Report

When Counterfeits Distort Buyer Perceptions

In other words, when you live in a utopia of fakes....

“My marriage is a fake Fendi!”

Exclaims Charlotte in the third season of Sex & the City, and her pronouncement resonates to date as fakes and divorces have both become more rampant.

For a little context, said episode is all about Samantha’s quest to land herself a fake Baguette from a San Fernando Valley-based replica-seller, while Charlotte grapples with the absence of chemistry with her then-husband, Trey. The storyline thus proceeded to imply what counterfeit-skeptics claim – buying fakes is devoid of the luster that comes with the original.

But is it really?

Counterfeits have infiltrated the art and commerce worlds since time immemorial, with the oldest fake (a Gaulish replica of a Roman amphora) housed in the Counterfeit Museum in Paris (yes, that’s a real place) dating back to 2,000 years ago!

Fake versus Real Dior
Real (left) and fake bags at the Paris Counterfeit Museum via Racked

And, as one might expect, fakes have only become more commonplace since then. In fact, studies suggest that the counterfeit industry is worth over $1 trillion, with a trading volume of $600 billion per year. Others speculate that nearly 10% of all branded products could be fake, and nearly a fifth of all luxury buyers could be toting knock-offs!

But we’re already privy to this information. By now, we’ve seen and heard almost all there is to be seen and heard on counterfeits. So, without getting into the entire existentialist discussion about what is authentic in this world after all (like they do on RepLadies), most of us fairly agree that:

  • fakes are morally questionable
  • they infringe trademarks
  • their production and distribution almost always involve connections with the illegal economy

However, this conversation was, until now, almost exclusively centered on the counterfeits market in the West – namely, Europe and the USA – whereas fakes generate primarily from South and Southeast Asia. And for brand-aware customers such as myself hailing from this region, the image of counterfeits is slightly (read: vastly) different.

How? Let’s discuss.

The Culture of Counterfeits

“Aren’t you just tired of seeing Chanel everywhere? Buy this Michael Kors, show your real status!”

“I’m not a big fan of Gucci. I think it’s copying from Guess – and looks cheap!”

“Here, I have for you an authentic Aldo, directly from the UK, for the sophisticated, wealthy user. But if you’re looking for something a little more budget-friendly, I have Louis Vuittons for you too!”

Nope, these aren’t overly-aggressive marketing tactics gone awry. Rather, these are real comments and/or sales-talk passed by – wait for it – actual local handbag sellers from my city on Facebook live videos. At first glance, it’s puzzling. Why are these businesspeople (an overwhelming majority being women) trying to coax buyers into thinking contemporary and mall brands are more “sophisticated” than well-known luxury houses?

But you only need to encounter the first “premium-quality” Neverfull they display – complete with plasticky red trims, a top zip (with a frighteningly limp zipper pull hanging out), and is “so indistinguishable from the original even Louis Vuitton store employees wouldn’t know” – to understand that what they have on offer consists entirely of counterfeits.

Gucci Fall 2016 Bags 3
Authentic and counterfeit (right) bags in Paris via Racked

With fakes ingrained so deep into the minds of the buyers and sellers alike, what is inconceivable for users here is that someone would ever imagine, let alone be willing to, drop hundreds of thousands (in the local currency) on an original. So, the general argument that favors the purchase of the real deal – durability, cost-per-wear, and quality – literally flies out the window as most buyers, never having witnessed the genuine article, would rather buy more bags that last less so that they can switch up their cheap purchases at regular intervals!

Thus, with this convoluted idea of consuming luxuries, fed by the misinformation from sellers themselves, as witnessed above, consumers have come to recognize the brand names themselves – alongside keywords like “AAA” and “made in Paris” – but true awareness about brand identity is at an all-time low.

The Case for Counterfeits

The disturbing part about buying and selling counterfeits, especially in countries where misinformation is everywhere, is that it makes frighteningly good business sense.

We’re all quite aware of the general argument buyers of counterfeits resort to, as this article from The Guardian states,

“But if China can make the same goods, to the same standards, and at a fraction of the price, isn’t buying the cheaper unofficial version what any rational shopper should do?”

