.

    I own many bags across the spectrum from cheap Target bags to expensive LV’s. My obsession started at a young age, and one of my most cherished bags is my first “designer” bag–a $50 blue logo Liz Claiborne that my grandmother bought me in 1989.

    So while I appreciate your view, just remember that it’s not always about being pretentious.

  • dela

    JojoBean:

    I admire your honesty but why do you need to carry a fake LV in bad weather? Why not buy an authentic bag that costs less? Obviously, you want to be seen with a LV at any cost and, despite you rationalizations, you have fallen into the same trap (as dangster points out) as most fake bag supporters. Unless you feel fake LV better inhabits the qualities you are looking for in a handbag.

  • JojoBean

    Dela:

    Thank you for your forthright opinions.

    I certainly don’t need to be seen with an LV “at any cost”. I’m just as likely to be seen with a cheap authentic bag as I am with an LV, Balenciaga, etc. When I choose a bag to wear on any given day, I consider several things: what I’m wearing, where I’m going, how much I need to carry, etc.

    I carry bags because I love them, or because they’re functional, or (hopefully) both. If, for example, I’m dying to carry my LV because it goes with what I’m wearing, but I’m afraid it’s going to rain, it’s my personal preference to be able to carry “it” without fear of ruining it.

    And just for the record, I’m very open about my counterfeits. I’ve had people approach me (friends and strangers alike) and ask if a particular bag is authentic. If it is, I say it is, and if it’s not, I say it’s not. In fact, I’m so honest about it that when I bought my friend a 100% authentic straight-from-the-store Coach tote for her birthday, she asked me immediately if it was real because she knows I carry both kinds.

    And also for the record, I don’t own any counterfeits of bags that I don’t already own.

  • RichK

    Props to JojoBean for being upfront with her bags!

    So after writing my comment, I went out to the beach. In Miami, there are tons of people with Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, etc. and they are both authentic and non-authentic. Anyway, a girl sat down near me and had a Louis Vuitton Neverful with her as a beach bag. I was inspired after reading this article to walk by and see if her bag was real.

    It turned out that one of my friends knew this girl from college, which was a major plus in getting near her bag, and as it turns out, it was fake. I complimented her bag, she said thanks, and we walked away. I didn’t look at this girl as “hungry for attention and status” or “a supporter of terrorism and child labor”. She just a person on the beach, who happened to have a Louis Vuitton bag, authenticity issues nonwithstanding. In fact, I thought nothing of it until I got home and decided to check this website one more time.

    If I was to say “Wow, that girl is terrible for carrying a fake Louis Vuitton bag. Who does she think she is cheapening the value of my Keepall?!?!” wouldn’t that make me sound rude, negative, and simply put, downright petty? And if I really sat and pondered the meaning of real vs. fake, good vs. evil, ethics vs. morals vs. neither of the two, how much of a waste of time would that be?

    Purse fanatics or not, lets leave this topic alone and move onto a better one…can a guy carry a Damier Neverful and look masculine? (I was inspired by the girl on the beach…)

  • JojoBean

    RichK:

    I’m in Miami as well (hi neighbor!).

    And yes, counterfetis and authentics both abound here. I’m sure I could make a second career out of deciphering which were which, but I doubt it would be a lucrative endeavor *lol*.

    Thanks for your props…and I agree, there’s better things to discuss….

    So in answer to your question, I would think no….the Damier Neverfull (while probably the most manly of canvases out there) could NOT be masculine :D

  • dela

    JojoBean:

    I am afraid, I don’t understand your reasoning. By carrying your counterfeit LV you are essentially emulating real LV’s look. Isn’t that a common factor among all counterfeit bag owners? You seem like a stylish person and I am sure you won’t have any problem finding some fabulous original stand-ins for your expensive bags.
    I like that you are honest about your counterfeits, but it still contributes to the infringement of copyrights, illegal trade practices etc..

  • JojoBean

    Dela:

    I’m certainly not going to give argument to your points about trademark infringement, etc. Those are valid and meritorious points, but the 5 counterfeits I own don’t keep me up at night; am I immoral and callous because of that? That’s another thread, I suppose.

