Thursday, December 10, 2009

Uh Oh, No More FAUX!!!


So, as you may know, the counterfeit industry heavily effects, not only the fashion and apparel industry, but our GDP/GNP (gross domestic/national product). I'm getting technical because I wrote a 15+ page paper on counterfeiting when I was in college. As I pull out the ol' flash drive, I'll give you some facts via 2007, LOL!
  • “Recent research show that a third of Americans admit to having bought counterfeit goods- most knowingly. We do it because fakes are a bargain” –Nick Higham
  • Average consumers are unaware that counterfeiting is linked to organized crime, and child labor.
  • US businesses lose $250 billion dollars each year due to counterfeiting.
  • “About 6 percent of world trade is counterfeit, and roughly 14 percent of the fake goods are sold online” –Cate Corcoran
  • “This is a major growth industry." The increasing criminal attraction is natural considering the relatively low costs for entering the market and for manufacturing goods. Profits are high, and getting caught carries far fewer penalties than most criminal activities,” says Raymond Kelly, New York City’s police commissioner.
  • Counterfeit apparel and accessory sales have been linked to terrorist groups like al Quaeda, Hamas, and Hezobollah.
  • “Counterfeiters do not pay their employees fair wages or benefits, have poor working conditions, and often use forced child labor”-IACC

OK ok, I didn't mean to bombard you with boring facts, but I'm kinda a nerd like that, and this subject is of interest to me!!

On to the point--->>On Tuesday morning, the NYPD raided a strip of 31 stores on the south end of Canal Street in NYC. The stores were searched, and all 'alleged' counterfeit merchandise was removed. The stores were allowed to re-open shortly after.

For those who haven't had the opportunity to visit, Canal St. is THE place to go for all counterfeit, fake, and probably even stolen merchandise. Mainly fashion goods like designer purses, shoes, clothes, jewelry, and fragrances. Now, everything isn't fake or stolen. You can also get good bargains on things like pashmina scarves, sunglasses, jewelry etc.

I remember my 1st experience on Canal St. this past September. It was quite thrilling!! I had been eagerly waiting to go, mainly to experience what everyone was talking about, but also to find a bargain! I don't condone any illegal activity, counterfeiting being a part of that. However, the excitement of finding something cheap and unique was my motivation. It's interesting to see the culture and ALL the people. It can be quite annoying though, walking down Canal, because of the "sellers." I'm referring to the people who probably just got busted!! There are at least 10 on every block, and they bug you! "Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Chanel," they repeat. The funny thing is that they can hardly speak English, but they can say Chanel!! They hold crummy looking cards with the pictures of all the counterfeit bags they have. IF you show interest, they take you around the corner and up an alley somewhere to show you the merchandise in private. Always looking out for the POLICE!!

My friend wanted some Gucci shoes, so were we taken into the back of a store and shown a variety of shoes. They were official. I suppose stolen, but if not, they were really good quality counterfeit! IDK. They were selling them for $90, and she haggled them down to $50, and THEN decided not to get them!

I think everyone should make a trip to Canal St. for the the experience if nothing else. Hurry up though, it might not be the same much longer! LOL, but honestly, I don't think counterfeiting or Canal St.'s business is going anywhere, anytime soon... Not until our country passes stricter laws for the crime.

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