Police on the lookout for knock-offs
The police have commenced operations to seize counterfeit goods that are on sale as the back-to-school shopping rush heightens in the commercial districts.
Head of the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (CTOC), Fitz Bailey, told our news team that it is difficult to immediately identify counterfeit goods.
"A lot of the counterfeit items basically have the features of the genuine. I would suggest, where possible, if they (consumers) could purchase their goods from a recognised body. Most of those items have a distributor. If people go to the distributor for that particular item, then that will mitigate from purchasing counterfeit items."
Bailey said consumers should do a little inspection of the items.
"Look at it and ask the appropriate questions when they are purchasing. Some of the knock-off goods are not as sturdy as the genuine goods. Look at the labelling of the goods also and you can make a distinction. The English that is written or the wording are not in accord with standard English, especially some of those that are coming out of China," Bailey said.
THE STAR understands that while some consumers are aware that the brands are fake, they purchase them because of their affordability.
Our news team took to the streets of downtown Kingston and spoke with the vendors, who admit to selling counterfeit school bags and shoes.
A vendor along Orange Street, known as Sam, told THE STAR: "Mi sell Jordan bags for $2,500 and designer bags for $3,500, but if dem have $3,000, mi sell it. Nobody nah ask if it real. Dem want bag fi go back a school. Nuff bag mi sell."
On Princess Street, it was also business as usual.
"Twenty to 30 per cent of people ask if mi bags dem real or fake. The rest nuh business cause dem nuh have the $8,000 and $9,000 fi spend. A $2,500 mi sell my Jordan bags dem for. Mi have Reebok shoes for $3,000," a vendor told our news team.
Vendors in Pearnel Charles Arcade said with the influx of Chinese influence on one side of town with fake goods, it shows with the rush for customers.
A male vendor told THE STAR: "From King Street go back so full a shoppers because dem sell the thing dem at a price, cause the chiney dem bring in the ting dem and concentrate over there. Over here now, it slow cause we have the quality things. I can understand why they buy the fake things still because they are close to the real thing and is what people can afford."