    But perhaps this will help explain my point, using your own quote:

    “By carrying your counterfeit LV you are essentially emulating real LV’s look”

    Of course I am; and I own the real bag as well…so why is it any different when I carry the real one on Monday, and the counterfeit one on Tuesday? Some bags are work horses, some are show horses….and in some cases, durability and resilience aren’t strong points of the show horses. So if I’m getting all glitzed up for a raucous night on the town, and I want to carry a show horse, but I don’t want to ruin a $1000 plus bag, I carry the counterfeit. I simply see it as protecting my investment, which I’d like to enjoy in ANY weather or situation, but isn’t always possible or practical.

    I’m about to bow out of this thread, as I’m going home to start the weekend….

    Thanks for your comments, and I hope everyone has a great Easter!

  • dela

    JojoBean:

    I don’t make judgments about people’s characters based on their fondness for counterfeit products. But, I feel like we are going in circles. Your need to have a LV clone does, in a way, shows your need to be seen with an obvious designer bag even when it’s not conducive to your authentic LV’s well being. I wouldn’t call it protecting your investment for that you can buy an original “work horse.” After all, different horse are never supposed to be identical.

  • dangster

    RichK, you may not have viewed the girl with the fake LV as “hungry for attention and status” or a “supporter of terrorism and child labor”, but when *anyone* willingly buys a fake designer/status bag, it still means that they want to be perceived in a certain way. Hence the fake bag.

    Also, isn’t Miami the land of fake breasts?

  • MissLoveChanel

    I am with Jojobean on this. I don’t carry fake bags but I DO wear fake jewels. Like Jojobean’s bags, they are often replicas of jewels I actually own. I live in LA and feel that I want to look nice to go out somewhere fancy. It’s not because I have some need to “feel wealthy” or “fool others”. I don’t know about the rest of the country but in LA you are treated much better if you are perceived to be financially healthy. You get better treatment in restaurants, shops, and so on. Try going to the Chanel boutique on Robertson dressed in cheap sweats wearing Target sunglasses and carrying a Wal-Mart bag. See how quickly you are offered help and how respectfully you are treated. Go the next day in your True Religions and Prada sunglasses, and carrying your (authentic) Chanel bag. Don’t you think others respond differently to you depending on how you present yourself? I’m not saying it’s necessarily right to judge based on appearances but any one of us would be lying if they said they never did it. In fact it’s human nature to make snap decisions based on immediate perceptions; it’s an evolutionarily sound survival skill (quick, do I need to throw a spear at that sickly, limping saber-toothed lion or at the huge glossy one slinking toward me?).
    Call me insecure, but I feel more comfortable in an upscale environment if I am dressed as if I belong there. I’m not going to wear diamond studs when I go shopping because if I lose one when trying on shirts I’d rather lose a thirty dollar cubic zirconia earring than a $1000 diamond one. Does that make me immoral? As for supporting illegal activities; I lived for a couple of years in a third world country, and believe me, bad things will happen in places like that regardless of what we do here. I am not one of those who think America is the root of all evil; those nations are the way they are because of their own cultures. They need to change from the inside out or through ;political moves made by world leaders. If Jojobean didn’t buy a faux Hudson, third world nations would make or grow or prostitute something else– because their economies are unsound and their leaders are corrupt; not because Americans are greedy slaves to fashion.

  • Kathy

    ” As for supporting illegal activities; I lived for a couple of years in a third world country, and believe me, bad things will happen in places like that regardless of what we do here. I am not one of those who think America is the root of all evil; those nations are the way they are because of their own cultures. They need to change from the inside out or through ;political moves made by world leaders.”

    I’ve lived in a third world country for nearly all of my life and I honestly don’t think you have the faintest idea of what you’re talking about. I was very much offended when you said “those nations are the way they are because of their own cultures.” Of all the things you said, that was the most presumptuous and judgmental. Most third world countries are in the position they are now because of the first world countries who thoroughly exploited them. MissLoveChanel, I challenge you to please give me an example of a first world country that did not get the wealth and power it possesses today by means other than the exploitation of another country.

    And what do you think happens once the resources of these countries were viciously raped and taken away? Please don’t say we are the way we are because of our own culture. We third world people, especially the most destitute among us resort to doing things wouldn’t have normally done in situations that were less desperate. It’s difficult to “change from the inside out” when the “world leaders” you referred to once promised us a better life and a better “culture” a long time ago when all they did was betray us and left us in a situation much, much worse than when they found us in the first place. So if there is a dark side to our culture, then I’d say that our exploiters are partly responsible for that. They wanted to teach us a thing or two and boy, did we learned from them. Unfortunately, they weren’t very good things.

