Buying fake goods is NOT harmless. In fact, it's a crime.
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 www.myauthentics.com for more guidance.