Nowadays, the luxury sector is as much about selling an intangible “experience” as much as it is about selling a tangible product – the glitzy marketing campaigns, the star endorsements, the elaborate play-act of exclusivity like Hermès – are all a testament to that. And as counterfeiters or counterfeit-buyers, one merely has to replicate the product’s outlook at the lowest price, and voilà, you have free and easy access to the brand’s appeal and the status it confers.

This is seen in countries in Southeast Asia where few luxury brands have retail stores; counterfeiters argue that they are raising brand awareness and making trends more accessible to all. It’s a question the film House of Gucci raises too, when Patrizia encounters her house-help carrying a knock-off version of the iconic Gucci Bamboo bag, but doesn’t explore sufficiently well to provide a definite answer.

Furthermore, while counterfeiting is illegal in most countries, the repercussions are minor enough to serve as possible low-risk sources of funding for organized crime. In Bangladesh, on the other hand, there isn’t any law on the subject at all. So, the biggest profiteers from the counterfeit industry here are large, taxpaying department stores with flashy storefronts registered under the category of “luxury handbag sellers.” Any qualms buyers might have otherwise had about breaking the law through the trade of fakes? Thus dismissed.

Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM

But Why Do Local Buyers Opt for Fakes?

The market for fakes, like most forms of crime, lies at the convergence of three factors: opportunity (lack of regulation on the subject), financial pressure (of the exorbitant costs of the original), and rationalization (as apparent from the buying behavior of counterfeit-buyers). But for the unique context of my country, there’s another aspect at play – convenience.

As apparent from my trials and tribulations in buying luxuries on resale through intermediaries, the process of actually getting your hands on genuine products – whether new or pre-owned – is relatively difficult for locals here unless they are traveling abroad. One needs to obtain the services of an intermediary, who is likely to charge a premium over the product’s price. At the same time, the process itself is lengthy and fraught with uncertainties (remember the time I waited six months for a Balenciaga that never materialized?)

Hence, what with the ease of buying fakes and the perception of status rather than the more usual taboo surrounding the counterfeits themselves (*my fake Birkin is more expensive than your fake Birkin*), paired with the limited avenues available for getting authentics, makes the decision process for most buyers, even if they can purchase an original, unfairly inclined towards replicas.

And speaking of users who are aware of the differences between genuine and replica items, the fact that most popular silhouettes are widely counterfeited is a deterrent for them: “people will think it’s fake anyways, so why spend that much on the real thing?”

Further rationalization takes the form of pleading that fake-buying behavior is driven by financial constraints that can’t hurt or cannibalize the brand’s sales; as Steven Brown, from Batley, UK, told BBC,

“I’ve bought fake handbags for my wife. We both knew that a Gucci bag for £20 would be fake and not last as long as a real one. Is it really stealing revenue from a company if I would never buy a genuine Gucci bag?”

Others are more upfront about their nonchalance towards the big brands, citing that it is neither their moral obligation to protect luxury fashion houses nor would the companies go out of business because of them. Perhaps that’s true for the bigger brands, but for smaller brands, it’s certainly a distinct possibility.

But where does the extent of this psychological distortion lead to? It isn’t uncommon either for a certain class of fake buyers to perceive themselves as “financially savvy,” “shrewd shoppers,” or “street smart” in allegedly having “beaten the system.”

Hermes Birkin Blue

My Stance on Counterfeits

Unlike most people, my entry and awareness of the world of luxury fashion came through the world of counterfeits. My introduction to the Gucci logo came not from the quintessential interlocking GGs, but from a GD print. The first time I came across the actual Louis Vuitton Monogram, I realized it’s not just a random juxtaposition of shapes like most lookalikes but a strictly-defined pattern.

Ultimately, however, I’ve ended up as a critic of counterfeits because, purely from what I’ve observed, they haven’t served anybody well. Yes, it’s cheaper with the same outlook, so it sounds rational from a financial perspective. But that entices buyers to buy more fakes, and eventually, what they spend on a large collection of low-priced knock-offs turns out to be much more than what they would have spent on a well-thought-out luxury purchase.

Not to mention there are all the usual arguments of counterfeits proliferating dishonest behavior, and funding terrorism, child labor, and sweatshop practices. A hard no for me.

