It used to be pretty easy to spot counterfeit luxury goods online: when a handbag that normally costs, say, $3,000 is available for $50 on a website that popped up overnight, that’s usually a pretty good hint. That’s why counterfeiters have an interesting new tactic: they’re improving the quality of their fakes and selling them for prices closer to those of the original item. You know, to keep from arousing customers’ suspicion. [More]
Fighting the rising tide of counterfeit goods is a constant battle for luxury brands, and a big priority if they want to stay in business. That’s why a French company behind luxury brands like Gucci, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta and sportswear names like Puma is suing Chinese online marketplace Alibaba, claiming it’s making it easy for customers to buy counterfeit goods in bulk through its websites.
After another Chinese government agency scolded e-commerce giant Alibaba and its eBayesque subsidiary Taobao over its mismanagement of its business and for selling or allowing bogus goods to be sold to the public, the country’s Ministry of Commerce has pledged to crack the whip on the online industry and try harder to prevent the sale of counterfeit goods.
Show me someone who predicted federal agents would be engaged in a literal panty raid and I will show you a liar, because the idea is preposterous — at first. But in a scenario that’s actually par for the course for agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (which falls under the Department of Homeland Security’s auspices) put the kibosh on a lingerie boutique for selling unauthorized Kansas City Royals underwear.
We can imagine it now — New York City’s Canal street, home of street vendors hawking goods that bear a striking resemblance (in some cases) or look kinda sorta like (in most cases) luxury brand purses, watches, sunglasses and more. But something is wrong. There are no murmurs of “GucciPradaLouisVuittonRolex.” There are no roving bands of tourists trying to figure out where to score the best fakes, no hands beckoning shoppers into back rooms filled with merchandise. This could be the city’s future if lawmakers have their way. [More]
Philip has a fun and profitable hobby: he looks for great deals on items online, then resells those items on the Amazon Marketplace. Recently, he found a great deal on headphones on Amazon itself, so he bought the item before the price expired, then listed it on Amazon as usual. This resulted in a nastygram from Amazon telling him that his account had been suspended for listing counterfeit Sennheiser headphones. You know, the same ones that he just bought from Amazon.
No one wants to buy something they thought was Louis Vuitton, or an iPad, only to take it home and discover it’s nothing but a lousy fake. It’s big business though, as U.S. Customs and Border Protection snagged around 25,000 counterfeit goods valued at $178.9 million total last year. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular items you should be avoiding, shall we?
The sidewalks of lower Manhattan, especially Chinatown, are filled with vendors selling genuine faux Louis Vuitton bags “Ugggs” boots and Ronex watches. One city councilwoman from that neighborhood is so fed up of trying to fight the problem from the supply side that she’s introducing new legislation that would attempt to curb demand by making it illegal to purchase counterfeit merchandise.