    You are right about one thing, though. Bad things will happen “in places like this” but it was not regardless of what you do there. Bad things happen here partially as a result of what was once done to us, what is still being done to us and most especially because of what people over there don’t do. I hope my message in the latter part came across.

  • Kathy

    “If Jojobean didn’t buy a faux Hudson, third world nations would make or grow or prostitute something else– because their economies are unsound and their leaders are corrupt; not because Americans are greedy slaves to fashion.”

    And doesn’t America have an unsound economy and corrupt leaders as well?

    For a country that has such a diverse population and boasts of liberalism and open-mindedness, I found your statements to be so insulting and offensive and what’s worse is that I don’t think you even meant to sound that way. I mean, you were just trying to justify the purchase of counterfeit good. While I could understand some of the points of your argument, just please, leave your opinions about third world countries out of it. Out of all the adjectives I could use to describe what you just said, the most apt would be to call it ‘insensitive.’

  • dangster

    MissLoveChanel, I think you are missing the point. Wearing a cubic zirconia earrings is very different from wearing a counterfeit designer purse. Why? Counterfeit goods are illegal, period. The fact that someone would be willing to buy an illegal item and help enable an illegal activity makes me wonder about their moral judgment. CZ earrings, on the other hand, are not by any means illegal or immoral. It’s a gem that happens to be the same color as a diamond, but a lot cheaper. It certainly doesn’t make you a bad person.

    You are right, however, that our society places so much emphasis on appearances that it allows things like the counterfeit handbag trade to exist.

  • RichK

    Dangster,
    Honestly, this is all too exhausting. Is counterfeiting handbags against the law? Yes. Is the moral judgement of someone who buys a counterfeit Gucci bag something to wonder about? Most likely, no. There is no direct correllation between purchasing a fake handbag and doing something reprehensible, unless of course, you think that carrying a fake handbag is reprehensible. If you do, I think that I should start wondering about your moral judgement.

    When someone goes to a swap meet or a dealer and buys an imposter bag, they are buying into a look, an idea, an air of exclusivity if you will. When someone goes to Saks and maxes out their credit cards buying a bag or two, they are also buying into that look. And when someone goes to the boutique and pays cash (or pays off their charge to get the American Express points) for a handbag, yet again, they are buying into that look. Everyone is on par with everyone else in some way, shape, or form.

    I am one of the saps who gets suckered into buying Louis Vuitton bags year after year. Why do I pay thousands of dollars for bags made of vinyl with a few scraps of leather around them? I don’t know. They are more fun than anything else, more for entertainment for myself and just to have I suppose. I don’t put any value into what I have, because at the end of the day, a bag is just a bag is just a bag. The craftsmanship could be amazing on it, but again, its just a bag.

    So maybe the fact that I really don’t take myself too seriously and I think of the Louis Vuitton products I have as fun things gives me a little bit of humor when thinking about real vs. fake. Like I said, the girl with the fake bag on the beach faded into a memory when I walked away. I doubt I should wonder about her moral judgement and worry about what decisions she will make because of the bag she carried.

    And yes, Miami is the fake breast capital of the world, but hers were real.

  • DTC

    RichK,

    “If you do, I think that I should start wondering about your moral judgment.”

    Moral judgment aside – what about the economic judgment? I have yet to see a fake bag outlast a real one! I would not spend $5 on a fake bag knowing that it’ll probably rip/tear/fall apart on me within the year.

    Basically a person who is carrying a replica is carrying a prop – IT’S NOT REAL!! These people are playing PRETEND. I know you’ll counter that thought by stating that it’s a physical bag that has structure and holds things thus is very real in a corporeal sense .. but the question you need to ask to if would that same person carry that same replica bag if it had “FAKE” stamped over it? There’s your assessment on moral judgment!

    “I am one of the saps who gets suckered into buying Louis Vuitton bags year after year. Why do I pay thousands of dollars for bags made of vinyl with a few scraps of leather around them?”