The issue of counterfeits is one that’s hotly debated now following high-profile instances of the notorious article on The Cut and allegations against brands of selling counterfeits from their store.

But at the end of the day, whether we buy a fake is purely a personal decision without a definite answer, just like the subject of buying full-priced authentics or pre-loved merchandise too comes with strings attached. Some people take pride in them; some, such as myself, have simply lost our tastes in them. However, at least we should be able to own up to ourselves regarding our choices, as Carrie laments in the SATC episode:

“Even if everyone else knew it was real, I’d always know that mine came from a cardboard box in a trunk.”

So, in this utopia of fakes, which side are you on?

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Jerri R
Jerri R
1 year ago

Can’t pay the price and don’t want cheaper brands? Just buy vintage. Vintage bags are hardly ever faked, and from the way they have aged beautifully, you can just tell there is no way that they are fake.

Fact check
Fact check
1 year ago
Reply to  Jerri R

This is not true. Fakes are not a product of the 21st century. There are vintage fakes made decades ago, and there are are fakes made today of vintage styles.

Jerri R
Jerri R
1 year ago
Reply to  Fact check

I disagree. There is no way a fake would age as beautifully as some vintage ones I have seen.

Fact check
Fact check
1 year ago
Reply to  Jerri R

I’m sorry to disillusion you, but I have seen in-person high quality vintage fakes, and high quality fakes made recently of vintage styles. There really, truly is actually a way fakes look and age beautifully. It’s best to be realistic about what fakes are like to protect oneself from buying vintage fakes.

Jerri R
Jerri R
1 year ago
Reply to  Fact check

I don’t think you and I have the same standard when viewing vintage bags. What you see as a fake bag “aging beautifully” may not be so beautiful to me.

Jenny
Jenny
1 year ago
Reply to  Jerri R

100% agree. I’m a little obsessed with vintage these days.

Galadriel
Galadriel
1 year ago
Reply to  Jenny

The satisfaction of bringing an old bag back to life is substantial.

Aspen
Aspen
1 year ago
Reply to  Jerri R

That’s not always true. They’re are definitely bags that exist that are made to look vintage but are just replicas too.
I do agree with the first sentiment though.

Jerri R
Jerri R
1 year ago
Reply to  Aspen

Never said 100% it is true, so…?

Nelia Kanakubo
Nelia Kanakubo
1 year ago

I do that here in Japan.

Sally
Sally
1 year ago

Always get a bag that matches your personality ✨

Eos
Eos
1 year ago

Sajid, this article was, in my opinion, one of the most thoughtful, researched and informative Purseblog has featured so far.
It was extremely interesting and I thank you so much for the time you have put writing it.

Celeste
Celeste
1 year ago

I have always enjoyed reading your articles but this one truly is exceptional. As a fellow Bangladeshi living in Canada I can relate to the thought process of both sides of the spectrum. And you have totally nailed it on how people view counterfeits outside the West,

Status quo (as you touched upon) holds a very important role within the middle/upper middle class section. Thus you see all this form of peddling to the masses as well as quantity over quality ideology.

However the same can be said for replicas and fast fashion. Those of us who buy clothes from Zara, H&M, Mango, Aldo (many also made in Bangladesh) do so because of the price point, items resembling iconic items (you’ll find horsebit loafers at a fraction of the cost than Gucci at these sites).

A lot of people appreciate mixing of high and low brands. But where do we draw the line? Can someone carry a real LV bag while sporting mules that look similar to Gucci’s? Is it an all or nothing deal?

Penny
Penny
1 year ago
Reply to  Celeste

Counterfeiting/replicas copy the brand’s copyright, logos, trademarks, and etc. that is NOT the same as some copycat knockoff from Zara. That horsebit loafer from Zara nowhere has the Gucci logo or trademarks. In fact, it doesn’t have the same style horsebit either.

That’s why these luxury brands have these counterfeits seized in customs. No luxury brand is having Zara or any fast fashion knockoff seized at customs.

Yazi
Yazi
1 year ago

Not counterfeiting exactly but I buy bags that have a similar design to the original brand bag. Often I just like the shape of a bag and its functionality and don’t want to pay upwards of 3000 dollars.

I have a handful of genuine designer bags from LV, Givenchy, etc but the more brands raise prices the more ridiculous it seems. Especially when compared to the “real” value if money.

