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Buying Fake Purses is Child Abuse

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Buying fake goods is NOT harmless. In fact, it's a crime.

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In her book "Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster" writer Dana Thomas wrote "I remember walking into an assembly plant in Thailand a couple of years ago and seeing six or seven little children, all under 10 years old, sitting on the floor assembling counterfeit leather handbags. An investigator told me ... 'The owners had broken the children's legs and tied the lower leg to the thigh so the bones wouldn't mend. [They] did it because the children said they wanted to go outside and play.'"

The truth behind counterfeit products is a startling one many of us don't know. Fake products don't just come in the form of a faux Louis Vuitton purse or a Rolex watch. It's also baby formula, medicine and food. Making and importing these items wreaks havoc on humanity, with such side effects as child labor, U.S. job loss (750,000 this year alone) and even supporting terrorism.

Though there has been a major crackdown on counterfeit operations recently, counterfeiters are finding ways around new laws. What we can do is NOT buy them -- they're just not worth it (and they're kind of cheesy anyway). Here's how to spot one:

1. The price -- If it's too good to be true it's probably not real.

2. Details -- If something doesn't look right, the stitching is crooked, or the zipper looks cheap, it probably isn't authentic.

3. Signature Marks -- Some designers stamp a serial number, others do a date on the item. Find out your designer's signature marks and see if the bag has one.

4. Check the logo -- Counterfeiters sometimes alter the logo slightly. For example, a fake Lacoste item may have the crocodile facing left instead of right.

5. Vintage Stores -- Although vintage retailers are more aware, they still cannot guarantee authenticity. It's the consumer's responsibility to find the fakes.

6. Still confused? Visit for more guidance.

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10 comments so far | Post a comment now
angrymom January 9, 2009, 8:38 PM

Oh please!! And buying cheap crap at Wal-mart isn’t abusing anyone? This article is just trying to stir the pot. Designer bags (and their cheap ugly knockoffs) are lame anyway. Who wants to walk around looking like they dropped $1,000 on a handbag when there are thousands of people out of work and losing their homes?? Disgusting self-centered people, that’s who.

anna January 10, 2009, 12:16 PM

knockoffs are lame, just like the real things. Every time I see celebrities with $3,000 bags and $10,000 shoes I think about how much of a sucker they are for spending that much money for a name and $.45 worth of fabric.

Jack Hoffman January 10, 2009, 12:52 PM

As someone who knows this business better than any investigator who thinks they do I submit over twenty years of experience including a conviction of one count of knocking off Burberry. All these figures have never been substantiated and are just plain propaganda invented by the U.S. Chamber who have an agenda for outsourcing.
I suggest asking them to prove it—- Their answer is just ask ICE. Ice’s answer is even more ambiguous Not a single major US company has come forth and admitted job loss from knockoffs.
Incidently from someone who knows most of the knockoffs sold on the street begin with the purchase of generic bags . Someone either stamps or engraves the name. Incidently if a serial number is needed they do that too. Why take the risk of importing? Only those that want to earn another 20% do that. I will be more than happy to write more and challenge any investigator including Dana Thomas( who refuses to respond to my questions of provability) to prove the story about the broken leg. Did she see it done?I will submit to any questioning you may so desire. Yes I’ve seen the factories in Korea where the best merchandise comes from. Lets not make LV and the rest the centerfold in a serious matter. Don’t kid yourself, they love the publicity. I can prove that too.

Jack Hoffman

Just Google me and counterfeit

curvymom January 12, 2009, 12:39 AM

Just go to Kohls, pay $20-$30 for a nice frumpy immitation alligator bag, and you will look much hotter than the people wearing the generic LV’s and DB’s.
Besides, depending on how the the crime rate is rising in your area, walk outside the first time you use your nice little Louie bag, and guaranteed you’ll have it yanked from you in a matter of minutes!
I’ll keep my cheap Kohl’s purses, thanks.

Judy January 12, 2009, 1:15 PM

This last statement is a little off the point. You can have your purse stolen no matter where you live or where you go. With life, comes crime.
I have bags ranging from $3.00 to $200.00, either way the chances of some underaged and/or underpaid worker made the bag. Most stores do sell made in america hand bags, clothes, shoes, etc. Say what you want about me but we all buy these that are made in countries with questionable work ethics.

michelescurls March 10, 2009, 10:09 AM

The problem lies with the 3rd world countries. They need to get their act together with child labor laws.

michelescurls March 10, 2009, 10:10 AM


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