Counterfeit Goods: How to Spot ’em and Why You Should Avoid ’em

Anyone who has ever been to Asia knows the joy of shopping for fake Nikes, Rolexes, Hermes, Levis, and tons of other brand name products. And, for $10 or so, how can you go wrong? That’s why more than $500 billion is spent on counterfeit goods every year.

Unfortunately, buying counterfeit goods is technically illegal. While this is hardly enough motivation to stop tourists in Bangkok, there are some other issues to take into consideration before hoisting that $8 Prada bag over you shoulder.

Few shoppers really know the true damage that counterfeit goods can cause. That is why The Harper’s Bazaar Anticounterfeiting Alliance has emerged to educate bargain seekers “on the egregious criminal activities funded by these sales, including child labor, terrorism and drug cartels.”

In addition, their rather informative website, Fakes are Never in Fashion, offers tips on how to spot a fake and how to report a suspected counterfeiter. Perhaps the coolest thing, however, is that they are currently running a contest in which readers can turn in any luxury counterfeit item they’ve purchased and “be entered to win a $1,000 luxury shopping spree.”

Thanks, but no thanks! I’m keeping my Bangkok Rolex that tells the correct time twice a day!

(Via National Geographic Traveler)