Fake Designer Handbags - How To Spot a Counterfeit Purse


According to the New York Times (June 4, 2004), approximately 17 men were arrested in a "sting" to catch sellers of replica handbags by famous designers. Smugglers paid one million dollars to undercover operatives posing as corrupt customs agents. Forty foot shipping containers were loaded with fake Louis Vuittons, Cartiers, and Gucci handbags made in factories in China. These purses were then sent to stores in Chinatown in New York City through ports in New Jersey, where custom officials received $50,000.00 each time a shipment was cleared.

Smuggling operations were conducted out of a storefront on Canal Street where a second, hidden back room was filled with designer fakes. The display wall in the "legitimate" store contained a remote controlled door leading to the secret storage filled with bags.

There is a difference between handbags that are obviously not an original. For example, there are the designer fakes that have an "LV" almost exactly mimicking a genuine Louis Vuitton and a purse that has different initials but a similar design. Usually, the craftsmanship is inferior in a knockoff designer bag - puckered seams, low quality leather, and large and uneven stitching. Another giveaway for fakes is the price. Real Louis Vuitton handbags sell for about $500.00 to $1,000.00 or more and a knockoff can be purchased for around $100.00 to $200.00 each. Also, if you buy your purse out of the truck of a car, you can pretty much bet it's not real!

Another raid was recently conducted in Connecticut at a local flea market in Wellingford. Nine people were arrested for selling counterfeit items including handbags and watches. A total of 4,483 items were seized. A raid recently took place in Dallas, Texas and $250,000.00 in goods were confiscated. This store has over $100,000.00 in sales per month!

So what harm does it do to purchase a fake designer handbag? There are a multitude of reasons to NOT buy knockoffs, beginning with the fact that we, as taxpayers, carry the burden for this tax-free business. According to government sources, 200 billion is approximately the amount that counterfeiters do not pay - this means that honest taxpayers make up the difference!

Another reason is organized crime. By purchasing a designer fake, we are supporting illegal activity. There is even some evidence that part of the money for bombing the World Trade Center came from the sale of counterfeit goods. There is also documentation that these purses are made by child laborers in unsafe conditions.

How do smugglers get around the law? One way is for designer fake handbags to be imported without the labels. Customs will not seize these purses without the designer labels because then there is no proof. The tags are then added on the goods in this country. Fines of not more than $250,000.00 and no more than 5 years in jail await these smugglers. The profits range in millions of dollars per years.

If you want to help stop counterfeiters, you can report these replica handbags at the genuine websites of all the handbag designers such as Coach, Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, Dior, Gucci, etc.


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