Note that I’m not a Westerner, nor do I live in the West. The currency exchange rate is a big factor in any purchase decision. These days I find myself gravitating toward brands that have better quality rather than a “big name”, like Polene and Mulberry. Some small ateliers in Greece and Turkey also do great bags at a fraction of the price of designer ones and with better leathers.

Disclaimer: this is my personal opinion. No judgement from me on those who buy designer or fake bags.

Yazi
Yazi
1 year ago

Mmm.. paying for status and prestige. To each their own.

Princesschippy
Princesschippy
1 year ago
Reply to  Yazi

Not true that people buying contemp and from local artisans can’t afford mainstream designer . trust me when I say that I know some VERY wealthy folk who wouldn’t touch LV, Chanel, etc but who buy from artisans in Italy or Morocco or happily buy contemporary brands…. or The Row. They just think LV, Chanel etc is…trashy. (I have LV and Gucci etc so not my opinion, I buy what I like, logo or not) but certainly some “old money” people think logos are really trashy.

Sammi
Sammi
1 year ago
Reply to  Yazi

..

Donna Harper
Donna Harper
1 year ago
Reply to  Yazi

Bougie indeed

shelley anne
shelley anne
1 year ago

I have plenty of authentic’s and plenty of authentic’s that I have sold I needed money and bought fakes on certain items which have been reproduced so perfectly it’s very hard to tell the difference, neverfull monogram. Sure I’d rather have the authentic it just doesn’t feel the same, but some of both is not such a sin. I’ve worked hard all my life paid a ton of taxes on my life and I’m not gonna let this make me feel like some kind of criminal

Laura W
Laura W
1 year ago
Reply to  shelley anne

You aren’t the criminal. The makers and sellers of the counterfeit items are the criminals.

shelley anne
shelley anne
1 year ago
Reply to  Laura W

and what do u say when I tell u , I got
it on amazon….

Galadriel
Galadriel
1 year ago

Fakes fund terrorism the Boston bombing was funded with the sale of fake merch. Feigning ignorance on this well covered fact is tackier than the bag itself.
When I see you tube vids selling or comparing fakes I report them whether it makes a difference or not. https://www.ted.com/talks/alastair_gray_how_fake_handbags_fund_terrorism_and_organized_crime

https://www.cbp.gov/trade/fakegoodsrealdangers

The FBI has had senate hearings on how organized crime and terrorist raise funds using immigrants in the US to seek the law goods online and in markets in the US that have been broadcasted on CSPAN.

If you’re buying illegal drugs being imported from Mexico you’re supporting the murder of locals students that protest the violence and journalists that report on it in areas where cartels are active. Mass burial sites are reported on Spanish television monthly.

If you’re buying counterfeit goods made anywhere you’re funding the abuse or people through human trafficking and other organized crime operations including but not limited to terrorism and drug cartels. There is no traceable factor and agents in the FBI and interpol spend entire careers tracking and cracking down to solve cases. There’s plenty of information online about this.
Thats all there is to it. Your accountability is your responsibility. Fashion is art we can observe and be satisfied we are not meant to own each piece created. When you are satisfied with that reality, fakes are obsolete.

rufiny
rufiny
1 year ago
Reply to  Galadriel

Our federal tax money are funding wars and killing people anyway. How can I escape?!

Bianca
Bianca
1 year ago
Reply to  Galadriel

Please be aware that Spanish Television means from Spain ( Europe). I think you meant Hispanic television. Quite a different concept.

galadriel
galadriel
1 year ago
Reply to  Bianca

Bianca, porfavor. News about Mexico and other Latin American countries and issues are broadcasted globally in Spanish, English, French and German. France 24 has broadcasted on this topic several times.
Mon Dieu this blog. 534 Spanish speakers in the world and you’re telling me I meant “hispanic” television.

Mary
Mary
1 year ago
Reply to  Galadriel

Sorry but where do you think any mainstream or authentic product is made? Do you really think there is so abuse of human rights and that everyone is getting paid living wages?

galadriel
galadriel
1 year ago
Reply to  Mary

Strawman fallacy see comment below with definition.

