Market stalls, tourist spots, high streets, beaches, the Internet – all places where you are likely to come across people selling fake designer goods.
But is there any harm in nabbing a pair of “Louboutins” from a market, or a “Chanel” handbag from a girl selling them on a foreign beach?
The answer depends a lot on the situation and what the buyer expects. If you make an impulse buy in a tourist market and pick up fake perfume – as long as you know it’s going to be fake then that’s up to you. Whereas if you invest a lot of money in an APPLE iPhone believing it to be genuine but at a bargain price and then find out the item is a cheap knock-off – you’re not going to be pleased.
The argument that by buying fakes you are doing the legitimate business out of their sales is true sometimes but most people are never going to buy the expensive designer goods and buying something that looks expensive but was cheap may be harmless fun.
Fake goods do damage the reputation of the legitimate companies and chances are the fakes are made in much worse factories and conditions than the genuine articles, so should be avoided for that reason alone.
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau advises consumers to avoid buying fake goods because “you’re helping the trader to break the law”. “Many fraudsters use the proceeds from selling counterfeit goods to fund drug dealing or other types of organised crime”
“In 2010, Louis Vuitton initiated 10,673 raids and 30,171 anti-counterfeiting procedures worldwide, resulting in the seizure of thousands of counterfeit products and the breaking up of criminal networks.”
“So long as people know what they’re getting, there’s really no need to get worked up about it.”
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