If Consumer Reports suddenly decided to review illegal products, the author of a new blog called "It Takes a Fake" would be an ideal editorial prospect.
The site's inaugural project involves ordering counterfeit Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 bags from 5 "replica" sites and reviewing them for quality and authentic detail. Thus far, only one has arrived, and it failed to impress -- indeed, it is destined to be returned, with hopes of receiving a refund (less a 30% restocking fee, not atypical for sites that sell poor-quality fakes likely to be rejected by buyers).
If the site's mission is real, and not a bizarre viral marketing scam ultimately intended to endorse particular counterfeit retailers or, alternatively, to expose the shoddy nature of their goods, it points to a certain psychological dilemma. "Lisamarie" -- whoever she may be -- is in thrall to pricey designer goods, to the point of starting a blog about them, yet at the same time resents them. Although deeply invested in the details of a real Speedy, which retails online at USD $620, she would rather order multiple fakes and spend hours examining and writing about them. Given that she reports paying a rather steep USD $132 for the first specimen, the copies could collectively cost more than the real thing -- surely a false economy.
This peculiar obsession, however, is cast as a public service project:
[It Takes a Fake] is for those who are not afraid to say,,, I like to fake it. I will search and research the best in the world of faux\fake products. From fake bags to fake boobs. From the best to the worst, what your money will get you. I will find and post the best places to go and get the #1 fakes you want. I will find the best for your buck.
Of course, sites selling fake handbags appear and disappear with such regularity that, even should the reviewer find a bag that meets her standards, the purveyor's site may be long gone by the time that Lisamarie's readers get there. Indeed, somewhere an intern for LVMH's legal department may even now be bookmarking her site.
Lisamarie does "not care to hear about the laws and all the negative thought on knockoff bags," so I'll spare the warnings about getting involved in resale of fake bags or taking kickbacks from recommended sites. But if I've noticed FBI visits to this site, a purely academic endeavor (Hi, guys! How's it hangin'?), then surely a conduit to counterfeiters will attract notice as well.