NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED FEDERAL LAWYERS
Last Updated on: 15th December 2023, 06:56 pm
Avoiding Charges for Selling Fake Designer Bags
Selling knockoff designer bags and wallets can seem like an easy way to make some quick cash. The bags look almost identical to the real thing and cost a fraction of the price to make. So you can buy them cheap from a wholesaler and sell them for a nice profit, right? Not so fast.
Selling counterfeit goods is illegal. You can face civil lawsuits or even criminal charges for trafficking in fakes. The risks are real, even if it seems like no big deal. So before you try to sell that fake Louis Vuitton on eBay, here’s what you need to know.
It’s a Form of Fraud
Trying to pass off a counterfeit product as the real thing is considered fraud under the law. When you sell a knockoff, your representing that it’s a genuine product from the brand. But it’s not. That’s lying to the customer.
The brands themselves have legal rights to their trademarks, logos, and designs. By making and selling counterfeit versions, your infringing on those rights. That opens you up to civil lawsuits for damages from the brand owners.
You Could Face Criminal Charges
In some cases, selling counterfeit goods can even lead to criminal charges. Trafficking in fakes may violate criminal laws against fraud, counterfeiting, or trademark infringement. The penalties can include hefty fines or even jail time.
For example, if your caught bringing counterfeit products into the U.S. for sale, you could face federal smuggling charges. That crime carries up to 10 years in prison and a $2 million fine. Not worth the risk just to sell some fake handbags!
Your Goods Could Be Seized
Customs agents are on the lookout for counterfeit imports. If they catch you with fake designer merchandise, not only could you be arrested – they can seize the goods too.
And its not just at the border. Police can confiscate counterfeit products being sold inside the country as well. So you could lose your whole inventory of “luxury” items in an instant.
You Won’t Get Your Money Back
Lets say you bought a shipment of knockoff watches to resell online. Then customs seizes them at the port. Not only are you out the watches…you also won’t get back what you paid the supplier!
So that’s money down the drain. And if you already resold some of the watches, you may have to refund those customers while eating the loss yourself.
You Could Be Sued by Customers
Angry customers who realize they were duped may decide to take legal action against you. Under consumer protection laws, they can sue for compensation in civil court.
And if you made money from the scheme, you may have pay back those profits as damages. Plus any legal fees they incurred by having to take you to court.
Reselling Authentic Items is Safer
Rather than risk jail time or lawsuits selling fakes, consider reselling genuine pre-owned designer items instead. Sites like The RealReal, Tradesy, and Vestiaire Collective connect buyers and sellers of authenticated luxury goods.
The products cost a bit more than knockoffs. But they hold their value better and are less likely to get you in legal trouble! Just do your due diligence to avoid buying counterfeits unknowingly.
Get Legal Advice if Charged
If authorities do go after you for trafficking in fakes, don’t panic. Get experienced legal counsel right away. An attorney can advise you on the best defense strategy.
For example, they may be able to negotiate a settlement or plea bargain to reduce the penalties. Or challenge the validity of any criminal charges filed against you. Don’t try to handle such a case 100% on your own.
Think Twice Before Selling Fakes
At the end of the day, selling counterfeit bags and accessories is risky business. The potential profits usually don’t outweigh the legal consequences if caught.
Do your homework before assuming you can buy cheap fakes from China and flip them for big money. Getting sued or arrested could end up costing you far more in the long run!