Fakes are NOT fine!

You want it ,but you can’t afford the real thing or you are unwilling to drop “all that money” on a handbag.  You think “this isn’t hurting anyone” (except luxury goods makers who mark their product up 8-10 times the production cost /13 times in the case of Louis Vuitton).  Who cares!  I want a Louis!  I want  prestige on my arm!

So you head down a back alley with your shades on, hit a backroom secret sale in Chinatown or go to a “purse” party and you do it.  You buy a knockoff.

Think you are getting a deal?   Consider the ethical and economical implications of this purchase.

Why buying counterfeits is a bad idea:

1. Counterfeiting robs the US alone of more than $200 billion a year.  It’s a cash, tax-free business,  which means that the cost stemming from the flow of fake merchandise falls to the consumer who thought they were getting a bargain!

2. Terrorists, gangs, drug cartels and organized crime syndicates all profit from selling counterfeit merchandise and use the money to fund their activities.

3. Child Labor/ sweat shops are used to make these products.  These children earn less than $60 a month on average.

4. Gossip.  All you need is one fashionista with a good eye to spot the fake on your arm and you’ll be the most talked about girl in town for all the wrong reasons! 

5. You are lying to yourself.  That fake is not prestigious.  You wanted it because it was a Louis Vuitton…well its NOT!It ‘s FAKE!


1. Be a smart shopper.  Shop outlets and sales to get a good deal on the “Real Mccoy”! Ideeli is amazing for great deals!     http://www.ideeli.com/

2. Buy Used. There are many online designer handbags stores that sell quality used designer handbags. They are certified and well known stores serving in this field for years earning trust and loyalty.  Here are a few: http://www.yoogiscloset.com/      http://authenticbagsforless.com/index.php    http://www.fashionphile.com/

3. Don’t buy into the dream if you can’t afford it.  If you cant afford it, don’t buy it.  The whole point of luxury goods is to by a quality product made from an excellent craftsman.  Buying a fake negates this.  All you are buying into is a name sloppily slapped on in a sweatshop not the quality,history and rich tradition of an amazing fashion house.

How Do I know if it’s a Fake?

Spotting a fake handbag is getting more and more difficult even for the pros.   Asian nations, in particular, have the necessary technology to replicate bags with slight differences that can still fool the majority of consumers.   Some fake handbags may even be produced in European nations, giving them the authority to claim they are made, for example, in Italy (one of the most respected nations for high fashion).

Here are some great Tips from Female First ( a UK magazine) on How to Spot a Fake:

The Quality
One of the biggest tell-tale signs of a fake handbag is in the quality of materials used. Designers such as Chanel, Chloe and Fendi only use top quality leather which is usually soft to touch and of a consistent colour all over. However the fakers are getting wise to this and replicas can be made of good quality materials too so don’t rely on this alone.

The Detail
Designer handbags are expensive for a reason. A lot of hard work goes into the detailing on them with hours of hand stitching put into making sure every part of the bag is perfect. So check any handbag for flaws in the stitching, loose threads or any other parts of the design that aren’t absolutely accurate. Fashion houses have strict quality control procedures so any real designer handbag with a flaw would not make it out of the factory.

The Label
Labels are also a great way to check if a bag is real. Although manufacturers of fakes can recreate the labels of top brands they don’t always get it completely right. Top designers always sew labels into the material of their handbags so any cardboard label that is just hung from the strap is a giveaway that the bag is fake.

Also check zips and clasps for branding. Real designer bags often have their logo or name on as many components as possible to combat counterfeits. So have a good look at every part. The best thing to do is to examine pictures on the Internet or check out the real article in bigger department stores and compare the handbag you buy to one you know for sure is the real article.

The Location
You have to use an element of common sense when it comes to buying a designer handbag at a discount price. Chloe and Gucci don’t make a habit of sending shipments of stock to a Turkish market or a street kiosk so rarely can you expect such places to be selling genuine designer bags.

When it comes to eBay the same rule applies. Usually if a seller is from the far east and has more than one of the same bag on offer you can pretty much conclude that they are fake.

The Price
Finally, if it seems to good to be true it probably is. If you see the latest Marc Jacobs bag being sold for $40 it’s almost definitely a fake. You have to ask yourself why this person would be selling a bag that costs upwards of $1,200 for such a low price? The answer it’s probably either a fake or stolen- either way it’s best to stay well away.

To learn more about Why Fakes are Bad please read “Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster” by Dana Thomas.  An amazing read!!!

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