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Fakes in Thailand

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by opulence, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. opulence

    opulence

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    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?
     
  2. JTLP

    JTLP

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    Re: Fakes in Thailand.

    I don't know why people perpetuate this kind of industry? It's just a negative/downward spiral that leads to increased prices for the originals (to get absorb the costs of having fakes floating around). It damages a brands reputation/credibility and ultimately leads to job losses due to the unsustainable nature of the business.

    If you want cases in point - look at what happened to Von Dutch. Christian Audigier (who has other brands) created this seemingly cool and hip brand amongst celebrities et al. People followed and he made a mint. Then fakes from Bali to Bondi showed up on the street...you could effectively say that brand is dead in the water.

    I've stated before that I work in FMCG - and we have big problems with counterfeit goods. As I said, apart from the obvious brand damage; there are also health risks to the people who manufacture these goods (as it's obviously not about the people but the product) and ultimately to our jobs - which get cut when we can't turn a profit because of fakes floating around. The sad reality of it is that most people doing the counterfeiting are from poorer nations - where the crooked police will turn a blind eye if they get some money on the side. It's only when MNC's come in and splash cash to actually do something that things get sorted. What a shame...
     
  3. jancha

    jancha

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    Re: Fakes in Thailand.

    Whats the difference to Woolworth & Coles having their own home brand? I remember there were a lot more florist/ butcher/ bakery shops around before they cornered the market. Jobs? In any case if the clothing brands weren't so expensive in the first place they wouldn't bother copying them.
     
  4. Glen48

    Glen48 Money can't buy Poverty

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    Re: Fakes in Thailand.

    I got a Nokia battery which lasted 3 mths and them got genuine there is no way you can tell one from the other, some time the price will show,there are other fakes things on the market such as medicines, the packet's are so good only a lab test will prove which is which.
    This is a problem because poorer countries are the target and the victim is buying talcum powder rat bait etc and other fillers.

    All are genuine fakes like Women but that's another story
     
  5. opulence

    opulence

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    Re: Fakes in Thailand.

    I get what you're saying. I guess its an example of something that is priced to exclude the masses that really shouldn't be. At base level, a shirt is a shirt is a shirt. But when you try and make a certain type of shirt unique and scarce based on something that isn't necessarily a sustainable source of scarcity, it is bound to be competed away. (I use the term "competed" loosely because obviously IP is at play too here.)

    I think if you could make a shirt/fashion item that was in fact actually somehow superior, like for example some of these shirts I've read about that have built in electronic devices for certain uses, then you could more easily make sure a shirt was priced as a niche market item. Like this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_shirt.

    That said, I don't think I could fairly argue that there is no value to someone's artistic designs, its just much more easily copied than something of more tangible value I guess.
     
  6. disarray

    disarray

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    Re: Fakes in Thailand.

    If they dont want south east asia to knock of their brands maybe they shouldnt have sent all their manufacturing offshore to them.
     
  7. todster

    todster

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    Re: Fakes in Thailand.

    I thought Von Dutch was an American artist?
     
  8. JTLP

    JTLP

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    Re: Fakes in Thailand.

    The "Home Brand" isn't made by Coles and Woolworths. It's made by a larger company (say Goodman Fielder makes the $1 bread for Coles). And it's killing them - look at GFF ann's for proof of that. I think they've even made redundancies in recent weeks. Expensive brands? They knock off Nike etc...not exactly premium products?!?

    Thanks for your points - interesting reading from another view. I agree that a shirt is a shirt is a shirt...it's the little pony etc that makes the difference from a $10 to a $100 shirt. But that little pony is a brand - and a brands equity/essence is in its quality. When that quality is diminished then that brand loses credibility quickly...

    It's the competitive nature of the market. Whilst travelling through South East Asia I frequented a part of the city where the factories were - it was openly mocked that these people would take home articles each week to flog off. But what can you do? If your little pony shirt was made in the USA...you could be certain it wouldn't be $100 - closer to $500. So I guess it's a zero sum game for the companies...

    Also FYI - my industry actually produces a significant amount of the products they sell here. Things that can't be done are obtained overseas through fairtrade agreements etc.

    Correct - Artist whose daughters sold his IP rights away when he passed - Christian made it big (just glad I never wore it - pretty hideous stuff :p: )
     
  9. Bill M

    Bill M Self Funded Retiree

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    Re: Fakes in Thailand.

    I buy all my gear in SE/Asia, Billabong and Rip Curl T Shirts for $5 each. In Manly surf shops the same thing is $50 each:eek::banghead:

    The money I save is better in my pocket than in somebody else's, particularly as most of what you buy in Australian shops is made in Asia anyway.
     
  10. Calliope

    Calliope

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    Thai fakes;


    [video]http://youtu.be/vKNWTmMgljw[/video]
     
  11. builder2818

    builder2818

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    I could care less what sweat shops these fakes are made in......I have that much clothing from Thailand I could open my own store.

    Who is going to complain when they can get $5 tshirts and $15 designer jeans that come with free alterations if they're too long in the leg?

    Some of these stores you buy from even have more variety then the rip off joints we have here. You see a tshirt in black but you want it in white - there's sure to be one in some street vendors shop.
     
  12. disarray

    disarray

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    look, fk the companies. they want to sack local workers and ship their manufacturing overseas to increase their profits then fine, that's capitalism and globalisation at work. but don't come crying when the third world country you happily exploit slave labour in doesn't have strong local IP laws which stop them making counterfeits in the exact same factories that make the brand name.

    news flash - globalisation works for consumers too. sucks to be them if they don't like it. yes harvey norman, fk you too.
     
  13. opulence

    opulence

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    haha I tend to agree. That wasn't you up on the Opera House today was it?
     
  14. Bowlane

    Bowlane

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    I remember seeing a sign in Bali (not Thailand!) a few years ago "Antiques made to order" -- along with another one "Specialist pencil sharpener"
     
  15. Smurf1976

    Smurf1976

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    If you offshore manufacturing then it ought to be pretty obvious that you have effectively given away your IP on those items and you should expect fakes to appear in due course.

    To be perfectly honest, if someone's charging $150 for a shirt made somewhere in Asia then they deserve everything they get when someone starts selling fakes. At such a huge price, it's not unreasonable to expect that manufacturing would be in Australia, or some other high wage country where the brand is based.

    $150 for a shirt made in China*? Just who is trying to rip someone off here? And who has already devalued their brand by offshoring manufacturing?

    As for the quality of fakes, well generally it's rubbish in my opinion with clothing being the exception. It's not practical for the average person to dismantle a Honda-copy engine and see if it's built properly. But anyone can inspect an item of clothing prior to purchase so as to determine the quality.

    So I'll stay well away from fake machinery etc, but I'm just not going to pay $150 for a shirt made in China* no matter what it says on the label. That's just a rip off.

    *Or any other place with low wages.
     
  16. kimcasablancas

    kimcasablancas

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    I wouldn't buy them. I really believe in the concept of intellectual property, even if this concept is losing importance to a lot of people lately. I don't download music or movies either for the same reason, so why would I buy a knockoff bag? it's the same idea.

    not all the stuff that gets knocked off is made overseas either. Some of it is still produced in Italy and France but the designs get leaked.
     
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