Counterfeit bags detrimental to artists, economy

Bags made by Louis Vuitton such as the one above have become a part of counterfeit revolution that cheats buyers of the quality of authentic products. | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Ever wondered whether if it would be better to buy a counterfeit version of a Prada handbag that costs around $2,000 when the fake version of it is around $50?

Sure, it’s cheap and sure, it’s easy. But what many don’t realize is that we’re taking someone else’s ideas, someone else’s art and showing it no respect. Instead, it’s easier for everyone to enjoy that art in a much lower quality, while simultaneously causing the fashion industry to lose its real income.

The start of the counterfeit revolution in the fashion industry began wholeheartedly when Louis Vuitton and Coach bags had their signature symbols, “LV” and “C,” printed on various bags, scarves and watches.

At this point, it was easier for one to separate a fake from an original because sometimes the lettering would be off, the quality was awful, or certain aspects of the labeling were missing. Even so, people bought these counterfeit items not realizing that they are robbing themselves of great quality and the industry of billions of dollars.

Some may not realize that this sort of brand pirating also robs the U.S. of billions every year too. When people buy fake, they still pay their share of taxes, whereas the people who sell fake items put straight cash in their pockets. It is illegal to sell knockoffs, so when one does that, they do it without the permission of the government and artist.

What’s worse is that some of the profit from selling these fake items is transferred into the hands of terrorists and gangs. These items can be used to smuggle drugs or a large amount of dirty money. Some have said counterfeit merchandise sales fund many terroristic activities.

Apart from hurting the industry and government by supporting such a movement, buyers are also hurting themselves. The materials on handbags and apparel are sometimes so poorly crafted that they can cause rashes and acne. Many believe the counterfeit sunglasses they purchased come with the promised UV protection, but people usually get what they pay for. These sunglasses often do not provide the right amount of UV protection needed for the eyes, so they should be avoided at all costs.

The best way to stay away from such items is to know that less is more. It’s always better to have a few high quality items than many cheap ones. Pay close attention to an item’s price, the way it’s packaged and exactly where you bought it when determining whether merchandise is fake.

Don’t expect to buy a Gucci bag for around $100, because those can cost up to a couple thousand dollars. If you received a Chanel bag that wasn’t packed in a chic box with a chic outer cover bag, it’s not real. Original merchandise will not come without any special packaging, nor will it be packed with old newspapers.

If you think you might just be getting a great deal for an original somewhere on the corner of Harwin, walk away. Only designer shops and department stores will sell original items, not random shops tucked away near the intersection.

Counterfeiting is not only a great way to discredit an artist’s work, but also a great way to spend money on something that will not last as long as promised. So just remember: Less is more.

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1 Comment

  • This article is beautifully written and constructed, ideas solid. There are many a folk that scour the downtowns and side-streets looking for people to fall for their ill-produced bags and wallets. Those same people know how much consumers love a good deal, and that’s when the real problem begins–people want to spend as less as they have to, regardless of what their intuition makes of the situation. And, yes–Don’t expect to pay $100 for a daminer hobo, it just aint happenin’! Great writing!

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