Fake bags are still a huge industry, with 500 million counterfeit handbags, belts and wallets worth $1 billion confiscated just last year. But a new survey indicates that shoppers are less likely to buy fake designer goods than in the past because real designer items are now more affordable. The survey, which was conducted by UK-based coupon site VoucherCloud, found that 52 percent of the nearly 2,000 people it polled who have bought fake designer goods in the past say they don't do it anymore. The biggest reason? Finding name-brand items at cheaper prices is easier than ever: 62 percent of designer-loving shoppers say they never buy the items full-price.
According to the report, consumers are increasingly able to find discounted designer goods by shopping seasonal sales (52 percent), using "discount codes" (44 percent) and shopping at outlet-type stores where name-brand goods can be found at a discount (39 percent). Affordability aside, the desire to have "the real thing" also plays a part in shoppers' willingness to pay more. Roughly 39 percent of respondents said they wanted to be able to tell others their stuff was real; and 33 percent said they avoided fakes because they didn't want to break the law.
Of course, fake designer goods are still wildly popular, particularly with the growth of online shopping. Luxury brands now have to fight cybersquatting, whereby counterfeiters sell rip-off merch under misleading domain names. Just last year, Coach won $257 million in a cybersquatting case, seizing 537 domain names selling fake items with a "Coach" label.
But for those who would like to avoid fakes and choose the real thing if they can, it's never been easier to get a good deal. Between luxury flash sale sites, online sample sales, discount retailers and resale websites, label lovers can score designer swag at a (relative) steal.