    Correct me if I’m wrong but LV bags are not actually vinyl but 100% treated Egyptian cotton effectively creating the canvas underlying the Monogram or Damier patterns.

    am disappointed that after spending thousands of dollars

  • DTC

    damn cut and paste… to finish my last thought.. I would be disappointed that after spending thousands of dollars on LV bags that the underlying fabric is basically plastic…

  • MissLoveChanel

    Kathy, thanks for sharing your views with me. I’m sorry you were offended by my comments. As clarification and so you understand where I’m coming from, I’ll elaborate. I lived in Colombia, South America; a gorgeous country full of hardworking, intelligent and wonderful people. Unfortunately, some illegal things happen there that have NOTHING to do with the USA. I didn’t live there in an insulated Americanized home, but with a large Colombian family whom I came to love. The ways of politics are very wide-ranging and I truly believe that America has helped at least as much, and hopefully more, than we have hurt other nations. We are the first to send humanitarian aid during disasters and have historically moved to defend weaker nations. Also, I CAN name a country that wasn’t founded on raping another country………England. Italy. Switzerland. I could go on but I fear we are using the term “rape” very loosely, so I won’t. History in general, from the dawn of civilization, is a series of one group of people overunning another people’s land through various means, including economic, lingual, religious and so on. China is running over Tibet. Many other world nations are now battling for land. Often both sides have valid arguments and only later will historians look back and decide who “raped” who.
    That said, I’d also like to clarify that I have no negative feelings against people from other nations. That, if you knew me, would be a laughable idea. I have two wonderful sisters who are half Colombian. My other sister was adopted from El Salvador. My brother is married to a Chinese woman who was born and raised in China. They have two lovely and intelligent daughters. That’s just for starters…I won’t even begin to go into the ethnic array of my friends. I live in a cosmopolitan city and my circle is highly diverse. The USA is not perfect, and we have added to our share of problems in the world. But so has any large nation over the course of history (See France, see Spain, see England, see Holland…and that’s before there ever was a USA). I still hold that nations have to change from the inside out, by which I mean that they must take their leaders and cultures in hand (See France, see Iran, see Germany…) and begin to move in whatever direction they need to. And yes, this applies to the USA as well;-)
    As for ‘zirconia versus diamonds’ is as to ‘faux versus authentic’, I am limiting my comparison to the social; as in, is it tricking someone into thinking one is something they aren’t if one wears an item that purports to be an item of higher value than it actually is.
    As for politics, what I said was not meant to offend and is my personal view; to which each of us is entitled. I am open to other opinions and can, like anyone, speak only from my own experience, knowledge and feelings. However, like any loyal patriot of any country in the world, I don’t like to see mine blamed out of proportion. I believe the world is an interconnected, living organism and I am in favor of each one of us taking responsibility for and doing whatever we can to improve it…..Now let’s get back to purses already:-)

  • RichK

    Like I’ve always said, DTC, everyone has an opinion about this. Would someone buy a bag that said FAKE on it? Probably not. But since you now know that our Louis Vuitton bags are not Eqyptian cotton but merely coated vinyl (Marc Jacobs said it, I just repeated it), does the bag still hold the same luster and allure that it did before? Probably yes.

    Whatever the motivation behind buying a bag (greed, snobbery, desire, love of the product, etc), at the end of the day, if someone buys a fake, who cares?

  • Lotte Decker

    As I was reading all the comments, the following struck me:
    Fake buyers think that real buyers are fashion-industry dupes; real buyers think that fake buyers are cheapskates that want everyone to think they’re rich.

    Does this not imply that buyers of the authentic item want the world to see, that they are rich – richer than others …?
    What ever the reason, as long as one can buy a fake, some will buy them. It has nothing to do with moral, but with financial affordability.
    Take a painting: There are those who can afford the original, others must be satisfied with a signed print or serigraph, and then there are the $ 10.00 prints of no value – but the buyer is happy. Everybody has to stay in their own pricerange.