Byredo
Byredo
1 year ago
Reply to  Galadriel

And yet the device you are most likely typing on most likely was made by a factory that literally installed suicide nets around it to keep employees from jumping.

Or as I tried to explain to a dear friend of mine who was very pompous about her purchase of an EV and being a true environmentalist that her EV is being charged by the local coal plant since she didn’t install any solar or wind energy (which has tremendous environmental impact in production and disposal) and that children as young as 6 tend to be working in those mines….oh and those diamonds…

I think – the most compelling argument of counterfeits is the trademark infringement. The rest? Slippery slope of morality because if you are consuming goods? You are part of the outsourcing of environmental and labor exploitation across the world.

galadriel
galadriel
1 year ago
Reply to  Byredo

Was waiting for this response. Thanks for the strawman. It took longer than expected.
For those who don’t know this comment is a fallacy
straw man (sometimes written as strawman) is a form of argument and an informal fallacy of having the impression of refuting an argument, whereas the real subject of the argument was not addressed or refuted, but instead replaced with a false one.[1] One who engages in this fallacy is said to be “attacking a straw man”.
The typical straw man argument creates the illusion of having refuted or defeated an opponent’s proposition through the covert replacement of it with a different proposition (i.e., “stand up a straw man”) and the subsequent refutation of that false argument (“knock down a straw man”) instead of the opponent’s proposition.[2][3] Straw man arguments have been used throughout history in polemical debate, particularly regarding highly charged emotional subjects.[citation needed]

Lizzie B
Lizzie B
1 year ago
Reply to  galadriel

It’s okay to eat crow, friend.

Jerri R
Jerri R
1 year ago
Reply to  galadriel

For those of us uninformed, which part of Byerdo’s argument is false?

Lachimolala
Lachimolala
1 year ago

I felt why Counterfeit’s getting demanded because the authentic quality is bad.
Back then we have vintage bags passes down from mum which in good condition.
They say if a prada bag never spoil it means you bag is fake.

Byredo
Byredo
1 year ago
Reply to  Lachimolala

No doubt – seeing some of the Chanel issues with the Chanel 22 bags? No freaking way would I continue to give that house money with how awful the leather quality has been. But they keep raising prices.. and yet there are those who will keep throwing it at them.

Lady dior
Lady dior
1 year ago

And those who know…recognize them as fakes.

Kimberly
Kimberly
1 year ago
Reply to  Lady dior

Exactly! It’s the quality of luxury that is the appeal, not a cheap knock off!

Donna Harper
Donna Harper
1 year ago
Reply to  Lady dior

Exactly! Living in Atlanta, I see the majority of women sporting an obviously fake Chanel or LV bag wearing cheap clothes and shoes. It’s comical, yet sad. Your self worth is not based on material objects.

Mary
Mary
1 year ago
Reply to  Donna Harper

You contradicted yourself there. You clearly care what others think about you.

Trixie Low
Trixie Low
1 year ago
Reply to  Donna Harper

Wow, some incredibly douchey statements! Clearly your self worth’s are determined by making incredibly snotty remarks about other people. Cheap clothes and shoes doesn’t mean anything. And if you KNOW it’s a fake, then good for you.

Lynda
Lynda
1 year ago

Handbag decisions for me are driven by how much I like the look, versatility, cost and brand – in that order. Because it’s for me and not for others, I purchase real, authentic every time. I am worth it, not whether the cost of the item is worth the price, but rather because I am worth it.

Amelia
Amelia
1 year ago

What an incredibly ignorant, irresponsible statement. Everyone needs to have a moral compass and educate themselves re: how funding fakes leads to the harm of other people. Ask yourself “would I still support and fund fakes if it led to the harm of my family and loved ones”? Think about it and do the right thing. Your irresponsible actions are causing harm to other families and their loved ones.

shelley anne
shelley anne
1 year ago
Reply to  Amelia

stop virtue signaling ! yuck!

Tiffany
Tiffany
1 year ago

I used to buy counterfeits when I was younger and learned that it is not worth it. From the shady purchase process that could compromise the security of your info to the chemical smell of the bag and lack of durability, it is nothing compared to the real thing. And the cost of good replicas is so much that if you wait and save you can just buy a smaller number of authentic bags instead of a bunch of replicas.

