Markdown Madness and Counterfeit Psychology

The end times have arrived.  From Neiman Marcus' trademarked Last Call to the Final Days of Barney's Designer Sale, bargain shoppers will either be united with their red Louboutin solemates at 70% off, among other legendary discounts, or be condemned to wait for next season.  Or will they?

The proliferation of designer discount sites, from Bluefly to Yoox to the Gilt Groupe, not to mention eBay sellers, has conditioned us to look for year-round bargains.  Even the 90% off Jimmy Choo or Manolo Blahnik is no longer automatically dismissed as an urban legend, especially after last fall's extreme sales.  But perhaps we've grown a bit too credulous.

Jane Ridley at the New York Daily News launched an investigation into one of the more recent online attempts to fool consumers, glossy websites dedicated to the highest of heels at the lowest of prices -- and she doesn't like what she's found.  Check out her article, photo essay, and helpful tips here (complete with quotes from your favorite law prof -- thanks, Jane!).