  • Lotte Decker

    Lets talk about the Law:
    The *brands* are much more legally protected in the US than in other countries. Bags that look exactly like *Hermes* are being manufactured in Italy – of course on the inside these bags show the correct manufacturer.
    Therefore they are not considered ILLEGAL and are being sold in Europe, shipped to South Korea, Japan and everywhere else EXCEPT to the US!!
    WHY?
    Because US law protects the *brands* in a way they are not protected anywhere else.
    Does any of you lovable handbag fashionistas and bloggers remember the Hermes-Kelly Look-a-like made out of rubber??? They came in every color, they were fun and inexpensive. Hermes never made a bag in rubber and there was no tag that actually mentioned *Hermes*!!!
    However:
    Here in the US Hermes started a multimillion Dollar lawsuit against the American manufacturer and ultimately forced the US company to stop production.
    The laws in Europe did not permit such a suit ….
    And I bet you one thing:
    Hermes was most upset, that THEIR HOUSE had not come up with the idea, because the *Jelly* Kelly bags made millions for the American company before they were forced to shut down –
    Just immagine how much profit Hermes could have made, if only they had come up with the idea……

    By the way – I do not hate Hermes or any brand – my original thread *Hermes – Classic or old? was intended to start a discussion and from all the heated comments the thread has received, I succeeded in doing just that.
    Thanks for all your comments.

  • denim53

    Professor Dan Ariely has done many interesting experiments on the psychology of economics and consumer behavior, which he has written about in his book “Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape our Decisions.” From what I have read, his studies on the effects of counterfeit brands were solid. He used a large enough sample and random assignment to experimental groups (“fake” versus “real”).

    Some of the criticisms of the study miss the point. His study did not test whether people who choose to use counterfeit products are different from people who don’t. It also didn’t address the moral “goodness” or “badness” of people who use versus don’t use counterfeit products. The experiment simply tested whether people who were persuaded or induced to use a product that they believed was counterfeit would be more likely to behave dishonestly in other domains than would people who believed that they were using the real brand. The experiment showed that this was in fact the case–the people who believed that they were using the counterfeit were more likely to cheat in other unrelated areas.

    The experiment doesn’t really need a “control group” for the purpose of determining whether knowingly using a counterfeit product increases the likelihood of dishonesty. The two experimental conditions (“fake” versus “real”) are sufficient to make the causal inference that knowingly using a counterfeit product increases dishonesty. It would have been useful to use a third group to determine the “base rate” of dishonest behavior absent the knowing use of either real or fake products. But overall, I think this is a very interesting study with implications for consumer behavior generally.

  • Brittany

    I think that counterfeits should have stricter law. Many of my friends carry fakes, and it annoys me have to death. They often say, “Oh, know one can tell.” The truth is, many people can tell. I have been an avid person for designer stuff, and I PLENTY know how to spot a fake handbag. It should be illegal, if it already isn’t. If I tried to carry one of those so-called “bags,” my conscience would get to me (and my fashion sense) before I left the house. There are many people that carry fake bags, but I want it to STOP! GRRRRRRR…

  • dacs

    I’m having a hard time distinguishing what’s really fake here. The bags or the people? Why must people impose their elitist dogma on everyone? Most people say “oh it’s the principal of the matter..” What princples could they possibly gain if they know whether or not 3.2 million women are wearing knock offs or the real thing? Are they really losing that much sleep over this issue? I would much rather see a REAL person wearing a fake bag than a FAKE person wearing a real bag. I’m not concluding that everyone who opposes counterfeits is fake. I’m just talking about the tiny margin of people who carry that elitist attitude with it.

    Mademoiselle Coco Chanel wore knock offs of her own line. Mind you, she was very open about it. Now what does that say about her as a designer? She did that to prove to women that it doesn’t matter if what you’re wearing is real or fake. What matters is how you feel in what you are wearing. Her belief was that fashion should be accessible to everyone, as it should be. Just because you cannot afford to buy a Chanel suit doesn’t mean you’re not worthy enough to be stylish.

    There is and will always be an ever present stigma that the best fashion=more money. I feel sorry for the women that have to work overtime just to get that LV and for the women who lack confidence because they can’t afford everything in the pretty magazines.

    I think true ‘style’ encompasses not just fashion but your ‘lifestyle’ as well. Given the present economic conditions, many people in debt are young professional women who frivolously spend their money on the transitory ‘it’ pieces. It’s very sad watching a pretty girl carrying a LV ordering from the dollar menu at McDonalds. I’m pretty sure if Mademoiselle Chanel was still around she would be appalled at how women are becoming more and more slaves to fashion.

    As an aspiring fashion designer I want so much to change how the world perceives what is beautiful and what is real. What a beautiful world it would be if everyone wore their raw emotions.