Marion
Marion
1 year ago

Curious why replicas/fakes are okay but blatant copies of designer stuff like Steve Maddens shoes and handbags are okay? Can we raise that issue too since we are getting an incredibly inferior product for entry level luxury prices

Princesschippy
Princesschippy
1 year ago
Reply to  Marion

I think the biggest thing re fakes is that you’re risking your own security. Unless you purchase with cash (and in the West most don’t) you’re giving criminals your bank card. Details!! Seems really stupid risk to me. I have no issue with dupes. But buying a fake is risky. Same goes for these idiots signing up to pirated book sites and boasting about it on Tik Tok. Yeah, enjoy getting hacked!

galadriel
galadriel
1 year ago
Reply to  Marion

Because legally the only design that can be copywrit for legal protection is patterns like monograms and signatures identifying the brand. In terms of fashion items, it is the hardest type of IP protection to make effective, as it has to be “fixed in a tangible medium of expression,” (Goldstein on Copyright, 3rd Ed.) and must be able to be separated from the “useful article” such as an item of clothing. It is related to easily identifiable works that are found in a tangible form, such as a fully printed book, or a photograph.  Thanks for your question.
for more see this link:
https://www.redpoints.com/blog/fashion-intellectual-property/
Be well.

TaraLeigh
TaraLeigh
1 year ago

Thank you very much for the post! Though I’m a U.S. resident, I’m in a rural area and my access to luxury goods “in the wild” is minimal. Granted, I don’t have any qualms ordering a bag from a boutique in Italy, if that’s what I want to do, but I won’t be investing the $$$ required for new top tier luxury goods and and constantly circumspect that what I would choose to invest in second hand might actually be completely fraudulent. Consequently I’ve chosen to seek out much smaller, lesser known houses with handbags & clothing I appreciate like Pinko, Liu Jo, A.P.C., Marni, Manu Atelier, Salvatore Ferragamo, etc. I would imagine even Burberry gets hit by rep bag Lola’s so I’m not eager to buy pre-owned for $900-$1k USD what might have only cost the rep lady $75-$150 landed.
It’s ok though- I love my Pinko bags and I’ll get over not having a Fendi. 😊 Thanks again!

BagladyofYork
BagladyofYork
1 year ago

I have two Saint Laurent’s. One real, one an (expensive) fake. I bought the real one – my friend gave me the fake. Her husband travels to South Asia on business regularly and buys her expensive (relatively) fakes. The Fake Saint Laurent is croc embossed and cost him £400 instead of around £1500. Honestly it’s VERY hard to tell the difference between it and my genuine one. Do I use it? Yes. I don’t worry about it like I do the genuine one. Would I purchase a new fake for myself? No. She has a lot of fakes but also many real bags.

It’s actually put me off most overtly branded bags with how many fakes there are. I prefer Loewe, Chloe, Balenciaga etc that I know are beautifully made but don’t shout a logo.

It sounds stupid but buying a bag purely because I love the design and that reason alone is freeing. I used to be saving for a Chanel – not anymore. (Unless I can afford a vintage lambskin one day). These days my collection is an eclectic mix of vintage, Contemporary, (strathberry, demellier, Tory Burch etc) and low key designer.
My most complimented bags by far are my Strathberry bags.

Blackxtc
Blackxtc
1 year ago

Technically it’s all fake if the designers are dead and no longer designing it for you. I don’t understand why people don’t get that.

rufiny
rufiny
1 year ago

The answer is not clear cut. LV and Chanel’s deserve it with unjustifiable price hike, dwindling quality and sometimes hideous design. Loewe, Delvaux and alike earn their status with superb quality and material. They would not be easily hurt by fakes as it’s tedious and overly expensive to match up with the quality at the boutique’s price point. With the exception of Hermes, their boutique’s pricing is so overpriced that a fraction of the cost is enough to produce super high quality fakes. Most brands are somewhere in between.

rufiny
rufiny
1 year ago

Actually our federal tax money are used to fund killings too. Do you remember who funded Taliban and isis when they were just small insurgent group?! Not to mention all our wars in the middle east and providing weapons to countries let them “fight until the last men standing”…gees anyone care about that we’re talking about handbags here!

