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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Donation Dilemma: Fake Vuitton Bag (No, I didn't buy it)

Let me reiterate: I didn't buy it. A relative bought a fake Vuitton (two, actually, one for me and one for Miss Em) in Chinatown. We thanked the relative profusely and never used them.

Now that I'm pretending to declutter, these are on the chopping block. But what to do? There are plenty of people frequenting thrift stores who would love to carry an LV, real or fake. I'd be happy to let them have the bag.

There are also plenty of people who would BUY the fake bag and sell it as authentic on Ebay, local consignment, or similar. I do not want to be part of the process.

There is also the possibility that the thrift shop would put a large price on these bags and get it. In fact, I've seen this happen. The customers were ecstatic and the thrift store got some dough. I'm not too thrilled with being part of this process either.

So...what do you advise? I was thinking of defacing the bags, by writing REPLICA on the INSIDE with magic marker. I fear the ethical path would involve cutting them to bits with scissors.

Fake Bag Anecdote. One of my students was carrying a Chanel bag.  She showed it to me. Figuring that she knew it was a replica, I remarked that it looked real. This was a booboo. I thought she would know. She got very huffy and told me that TINY TOWN, Louisiana got ALL the "seconds" of Chanel bags direct from France. She said she had paid $40 for the bag and showed me a certificate declaring authenticity in several languages. She said she happened to have put a good deal of study into the bag. She was getting really angry at me.

Since I didn't want this episode to appear on "Rate My Professor," I said, "Wow. You are really lucky!"

Again, dear readers, I await your words of wisdom.


Kathy Niederkorn said...

I think you should destroy them. They are a form of theft. It's like plagiarizing or copy write infringement. We have gotten so lax in this looking for the "cheap deal" that we blunt our integrity. I applaud you for not using them and also not making your relative feel bad. Just my opinion.

The Frugal Shrink said...

I laughed out loud at the Rate My Professor references...yes, it likely would've ended up on there!! I would trash rather than donate the bags.

Janice Riggs said...

I would destroy it. As Kathy says, it's theft, and there's no way you can be certain that it won't be misused in the future unless you ensure that the bag doesn't HAVE a future.

If only more people gave it the thought, and the care, that you do!

bomm said...

I hate the idea of throwing sthg useful into landfill, more, I guess, than I care about Louis Vuitton. What about donating to an organization that gives directly to the end user -- a church or synagogue or homeless shelter?

dotsybabe said...

What about donating to the costume shop of your local repertory theatrer? It would remain as a "costume" and not the real thing. Who knows, they might need it for some future drama or comedy -- am updated "Separate Tables" of "Plaza Suite" comes to mind.

Gam Kau said...

If they are the right style (bucket?), they make good planters!

Jet Kuhn said...

It drives me insane when I see fakes being sold in thrift store as real. It's actually illegal to sell counterfeit goods, so I don't know how they get away with it. Especially at the insane prices. OTOH I hate seeing something useful going into a landfill. I'd donate to an org like the VA where everything goes directly to the Vets & their families, perhaps leaving a note in each saying they're fakes?

Shelley said...

I don't see you as being responsible for the foolishness other people get up to. Since I've never fully understood the desire to carry brand named items (particularly since my whole life would need an upgrade to keep up) I think of all that stuff as people do about fakes as being pretty foolish. Have you read The End of Fashion? I found it quite eye opening. I agree with bomm that it seems wasteful to throw away something useful; a bucket planter sounds pretty cool to me. Cooler than carrying even a real LV bag.