>> Have you ever heard of someone visiting New York City just to get mugged? Well, of course not!
With this in mind, it is a wonder why people want to buy counterfeit products from the same type of people who, in fact, mug them financially, right in broad daylight!
Canal Street and Chinatown are great places to shop. Because of that, it makes me extra mad that some people visit these areas seeking to buy counterfeit goods and encouraging criminality.
Without any difficulty, honest shoppers can easily find a wide-array of reasonably-priced merchandise in these areas. Products include authentic Chinese antiques as well as stunning reproductions, handbags (leather and beaded), jewelry (glitzy costume and fine gold), scarves (tatty polyester, pilley acrylic, soft wool, and luscious silk), hair accessories, and clothing - all priced to sell.
Canal Street and Chinatown, like the Diamond District in Midtown, are trade-show areas, with almost every vendor being a wholesaler (just read the signs over the stores). Here you can find a mixed array of merchandise that will eventually be resold through upscale boutiques as well as through low-buck dollar stores.
. . . and lucky you! By shopping in this area of New York City, you'll generally pay a lower price than you would in either of those two types of shops.
But then there are the counterfeit items.
TimeOut New York Magazine (August 12, 2004) ran an intelligent, entertaining feature article on this subject, entitled Spies Like Us. Written by Jane Borden, it discusses her work as an undercover spy for a private investigation agency and what she learned about the counterfeit industry.
Without my covering the interesting information you'll read in Jane's article, note that her photographer, Timothy Fadek, experienced behaviors that were similar to what I wrote about in my previous articles. When a camera comes out, merchants who display counterfeit goods quickly scurry to hide them. He, unfortunately, was accosted by one of those merchants while taking pictures.
The photos I'm showing on this page are of perfectly legal activities (part of a series I'm collecting for a book). That said, notice the man looking directly at my camera in the second photo; an act also described in TimeOut.
Where pedestrians are the thickest, guards watch over the goods. Should you take pictures, it is not uncommon to have a guard stare directly into your lens. If you hang around too long, you better be ready to explain what you are doing, or else, quickly move on.
Jane's article also discusses dark-skinned Africans who peddle merchandise out of briefcases or cartons lined with black garbage bags, as I showed in Fake Designer Bags in New York City, Part 3. These people hawk counterfeit handbags, DVDs, watches, etc., at high-traffic tourist sites (the World Trade Center, Battery Park, museums, and department stores like Macy's and Bloomingdale's), rather than on Canal Street, although they do appear on the western edge.
Please stay away from garbage-bag and briefcase vendors! They quite literally sell garbage and do so at greatly inflated prices. To fleece you more efficiently, they can also have accomplices who are skilled pick-pockets.
Be an informed consumer and not a greedy nut-case who thinks counterfeiting is cute. Under all conditions, do what you can to make your experiences in America (especially in New York City) good for everyone concerned - your family, friends, neighbors, and, of course, law-enforcement officials.
Questions or comments?
GUARDS ARE NEEDED TO PROTECT MERCHANDISE!
WHEN YOU TAKE PICTURES, HOWEVER, THEY TEND TO LOOK DIRECTLY IN YOUR CAMERA AND FOLLOW YOU AROUND.
CANAL STREET OFFERS A WONDERFUL PROFUSION OF MERCHANDISE WITH MANY WHOLESALE BUYING OPPORTUNITIES.
THE SHOPS NEARER TO BROADWAY SPECIALIZE IN ACCESSORIES - HANDBAGS, SCARVES, JEWELRY, HAIR ACCESSORIES, READING AND SUN GLASSES, AND MORE!
>THE NORTH SIDE OF CANAL IS LINED WITH FINE JEWELRY STORES. PICTURED ARE GOLD CITY, PRESTIGE JEWELRY, AND CANAL GOLDEN MALL.
MANY TOURISTS DON'T REALIZE THAT THEY CAN BUY HIGH QUALITY ITEMS IN THIS AREA BECAUSE THE AREA IS OLD, AND DENSELY PACKED WITH SHOPS AND SHOPPERS.