Guide to Buying Fake Handbags in New York City
Where to find fake designer brand handbags in New York City, how to spot a quality handbag, how to bargain with the vendor, and ethics of buying counterfeit goods
Why buy a designer brand handbag in New York City for $1,000 to $2,000 or more when cheap replicas of lesser quality can be found for around $30? Locals and tourists alike flock to Canal Street in New York City’s Chinatown, a major destination for finding fake designer brand handbags, wallets, and other accessories. It’s important to realize that the handbags placed out in the open in the storefronts on Canal Street are not the best designer brand handbags, but just for show, though they can certainly be purchased. The more authentic looking designer brand handbags can be found in the small back rooms of these stores, but buyer beware, there are many things to consider before handing over your hard-earned money. Read below in our guide to find out how to access these secret rooms, how to select a great handbag, how to negotiate a price, and the controversies that come along with supporting the fake handbag business in New York City.
Where to Find Fake Handbags:
While knockoff handbags are sold at stands throughout New York City, usually near subway station entrances, the best selection and best looking fake handbags can be found in downtown Manhattan’s Chinatown in the storefronts along Canal Street. Canal Street has rows and rows of stores offering a lot of the same merchandise, like knockoff purses, accessories, and jewelry, but with distorted logos that are very obviously fake. These are placed out in front, and many shoppers think these are the fake handbags everyone is talking about, but don’t bother with them. The logos have been modified so the handbag does not appear to be copying a certain designer brand, therefore making them legal.
The trick to seeing the “good stuff” on Canal Street, the best replica handbags with authentic looking logos, is to pay attention to the many vendors trying to get your attention by whispering a list of designer brand names into your ear as you walk by to strike your interest. They will be saying, “Handbag, handbag! Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Coach, Louis Vuitton,” and so on. Play it cool and ask “Sure, where?” and then follow their lead.
The vendor is most likely going to lead you into the back room of a store on Canal Street or downstairs into a basement where handbags line the walls. They may act secretive, using Walkie Talkies, rushing you quickly into the back room and pushing you out when you’re done, but don’t be intimidated and go with the flow. If something doesn't feel right, then pass on going inside somewhere. But there will usually be other shoppers crammed into the back rooms with you, and it's always a good idea to bring a friend.
Another place the vendors may lead you to is a car or van with tinted windows. They will have you come in, sit down, shut the door, and will then unveil a pile of fake handbags from underneath a blanket or tarp. This mobile form of store is a sales strategy used to avoid law enforcement as they are continually cracking down on the storefronts along Canal Street. Buyer beware, this is definitely one of the more sketchy ways to go about buying a fake handbag, but you never know where the vendor might lead you.
Spotting a Quality Handbag:
It is helpful to familiarize yourself with what the real Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Coach, and Louis Vuitton handbags look like before searching for a good knockoff. Don’t get your hopes up for anything of amazing quality. Examine the stitching and quality of fabric. If it’s supposed to be fake leather, make sure it is not too stiff and plasticky-feeling. Also pay attention to details like if the logo is believable. There are some replica handbags and wallets that, even with a real logo, are still so obviously fake that you shouldn't settle. Keep looking until you find something worth your money.
Negotiating a Price:
When you have selected a replica handbag, ask the vendor how much it is. The price depends on the size of the fake handbag, but for example, if it is a medium-sized handbag, they will most likely ask for $40 to $60. Never pay exactly what they ask for, because you do have the option to bargain. Be prepared with a wad of ten, five, and one-dollar bills.
There are a couple of ways to bargain down the price. You could say, “Well I only brought $30 with me, take it or leave it,” or simply ask them “How about $30?” If you ask the price to be brought down, they will try to meet somewhere in the middle between the price they offered and the price you want. Be sure to point out any flaws the handbag may have to further prove the price needs to be lower. And of course when you’re negotiating, it helps to show an expression on your face like you’re not sure it’s worth it and could possibly say no and walk away. The bottom line is, the vendor really wants to sell you that handbag and will eventually give in to what you want if you hold out for it.
The Ethical Dilemma Of Buying A Fake Handbag:
Selling designer brand counterfeit handbags in New York City is a risky proposition for the vendors because when undercover police crack down, they arrest them, fine the landlord, and confiscate their knockoff wares. For the buyer, there is little risk of prosecution, as no one has ever been charged in New York City for buying a fake handbag, even though it is an illegal act.
There are, however, many ethical questions in buying a fake handbag. Not only does the purchase damage the original brand and cheats them out of income, but many knockoff handbags are made in foreign countries by child laborers in unsafe and inhumane conditions. Even New York City itself gets cheated out of sales tax in these cash purchases. There are some who argue that there wouldn't be any need to buy fake designer handbags if the original designers didn't charge the excessive prices for their bona-fida product.
Recent studies have shown that many of these arguments have become academic as the buying public are becoming less "brand" motivated, moving away from buying "brands" and shifting more to function - which worries both Louis Vuitton and Mr. Lee on the corner of Canal and Mulberry