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Grey Market

Richa Ahuja is proud of her collection of bags. In fact every month she adds a new one to her fetish.

Fake pull overs and jackets

But one close look and you’ll see that her precious Calvin Klein is ‘Kalvin Klein’ and Louis Vuitton is ‘Luis Vuittone.’ Ask Richa what it means and she declares, “They are fakes. Who wants to buy expensive stuff when the same thing is available at a cheaper price?”

And Richa is right. You can get just about anything, right from watches, caps, footwear and belts to even toothbrush and fake eyelashes at a cheaper rate in any Delhi market.
According to figures given by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Delhi’s fake market is worth an estimated $ 600 billion.

“It’s not just the industry, even the government is losing a lot of revenue because of the grey market. They simply do not pay taxes,” explains Sameer Berde, assistant secretary general. According to FICCI, the fake industry has grown 1,000 per cent in two decades, which is alarming.

The fake market includes item like automobile spare parts, medicine, consumer durable items, drugs, alcohol and even tobacco. And while the industry is huge, the government seems to do nothing about it.

“When we can get a lookalike of all the branded items at a cheaper rate, why should we spend extra money to buy them? I always prefer stuff from Janpath or Sarojini Nagar as they are cheap and even durable,” says Suman Sharma, a student.

Kanika Thapar, also a student seconds her, “The branded items are so expensive. With that money I can buy five other things.” Even bottles of perfumes are easily available in these markets. One can find a fake Calvin Klein or Hugo Boss all over the market, available only for Rs 150!

On the other hand there are brand lovers who cannot buy fake items just for the sake of saving some money. “I just cannot buy these fake bags. I don’t know how people cannot distinguish between original and fake. This is so embarrassing,” rues Sara Khan, a student of fashion designing.

If you thought the City’s Palikas and Ghaffars only sell fake electronics, gaming consoles, CDs, and gadgets, think again, as selling fake cosmetics too seems to be the buzz in the market these days. The cosmetics on offer are fakes of luxury brands like Chanel, Gucci and MAC among others.

Priced at almost half of its original cost, these fakes seem to be doing a real good business. Fake brands are easily available in markets like Sarojini Nagar, Janpath and Lajpat Nagar.

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