27 September 2008

Pssst! Want some fakes?

My kids love their Crocs shoes. They're lightweight, breathable, comfortable, and easy to put on, so they practically live in them. Last December, Jammy's Crocs somehow got left behind in our hotel room in Tagaytay. Since we were in the Philippines, I did what most Filipinos would do -- got a pair of fakes. The bangketas (flea markets) in Virra Mall were teeming with fake Crocs that look remarkably like the real thing. Check it out below: which one is the fake one?

I think that if the fake factory had been a bit stricter with their quality control and put the darn strap on Right Side Up instead of Upside Down -- duh!! -- it would be virtually impossible to tell the fake from the real thing. They're just as comfy and soft. The quality of the plastic is probably not as good; I think Jammy's feet might sweat a wee bit more than with the real Crocs. But you can't beat the price -- around $5.

And check out these fake Jibbitz (photo above, on a pair of real Crocs)! They sell for the equivalent of 50 cents, versus up to $2.50 each for the real ones at Nordstrom.

Am I risking a fine or jail or deportation by blogging about this? I don't think so (at least I hope not). They're not branded, and I see made-in-China "Jibbitz" in US stores all the time. They're sold under other names like Shoe Doodles or Shoe Charmers, but they're essentially fake Jibbitz that you can buy legitimately for a price less than the original Jibbitz.

What about fake stuff that actually have a logo on them? Believe it or not, US Customs actually allows travellers to bring in one counterfeit item from abroad, as long as it is for personal use and not for sale. If you limit yourselves to one fake per traveler, you're fine.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm not encouraging everyone to go out and buy fake. In most cases, you do get what you pay for: watches that stop ticking in a month, bags with seams falling apart. I don't expect these Crocs to last as long as genuine Crocs, and I'll probably replace them with the real deal. I just wish these kinds of products could be offered in a more affordable version to people in third-world countries so there wouldn't be any need for fakes in the first place.

Bonggamom blogs about the ups and downs of everyday life, such as finding the perfect pair of jeans (genuine Armanis, not fake ones!) at Finding Bonggamom,


Asianmommy said...

You're right--who can tell the difference?

Mom of Four said...

My baby girl had a pair of this from Walmart and she loves it, only for using it too long (playing all day, even while she's sleeping), she had blisters, I guess, her feet are too big for the shoes too..now, she doesn't like it anymore.

It's really hard to tell which is fake and real, except, the blue one's label was upside down..But most of the time, people don't care, I don't..as long as it's comfy.