The Rip Off Artists

Manolo says, the Manolo has long and loudly campaigned against the phoney-baloney fake shoes (even those produced by supposedly reputable companies), but recently the brazenness of the counterfeit shoe crooks has been too much.

Thankfully, the word is getting around, and today there is the article in the New York Daily News about this very topic.

Killer Louboutin heels with that signature red sole for just $177, delivered to your door at 80% less than the $860 retail price.

Strappy Jimmy Choo sandals at $143.99, 64% less than the $395.99 value at the label’s Fifth Ave. store.
How to Spot the Fake Designer Shoe

Such are the boasts of flashy Web sites featuring red-carpet shots of J.Lo, Sarah Jessica Parker and Cameron Diaz in the wildly glamorous shoes. […]

It seems too good to be true – and it is.

Tens of thousands of online shoppers are falling for the latest variety of fakes flooding the Internet.

Despite ultra-convincing pictures and claims that the Web sites are run directly by the designers and the footwear is individually crafted in Europe, it’s a scam.

The goods are neither handmade nor exclusive. They are mass-produced in China.

The “leather” often smells of toxic chemicals, the “hand-stitching” is replicated by sewing machine, and the sizing is inaccurate.

Return the purchase and, on top of the cost of shipping, customers are subject to a “restocking” fee of up to 20%. Little wonder most swallow the disappointment and don’t bother to send them back.

If disappointment were the only result of the fraud, it wouldn’t make headlines. Who really cares about image-obsessed fashionistas being ripped off?

On closer examination, however, this international con has a devastating and far-reaching effect.

Child labor, money laundering, prostitution and terrorist activity go hand in hand with the counterfeit trade managed by criminal gangs.

For several months now, the Manolo has been waging the war against these evil people both in his comment section (where they spam the comments with their links) and in his banner ads (where their ads are delivered to his websites by Google Adsense). With effort, he has been able to keep them at bay.

Remember, when buying the luxury good, only do business with the reputable companies, either those with whom you are already familiar, or those who have been recommended to you by people you trust.

P.S. Thanks to the Manolo’s internet friend the Susan at the always informative Counterfeit Chic.

5 Responses to “The Rip Off Artists”

  1. Pam Walter July 18, 2009 at 5:05 pm #

    Great post and very informative. You really do get what you pay for in shoes.

  2. Linda July 18, 2009 at 10:34 pm #

    Manolo, keep up the efforts. It seems like a pain in the posterior, going through all the endless spam for cheap crap, but we can’t let these illegal counterfeiters get away with their crime.
    To all those who say “what’s wrong with a replica purse of shoe? I can’t afford the real thing?” Let me put it this way: Counterfeiting designer goods is a crime. When you buy these you are aiding and abetting a crime. They aren’t “replicas” they are counterfeits. As a comparison you wouldn’t buy with a “replica” credit card, nor would you pay with “triple A mirror image” cash that “looks almost like the real thing” So many don’t see this connection until it is pointed out to them in easy to understand terms. Counterfeit is counterfeit, whether its a credit card or a shoe or a purse. Again, keep up the good work, you have allies in the fight ready to pounce on and delete this non stop spam where ever we find it. And thanks for letting me vent about a subject that makes me very angry.

  3. class factotum July 19, 2009 at 10:19 am #

    Linda, amen. And doesn’t the same philosophy apply to buying from unlicensed sidewalk vendors? They are not paying taxes, which is stealing from the people who do, and it’s unfair to the legitimate stores that have licenses and insurance.

    I got mad when I realized my contractor was paying his helper off the books (figured this out after the job was done). That meant 1) no worker’s comp on this guy, so if something had happened to him while he was rebuilding the SECOND-STORY balcony, I would have been on the hook, 2) no SS taxes and 3) the helper was getting income that was not reported to the IRS, which meant the likelihood of his paying income taxes on it was low.

    Cheating is cheating and it hurts those of us who play fair.

  4. trouble July 27, 2009 at 7:12 pm #

    While these horrors of exploitatation and suffering are indeed awful, they are not the result of counterfeiting. They are the result of cost-cutting. Many might say they are the result of capitalism.

    Cheap manufacturers who do not counterfeit, and I daresay some expensive manufacturers, also pollute, exploit their workers, hire child labor, and generally contribute to suffering. The cure for this is better regulation of work practices and environmental practices, and supporting workers’ rights to organize.

    putting a stop to counterfeiting would be an extremely roundabout way to improve the lives of people employed by counterfeiters.

    the aesthetic and consumer-protection issues, of course, do still stand, but are less shocking and immediate than the suffering of workers. But please do not subsume the problems of labor exploitation into the concern for counterfeiting! this only masks and protects the non-counterfeiters who do such things to keep costs low, of whom there are likely many more.

  5. JUSTBEENHAD August 7, 2009 at 12:30 pm #

    Thank for this site, just found it after been done by BuyChristianLouboutin sent shoes back and still not heard anything. Dont touch them with a barge pole