I recently read a brilliant article regarding counterfeit goods here:

I worked, for a time as a salesman on a local market and the trader whom I worked with owned a medium-sized stall. We started a 5am, all weathers and hardly missed a weeks trade. This trader in question sold trainers. Most of them fake. We sold them to all manner of people most of whom knew that they were fake but they were such good fakes that people decided that buying clones that were identical to the original was worth spending their money on. Some didn’t ever know.

The trader screwed some people but he was as honest as a dishonest man could be, he would say that it isn’t his fault that people have to own designer things.  People are easily tempted by a good fake. Honestly as Andy said if it is the same thing and nobody can tell it is a fake it takes on that perceived value that somebody gives to a pair of Dolche&Gabbana shoes. It’s silly how much emphasis people put on a name brand. This effect even bleeds over to fake goods because they have that name attached to them. People can’t resist owning those designer shoes even if they’re fake.

There was so much crime on those markets, the worst kind of people all in one place. More fakes than you’ve ever seen in your life. Everyone sold fakes and also lied to other people saying their merchandise was real. This circle of lies went right to the management staff. Some were selling drugs on the side. It was basically a huge black market. Occasionally patrolled by police who had no clue what went on there. There were inside deals between traders, stolen goods being sold. There was little me just there to earn a small wage in order to support myself.

The Trading Standards would come around to inspect the stalls and goods on them so the traders would bring second vans after being tipped by the head office. Everyone would cover each other in order to continue screwing people for money. I realise that if people weren’t greedy for name brands they wouldn’t get screwed. It taught me how to sell anything. I got some amazing insight into how easily people could be exploited. I observed as I set up the stall, listened to the conversations, back stall deals where hundreds of pounds worth of fake goods would be brought. Even from contacts abroad I gather. I saw drugs exchanged, gangs hanging around. Lets say I met some interesting characters. You could buy almost anything from this market. Even tobacco.

I would be out in all weathers meeting all manner of bad, crazy and wrong people. It made me see, even more than before,  that people are inherently bad. They’re good personalities but in all bad people who will screw you at any given chance. Screwing people over was an easy job.

People will always buy fake goods because they want that prada bag. At the end of the day the material does not matter, it’s the perceived value of the name that gets them the attention they so desire from their peers.  If the pair of trainers have nike on them and look the part it doesn’t matter what they’re made of. If people believe they are nike airs then they are nike airs. I’ve never understood why people spend their money on bad fakes that will biodegrade within 10 weeks. Hey at least the environment doesn’t suffer.

We got great discounts on the real ones, or even the fakes if we wanted them. As the philosopher Andy Fox once said what is a counterfeit product?
If it is made as an exact replica of the real thing, well made with similar material is it really a fake?
If the experts accept it as real then is it real, essentially every designer trainer is a copy of a copy. It makes you wonder what a fake trainer or handbag really is. It’s all about perceived value.  Yes people are that stupid. Who really wants to spend hundreds on a bag or a pair of trainers. I’d rather get a beer.

In all this whole experience made me hate people even more than before but it also gave me a valuable insight into human behaviour.  I honestly don’t  know why I wrote this but I wanted to share my personal experience of counterfeits and the kinds of people that sell them.



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