DON’T FAKE IT!

As much as I drool over Chanel, Fendi, and Louis Vuitton is as much I cringe when I see them being sold as ‘commodities’ at flea markets. Call me ‘stuck-up’, ‘light-headed’ or ‘pricy’ but I detest (with an underline) the billion-dollar industry which revolves around the circulation of fakes.

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Photo Credits: Shefali J. Jauhar

We buy brands not for the product but for its heritage. The great tales and legends around the brand is what inspire us.

It’s sad to see the invasion of fakes taken over the globe. With the net worth of this illegal industry rising year after year, the rate at which fakes are blending in with the authentic market is rather horrifying.

How does buying a fake make up for even half the happiness of owning an original? The answer to this will be hollow and the feeling evoked by it will never be a satisfied one.

There are two kinds of victims in this billion dollar industry. First, the ones who buy them knowing it’s a fake and what they’re in for. Before I proceed, I need to correct myself and call them law-breakers. Their actions aren’t justifiable in any way. Luxury brands aren’t just brands, they are a force to be reckoned with. They need to be respected.

The real victims in this mess are those who aspire to own such brands but cannot afford the steep prices. Instead, they opt for second-hand originals but are duped into buying fakes at a few hundred dollars, cheaper. Their intention of buying an “original” at a second-hand rate isn’t wrong. They are just doing this out of the practicality aspect.

Moving on, victims like these will buy products faithfully. They will strut them around, never to realize or question its originality. Even if they do so, many at times the outcomes of such realizations are of no use.

Con-artists and cunning businessmen lurk in every nook and corner, here are a few ways one can avoid falling into the fake racket:

Research: Before investing a lump sum amount in a fancy handbag or an outfit for that matter, do tonnes of research. With the convenience of the digital world these days, one can look into all the little details very carefully. From the material to the measurement, one must have a keen eye while inspecting the actual product presented.

 Online Shopping: I would recommend keen shoppers to avoid online shopping as much as possible. The result does not always match the what-you-see-is-what-you-get interface. There is always an element of doubt even with second-hand goods as the element of origin remains questionable. However one may find a few trusted websites like Net-a-Porter and portero.com which are trusted for their genuine products.

 Leather speaks it all: Many at times the bags manufactured are not pure leather. If it doesn’t smell or feel like leather, the authencity ends right there with a full stop.

 Check your dealer: When you’re buying resale, the highest bets should be placed on the dealer. While browsing online, check the feedback provided by past customers. If you like a particular product then enquire for more pictures of the same. Many at times, the picture posted is borrowed and you’re buying it by the picture.

 Campaign against the crime: You don’t need to be a politician, all you need is awareness and your actions to spread it around. Discourage your peers from engaging in such purchases. If you spot shady dealers then do your bit and report it to the concerned authorities. You will feel more dignified and connected to the brand that captures the special spot in your heart!


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