It Just Got Harder to Buy ‘Bargain’ Bags in New York
In a huge blow to the underground industry, it just became a lot harder for shoppers with loose morals to score "bargain" handbags in New York.
For many, "bargain" can be code for "counterfeit", and for years, the sale of counterfeit bags was a bustling business in our state. A monumental federal operation, however, may have hobbled the hustle for good.
Counterfeit Bags for Sale in New York
Counterfeit bags sales, specifically on Canal Street in New York City (above), might have been the Big Apple's worst-kept secret, with everyone from out-of-state tourists to shrewd Hudson Valley shoppers making the pilgrimage. While major crack-downs in recent years have led to more stealthy practices, a recent billion-dollar bust may be the nail in the coffin.
Police Make Record-Setting Bust of Counterfeit Goods in New York
While a 2022 sting netted $10 million in counterfeit items in New York City's Chinatown neighborhood, the bust earlier this week was literally one hundred times bigger. Police say over $1 billion worth of counterfeit bags, clothing, and shoes were found in a storage unit in Manhattan. In all, nearly 220,000 items were seized, uncovering what authorities are calling "the largest-ever seizure of counterfeit goods in U.S. history" (below).
The Impact of Buying Counterfeit Items in New York
It may be difficult for some New Yorkers to process their feelings after the recent news. While authorities constantly remind shoppers that selling (or buying) fake goods is a serious offense, for many it feels like a right of passage. It can also be tough to have sympathy for multi-million dollar brands, especially when so many are in the portfolio of the second-richest man in the world.
While some shoppers may not see the damage done by impacting the sales of a global brand, it's much easier to see the effect of local dollars on small businesses in the Hudson Valley. Check out where New York falls as a haven for local businesses compared to the rest of the country below.
LOOK: States With the Most New Small Businesses Per Capita
Gallery Credit: Eliza Siegel
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