NY Councilwoman Wants To Make Buying Fake Designer Handbags Illegal

Fake designer handbags by the armload

Selling counterfeit designer handbags is against the law, as is pretty obvious to anybody who has ever seen all the stalls along Canal St. suddenly close without warning behind a wall of metal shutters. But a new law proposed by NY Councilwoman Margaret Chin would make even buying fake designer handbags illegal.

“To take counterfeiting seriously, you have to treat it the same way you would stolen property,” said John Gioconda, a lawyer who represents several fancy luxury brands. “If you’re caught purchasing it, you’re punished. It’s the only way to put a real dent in the problem.”

According to the NY Post, the new law Chin proposes would hit buyers of fake designer goods with a fine of up to $1,000 and even up to a year in prison.

“It’s always illegal for people to sell, but it’s not illegal for the people who buy this stuff,” Chin explained. “Hopefully, this law will cut down on the demand.”

Chin said that opponents of the bill say they’re concerned about the potential for punishing America’s innocent visiting aunts, who might just accidentally wander down to Chinatown and think they’ve found a really, really good deal on a pair of Tory Burch flats. But Chin says it’s hugely unlikely that anybody would buy a satchel from a guy muttering “handbags, handbags, Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton,” on the street and think that everything was on the straight and narrow.

“People are worried that some innocent middle-aged woman might unwittingly purchase a [counterfeit] bag,” she said. “If you go into a back room, basement or van, you probably know what you’re doing is not legal.”

There’s also the price thing to consider. Some of those fake handbags can be pretty darn expensive, but it seems highly unlikely that anybody would really think they were paying $100 for a real Birkin.

Via NY Post

Photo: Shutterstock

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    • Amanda

      My rule of thumb is if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I just hate that the people selling them try to lie to you & tell you it’s real. Just the other day, a vendor saw that I was carrying a Michael Kors bag & tried to sell me a fake one for $50. It was blatantly fake & cheap looking, but he tried to tell me it was real & that I was getting a great deal. I dont even care much about designer labels, but the fact thay he was trying to lie to me really pissed me off. $50 would have been a rip off for that bag, it looked loke it was worth $10. He also tried to sell me fake MAC, but I’ve been working for the company for 2 years – he was trying to sell me stuff we have never even carried. He swore up and down that I was wrong about it.

    • Klein Trial Lawyers

      Councilwoman Chin proposed a similar bill in 2011. She may be right that a consumer entering the backroom or basement of a Chinatown location to purchase a handbag probably knows they are doing something illegal, but it is far easier to prove a party manufactured or sold counterfeit products than it is to demonstrate an individual knowingly bought one. The substantial number of fake goods seized in New York City demonstrates that there remains an enormous demand for these products and trademark infringement is a real problem.

    • http://www.shopkarma.com/cash-for-bags sell designer bags

      These are really lovely bags but i think this is not the right way to getting the stylish bags….This is beyond all the rules and i personally not likes all that people who want to become a fake designer by buying the designers begs…

    • Walsh Victoria

      Building a brand requires such arduous efforts – no wonder . I actually can agree though I am not pro punishment usually.

    • tom

      yea sure put the buyer in jail and let the counterfeiter go . If found at a flea marked and passed off as used , it is not always I shady places

    • Ella

      So, is it illegal to buy at this point?