Tuesday, January 21, 2014

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Fashion Law

How to Spot Fake Merchandise--

This topic has been visited a few times--on this site through various posts, and by some of our fashion law friends.  However, a reminder is always good, especially as e-commerce continues to dominate.  We want to make sure you're fully aware of what you're buying, and why you shouldn't be buying items not properly sourced to the right designer.

Here's some guidance on purchasing the right pieces:

It's improperly placed
If it's not in an approved retailer, is positioned in a mall kiosk, or is sold on a street corner or out of a trunk--it's fake!

The price is too good to be true
Real luxury goods come at a cost.  When you enter their stores, they'll tell you you're making and investment, not a purchase.  If the price is way beyond right, it's not real.  No hardworking designer--established or rising--is short selling their work.

It doesn't look quite right
Does the design look just a tad bit off?  Are the letters skewed?  Are the letters wrong?!  If anything about the item is not right--it's fake.  Artists are perfectionists, and they don't let imperfect products hit the market.  If an item looks off, don't buy it.

The signs are obvious
This is when logos are incorrect.  Trademarks are terribly infringed, and real artistry is compromised.  You know you are dealing with a fake when all of the 3 above are present.  You can also be sure when the seller can barely give you facts about the brand.  Frequenting designer shops--even department stores--you'll find knowledgeable sales associates who know about what their selling.  When you can't get a straight story on what you're buying, keep your money.

It's produced in the gray market  
Gray market goods skirt the line of infringement.  Their crafty, shifty ways to make goods seem legit.  They're not.  Gray market goods are produced at legitimate factories, but under illegitimate terms.  These goods are categorically fake.  Don't support them.  They're made contrary to the factory's terms with the designer, skim designers of their rightful money, and impair brand quality in the market.  How would you want your hard work treated?  As Fashion Law Trailblazer Susan Scafidi points out in this news spot on Superfakes, these items often fund organized crime and terrorism.

We often tell you how goods are found in the market, but here is another reminder:
The Rating System
(1) The real thing
(2) The real thing....but the designer finds something about it imperfect for sale
(3) A great fake; looks real, but it's not.  We still discourage purchase of these.
(4) A terrible fake.  Sellers and buyers should know and do better.  Smh.

Be careful when shopping and make sure your purchases are legit on all levels.  For more, check out our 3-part series on The Battle Against Counterfeits.  

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