    • more_bags

      Well said and I agree with you completely. What is this really about here? Is this really about morals, ethics and laws being violated? Or is about that fact that the person who’s spent thousands of dollars on one handbag does not want their look imitated? Ask yourselves this before you get on your moral high horse and criticize someone else for their choices.

  • Kathy

    Dear MissLoveChanel,
    Thank you for taking the time to explain your side of things. Just one more thing – England had HK as a colony. I’m not sure about tiny countries like Italy or Switzerland cos I’m too tired to look it up but I will take your word for it. Yes, let’s get back to bags. :)

  • Empress

    Wow. Interesting article. I have to say this: I own authentic designer brand purses, but I am not opposed to purchasing a replica of an item. If it looks the same and serves the same purpose and costs a fraction of a fraction of the brand name, then I’ll buy it (not stolen, not illegal). Purchasing purses have always been for function and price, not so that anyone would think I have money or not. My self-worth has (and never will be) dependent upon my material goods. I like how the Hermes Birkin looks. I would love to own one. I like squarish bags. Do I want to spend $7000 on one? NO. I have dear friends that could afford to buy two or three a year and they have chastised me for spending more than $100 on a bag! Are they frugal? Or do they know something I don’t since I don’t reside in the same financial bracket? Or perhaps they are wealthy because they aren’t dropping $7k on a purse? Some buy handbags like some people buy paintings or cars or knick knacks… it’s what they do.

  • dangster

    People, many here are forgetting one thing about counterfeit bags–they are COUNTERFEIT. It means they are NOT LEGAL and the act of buying them means you are enabling someone to commit crimes. It is illegal because, in a sense, it is like identity theft. This is the reason behind the counterfeiting controversy.

    Is the mere act of CARRYING a fake handbag wrong? No (although it is tacky). But it is not morally wrong. However, the fact that you bought it off of some street vendor in Chinatown IS morally reprehensible, because you just helped someone commit a crime and an illegal trade.

    I wish that the act of buying counterfeit bags was punishable by law. It would make people think twice about helping a illegal trade to flourish.

  • Kathy

    dangster – In Paris, if they catch you carrying a fake LV bag, they confiscate it and ban you from France because it’s that big of an insult to them.

  • Koekie

    I think that study was pointless.I bet you that the funding for these kind of ‘studies’ are funded by those big names to play on consumers ethical behaviour. Why must the big guys get the monopoly?I mean seriously.I believe in good quality.
    A stunning bag will make you look stunning,fake or not.

  • Bee

    I’m amazed at the thoughts provoked by this article.

    I come from a small Asian country where counterfeit apparel are rampant and are widely accepted. People don’t have a problem seeing someone carry fake stuff and we don’t judge that person at all.

    It’s just a matter of personal choice. Over here, we all know that 90% of the apparel out there are Made in China and the prices are just ridiculously marked up because of a brand. I’ve just bought a winter jacket for a $450, and my friend just laughed and said it was made in China and I could have gotten the exact looking thing for $20 tops in Beijing, maybe even with the label on.

    Two of my colleagues were having tea with me last week and I was gushing at their gorgeous Panerai watches. Until they started comparing whose watch was a better A grade fake. It was really funny. And these two guys are the top bankers in our company and have networth in the millions. They do drive real BMWs though.

    Some of us just hold the opinion that it is ridiculous to pay that huge price tag for a bag, but we still like to copy the look because it looks good.

    The weird thing is while we have no problems with fake apparel out there, this is a community that frowns on fake boobs, fake chins, fake noses, fake teeth, fake faces and fake hair. In fact, up till about two years ago, even fake eye colour was not well accepted. In my country, I would be judged if I did botox of had a nose job, not if I was carrying a fake LV.

    It’s all a matter of perception and it’s really subjective how “fake” is or should be tolerated. I have carried both the real and fake stuff before and frankly, they didn’t make me feel better or worse for the day and I didn’t particularly feel prettier or more attractive because of a bag. Seriously, I think it would be pathetic if one’s mood or self-esteem for the day is determined by a bag.

    Like I said earlier, it’s all a matter of personal choice.

    Thanks for reading!

    • Ursula

      Well said! I use to be crew and worked abroad and could afford the real deal! But now that i’m a normal citizen in my own country earning a normal mans wage, i might consider a good quality fake for the 1st time in my life… a reality check maybe? You are not judged for the bag on your arm! If so that’s really sad what this world is coming to!!!