Lorelei
Lorelei
1 year ago

Buying a fake bag is just pretending you can afford one, and why though? And don’t say it’s because you love the brand, because that handbag is going to look terrible within months while the real deal may last a decade. There are plenty of brand new handbags in everyone’s price range. Remember the Kate Spade fake surge almost 40 years ago? It’s been replaced by Gucci, LV and Chanel. Personally I’m more impressed by a brand new designer I’ve never heard of than a $150 Designer bag that’s off in shape, color and durability.

Trixie Low
Trixie Low
1 year ago
Reply to  Lorelei

Buying a fake bag doesn’t always mean you can’t “afford” designer bag. Yet another elitist statement.

Byredo
Byredo
1 year ago
Reply to  Lorelei

I think the sad thing – is that many of you really HOPE that every fake or replica is actuallynpoor quality and going to look terrible in a few months. It helps to soothe that maybe just maybe Chanel, or LV, or Hermes or any other brand is doing something so unique that it can’t quite be replicated by a less than luxurious experience.

I have both. I have auth LV, Hermes, Bottega, Moynat, Loewe, and I have fake Hermes. Bottega, and LV. And if you know where to buy from? Its practically indistinguishable. The clemence on my halzan that is a rep of my auth? Same as is the stitching.

No weird smells.. unless by weird we mean leather smells…. no haphazardly thrown together materials. Now they aren’t cheap, but I also don’t fret about throwing one in my luggage when traveling due to the costs.

galadriel
galadriel
1 year ago

Just gonna leave this NY times article here since I’m getting such sophomoric feed back: https://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/12/business/worldbusiness/12iht-fake.4569452.html

Blankie
Blankie
1 year ago

There are really beautiful non-premium bags that are not tiresome like Michael Kors or Tory Burch. I love Cole Haan. They are inexpensive but extremely well-made. Stylish too. There are a few other brands that are not too ubiquitous but reasonably priced. Another brand I really love for this reason is the French brand Lancel.

Ivory
Ivory
1 year ago

Sajid, this was a fantastic article. Thank you for posting it and sharing your thoughts on counterfeits. There are many arguments for or against replicas. The strongest argument against reps for me is the time, effort and unsubstantiated trust that it takes to ensure that you’re getting a quality replica. To get a rep that looks as close to the real thing as possible, you have to research most reliable suppliers based on other people’s experience (no guarantee that it’ll be your experience), ask the supplier a ton of questions and trust that the photos they send you pre purchase are the photos of the actual product you’ll receive. It’s a lot of implicit trust in a process that’s by design opaque and full of friction due to the legal ambiguity.

For some, the friction is worth the lower cost for an item that approximates the real thing. I can see why some make this bargain given that you can save up to 80% of the cost for 90% accuracy. The rep market exploits the very high margins in luxury to offer a product that doesn’t need to be even 80% accurate for the customer to save major money.

However, for me, it is not worth the cost because my time and personal integrity is more valuable than the money saved.

josman2023
josman2023
8 months ago

oh my goodness..really? I wish the internet (include you, PurseBlog) would stop defending big business crooks and accept the fact they, the big brands, have been making the fakes since day one. They’re in on the fakes and always have been – their real challenge is keeping “the dream” strong enough to keep the idiots spending top whack on them. Just look at DeBeers jumping in on the “cultured” diamonds manufacturing game – as if they invented it..oh wait…

Just admit it! All of us paid way over the real value of an item because we bought the illusion of status (it was a very nice illusion though I will say!) and be done with it. We’re all being scammed and ripped off by this mob and eventually, just like DeBeers, when THEY decide to tell you they had always been doing it, it will be too late. You may as well write the article we all know will be written given enough time and jump the gun while you still can before the mob does.

The simple reality is that the handbag market, even when buying from the boutique is LITTERED with fakes just like the diamond market is and its been going on since inception. Even the sales associates cannot tell the genuine from the fakes. Heck, even a craftsman in the workshop might have a job. You just don’t want to believe it or write about it because it will hurt your ego and your pride and will shatter the illusion a big company painted for you that subconsciously you knew wasn’t real in the first place. Go on, write it! I dare you. Perhaps you’ll consider writing about actual authenticity for your meal ticket for a change.