Authorities seized over $100,000 in Lacoste, Prada, Ed Hardy and Louis Vuitton fake goods in St. Petersburg, Florida yesterday. High-end Nike sneakers, Coach purses, and Coogi clothing knock-offs were confiscated by the police at Shoe Fashion, a retail clothing business, on Fifth Avenue N. after receiving an anonymous tip about the counterfeit sales.
Merchandise priced as if real
Tampa Bay Online reports that all the counterfeit goods were marked down from similar high prices that customers might expect of the genuine articles. Prada jeans at $975 and a Louis Vuitton shirt at $420, both counterfeit and marked down to giveaway, unrealistic sale prices.
The search warrant revealed the famous logo Lacoste shirts, Ed Hardy fake clothing, Coogi, and over 780 pairs of shoes, including the coveted Nike sneakers. Who wouldn't want a real Lacoste alligator shirt for $10?
Knock-offs sold for a pittance
Consumers beware, if designer purses or Nike sneakers are selling at a price that is 'too good to be true,' the business is likely selling fake goods, made out of the country, probably China. Counterfeit merchandise has been a major problem on many online auction sites like Ebay for years.
"For instance, a pair of Nike Jordan sneakers sells for $125, a pair of Nike Air Max for $100, and a pair of Nike Air Force 1 for $80, police said. But at Shoe Fashion, each pair cost $20, and a customer could get three pairs for $50."
Some consumers think selling fake goods is okay
Investigators at the scene said they are trying to send a message that selling counterfeit goods is against the law and competes directly with legitimate business. When consumers buy knock-off goods, they don't realize the trickle-down effect their purchase plays directly to diminish the economy. And the same economic theory applies when consumers hire illegitimate workers. It puts small business owners out of business.
Shop's owner nowhere in sight
Shoe Fashion owner, Alam Shikdar, was not found and no one has been charged as yet in the case. The shop was allowed to remain open and sell the remaining unconfiscated merchandise.