"If you're a luxury brand and you don't think you're being counterfeited, you're living in a cave," said Harley Lewin, intellectual property lawyer. "It's a constant fight."
With consumers not being able to afford the "real thing," the counterfeit market has gained monetary momentum in the past couple of years selling fake shoes, bags, and other goods online and in stores. Such illegitimate business — which mostly comes from China — cost retailers about $250 billion a year and 750,000 lost jobs. That said, brands are suffering while impostors are reaping the benefits of hard times. Are you tempted to buy fake goods during tough times?
You might think that counterfeits exist only in the realm of "Mark Jacobs" and "Guchi" purses, but there are fake and black-market beauty goods, too. I love a bargain, so I wind up buying a lot of housewares and accessories on eBay. But when it comes to shopping for cosmetics, you've got to be careful. I've found quite a few counterfeit eye shadows, lipsticks, glosses and fragrances—all offered at prices that are too good to be true. While there are honest sellers out there, a few folks are out to make a quick buck.
Why is buying counterfeit merchandise a bad idea? There are a few reasons, but first and foremost is your health. If you don't know where a product really comes from, or what ingredients are inside, why would you let it touch your skin? Counterfeits also funnel money into shady operations, and—oh yeah—they're illegal. And on a less sinister level, the colors just aren't accurate!
To find out how to avoid buying fakes, read more