Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 11:38 PM
Most of us will have seen fake handbags being sold by street traders or at least suspected that an eBay listing for a fashionable piece has a suspiciously low price tag. If you have walked the streets of Italian cities like Rome and Venice then you will certainly have been approached by one of the many hawkers toting a huge collection of bags and New York’s Canal Street in Chinatown is legendary for its proliferation of fake designer pieces. When encountered with such a cheap option, and make no mistake the knock offs are much cheaper, should we walk away or is it OK to treat ourselves to a low cost accessory?
Unless you get really lucky the quality of a fake will be nothing like the more expensive piece it is purporting to be. The originals may be fine leather with beautiful stitching but the copies are more likely to be plastic and thrown together in haste. Fakes are mass produced in the Far East with no regard to quality. As long as the thing looks reasonably like a designer piece it will do. This could result in your bargain disintegrating in a short space of time and even if it doesn’t it is going to obvious that it is a cheap copy.
You could argue that you are not harming the businesses of the designer brands by buying a fake because you could never have afforded to purchase the real thing and thus would never have been a customer. This reasoning does not remove the fact that fakes are illegal and so is knowingly buying one. If you cannot afford a top-end piece buy a cheaper but authentic bag from a high street shop and support a legal enterprise. Fake merchandise is often produced in nasty sweatshops using child labour and requiring workers to endure inhumane conditions. At least if you buy a legal product you are supporting a business that can be held accountable for its production processes. You should also be mindful that in both Italy and France consumers are now being fined if they are caught buying fakes and the fines can be up to 10,000 Euro.
Don’t kid yourself that what you are buying could be the genuine article which has fallen off the back of a lorry. Merchandise traded in the streets and in online auctions is almost always imitation and of inferior quality and in any case if you have purchased stolen merchandise you have supported criminals in their activities.
If you buy a fake you have to ask yourself who is profiting from your investment. At the very least you could be assisting unethical manufacturers and illegal immigrants. These people also do not pay taxes and so contribute nothing to society as a whole. Things could be even worse than that as the manufacture and import of such goods are often controlled by criminal organisations and even terrorist groups could be profiting from your purchase. Do you really want to support organised crime and terrorist acts? These people have to fund their activities somehow and this is one of the ways they do it.
The production of legitimate handbags takes a great deal of investment into design, manufacture and marketing. Any brand, let alone a top-end designer label, trades on the quality of its merchandise and so the perception of a brand can be truly damaged by poor quality handbags masquerading as the real thing. You may not be able to afford some of the luxury products but at least the choice is there and a benchmark for quality exists. These bags are aspirational but there are plenty of authentic goods at reasonable prices to get your hands on.
It really isn’t worth buying a fake handbag. Whatever way you look at it someone suffers as a result of these goods being peddled and it could be you. The next time you lust after an Italian Leather handbag buy one of these and not a plastic copy even if it means saving up to get it. It will look better, last longer and you will not be supporting criminal activity.