Designer knock offs. Why stores sell them? Do you buy them? And what do you think of it?

I’m in two minds about this subject.

One one hand, as a designer, I don’t like the thought of chain stores ripping me off. I’ve priced my jewellery reasonably, I believe, ranging from $5 to several hundred. I did that because the jewellery is all one off, original and handmade by me. No chain store sells it and so anyone who buys it will be the only person with it. No one else will have it.

On the other hand, I’m a bit pissed off that designers have their jewellery bulk made in China and then slap high price tags on their jewellery. And even though it’s a “designer name”, it can still look very cheaply made, being from China and all. But it’s the price tag designers put on that make me look for knock offs or similar versions.

I don’t own many knock offs personally. I’ve recently bought some sun jewellery that looks like House of Harlow. I’ve also bought Samantha Wills jewellery from eBay China although I do wonder about that jewellery.

Are they actual SW jewels that the seller is selling or are they knock offs? I’ve wondered, and think that the factory that makes the SW jewellery is making a few more than it should be and selling them on eBay to make extra money as they seem to have many articles for sale. So in essence, I could actually be buying the real thing at a much cheaper price than what SW sells it for. And personally, I think some of the pieces are way overpriced, and I can say that since I own some and have inspected them closely.

Back to the chain stores, they also sell designer knock offs. I’ve noticed that chain store, Diva, and yes, I have had issues with their lawyers but this fact is well known, sell the occasional knock off. They have sold Tarina Tarantino and Samantha Wills knock offs and I’m sure many others that I don’t recognise. They also claim to have their own designers but many pieces of jewellery I see in their stores I saw on eBay the year before. So clearly that is misleading the public.

Have I bought their designer knock offs, no. But would you?

Would you buy a knock off to save the ridiculous amount of money the “designers” put on it?

Have you bought any?

I’ve bought jewellery off eBay for years and have recently noticed that the jewellery I buy ends up in chain stores months later. Seems I’m a fashion icon they all follow.

Are stores ripping off eBay as well? Or are they scouring eBay like I do to find what’s new for them to sell in their stores?

I have bought knock offs, as I said above, I also buy designers at a cheap rate. But I also prefer eBay for the unusual and unique even though there may be hundreds of them being sold from the one seller, that’s only a few hundred people around the world that has the same thing. So I prefer unusual that I can’t get at any of my local stores.

So then what does one do? Who knows. Some would say you’re as bad as the people making the knock offs and the stores selling the knock offs. But then, the jewellery is there in the shops for all to buy. And is isn’t my or your fault that it’s there and we can afford it.

Maybe designers, regardless of what they design, should realise most people cannot afford the crap they make. It would be different if they made it themselves in their country, but to get it made in China and then put such a ridiculous price on it is just that, ridiculous.



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1 Comment

  1. The Tote Trove May 27, 2011 at 8:04 am

    This is a tough one. I mostly shop in department stores like J. C. Penney’s, Kohl’s, Marshalls, and (when they have sales) Macy’s. I also buy a fair amount of handmade accessories on Etsy. When I’m shopping in regular stores, I must confess that I’m after the biggest discounts possible. Coupons, markdowns, doorbusters, whatever, I’m there. I know that I’m able to take advantage of these great deals because the things I’m buying were made in factories overseas. Although I don’t feel great about it, I don’t lose much sleep over it either. I sort of feel like it is what it is. Then there’s the whole knock-off issue. While I would never buy something like a fake Coach bag (I don’t even like the real Coach bags), I realize that a lot of the things I buy in J. C. Penney’s and Kohl’s are watered-down versions of more high-end items. And weirdly, I’m ok with that too because, as you said, I feel as though everyday people shouldn’t be made to pay such exorbitant prices. When it comes to buying handmade, though, I feel very differently. I’m willing to pay more because as an artist I understand how much, both time-wise and money-wise, goes into creating a one-of-a-kind piece. Plus, as you said, the pieces themselves are so special that they’re worthy of a higher price tag. As an artist, I also know that it’s hard to put yourself and your designs out there, so it makes me feel good to help support someone who’s chipping away at a dream on her (or his) own.


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