So I'm heading to Thailand this Christmas and been doing a bit of reading about the place.
One of the controversial topics I came across was the fakes industry. I thought I'd start a discussion on it here because I think the there is an interesting link between the economics of it and the sociology.
First of all, I've found out that some of the fakes are pretty good. Tutorial videos on youtube describing how to spot a real polo shirt for example have had to resort to looking at the color of the stitching on the label inside the shirt! Stuff that would obviously be way to hard to spot on someone wearing them unless you took them off and inspected them. Check out this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYowOYMFOs4. I mean, unless you were an absolute connoisseur...
I've heard to the contrary that there are some pretty crap fakes getting around though but surely these are easy to spot just by inspection. I've heard varied reports from friends that fakes have lasted anywhere from not long at all through to as long as the real items.
I can't help but ask myself, would these fakes exist if there wasn't a market for them? For example, in the car industry, fakes are limited to replica kits that are made chiefly to build cars that are no longer in production. Other than those weird looking chinese Rolls Royce things, I'm not aware of anything else. To me this says, you can't make fakes because a Ferrari is actually so good that a fake will be obvious. In fashion however, its clear that the absurd prices for a shirt these days are creating opportunity for easy profit by those who thing the same item can be manufactured and distributed for much less.
Now, you might say "what about intellectual property" and I agree. This is not me saying that fakes are great, but just musing about the economics behind it.
Sociologically speaking, the fakes are interesting too. Most people I ask are open and honest about having a fake item. They bought it because it looks good more than because they wanted to show off having a lot of money.
What was also interesting is that I spoke to my girlfriend about it and she said that she would no longer buy a high end bag because every girl and her Chihuahua now had one ( be it fake or otherwise).
So what have people's experiences been with this stuff?