What’s the Real Cost of Counterfeit Goods?
How dedicated are you to get the latest and hottest fashion trends on the market? Would you stay up until the midnight release so you can purchase the item right away? Or spend your last four months’ paycheck on the hottest new purse that all the new celebrities will soon be sporting? Sometimes getting the new and hottest items can be almost impossible for a normal everyday person of society like you and me. Unless you know the designer or are one of the hottest names in the media, getting the latest pieces can be a strenuous activity.
Some people may be willing to eat ramen noodles for 3 months so they can be sporting the latest Yeezys or have the nicest Gucci purse, but for others, they try to find alternatives. One of the biggest ways that people are able to buy these hot items is through purchasing counterfeit ones. People who make these counterfeit items have learned to master the look and make them look identical to the real thing. And people who are not into fashion may not even be able to tell the difference.
In London over the past few years, there has been an up rise of counterfeiters trying too bring their goods on planes and transport them to other countries. Heathrow Airport is one in particular that has seized thousands of boxes full of counterfeit goods that have totals costs in the millions. Trade in these fake products has a worth of almost $500 billion and the trend only continues to grow. Significant amounts of money from the production and selling of counterfeit items is assumed to go to different types of illegal organized crime, terrorism, drugs, and other illegal activity.
It is a global issue and many do not realize just how big of a problem it is. People who are purchasing these items don’t see it as a crime, they feel they are just making a good deal. Not many consumers think about where their money is going or what goes into the production of the item they purchase, as long as they get the product they want. The production of these counterfeit items follow very inhuman procedures and leave workers in slave-like conditions. Many workers are children are in factories working grueling hours for gang bosses who have no care for their well being.
The inhuman treatment of the workers is one of the biggest reasons that makes counterfeit goods one of the most criminal activities in our world. There have been stories that describe the horror of what the young workers go through on a daily basis, just so someone could get a purse for a few hundred dollars less. This business is so profitable yet so low-risk that many gangs are starting to switch from other forms of business, such as trafficking or drugs, to tap into the fake production industry.
Many ordinary people do not think that this is such a big crime ridden business because of how normalized buying and selling counterfeit items has become. Any person can walk down the street of New York City and see thousands of fake handbags, shoes, sunglasses, etc. and not even blink an eye because it is a normal sight you expect to see. Most of the counterfeit production occurs in China and Hong Kong who sell most of their products in the United States.
The hope for the future is that people start to become more educated on the crime behind these fake products. Think, is it worth getting a designer look-alike purse for a few hundred less that could have been made by a child?