Call them replicas, counterfeits or knockoffs. Copying original designer items has become a huge billion dollar industry. Replica goods have really become a Global Phenomenon over the past few years. It is estimated that counterfeit products represent a 5% – 7% share of global trade, generating in excess of $ 600 billion every year. This has been bolstered by the awakening of Asian manufacturing powerhouses like China as well as the near insatiable consumer demand for designer goods.
The availability and sheer variety of replica items have been steadily increasing in recent years. If a certain item becomes fashionable (or "hot", thank you Paris Hilton) you can be sure that a much more affordable, yet almost indistinguishable replica is already on the way. If the genuine article sells, the replica will also sell. If there is a profit to be made an industry will be born.
The most commonly replicated luxury goods include upmarket designer clothing, shoes, sportswear, perfumes, watches, sunglasses and of course designer handbags.
Many people will willingly purchase a replica handbag as a well made replica can offer the same prestige as the original but without the hefty price tag. The average consumer can simply not afford to pay the many hundreds, even thousands of dollars for the privilege of carrying an authentic Prada, Hermes or Louis Vuitton handbag. It is estimated that over 85% of all the Louis Vuitton handbags in use today are replicas. Even an expensive replica will generally represent a fraction of the cost of the original and can be actually identical to the "real thing", both in quality of manufacture and materials used in production.
Luxury items like designer bags will of course vary in quality of construction and attention to detail. The packaging may also not be as glitzy as those of an original. In general though, the level of craftsmanship of counterfeited goods can range from decent to outstanding. This may be attributed to the fact that Manufactures of copies are not only jockeying for position with the genuine article, but are also locked in competition with each other.
Some pieces will only be passable representations while others are often mirror images of the original. If you look closely though, you may discern some minor differences. The brand name or logo may differ slightly from the original as may some of the design features on the bag itself.
The quantity of Replica handbags flooding the designer goods market is no minor headache for the major fashion houses. High end fashion manufacturers like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada and Chanel are very active in their efforts to deter the proliferation of replica goods and counterfeit manufacturers that profit on the basis of their hard earned prestige and brand names. Millions of dollars are spent by fashion manufacturers annually to counter this growing problem.
Consumers however, love replica designer handbags. And who can blame them? As has already been mentioned, the price is right! Indeed, many consumers clearly place the blame for the high prices of authentic designer goods at the feet of the mega design houses themselves. Fashion houses have been known to carefully under supply a product, thereby artificial driving demand and prices up.
People will always covet designer fashion products. The harder and more expensive you make them to obtain, the more effort the consumer will put into finding an easier and less expensive means of getting them.
The availability of high quality replica handbags, means that even the budget conscious shopper may enjoy the prestige of owning a designer item that looks and feels like the real thing. No longer are these poorly designed knockoffs that fall apart after a few days. The intense competition in the replica market not only leads to competitive pricing, but also superior quality.
The significantly lower cost also provides the fashion conscious shopper with the ability to own numerous designer bags without breaking the bank. Hit the streets with a Gucci on Monday, and a Louis Vuitton on Tuesday. Virtually every popular designer handbag is available somewhere in replicated form.
When the inevitable new lines arrive, the replica market again allows the consumer to embrace the current fashion trends. Let's face it, only the very wealthy are in a position to continuously update their wardrobe with authentic versions of every latest designer fashion. Replicated handbags make "staying in style" an achievable goal for a significantly larger portion of the population.
It is clear that buying replicated handbags simply makes economic sense for the average fashion conscious consumer and that is without doubt the most significant factor driving this booming industry.
With the massive growth of the Internet, it's no longer necessary to purchase second rate replica handbags in a public market under everyone's scrutiny. You can now enjoy the convenience and privacy of selecting superior quality replicas in the privacy of your own home. There's no doubt that replica designer handbags are here to stay!