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Fake purses -- where do you stand?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by Jonathan, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. AnyDayNow

    AnyDayNow Registered Guest

    It isn't like prohibition because Patent and Trademark laws have been around for a very long time. Why do you think it is okay or "fun" for someone to have an idea, to market that idea, to spend millions and millions to advertise that idea, and then someone else can just ride on the coattails of all that work and make money by "copying"? It is illegal to do that. It isn't an issue like smoking to me.. counterfeiters make a lot of things besides just purses. They make fake drugs and they make them in ways that it is unsafe to consume those drugs yet they get into the hands of unwitting consumers. Maybe the new decade has brought a different level of morality that believes laws should be upheld.. who knows. If we legalize "copying" other peoples ideas why would anyone think any new ones up? If we could just keep leaning on others ideas and making money off of other peoples hard work then eventually we would stagnate as noone would have incentive to think any new ideas up.
  2. avamac

    avamac Alumni

    When margarine was first marketed in the US, it came in a plastic pouch with a orange spot of dye....you had to work the bag in your hands to make it yellow. This was, according to my dad, the work of the dairy lobby, which was eventually overruled/outspent by the margarine manufacturers. Suddenly margarine was yellow, and cubed, like butter.
  3. Jonathan

    Jonathan VFG Member

    It could be argued that knock-offs increase the marketing visibility of the real things. Coco Chanel showed her collections to manufacturers before the fashion press so that the copies would come out asap which underscored the importance of her collection. The nature of fashion is to copy and it is legally done through licensing but it is also often not legally done at all (Ralph Lauren vs. YSL). I don't underestimate the human ability to create and I am sure there would always be new ways of looking at old objects and rethinking how they might be different but without some copying you won't even get seasonal looks -- only wearable art being modelled on underfed teenagers walking up and down catwalks. Something has to be purchased, worn, copied, imitated and knocked off to be a success. Diane VonFurstenberg did not invent the wrap-around dress, Capezio did not invent butterfly applique leather cowboy boots, Chanel didn't even invent costume jewellery, the little black dress, or silk jersey! These were all developments taken to a new level from established modes. In turn, they were all copied by different companies at different levels of quality to meet the budgets of all women. This is why my original comment related to intent. Is the knock-off designer purse intended to fool the buyer into thinking it is a real Prada or Gucci bag or is it a knock-off inspired by the design of these high end bags and at what point do you draw the line between inspired copy and rip off -- especially when the knock-offs are so obvious. Perhaps the only way you can define an illegal knock-off is when the fake uses, for example, LV insignia and labels the inside of the bag 'Vuitton - made in France'...

    BTW: Did you know that butter can not be legally sent into Canada by mail? lol
    GemGem likes this.
  4. ivycompany

    ivycompany VFG Member

    Dang, I was about to send you a "LV" logo tote full of butter. Now what am I going to do ?! ;)
    GemGem likes this.
  5. Catbooks1940s

    Catbooks1940s VFG Member

    knock-offs and counterfeits/fakes are two different things.

    i have a vintage 60s gucci knock-off handbag. very well made, the brown/green/red fabric stripe across the front, but it has some other maker inside; it's not claiming to be a gucci.

    then there are the 'goach' handbags. fabric looks rather like the coach fabric monographs, but it's clear it's not a coach. that too is a knock-off, and perfectly legal.

    a counterfeit or fake is intending to deceive, and is illegal. some of them are darned good, too.
  6. vertugarde

    vertugarde Alumni

    I understand 'knock-offs and counterfeits/fakes' to be one and the same thing.
  7. GemGem

    GemGem Registered Guest

    To be honest, if something is sold as a copy, clearly and loudly and they are not negatively impacting other businesses or their consumers I am ok with this. I don't think the same market will spend 60 and 600 on a bag/jewellery. That said I do detest really badly made copies with the supposed leather which rubs off and makes a mess! What is the point in that!
  8. In another thread, I complain about a "Liberty J. Crew" dress that I bought on Poshmark. The Poshmark seller titled the listing with the Liberty name and called the dress a Liberty item in her description but never used a word such as "authentic" or "genuine". Because she never used a definitive descriptor, the seller and Poshmark would not refund me, and my credit card company will not process a chargeback [EDIT: I kept bugging my bank and today they said they'd refund the charge!]. (When I received the dress, I found that it was NOT a Liberty fabric... J. Crew does use Liberty fabrics for some of their items but this dress was not one of them.)
    While I hesitate to say the Poshmark seller intended to deceive, I also don't think I should have to pay for her blatant descriptive mistake.

    Do the street sellers of counterfeit bags actually use the brand name on their signs or in their verbiage?
    In my experience, the thrift store would not write the brand name on the price tag and therefore it's an assumption of the buyer that the item is whatever brand it is imitating... or not.