  • Jean

    Let’s go back to the root of the problem –

    (1) Women out there yearn for a bag and WILL pay $20,000 for the bag.

    which leads to –

    (2) The increase in the value of the bag and the brand to charge that kind of price for a bag. (because women DO pay for it).

    which leads to –

    (3) Counterfeits springing up and the growth of the counterfeit goods market.

    which leads to –

    (4) Third world countries being exploited.

    So, if you look at the chain, it’s the women out there who would pay $20,000 for JUST a bag that are the root of the problem. Come on, brand or no brand, finest leather or PVC, it is STILL a bag. It has no additional functions other than to carry one’s personal belongings.

    IF these women STOPPED paying that kind of money for a bag. It would be worth nothing and counterfeits would not be produced and third world countries would be less exploited.

    In my opinion, it is morally wrong to pay $20,000 for a bag, because (1) that sum of money is equivalent to some families’ annual income that feeds many mouths and (2) it encourages the counterfeit market which hurts the 3rd world countries.

  • christy

    I personally don’t like fake anything. If you simply can not afford say a Louis vuitton or a chanel, which are the most replicated. Then don’t buy it. You can tell when a louis a fake. The leather doesn’t tan, it unravels instead! Really who are you fooling! Imo, You should just get something less expensive. Like coach. kate spade dooney. Or go to an outlet or a resale shop! These designers work hard to have a rep, the black market supports things that are not good! I hate fakes, I invested alot of money in the real thing!

  • F

    To MissLoveChanel,

    “We are the first to send humanitarian aid during disasters and have historically moved to defend weaker nations. Also, I CAN name a country that wasn’t founded on raping another country………England. Italy. Switzerland.”

    Actually England colonized more than just Hong Kong. Early English settlers also took over Canada, India, South Africa, the British Virgin Isles, Australia, and the United States (to name a few) in search of land, resources, and wealth. Sometimes these colonialists exploited the original inhabitants. (i.e. slavery, residential schools for First Nations people, etc…) Italy colonized Somalia and Libya in the late 1800s (among other small countries) for land and resources. As you can see, many present day Third World problems indeed stem from exploitation, laws, and culture imposed by one group onto another group. Please review your history before you boldly declare “facts”.

  • misytropics

    I was given a gift from a friend A so called Prada -she really thought it was real and it is adorable and I fell in love with it.It is a pink bag not quite baby pink, nice, firm shape, brass looking straps on leather. Now as I did some research I know the bag is fake, and I feel bad ,to use it with the logo on the front,Knowing it is not authentic. Whats worse is it is made in China,I love the bag and wish I could remove the logo,just to use it. Also do not want to hurt my friends feelings-(-Any thoughts) on what to do. Thanks all

  • Anonymous

    I think counterfeit bags are totally ok PROVIDED you buy a really GOOD fake (well made with the same materials as the original) and also of course in a model and size and color that the original company makes!
    Also, to pull off the GENUINE game, you need to dress in better clothes while carrying such a bag and not be seen getting off a public bus, or hopping around stores like Walmart, Payless etc!!! Often enough I see women carrying brand name bags, and although I feel bad about it, the first thought that comes to my mind is “Is it fake or genuine?” I then sum up the rest of the woman’s attributes to come to a conclusion!!
    Also I feel that fake bags ought to be a no-no for someone in their late teens and early twenties….most people are not financially ready for brand name bags at that stage so the probability is higher that others will correctly conclude that your bag IS a fake!

  • Angour

    To MissLoveChanel,

    I fully agree with F. You boldly put England as first in your list and conveniently ignore the fact that England very famously thoroughly exploited India for example…. Italy did not just get created on its own either – I shall remind you about Roman Empire and it’s conquests and exploitations as well… There isn’t a single “first world” country that at one point or another did not exploit other nations

  • jenny

    I would like to know how to tell if a bag is counterfiet or not. i think the prices of these bags are way out of line anyway but i did receive two only to find out the person that got them was told they were originals and they did not know so they purchased them How do you tell the idfference?

  • Anonymous

    I know the times I bought items on Ebay that turned out to be fake, that those items had a negative energy. I felt it even before opening the package that the it was fake. I’ve returned each fake item. I can’t carry or wear fakes and I spot them from mile. Sometimes conterfeiters use pictures of authentic items to get there products sold. Even a good fake does not come close to the real deal….

