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Designer Knockoffs Spotted On Amazon

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    Designer Knockoffs Spotted On Amazon

    Designer brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Hermes can cost an arm and a leg. But many consumers say they've found a new way to get these luxury items a lot cheaper: on Amazon. But are they real? NBC 5's Samantha Chatman reports. (Published Friday, Oct. 26, 2018)

    You know her as NBC 5's morning traffic anchor.

    But off camera, Samantha Davies is a fashion-forward mom who's always looking for ways to save.

    "I was on Instagram. I follow a lot of bloggers. Everybody is wearing the Gucci belt. Everyone has the Hermes belt. I was just wondering if it was going to be a little bit cheaper if I went on Amazon," she said.

    Davies was thinking she'd maybe save $50 bucks on Amazon for a Louis Vuitton belt.

    "But what I found was, they were significantly cheaper," she explained.

    One Louis Vuitton belt retails for $490. But on amazon the "Louis Vuitton Fashion Classic White Belt..." is going for $25.

    We also found a Gucci headband on the designer's website for $395.

    On Amazon, a similar headband with a logo that looks like Gucci's is on the site for just under $35.

    Davies said her suspicions about many of these products were confirmed when she started reading the descriptions.

    When we searched Hermes belts, we found one that looks similar to the real Hermes belt design.

    One customer asks: Where is this product manufactured?

    The seller responds: "Made in China."

    But according to Hermes, none of it's products are made in China.

    "I lived in New York City and I remember being in college and everyone would go to Canal Street and shop for the best fake bags," Davies said. So, it was really surprising to see it on Amazon where I can do it, it's perfectly safe and they're going to ship the fake product right to my doorstep.

    Fashion expert Cynthia Riley said she was shocked to see fake designer products listed on Amazon.

    "I was floored by the amount that was on there and how blatant it is," she said.

    Riley said she even found designer look alikes listed for hundreds of dollars.

    She said it's a tactic that sellers are using to make you think what you're buying is real, hoping you don't read the reviews or pay close attention to the description.

    Riley said she believes Amazon is having a hard time keeping up with the sheer amount of knockoffs listed on its site.

    "And there's hundreds popping up," she said.

    So what do the luxury brands like Louis Vuitton think about this?

    Louis Vuitton said it has zero tolerance for counterfeiting: "It's the violation of the talent, the skills of the craftsmen and the creativity of the artists to whom Louis Vuitton owes its success."

    Representatives at Gucci, Hermes and Louis Vuitton confirmed that Amazon is not an authorized retailer for their brands.

    So, as for that high end belt Davies was hoping for, she said she'll have to wait a little longer to buy the real thing.

    "I'm kind of mad that these are on Amazon because it kind of cheapens the product," she said.

    Amazon said it strictly prohibits the sale of counterfeit products and invests heavily to ensure its policy against the sale of such products is followed. Amazon said its global team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to and take action on reported violations and notices of potential infringement.

    Some of the knockoff items that we discovered have since been removed by Amazon, but there are still a number of look alikes and knockoffs that are still on the site.

    Some of the designers we spoke with reiterated that they cannot guarantee the authenticity of their products on unauthorized sites like Amazon.

    To learn more about how to spot a fake designer product, click here.