With out-of-towners streaming in to take part in NYC's holiday festivities and shopping, those guys on the corner, with the easy-to-pack-up displays of fake purses have been sitting pretty. Yesterday, the NY Times examined the busy Canal Street counterfeit purse trade, which was bustling. While most woman can't (and won't) pay $1,000 dollars for a new purse, many might have opted for a less expensive key ring or coin purse that might go for $150-200, just for a little bit of the Louis Vuitton or Chanel experience. But in the article there were chilling words to high fashion labels, as "Carol from Summit, NJ" said, while buying a seriously faux Dior coin purse, "You'd have to be out of your mind to pay what they charge for these things uptown...I like the fact that it's a knockoff. It makes it kind of cute."

NYC Comptroller William Thompson says that New Yorkers are losing more than $1 billion in taxes because of the counterfeit trade (here's a PDF of the report, "Bootleg Billions"). And taxing counterfeit bags or DVDs is not part of the solution. And the best counterfeit story we've heard is that the knock-offs of those basic, black Kate Spade bags are so good (or the real ones are that shoddy) that some women have gone to department stores, returning the fake Kate Spade bags for refunds, leaving the buyers to find out what happened much later.

Gothamist on counterfeit purse bust and the Jelly Kelly, a fad of seasons past.