Fake Bags promote Terrorism

26 Apr

Not just fake bags, but anything that is a designer counterfeit.
Child labor, terrorism, human trafficking: Buying counterfeit designer goods is hardly harmless.

It is estimated that up to 7 percent of our annual world trade — $600 billion worth — is counterfeit or pirated; that fakes are believed to be directly responsible for the loss of more than 750,000 American jobs; that everything from baby formula to medicine is counterfeited, with tragic results; that counterfeiters and the crime syndicates they work with deal in human trafficking, child labor, and gang warfare; and that counterfeiting is used to launder money, and the money has been linked to truly sinister deeds such as terrorism.

Most consumers believe that buying fake goods is harmless, that it’s a victimless crime. But it’s not. It’s not at all.

CRACKING DOWN ON COUNTERFEITERS

In the past year, there have been some victories in the battle. Among the most prominent was Louis Vuitton’s win against eBay in court in Paris this past June. (Counterfeiters have long used the Internet, particularly eBay, to sell their phony goods.) According to LVMH, the luxury-goods group that includes Vuitton, Givenchy, and Celine, 90 percent of the Vuitton and Dior items offered on eBay in the first half of 2006 were counterfeits. That’s right: Nine out of 10 were fake. Most consumers have no idea. How would you know?

HOW TO SPOT A FAKE

  • Question the price. If it’s too good to be true, it’s probably not real.
  • Know the dealer. A couple of years ago, Gucci discovered Wal-Mart was selling fake versions of its bags. To guarantee that your item is authentic, buy it at the brand’s own boutique or at an authorized retailer, like a brand’s department-store counter.
  • It’s all in the details. Is the stitching straight? Is it well made? Do the edges match up? Does it have polished rivets or cheap screws? Is there glue residue? If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.
  • Look for signature marks. Since the 1980s, Vuitton bags have been stamped with a serial number and date code that are registered at Vuitton HQ. An Hermès leather bag has stamps that identify the artisan who made it and the year it was made. Find out what your brand’s hallmarks are.
  • Check the logo. Some counterfeiters alter the logo slightly. Classic examples are the Ralph Lauren polo player without a mallet or the Lacoste crocodile facing left (fake) rather than right (real). Know exactly what the logo is and check it.
  • Beware of cross-pollinating. Counterfeiters will put any logo on any product, like a faux Prada triangle tag on a Chanel-like quilted bag. Make sure the logoed product is really the purported brand’s design.
  • Know your vintage goods. “Established designer-resale stores take precautions to avoid selling counterfeits,” says Cameron Silver, owner of Decades in Los Angeles. “However, there is no guarantee. An informed consumer should know the hallmarks and quality controls of an authentic item.”
  • Still vexed? Check with the Authentics Foundation (myauthentics.com), a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping consumers avoid buying fakes.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • If you see someone selling counterfeits, contact the STOP! Hotline (1-866-999-HALT; stopfakes.gov). If you see suspicious activity such as a clandestine workshop or smuggling, call U.S. Customs and Border Protection (1-800-BE-ALERT).
  • Support the Teacher of Ten Thousand Generations Foundation, which rescues child laborers from counterfeit factories in China and puts them in schools (confuciusfoundation.org).

New York is soon to be passing a law fining the individual that is caught buying a fake. Which would mean buyers of counterfeit products could be jailed or given a fine of $1,000 if caught handing over cash for “Guchee’s” on Canal Street. Councilwoman Margaret Chin, who serves the Chinatown district and will introduce the bill Thursday April 28th 2011, says “We don’t want to be known as the place to come to get counterfeit goods.” (A bit late for that?)

It’s not worth it… If I can’t afford a Hermes Birkin bag, then so be it. Who wants to buy one for $100 bucks, that is crap quality, hurts people (mostly children) to get you your “high-end” product and everyone knows you can’t afford a Birkin!  So is it really worth it! No way!

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2 Responses to “Fake Bags promote Terrorism”

  1. unpocorodriguez April 26, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    You make some valid points but I am not sure I agree with the title. Some people are just trying to make a living even though it is wrong (I don’t condone it but I am looking at the situation from another perspective).
    I do agree when you say: if you can’t afford it then you can’t buy it but, we are living in a world where society is very superficial and materialistic. So many people want to have what is in style or what is trendy this season and do not have $1,500 to dish on a Hermes handbag.
    Not to long ago (1 yr. ago) H&M was busted for throwing away tons of bags filled with perfectly good clothing that did not after being on sale racks. The employees damaged all of the goods so that no one could make any use of them. All of theses items could have been given to all of the homeless people we have living in the tri-state area. This is just as bad. What do you think about this?

  2. I am Ariella April 26, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    The title is a bit brash…but it does trickle down and has been proven that some counterfeit rings have funded terrorist groups. I think even worse is the child labor, young kids, forced to work, for no pay… Sad stories I have read about all this. I wrote this today bc I read in The Post that they are now going after the buyers of the product not just the sellers. Starting this Thursday in NY they pass a law.

    About the HM story, that’s sad, your right they should have definitely donated to people in need!

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