Thursday, June 07, 2007

Faux-cus on Fakes

Chinatown and eBay may be the prom king and queen of the faux trade but they're not the only ones ruffling feathers. In the first of a wave of suits, Fendi has just settled a claim with Sam's Club, a division of Wal-mart, that it had been selling counterfeit Fendi bags. The settlement amount has been undisclosed but the suit charged the warehouse with selling "significant quantities" of items valued "in the millions of dollars," according to WWD. Perhaps most upset by the news should be Burlington Coat Factory, Filene's Basement, Annie Sez, Ashley Reed and Colton International who are next up on Fendi's list, each with similiar lawsuits pending.

Want to avoid being taken? offers the following tips on how to spot a fake:

Location, Location, Location
First and foremost, purchasing luxury goods at a brand’s boutique, Web site or authorized dealer is your best bet to insure buying a genuine product. Items at flea markets, home parties, from street vendors or unauthorized Web sites are likely to be fake.

The Price is Right
Quality and exclusivity account for the high price of luxury goods. So, if the price seems to good to be true, it probably is.

Construction Sites
Craftsmanship is a main point of distinction with luxury goods. Sloppy stitches in less visible areas – such as the underside of a product or inside pockets – is likely the result of counterfeit production.

Package Deal
Luxury retailers meticulously package their products, including tissue paper, authenticity cards, product care information, and superior quality boxes and shopping bags. If you see a plastic wrap covering or a flimsy dust bag, it's probably a fake. For example, counterfeit manufacturers will often wrap the handles of handbags in plastic.

Counterfeiters will often misspell designer names. Check for letters that are swapped or a letter that is capitalized that shouldn’t be, and vice versa.

Check the Hardware
With most luxury accessories, you will find the logo on all the metal pieces, such as zippers, latches, snaps and buckles.

Read the Label
In a genuine article of luxury clothing, most often the label is stitched in, whereas counterfeit clothes are likely to have a less expensive hangtag. Also check the country of origin on the label.

Timely Tips
Makers of fake watches may not replicate unusual features, such as a helium relief valve. If the feature is available, often times it does not function.