  • anonymous

    Have seen both good quality fake bags as well as the real deal at authentic stores for a particular famous brand and honestly couldn’t tell much of a difference. I do know there are people who profess of an ability to “spot a fake a mile off”. I guess that there are fakes and then there are fakes, but I feel that most people are out of touch with the high standards that some masters of replicas can achieve. All it does for me is show just how much brand name companies are ripping people off just for, well, their name, and not much else! Just because labor is cheap in one country and expensive in another does not necessarily mean that cheap laborers will produce sub-standard goods…I feel that when one buys from an authentic brand name, one pays 20% for the product and 80% for the name and I would rather pay only for the product!

  • Discount Jeans

    Nice Articles, thanks for this, I really liked your blog!

  • Sale Best Ugg

    going home to the province for my mom’s bday!

  • Haidee

    i would rather buy and carry an inexpensive generic bag than buy a replica. some people don’t understand it is a crime and promotes other criminal acts. if i can’t afford the real thing, i’m not gonna buy a fake just so i can impress other people. who am i kidding?

  • LOL Erykah

    I normally do not comment on certain blogs etc but I have to say first, “what does the price of tea in China have to do with anything. In this study one has nothing to do with the other. Furthermore if you want to question ethics ask what extremes have some went through to obtain authentic handbags (wonder if the percentages would change).

    I’m concerned that a blogger commented and said the police may be too busy with high profile murders and killings. You may want a do over with that comment because the world is bad enough as it is and would be worst if the police were to start backburning murderers and killings to pursue people selling replicas. There are so many more important things the police could be doing and i don’t want my tax dollars spent on catching replica sellers or replica buyers. Know what you are buying and if you want an authentic purse go to a reputable store. If you want to be frugal and take a chance on getting a replica by all means buy from whoever has what you like with the assmuption it is not authentic and do not pay an authentic price. This study does not make any sense at all, it only shows that the creater does not like counterfeit products and aims to degrade anyone selling or buying these products.

  • April

    I personally don’t feel bad buying a knock off. It kind of sickens me that “designers” make such UGLY overpriced crap and then whine because someone replicates it and “steals” their profit. Most designer junk is ugly as hell and I wouldn’t be caught wearing anyways. Then on top of that they charge crazy amounts of money. Who’s the one laughing all the way to the bank…..yeah the “designers”… And people stand up for them because some people who really like their designs but can’t afford $5000 for a freaking PURSE go out and buy a knockoff. Get a life and stop whining you money hungry greedy pigs.

  • deacc

    The age old excuse of “because I like the design” is pathetic. There are plenty of non premier designers bag that has similar shape to those of the popular premier designers bag. Prices of those bags can range from $30-$200. The only reason why people buy fakes is because they want to pretend they have the real deal. That’s it. All other reasons they try to use is just excuses to cover up the real reason.

  • Cocolocco

    As a homemaker, I’m just practical with my expenses that I’d rather buy overruns and not fakes… Overruns are items that did not pass the quality control before it is accepted from the factory by the designer for distribution… Thus, either the logo was stamped or unstamped yet… I come to get hold a certain bag which I was so attracted with the style and design… A day before purchasing it, I googled the history of such uniquely shaped bag, hence I found it – It was the Givenchy Pandora Bag! So I did bought it because I really like the bag style and secondly its a style by Givenchy… With no Givenchy stamp in front, that made me feel good as well. Givenchy Pandora costs $2,000+ and online, you could get it with a 50%… This discount give me wonders as well why give such a big discount… The actual item I bought from a local boutique has also a 50% discount from original price of $150, for its one of their last stocks.

    For me, I consider these unstamped bags as ‘generic’ or over runs and NOT ‘fake’.

    Indeed I hate fake bags but I don’t hate the buyers of such bags… That’s their business for buying such.

    Since I hate ‘fake’ items, I make sure my (to name a few) Coach, Longchamp, Rabeanco and Memo’s Saccs bags are all genuine leather and authentic… If not, I’m fine with overruns and gereric bags.

    I still dream of an authentic LV speedy 35 damier baldolier bag @$1200++.
    This is what’s I’m saving for.

    I don’t dream having a Channel nor a Hermes bag because of the prices and un functional style… So I choose, function first, second is style and price and lastly, the brand.