Vietnamese customers cornered by fake labels

August 13, 2018 | 17:05
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Along with the scandals around the origin of Mumuso and Con Cung’s goods, Vietnam is awash with fake versions of famous fashion labels and the authorities are proving ineffective in doling out punishments.

Abundance of fake labels

vietnamese customers cornered by fake labels
Fake clothing labels on sale on Shopee

As labels play a great part in determining the origins and the price of goods, small traders often enter into co-operation with label manufacturers to slap the labels of famous fashion brands or Vietnamese exports on their products.

Clothes labeled this way can then be sold for dozens of times more than otherwise, but at the same time, it goes at the expense of customer confidence. However, fake labels are rampant in the market with extremely cheap prices.

Just by searching “purchasing clothing labels” on Google and e-commerce platforms like Lazada and Shopee, thousands of results pop up immediately. Accordingly, the price of labels depends on the material and the popularity of the brand in question.

On Hang Bo Street (Hoan Kiem District) it is not hard to find garment stores specialised in selling labels from Zara, H&M, Adidas, and others, with prices going from VND300,000 to VND1 million ($13.2-44.2) for more than 1,000 labels.

In addition to neck labels, stores on e-commerce platforms also sell batch mark labels, which provide information on the clothing materials and user guidance. Accordingly, one cotton roll including 3,000 labels fetches VND500,000-700,000 ($22.1-30.9) and one satin roll goes for about VND1 million ($44.2).

Limited choices for shopping

Even giants like Con Cung and Khaisilk have been hit with label frauds, and high-quality and original goods remain an expensive luxury for shoppers—which, after Khaisilk, is not even guarantee anymore. A large number of consumers, especially young people who have limited finances, are coming to accept the situation.

Ngoc Mai (Hung Yen province) told VIR: “I know that the goods are fake, but I still buy them because I need them.”

Nhu Uyen (Danang) said, “There are so many fake goods on the market, how do I even know what is counterfeit and what is genuine?”

Minh Ha (Danang) said, “As long as the designs are beautiful, the clothes fit me well, and the prices are reasonable, fake goods and counterfeits are fine.”

More than three years after the Market Surveillance Agency seized millions of fake labels at Ninh Hiep market (Hanoi’s Gia Lam District), the related proceedings are still on-going.

At the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s 2017 Review Conference held on January 26 this year, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said that the abilities and specialist knowledge of the Market Surveillance Agency’s divisions are unequal to the task. The agency’s force is too small to effectively roll back the violations going on such a massive scale.

Lawyer Kieu Anh Vu from KAV Law Firm told VIR that the violations should draw administrative fines of VND30 million ($1,327) and VND45 million ($1,991), in accordance with Decree No.185/2013/ND-CP’s Article 13 and Article 14 on selling and producing counterfeit labels and packages.

“The fines are simply not high enough because the profit earned from the violations may be much higher than the fines. Civil proceedings in such cases are difficult because it is hard to prove the violation,” Vu added.

By Van Anh

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