Designer labels are all the rage, they are a status symbol to show wealth, but is it right to sell fake designer labels?

One boutique in downtown Rochester is selling fake designer shoes, jewelry, handbags and sunglasses. What’s the harm you ask? Well, according to the International Anti-counterfeiting Coalition (IACC) about 18% of the $98 million of counterfeit products seized by U.S. Customs in 2002 were made up of fashion-related items: apparel, sunglasses, watches, handbags and head wear. The same type of “copies” the downtown Rochester boutique is carrying.

In Michigan, a piracy rate of 14.7% translates into $64.7 million in retail losses and $34.9 million in lost tax revenue. We don’t need losses like these in this shaky economy.

Why is it not a good idea to buy fakes?

Lucky for you, the consumer, it’s not a crime to buy counterfeit merchandise, but it is a crime to sell it. The sad thing about a merchant selling these counterfeit items is that manufacturers like Coach, Kate Spade and Gucci are spending millions of dollars battling the counterfeit problem and by buying these counterfeits, you are contributing to organized crime, terrorism and unsafe products like sunglasses that fail to provide UV protection as advertised.

How did I know they were selling fakes?

Well. for one thing, the salesperson told me. She flat out said that the “Coach” sandals I was looking at were fake and that she saw the real Coach sandalsat Perisian for over $100 (at Nordstrom they are $188). It made me nasious.

She was quick to point out that they carried all sorts of “fake” designer merchandise. Not only that, when looking around the store, I noticed a t-shirt I had recently purchased at Marshalls for about $7. Her price… $36. Can I say, “Rip off!”

Please be cautious when shopping for designer labels and think twice about what you are buying. When you purchase a fake, you become part of the cycle of counterfeiting, and your money directly supports these things you would never want to support. Not to mention the fact that counterfeiting is a legal headache for the original designers. Trademark infringement is huge in the counterfeiting market, and most designers will seek the aid of a trademark specialist law firm similar to Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC ( to try and stop the unlawful selling of their products.

The Facts:

  • Counterfeiting costs U.S. businesses $200 billion to $250 billion annually.
  • Counterfeit merchandise is directly responsible for the loss of more than 750,000 American jobs.
  • Since 1982, the global trade in illegitimate goods has increased from $5.5 billion to approximately $600 billion annually.
  • Approximately 5%-7% of the world trade is in counterfeit goods.
  • U.S. companies suffer $9 billion in trade losses due to international copyright piracy.
  • Counterfeiting poses a threat to global health and safety.

The video below is from a special on the Today show about designer fakes.

source: IACC

Detroit Mommies Expert Contributor
Courtney is the traveling mom! She has 3 girls and is the founder of Detroit Mommies and currently lives in Florida. You can follow her on Twitter @courtneyRVL.
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