We live in a society where labels matter. Right or wrong, individuals are judged based on the brand of car that they drive…the brand of clothing, shoes, and watch that they wear.
I doubt that many of you will disagree with that assertion, but there are (at least) three pieces of evidence that prove the point.
- Kids have been killed by other kids for the purpose of stealing sneakers – Nike Air Jordans.
- Many brands have enlarged the logos on their products at the expense of aesthetics.
- The counterfeit market for exclusive luxury brands continue to boom.
20/20 recently did a piece on the exploding market for counterfeit women’s shoes (Christian Louboutin, YSL, etc). Online retailers of the knock-off shoes guaranteed the authenticity of their products and offered money-back guarantees. They even had website names like “AuthenticLouboutins.com”. Yet, when the shoes showed up and were assessed by experts, they were clearly fake. Check out the 7-minute video here.
The luxury watch market suffers from the same counterfeit issues. A few months ago I blogged about millions of dollars worth of counterfeit Rolex watches being confiscated and destroyed by Philadelphia police. That was likely the tip of the tip of the iceberg.
Why do these counterfeiters thrive? Because people have a strong desire to own branded luxury products – yet not everyone can afford them. People pass on paying full price at Saks or Tourneau and head to the Internet in search of deals. And sure, they find great prices…but what they often get in return for their money is a cheap, counterfeit version of what they’re really after.
So what’s a consumer to do? Well, certainly proceed with caution if any deal seems too good to be true. It probably is. Do you trust the online retailer? Read the following blog to see if they’ve done enough to earn your trust: Developing Trust.
Also, why not consider pre-owned? Buying pre-owned is a great way to acquire luxury products at a discount. Worried about condition? You may not have to. The women I know treat their $500+ shoes like members of the family. Pre-owned watches remain in great condition or can be restored to almost new condition. Your products may not be new – but at least they’re real.
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(Photo by ABC News)