NYC Considers Cracking Down on Counterfeit Luxury Purchases

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NYC is currently considering cracking down on the purchase of counterfeit luxury goods, an extremely popular market for tourists and bargain hunters alike. Although Chinatown offers a large amount of legally sold jewelry, bags and other apparel, its underground market thrives off of counterfeit luxury pieces, from Prada to Louis Vuitton.

While the city has tracked and punished the sellers, the new proposed bill targets buyers as well. If all goes as planned in City Council, customers caught buying counterfeits can expect a fine of up to $1,000 or up to a year in jail. Margaret Chin, the Council member who introduced the bill, publicly announced on Thursday that counterfeits deny NYC of at least $1 billion in tax revenue a year that could support community improvements. “This

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is not helping us, it’s just giving us a very, very bad image,” she said. ‘‘Hopefully, this law will cut down on demand.” Chin assured that city officials would launch a clear campaign telling the public and tourism companies, through flyers and signs.

However, Council member Peter Vallone Jr. won’t condone the bill, believing that a year in prison is a bit much for fake products. Also in question are the affected traffic and tourism for Manhattan, if the law does pass.

Some designers are taking charge and filing lawsuits against the counterfeit wholesalers, such as Tory Burch. If passed, the legislation will go down in American history as the first to criminalize the purchase of knock-off products.

Photo courtesy of teenjury