    As for how I feel about the business of cheap copies of high end brands... well, as Jonathan said in his initial post, that is the nature of the fashion business. The styles and colors in the department store are generally derived from the styles and colors of the high end designer items that year. But copying styles and colors is different than copying logos and names. Hmmm, I guess I'm of two minds on this.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2021
  9. Jonathan

    Jonathan VFG Member

    Wow - a vintage post! I wrote that initial post when I was still in my 40s!
  10. Oops, I didn't even notice that it was an old post! :hysterical:
    Jonathan and Retro Ruth like this.
  11. Avantbo

    Avantbo Registered Guest

    I read this thread with great interest, age of it doesn't matter and in any case peoples views may have changed since 2008.

    For me the issue is relatively simple or fixable.

    It is not about intent, intent, (accept for the blindingly obvious), is notoriously difficult to prove.

    There is or should not be any grey area when it comes to selling, new, 2nd hand or used goods.

    If an item is sold, regardless of price, claiming to be a brand that it isn't, ( regardless of innocent intent ), the seller is liable, no grey area, no wiggle room, none.

    If you are selling an item and it is a fake, the seller is responsible, be that an individual or a middle party, that party is responsible for its descriptions and actions.

    It doesn't matter if item is so cheep buyer should have known, doesn't matter, no wiggle room, no grey area.

    If sold as a genuine article/brand and turns out not to be, doesn't matter, no wiggle room, no grey area, seller or middle person is liable.

    If it can be shown, ( not proved ), that the likes of eBay or others have been selling, knock offs or fake branded goods, they in the first instance are responsible for any restitution to the buyer ), not a long winded, jump through hoops refund procedure.

    The likes of Ebay will rightly claim they can't inspect every item on their site, this is true but the blindingly obvious statement is creating a grey area or wiggle room.

    The 1st or 2nd complaint of an item not being what it is, that seller can no longer sell until they show/prove to eBay branded item is the genuine thing.

    Amazon can be the same, they allow misleading adverts from a same seller or sellers, when shown irrefutably item is not as described or sold, they squint very hard, if a buyer reviews item, gives others a heads up, Amazon choose to publish or not or imo institute delaying tactics hoping the matter dies a death, both eBay and Amazon know this practice exists.

    Their argument that buyers should read reviews in this context, is not an argument, it does allow them a grey area, wiggle room.

    No wiggle room, no grey area, if such sites have allowed such goods to be sold, the owners of the site are responsible regardless of knowledge.

    Having written that I have often wondered--as some of these knock offs, fakes are so well made why the fakers don't produce in their own right.

    Many countries, this especially so of China have no regard or respect of copyright laws of others and blatantly infringe.

    This, including the UK, has suited the consumer very well and for many years.
  12. Jonathan

    Jonathan VFG Member

    You are talking about the sale of fakes that are intended to deceive. What I am referring to is knock-offs or fakes that are not sold with any intent to defraud. You can't seriously consider taking a thrift store to court for selling a fake Gucci clutch for $5.00.
  13. Avantbo

    Avantbo Registered Guest

    No I'm not.

    I will clarify.

    I know of no fake that is not intended to deceive.

    While banging out the above on my keyboard, I should have made clear, there is a difference, at least in my view between those that manufacture look a likes/clones but don't deceive the buying public by branding them in any other way but for what they are and those that manufacture fakes.

    My view, a fake is an item made to look like the genuine article no matter how well or badly made or price of.

    A knock off or clone is an item copied exactly or closely to an item but doesn't claim to be that item.

    You are back to intent, I have tried to avoid it for the reasons I gave in my earlier post.

    No wiggle room, no grey area, if an item $5.00 or $5000 is sold, new, used or 2nd hand and is found not to be what it purports, regardless of price, who/company/thrift store, whom ever sold it, regardless of knowledge or lack of , the seller is responsible to the buyer without question.

    Going to Court doesn't need to come in to it, there should be in place and consistently upheld a clear assumption a seller knows what they are selling.

    Such an assumption does not prove wrong doing, ( or bad intent ), but does cut a clear path as to responsibility.

    When you have the likes of eBay claiming as middle party only/agent and throwing their hands up in despair, spluttering what can we do!?

    Doesn't matter, they are, imo, immediately and should be responsible to the buyer regardless of their procedures, buyer protection policies, seller and agent to be assumed equal as to restitution and in that context the agent to be the 1st port of call.

    I accept such practice/law could open them to a lot of abuse, that's their problem and their fix, they choose to be an agent.

    I would imagine a thrift store large or small would be easier to manage when it come to fake branded goods and not selling them.

    I suspect however costly branded goods manufactures increase their sales by having fake items of their products on sale, nice for them = exposure, for the fakers, profit, does nothing for the buyer who themselves are practicing a form of deception when they buy such an item.

    Don't get me wrong buyers are SOBs too.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021

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