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$5,000 Chanel bag at $750?
Counterfeit goods are popular among those who want luxury items, but cannot afford them.
But just how much are people willing to pay for a "superfake" - or something which is indistinguishable from the original? Up to $10,000, it seems.
The Sunday Times found counterfeit handbags, clothes and accessories, some that cost close to $10,000, being sold at a pop-up store in Raffles City mall.
Rich businesswomen and "tai tais" have been known to frequent the store and splash out on anything from "Hermes" bags to "Chanel" accessories.
The Sunday Times visited the temporary counter space in the basement of the mall twice last week.
The store was full of handbags, clutches, wallets and pom pom bag charms, with prices starting at $300.
When The Sunday Times showed an interest and willingness to pay for high-quality counterfeit goods, this reporter was shown a box of fakes resembling products from designer brands such as Chanel, Hermes and Tiffany & Co.
A fake Hermes Rivale Double Tour bracelet was selling for $150 while the real thing costs $810 at the boutique.
Counterfeit Chanel handbags are priced from $650 (real ones generally cost more than $3,000). Fake Hermes Birkin handbags cost between $2,000 and $10,000 - much less than the real ones, which are more than $17,000 on average.
Handbags, the sales assistant said, have to be pre-ordered.
"Come back on Thursday, my boss has just returned from Korea and she will be taking the stocks here for some customers. You can have a look at the quality," said the sales assistant, who looked to be in her 20s, last Tuesday.
"Many of our customers are well-known businesswomen," she whispered.
When The Sunday Times returned to the store last Thursday, the same sales assistant escorted this reporter to a multi-purpose vehicle parked in the shopping centre's basement carpark.
In the boot of the car, there were three "Chanel" bags - a red mini flap bag with alligator skin and gold-tone metal, a Chanel Deauville canvas tote bag lookalike and another resembling the latest fall/winter collection Chanel 31 shopping bag, which costs more than $5,000 at the boutique.
Despite countless raids, interceptions at Customs checkpoints and lawsuits by luxury brands, counterfeit products are still making their way to Singapore.
Last month, the police and Singapore Customs seized more than 4,800 pieces of counterfeit bags, wallets and watcheswith a total street value of more than $520,000. The items were found in a warehouse and logistics firm in Woodlands and the house of a 21-year-old suspect, who had apparently imported them.
In another raid conducted in May this year, Criminal Investigation Department officers arrested four people and seized more than 600 pieces of counterfeit luxury goods worth $77,000 from four retail stores at Far East Plaza.
Anyone found guilty of importing, possessing or distributing goods with falsely applied trademarks for the purpose of trade may be fined a maximum of $100,000, imprisoned up to five years, or both.
According to a 2016 study done by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Singapore is the third biggest source of counterfeit and pirated goods.
The global industry for counterfeits is estimated to be worth more than US$1 trillion (S$1.37 trillion).
Figures from the International Property Rights Branch of the Singapore Police Force showed more than $13.4 million worth of items were seized from a total of 112 copyright and trademark raids. There are no figures on how many of these were counterfeit luxury goods.
While counterfeiting sales have been thriving online, it is not unusual for counterfeit luxury goods to be sold at brick-and-mortar stores at malls.
A high-profile businesswoman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she had paid $2,000 for a counterfeit Hermes ostrich-skin Birkin handbag at the Raffles City store.
"I own at least 10 Hermes handbags. They are mostly Birkin and Kelly handbags. Nobody will suspect if I carry a fake one," she said. "Not many people in Singapore own an ostrich or crocodile skin Hermes handbag, so most people wouldn't be able to tell a real one from a counterfeit anyway."
She said she chanced upon the store while shopping at the mall last year.
"I bought some clothes from the store and, after some time, the salesgirl started showing me photographs of the counterfeit handbags," said the businesswoman, who declined to give her age, but looked to be in her early 40s.
"When I saw the ostrich-skin handbag selling for only $2,000, I thought, why not get it, since a genuine one costs about $30,000.
"There was a period of time when I was addicted to buying Hermes handbags. I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at the boutiques because you need to spend on non-bag items before you can ask for a customised Birkin."
Another shopper, a property investor who owns more than 10 high-end properties in central Singapore, told The Sunday Times she had bought the high-end fakes from the Raffles City store "just for fun".
"They also sell counterfeit clothes from Louis Vuitton, D&G and Christian Dior. You couldn't tell these are fakes. They are made from good-quality materials," said the woman, who looked to be in her 40s.
"Whenever there's new stock, the salesgirl would send me photos via WhatsApp."
Another shopper said: "If you are a rich and influential businesswoman, nobody will cast any doubt on you if you are wearing a fake item. Why do we need to spend so much if we can pay a fraction of the actual price and discard the shoes or clothes after using them once or twice? We don't want to be seen in the same clothes so often."
When contacted, luxury brand Hermes declined to comment and Chanel did not reply by press time.
Luxury brands have been known to take boutiques and online sites to task for selling counterfeit versions of their goods.
In 2012, Hermes International won a case that included US$100 million in damages against 34 websites which sold fake copies of its goods.
The luxury goods brand has also worked to fight fakes by tweaking the fonts and logo patterns on its bags, among other things.

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