Monday, 23 Jul, 2007 Offbeat
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Fake Goods - Socially Acceptable Among British

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One in eight British customers have recently had an experience of buying a fake watch, counterfeit handbag and other items, according to a specially-conducted study. The conclusion is obvious - fake products are becoming more and more socially acceptable.

Shoppers have considerably changed their attitude towards fake products, no longer feeling ashamed to admit, for example, that they wear a replica watch. Two-thirds of British people eagerly say to their friends and co-workers that they have acquired a counterfeit product.

However, the study also showed that just under a third of the fake goods' buyers confessed the experience made them consider buying the genuine item next time. It is also true that not all customers want everyone around to be aware he/she is owning a counterfeit. Some people, such as those employed at a prestigious bank, still find it socially unacceptable to wear fake designer goods while at work. People there follow the slogan - 'The more expensive - the better'.

The study concluded that Burberry, well-known for its camel, red and black check fabrics, has become the number three in counterfeit sales, following leather goods producer Louis Vuitton and Gucci. Stuart Lockyear, Intellectual Property director at Burberry, said that the availability of fake Burberry goods has gradually declined as the company's designers are no longer focused at the Burberry check, and they have built a strong Intellectual Property team.

As found by the study, about 1 million people acquired a fake Louis Vuitton product. Louis Vuitton, French luxury goods producer, is highly appreciated around the globe for its handbags, purses and luggage.

The majority of shoppers stumble upon fake watches, handbags and other counterfeit goods displayed at market stalls. The fake goods trade has also grown as more people travel to other countries, such as China, where such products are available in a wide range. The increasing number of people access Internet Web sites such as eBay. According to the study, Ebay presently accounts for 29 percent of counterfeit products purchases. Still, the website states it prohibits the sale of fake goods and removes any such listings.

As for Burberry, the company initiated a close cooperation with the website and devoted a lot of resources to eBay, resulting in over 30,000 auctions in 2006.

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