Why Fake Designer Bags Cost You More in the End


chanel bagEverybody's done it. Eyed some girl's purse -- be it on the subway or at the mall -- and wondered, "Is that real?" Too often I see women who seriously don't look like they have an extra $1,500 lying around for a Louis Vuitton -- because they look 23 or because they're working at Petco -- toting around really realistic-looking designer bag.

Well, according to MIT marketing professor Renee Richardson Gosline and her doctoral thesis (yes, a super smart person did a thesis on this), those fancypants bags could be real -- even if the women don't have the extra cash -- because apparently owning a fake designer bag is a gateway drug to owning a real one. That's right, a $40 Prada handbag can actually get you to shell out $2,000 for the real McCoy. If that's not irony, I don't know what is.

According to Slate:

[Gosline] found that her subjects formed attachments to their phony Vuittons and came to crave the real thing when, inevitably, they found the stitches falling apart on their cheap knockoffs. Within a couple of years, more than half of the women abandoned their counterfeits for authentic items.

But ... isn't the point of buying a fake to save money? You can't afford to spend an entire paycheck on something that is going to eventually look like the MAC counter threw up on the inside. You're not fancy enough for a designer bag. And I say this with love, because neither am I!

This is serious here, though, guys. A professor -- from MIT! -- crunched the numbers. And if any of us happen to have phonies (you'll never know whether or not I do!), we're doomed to go into debt for the real thing. What started out as something economical and responsible, albeit supporting something illegal, is going to twirl around on its bogus Louboutin heels, and stab us in the back!

And this is only the beginning. You know how gateway drugs work. First, it'll lead us to a real Balenciaga bag, let us sample it, see how we like it. (And how can we not like it? Have you ever experienced leather like that?) Next it's a spur-of-the-moment trip to the South of France like we're freakin' Sonja Morgan. Then what? A car? A house? Before we know it, we're going to be living like a Rockefeller while still loading plush toys into the 99-cent bins in front of the aquariums! Ahhhh!

Alright, let's collect ourselves. Be cool. There are plenty of stores that have perfectly nice bags and clothing for really cheap. They won't have any labels on them, but we can get a totally cute hobo bag at Forever 21 for, like, two bucks. And a slouchy cardigan for four. And then we'll just put our iPods on and turn our noses up at all the rich girls holding designer bags because we're so indie and we keep it real. Yeah, that's what we are.

Would you buy a fake designer bag ... or do you have one already? We won't tell ...


Image via AshleyCooper/Flickr



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Nraw2011 Nraw2011

The profits from the sale of counterfeit merchandise support terrorism, child labor, and human trafficking.  If you can't afford a YSL bag, buy a nice Guess one.  


Nraw2011 Nraw2011

I implore you all to read the article attached to the link and educate yourselves.  This is not a victimless crime.  

Jennifer Schoenberger

As a fashion major, bag envy is a big part of my life. I'm a single mom. I don't have the money to shell out on a designer bag-- even a low-end one is about 2 months of income for me.

However, I wouldn't buy a fake. As Nraw posted above, fake bags support all sorts of things you DON'T want to be supporting! Buy the real one, or don't buy it at all...

nonmember avatar Cadence

I never bought a fake designer bag, but I understand the gateway thing. At first, I bought a Juicy Couture bag on clearance...then a few more. On to outlet Coach bags. Then on to full price Coach bags. And finally, a Burberry. My budget for bags keeps rising. At first, $200 seemed like a lot to spend on a bag. Then a bit higher...and higher. I hope I've reached my ceiling, but I bet somewhere in the future it might get higher, even though I don't really have money lying around for this stuff.

glam.... glam.fairy

I've owned 2 fake Coach bags. I'm not planning on buying one ever again. Since I got rid of them (they both broke and I threw them out) I realize how tacky they looked since I now can tell the difference between a realone and a fake one. I still haven't bought a real Coach, but a friend showed me how to tell the difference. I probably won't ever buy one either. I went through a phase where I wanted one and now I'm happy with the cheap non label bags I own.

mrs.pyle mrs.pyle

i think fake bags are tacky, i only carry real designers and the question is it fake has never come up because most with half a braincell cal tell they are real from the stitching alone. i also dont want to becontributing to criminal activity another reason to save for the big splurge.

yayhe... yayheadstart

i think all you people who care about their damn purses so much are tacky. I have never once even looked at another woman's purse, let alone gotten jealous. How ridiculously lame and superficial!

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