There is no doubt that the market for designer handbags is huge. Every year millions and millions of dollars are spent by people seeking to own part of an image. The image of taste, style, and distinction is exactly what designer manufacturers are selling. Largely speaking, high-end designer handbags are of impeccable quality, durability, and style. Unfortunately, there are many manufacturers that have developed the technology and purchased the same equipment used by the high-end designers in order to reproduce, with remarkable detail, the same high-end designer bags.
Since the companies who are stealing trademarks and profits from the high-end designers are not declaring themselves as such, there is no way for a consumer to know exactly what went into the manufacturing of these designer handbags. The market for “designer replica bags” is legitimate, or least it is legal, bBut the manufacturers who are passing off their rip-off bags as authentic are the problem.
Who’ Cares if I buy a Designer Knock-Off? No One Is getting Hurt, Right
Some consumers simply don’t care if the handbag is authentic so long as it looks to be so. The argument goes, who is being hurt if I buy a fake Louis Vuitton or a fake Hermes bag? Aaside from the obvious profits which are lost by the designers, that is a very good question. Who is being hurt by the manufacturer of these designer knockoff handbags?
The truth is, since these are organizations engaged in criminal activity, we can’t know. There have been suggestions that the knockoff designer handbags market engages in child labor abuses. It has also been suggested that some of the funds generated by counterfeit operations funds terrorism, though I have not found any specific information to confirm that. Without a doubt, the funds are being used to fund criminal.
Gray Market v. Black Market Goods
Even handbags which are authentic can be sold illegally. It is referred to as “gray market goods”. These products are authentic; however, they are not authorized to be sold the way they are being sold. Goods that are stolen or smuggled are sold often on the Internet, sometimes on eBay. Selling great market goods is illegal just as if it is illegal to sell counterfeit goods. It does not matter if the seller knows if the goods were not obtained through licensed channels.
Designer Inspired Handbags
Designer inspired handbags, on the other hand, are copying the general look and feel of the original designer bags but make obvious efforts to ensure that these bags would never be mistaken for the original designer handbag. Selling designer inspired handbags is legal but remember that you are not allowed to mention the name of the designer from which the design is inspired by.
Declaring your Fakes as Fakes
It is also illegal to sell counterfeit goods even if you declare them as such. The reason for this is that if the manufacturer has replicated the logo or other trademarked design features and then in that bag is counterfeit as opposed to “designer inspired”. Even if you tell your buyers that the fake Coach handbag is a fake, you are still engaging in the trafficking of counterfeit goods.
If you are planning or already are selling high-end designer wholesale handbags, it is imperative that you know your sources. Selling counterfeit goods as authentic on eBay will get you banned at best. At worst you could have a visit from the FBI knocking on your door seizing your entire inventory and possibly taking you to jail. This would be a worst-case scenario, but it has happened.