The real deal costs a pretty penny. But, buying a fake could soon land people in a lot of trouble.
"I thought this country was a free country, you can do whatever you want, and I go to jail because I buy a fake bag? That's stupid,"says
Cintyha Tape, a person who buys knock offs.
"I think it's good. All those knockoffs are hurting the real brand," says James Mei, a retailer.
City Council member Margaret Chin is proposing a one-thousand dollar fine, and possibly a year in jail, for people who buy counterfeit trademark goods.
"If we start cutting the demand, ultimately we will cut the supply," says Councilwoman Margaret Chin, a Democrat in New York.
There's plenty of supply on Canal Street, in Chinatown, known as a hotbed for counterfeit trademark bags, like fake Gucci, Chanel and Coach.
One vendor tried to sell two undercover cameramen a fake Louis Vuitton bag out of a black plastic bag. This illegal underground business has cost new York City an estimated billion dollars a year in sales tax revenue.
"Police have already been cracking down on vendors who are selling fake goods, but many people wonder how the police will be able to enforce a law prohibiting people from buying those fake goods when most shoppers can't tell the difference between what is real and what is not," says Reporter Hazel Sanchez.
"I shopped and I bought several things, so how does a customer know unless he becomes an expert on all the models and labels of each company's handbag. I don't think that's possible."
"Sometimes people think they're buying the real deal, and it turns up to be a knockoff. What are you going to do in cases like that?" says Danielle James, a person who buys knock offs.
So, buyer beware. This good deal may turn out to be far from what you bargained for.
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