Fake Products, Real Problems

My mother, Evilena grew up in the depression and was the thriftiest person I have ever known. She sewed every dress I ever wore until I got married. The only shopping I remember doing was for necessities like undergarments and shoes. I remember wanting a red pair of shoes in the worst way as a young child, but because they weren’t practical, and wouldn’t go with everything, mom wouldn’t buy them. So when I decided to start taking women’s apparel at my consignment store, I had to learn everything for the first time, about brands and designer items, such as Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Kate Spade, Coach and so many more.

I once innocently asked someone at an industry conference why we don’t take knock off handbags.  I really just wanted to understand, but the girl looked at me like I was from Mars and responded “I just don’t think it’s right!” I never have taken in fakes, at least not on purpose, and found this to be a real learning curve. I want to share with you what I have discovered because it really is important!

Frances Katz wrote via purseblog.com (12/12/2019), “Another reason to reconsider purchasing a counterfeit bag, however chic it may look; the money paid will most likely end up funding organized crime, human trafficking, or terrorist activities around the world. In 2016, International Chamber of Commerce Director Jeffrey Hardy said “Organized crime has deliberately moved into trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy – largely due to high profits, low risk of discovery and inadequate or minor penalties if caught. What started out as a business model for organized crime has now also become a way to finance terrorism.” Investigator Alastair Gray has been chasing counterfeiters for more than a decade, “What the tourist on holiday doesn’t see about those fake handbags is they may have been stitched together by a child who was trafficked away from her family,” says Gray, who now works with Tommy Hilfiger. In his popular TedTalk, he says that ‘counterfeiting is not a victimless crime.’

The following excerpt comes from “The Facts on Fakes!” via NARTS, by Adele R. Meyer.

“What is counterfeiting?

Counterfeiting is the imitation of a product and unauthorized use of another’s trademark (registered brand name, logo, scent, design, etc.). The counterfeit, identical in appearance, gives the impression of being the genuine product from the real manufacturer. The counterfeiter does not have to invest in expensive quality materials or quality control since he is producing an inferior product. He is riding the shirttails of a manufacturer who has already invested heavily in developing and marketing their brand.

Is it really illegal?

Yes, allowing counterfeit items to enter the marketplace is illegal. Some people mistakenly believe that if counterfeit merchandise is identified on the sales tag as being “fake”, “faux”, “look-a-like” or “replica” it is alright to buy or sell it. Not true. A counterfeit is still a counterfeit and it is still illegal. You can find them for sale on street corners in major cities, at house parties, out of the trunks of luxury autos or perhaps “from behind the counter” or “under the table” at legitimate stores. Let us be clear—it is still trademark infringement and it is illegal. Counterfeiting is punishable by fines, confiscation and prosecution—so protect yourself and do not buy or sell any goods that you suspect may not be genuine.

At Evilena’s, we have 3 sources to help us authenticate designer bags. If we are not sure, we won’t take them. If you buy a designer bag new, keep the receipt and the authentication certificate, along with the box or bag it came in. It is then appropriate and beneficial for resale.