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Trade Notices

Importing Knock-off Purses

This question came in response to the post entitled What is a Foreign Trade Zone?

Sandra asks

This customs thing is very confusing to me, but I keep reading more and more to try to understand.I am going to be very up front. I like to sell mirror image designer handbags like LOTS of other people do.I just do’t understand how they get shipments thru customs without getting caught. But this letter may explain some of it. Can anyone put imports in a FTZ warehouse? How does that work?

My response

If you’re trying to sell knock-off purses that infringe on someone else’s trademark, then your shipments are probably going to get seized by Customs. One of the duties of the CBP is to protect against counterfeit goods and an FTZ is not a way around that. An FTZ is more of a quarantined holding area for special case shipments. The goods are allowed into the special US warehouse where you can work with them to some degree, but the are not allowed into the commerce of the United States (aka sold in the US) until they pass through the Customs process.

I can’t tell you 100% where the bags you see people selling are coming from, but I imagine that they either slip by Customs, are smuggled in, or are different enough from the trademark holder that they are allowed in.

4 Responses to “Importing Knock-off Purses”

  1. Viktor Says:

    FYI…. selling counterfeit merchandise is against Federal Copyright Laws. The fact that everyone else is doing it doesn’t make it any less illegal. If caught (and many, many are)…. you’ll be subjected to destroyed merchandise with no recourse (or monetary replacement), a hefty fine, imprisonment, or all mentioned. Don’t do it. It isn’t worth the risk. Remember it is against FEDERAL Law and as such, the FBI (ICE) will be involved. And all it takes is one person who knows this to turn the Seller in….

  2. Della Says:

    Its one thing to buy one of the purses online, why does society get to indicate who is wealthy enough to have a gucci or louis purse. Really, what has the world come to that these people that invent the Gucci (for example) get completely jack their prices up so ridiculous to make people who are striving in the world to get ahead feel like they are poor or not good enough. I would not mass produce knock offs yourself, but as for buying a few for yourself. I mean really, why not. I have a few I bought in Dubai and I love them and I feel fantastic when I go out with them and no one can tell the difference. The person whom invented Gucci has made enough already lol, get your low priced purse and be happy with it. There are people way worse off in the world and I dont see any of the Gucci made money going over to Africa, DO YOU…


  3. Jeremy Says:

    Della, you have a very serious problem because you are so ridicously wrong in your thinking it is laughable.

    Who are you to decide who has made enough money that they should be so charitable to allow others to produce what they have a copyright/ownership of? What do you do for a living? Anything unique or of value that only you could create? Apparently not or your mind wouldn’t be on cloud 9. Gucci can charge whatever he likes for his products. If you don’t like the price, then don’t buy it. Why do you feel fantastic having one? It is because society is who allows Gucci to charge the high price, and folks do buy at those prices.

    I suppose you think it’s ok for people to go and just copy painter’s artwork as well. Picasso, Rembrandt – who cares, people like yourself should be able to buy them – why should only the rich?

    Folks like you are as much a part of the problem as those who produce the illegal stuff are.

  4. Tyler Says:

    Continuing with what Jeremy said, why would you feel good wearing a purse? Because it looks expensive? That’s why Gucci in particular is prestigious, not because it is stylish. Yet you oppose the high prices.

    Society doesn’t indicate that you can’t own a Gucci. Nobody stops you from making enough money to buy a Gucci, and nobody stops Gucci from charging as much he would like to. In my opinion, it sounds pretty fair for everybody. Also, try learning about capitalism. Maybe that will help you understand to some extent more about the what you’re speaking of.