UAE residents speak: Fakes are 'fake' for a reason


UAE residents speak: Fakes are fake for a reason

Abu Dhabi - Several industries suffer due to fake copies available in the market.

by Anjana Sankar

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Published: Sun 16 Jun 2019, 5:00 PM

Last updated: Sun 16 Jun 2019, 7:47 PM

On the second day of the FakesCostMore campaign, Khaleej Times asked residents for their take on the Fake Vs Brands debate.
"Buying fake really is all about cheating yourself," said Avinash George Daniel, an Indian sales manager. "Do you drive fake cars, eat fake cheese cakes? No? Then, what's it about with luxury products that make you do it?"
For him, there is no better feeling in the world than the desire to own something and finally earning it. "It is about saving and earning that right to buy the brand that you love."
Daniel is not for buying counterfeits also because of the legal implications involved. "You are basically funding some sweat shop with probably under aged workers and God knows what your money is used for!"
Buying copies of branded luxury products is like living a fake life, according to Aya Sakoury, an Egyptian PR professional. "I have never bought a fake copy. I do buy brands but the ones that are affordable to me. If I buy a fake, I am trying to someone that is not me. I don't like that.
"I want to be an authentic person. Why should I try to show off and flaunt a super pricey handbag which I cannot afford. I feel it will affect the way people perceive me. So, fake is a big 'no' to me," said Sakoury.
Toeing the same line, Indian expat Rizvin Azad, said fake could be tempting but it is morally wrong. "Authenticity is a virtue that is instilled in us as kids. We get opportunities to deviate from it as adults, especially when it comes to buying fake stuff. You know that you are in the wrong to start with, outside of the fact that it's illegal, unfair to the creators, sometimes harmful and probably money going into the wrong hands for wrong purposes.
"I believe, you are risking extending your buying habits into your general behavioral aspects gradually," added Azad.
Anisha Verma, a hotelier in Abu Dhabi, said 'fake' is a dreaded word whether it for luxury goods, seasonal foods or even when it comes to people. "Then why do we support it knowing fairly well that it will hurt the people who work hard to develop designs, use high quality raw materials, and slog for years to build a trusted name in the dog-eat-dog consumer market."
According to her, fake or replicas of designs and brands is not only illegal but also hurting the luxury industry. "Designs are ruthlessly copied and duplicated using substandard quality with tacky finish.
Several industries suffer due to fake copies available in the market."
The film and music industry, which Verma has close association with, has massively suffered losses due to illegal copies of their films and records. "Producers are begging people to buy originals and watch movies in the theatre. One must buy what is genuine and affordable. A fake will never give the contentment that an original will give," she said.
Filipino housewife Maria Pereña, said she does not buy fake due to quality issues. "I know fakes are cheaper but they will not last. I would rather spend a few extra money and own the original."
"The brands are expensive for a reason. We are paying for the brand value and also for the high quality that comes as a guarantee. Why compromise on that?"
While many people are against buying fake, Saarangi Aji, a grade 12 student, said "it is people's choice to buy what they want". "If they are buying it (fake copies) voluntarily and willingly, then I don't think there is a problem. Customers should have the power to choose. That is important."
She said people often go for fake copies of high-end brands "so essentially". It is the desperation and greed that gets the best out of them which eventually persuades them into buying fakes. Technically, there is no cheating involved because they know what they are getting, except for the customer deceiving their friends and others into believing the fake is real."
In the age of social media, Saarangi said it is normal for people to feel the need to endorse/possess high-end luxury products to feel better about themselves. "We don't need to judge them."

Anjana Sankar

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