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Buying inexpensive knock-offs is unfortunately on the upswing.
There is a joy to owning something that is made of quality. A Chanel bag, Gucci purse, Louboutin shoes. They shout to the world that you have money and style. But if you have to pinch pennies then the sad truth is that these items probably are out of your reach.
Savvy counterfeiters know that people crave these expensive brands and over the years have flooded the market with knock-offs at affordable prices.
Fashion houses hate knock-off for many reasons, they are cheaply made, they ruin the brand and they take money away from the real thing.
While many fashion forward women will buy knock-offs with the justification that it really doesn't hurt anyone, new research is showing the person that gets hurt the most might be themselves. Owning a knock-off might be making you into a liar and a cheat.
Dan Ariely is a Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University. In his latest book The Honest Truth about Dishonesty,
he did a study about how people behave if told they were wearing knock-offs of a famous brand.
Subjects did a series of test while wearing sunglasses. One group were told that they were wearing an expensive brand of designer sunglasses while the other group were told that they were wearing knock-offs.
Researchers found that those who thought they were wearing the knock-off sunglasses were prone to lie and cheat at a much higher rate ( 70 percent in one instants) than those who thought they were wearing the real thing. Oddly enough those that were wearing the knock-off sunglasses judged others to have a much higher level of cheating and lying as well.
The psychology behind all this is fascinating. If you knowingly buy a knock-off you are trying to deceive the world to what your true social or financial status is. You know that you are lying to the world in this one thing so maybe, deep down inside, you justify to yourself that you can deceive the world about other things as well.
For many people owning a recognizable designer item is like a prize or a talisman that they can showoff to the world. They know the value and so do the fashion savvy people around you. They feel as if they are part of an elite group.
Buying inexpensive knock-offs is like trying to get into this elite group by lying and there is the nerve wracking chance that someone might call you out on it.
To place side by side a genuine designer bag and a knock-off is a lesson in quality. High end bags look, feel and even smell better than knock-offs. Is their price justified?
If they are handmade from leather using time honored skills then maybe yes, it really depends on the sort of thing that you value in life. The knock-offs will be made of plastic with plastic zippers and fittings that easily break. They might look good but they won't last very long.
You can find leather goods at more reasonable prices that are well made and stylish but do not have the designer labels on them. If you still hanker for a designer label you need to ask yourself why and if you would still consider buying inexpensive knock-offs then maybe you need a little soul searching.
While not everyone in the study lied and cheated the results was so overwhelming that you could use it as a gauge of honesty for people. So if you see someone with a knock-off be warned, what else might they be trying to deceive the world about.