First the shoppers, then the retailers, and now the counterfeiters. It's official: the recession
really is affecting everybody. The economic downturn hasn't exactly hurt the multi-billion dollar knock-off industry but what it has done is change the way counterfeiters do business. The usual victims, high-end retailers like Louis Vuitton
, and Coach
, are being replaced by less expensive luxury brands
like Samantha Thavasa
, Anya Hindmarch
, and Kooba
. Smaller labels are appealing to counterfeiters for many reasons: they're easier to sell online, can often be priced higher, and because the designers run smaller operations they're less likely to trigger a lawsuit. One of the most common new tricks is to offer brand name bags at fairly small discounts, i.e. $190 for a $250 bag, on small but well-designed websites. The result is unwitting consumers who think they've found a good bargain
on a genuine article and buy, often being none the wiser until it's too late.
Unfortunately there's not a lot that can be done as there will always be crooks out there looking to make a buck (and the internet is notoriously difficult to patrol) so your best bet is to always buy from reputable retailers you trust and to remember: if that bargain looks too good to be true it probably is.