fake out

Here’s How to Buy a Fake Bag in Chinatown

Photo: Bloomberg

Do you lack both the money for the latest it-bag and the eBay skills required to select a convincing imposter? (Alternately, are you a tourist looking for an adventure?) Head to Chinatown, where counterfeit bags are still widely available, though “black marketers have adjusted their tactics” in the wake of recent government crackdowns. The Sunday New York Post contains a brief guide to navigating this new, slightly more complicated terrain. It comes in the middle of a report on Manhattan councilwoman Margaret Chin’s effort to make buying counterfeit bags illegal — only sellers are prosecuted under current laws — so it might be best to act relatively quickly:

To get a mock Michael Kors, a buyer must first troll Canal Street — finding a scout with a low voice repeating “handbag, handbag” and “watches, watches.” The scout leads buyers around the corner to a quieter street, where another member of the ring presents a pamphlet showing tiny color photos of more than 100 replicas. Buyers point to their selections, and the seller disappears before muttering the jacked-up price: $100 or more. Minutes later, he returns with the fakes concealed in black plastic bags, grabs his cash and walks away.

Sure, it’s kind of a hassle, but at least you know what you’re getting.