Counterfeit merchandise comprised rip-offs of brands including Dolce & Gabanna, Gucci and Louis Vuitton were being sold at The Bag Shop in St John’s Shopping Centre. Tony McDonough reports
Fake designer bags being sold in Liverpool including Dolce & Gabanna, Gucci and Louis Vuitton rip-offs have been seized by council investigators.
Following the launch of an operation against fake goods in October 2017, officers from the city’s council’s Public Protection Team swooped on the haul of hoax handbags being sold at The Bag Shop in St John’s Shopping Centre.
City Council Public Protection Officer Jenny Davies said: “The bags were being sold for between £20 and £30 and on first inspection look quite authentic, but if you look a little bit closer they are actually very poorly made.
“Some of them have started to lose their clasps and other items so are pretty much unusable. Because they are fake, we know very little about their origins, so they could contain materials that are flammable or otherwise unsafe.”
While the bags were being sold at a fraction of the cost of their genuine counterparts, officers believe the haul would be worth as much as £18,000 if they were real. They will now be destroyed.
Ms Davies added: “These bags were being sold in the run up to Christmas so people may have thought they were getting a real bargain but they are not genuine and clearly not built to last.
“It’s an old adage but we would like people to be aware of the fact that if something seems too good to be true, it usually is.”
Liverpool City Council Cabinet Member for Street Scene, Cllr James Noakes, added: “Everyone loves a bargain but we want shoppers in Liverpool to be aware of the potential pitfalls of buying counterfeit goods. In this instance it was bags but it could be clothes, electrical items, perfume, watches – the list goes on.
“Whatever the item is, they are often of bad quality and may not have not have been through the same rigorous safety checks as the legitimate items, so they could be unsafe. We would urge everyone not to be tempted by fakes.”
You can report fake items through the city council’s website: www.liverpool.gov.uk and search for ‘consumer protection’ or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.