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Everyone has seen the sidewalk vendor hawking a too good to be true designer handbag. The clues to counterfeit luxury items used to be so obvious that most people knew exactly what they were buying. This sadly is no longer the case. The production of counterfeit items causes American manufactures to suffer about $200 billion in losses each year according to the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (Freedman, 1999). A large part of counterfeited items are fashion goods. They are usually easily recognizable, especially at the designer or luxury end of the market. The more exclusive a brand is, the more likely it is to be counterfeited (Lai & Zaichkowsky, 1999). As these goods are also high value, there is considerable profit to be made from counterfeiting these brands.
In recent years counterfeiting has become a major headache for designers, consumers, and the government. Manufacturers, mostly in Asia, create knockoffs of popular fashion items in order to sell to unsuspecting consumers at a cheaper price than the originals. While there are a few government agencies devoted to ca…
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