This issue has been bothering me, especially ever since I heard a discussion on this topic on a local radio talk show a week or so back. It saddens me that the "counterfeit" industry is going from strength to strength. Why? Because consumers are supporting them by increasing demand on these fake stuff. A few listeners actually called in and said that yes, they do and will buy fake designer goods as it is cheaper (duh) and looks as good as the real deal. It's true that nowadays they are so good you cannot tell the difference between them, unless you're a forensic scientist or something.
My stand? I am against all forms of piracy, especially on consumer and commercial goods. I do not understand the need to own a fake Gucci, Prada, Coach or LV merchandise. Quoting the radio deejay "You mean you would buy a fake just to give people the impression that you can afford a real one?" This is so true, it really speaks of pretentiousness and shallow-ness; giving a false impression! If you would not lie about yourself nor others, why would you want to give a false impression of yourself? My take is this, why would you spend 200 bux on a fake to give the impression that you can afford 2,000 bux? To show others that you have taste? To show others that you are financially sound? Buying a fake proves neither of the above. Some tai-tais out there buy loads of real stuff which are 'unbecoming' and yet loads of non-designer brands out there are actually classy and gorgeous; e.g. Zara, Charles & Keith and GAP. There is no need to resort to fakes. It is distasteful and embarrassing, not to mention illegal! Yes, that's right, it's illegal.
In Rome, if you are caught buying a fake from an illegal street vendor, the buyer will be arrested, not the seller! And I heard a radio caller mentioned that someone she knows was arrested at US customs for carrying a fake Coach bag. How embarrassing!
I am glad LV took a stand against eBay for selling fake merchandise online. This industry should not be supported.
In short, here are why I think consumers buy fake designer goods:
- To give an impression that they are 'someone else', richer, classier, more tasteful etc (wannabes?)
- They like the design of the real deal but are not willing to spend.
- They think designer bags makes them special or rich or whatever, if it's not YOU, it's not REAL. Be yourself. If you cannot afford it, don't fake it!
- They want to impress their friends. Face it, if your friends are familiar with the real deal, you would look like a fool, if they do not know any better, they are not worth impressing. Anyway your good friends would know the real you, whether or not you are deserving of it.
- It's illegal! Seriously!
- You can get caught and that is so low. I think they should eventually insert microchips into these goods so they can scan these bags at customs to weed out the fakers.
- It's so third-world! Come on, Malaysia is a developing country, if these activities flourish, how do we take us to the next level?
- It's unfair to the design houses as they lose out on royalties and their sales plummets, forcing them to hike up their retail prices even more, thus making these goods further out of reach. Imagine if you are the designer or brand owner!
- It's sad for those who own the real thing, as then people wonder if yours is a real or a fake! The authentic stuff lose value. So sad!
- Buying the real deal from an authorized store begets you fantastic level of service and after-sales services that you should not miss out on.
- Because nothing beats walking into a real store and buying the real deal.
- Because absolutely nothing beats HAVING the real deal.
- It is estimated that 1 in 5 Chinese women (China) owns a fake handbag and usually that is an LV bag. (source: http://www.fashion-era.com)
- A court in
has found eBay guilty of selling fake copies of designer goods on its web site. eBay will have to pay 40 million Euros to LVMH, a designer goods group. (source: http://www.shortnews.com) France
I know this one post here isn't going to change the world, but I hope to create some awareness. The sun would shine when our country put a stand against imitation designer products. It's bound to happen sooner or later, if we're taking a stand on pirated softwares, music and movies, it's a matter of time before this comes on the agenda. This calls for a 2 pronged approach to this problem; firstly crackdown the sellers and 'smugglers' and secondly to change the mindset of these consumers.
Take a stand, say NO to fakes. Get real.