The Rise of the Fake Designer Goods Industry
Why Fake Designer Goods?
It’s unavoidable: we all want nice things. When it comes to fashion, true designer goods are considered the best of the best. Unfortunately, most designer products come with a hefty price tag. Our insatiable desire for the best and newest fashion can’t always be fulfilled, especially when we have limited budgets.
The solution? Many consumers and manufacturers have begun turning to counterfeit – or fake – designer fashion. If you’ve ever been to a major city like New York City, you’ve probably seen them: hundreds of “bargain designer” carts line the street, selling fake Louis Vuitton, Coach, and Dolce Gabbana products.
Fake Designer Goods on the Rise
A number of people who have purchased fake designer goods have done so knowingly. According to Huffington Post, 22% of shoppers have admitted to knowingly purchasing counterfeit luxury products. Most said that the prices of the real designer items were the reason they resorted to a less expensive option.
Of the counterfeit items most commonly purchased, handbags were the most common, followed closely by sunglasses and wristwatches. Younger generations were the most likely to purchase fake designer products.
Today, the counterfeit market brings in a whopping $600 billion every year. This includes counterfeit pharmaceuticals, electronic devices, and luxury designer fashion.
In addition to the fake handbags and watches we see lining the streets, online counterfeit items have become overwhelmingly prominent. Even shoppers who don’t intend to purchase counterfeit goods can be tricked by today’s expertly designed fake websites, which can effectively duplicate a real brand’s site to trick unknowing consumers.
Some people even purchase counterfeit items at a low price and then attempt to resell the items online as a genuine designer item, using sites like Craigslist and eBay to make a hefty profit. With the increased sophistication of fake goods, it can be almost impossible to tell a fake item from a real one, even for industry experts.
The Problem with Fake Designer Goods
One of the primary problems with supporting the fake designer goods industry is that much of the money goes back towards organizations that support “child labor, gruesome factory conditions, and even terrorism.” Buying that enticingly-priced fake Coach bag helps these factories continue to run and enforce child labor.
How can You Avoid Buying Fake Goods?
Before getting too excited about that awesome deal on a designer handbag, stop and do some fact-checking. There are hundreds of helpful guides online to help you learn how to make sure you’re only purchasing genuine items.
If you’re searching for a specific item, go to an official retailer location. Never purchase from the carts lining the street promising discount designer products – hit up the genuine Michael Kors store for that coveted new bag.
Chris Burch is a venture capitalist and founder of Burch Creative Capital.