Have you ever come across those sites or Google Ads for deeply discounted designer goods that make your heart swell? All of a sudden, you’ve come across the world’s best secret, where you can buy a buttery leather Chanel tote for less than the cost of a steak dinner. Most of the time, these scams are pretty evident, but every now and then, some deals slip through the cracks and actually seem legit. Becoming convinced and shelling out cash for what you think is a bargain, however, can have more serious repercussions than you think.
A recent investigation by the Daily News regarding Louboutin heels advertised for only $155 (at retail they’re more like $500-$3000), found not only that the shoes were structurally unstable, but that fakes like these come from factories that exploit child labor:
In a recent sweatshop raid in Thailand a group of children, all under 10 years old, was found assembling leather purses. Horrifyingly, their limbs had been deliberately broken to keep them from escaping. The owners had tied their lower legs to their thighs so the bones wouldn’t mend.
So, how can you avoid buying into the counterfeit? If you have a pair in hand, good indicators, according to the Daily News‘s ingenious chart, include the scent (if it smells like real leather or not), and comparing the stitching to the color of the shoe (it should match). On the web, most sites that advertise their domains as something like “CheapLouboutinsDiscount.com” is probably not the real thing. (Clearly, we know you’re smart people who wouldn’t be so stupid as to give your credit card info to 3DollarGucciBags.com, but it’s always good to keep an eye out for things like this.)
Our advice, if you’re dying for a pair of discount Jimmy Choos: Shop trusted sites like Bluefly.com, or save up your pennies and wait for the sales at Saks and Neiman’s. Or just buy the cute H&M or Topshop knockoff. But think twice before you buy a fake label.