Yellow tents are clustered together at Dongdaemun Saebit Market on Wednesday night. (Jie Ye-eun/The Korea Herald)

Yellow tents are clustered alongside one another at Dongdaemun Saebit Sector on Wednesday evening. (Jie Ye-eun/The Korea Herald)

Dongdaemun Industry is the center of the Korean apparel and trend marketplace. Near the industry is one more “secret” location for purchasers who want luxurious style products but can’t afford them. This area is referred to as Dongdaemun Saebit Current market, the nation’s largest pretend designer goods current market.

Close to Dongdaemun Structure Plaza Station Exits 2 and 3, about 80 little yellow tents are clustered with each other, promoting counterfeit luxury manner merchandise that glance very substantially like high-priced manufacturers these as Moncler, Thom Browne, Cartier and Rolex. The items on give contain nearly every style of trend item, from bags and garments to jogging shoes and watches.

Irrespective of deepening problems over the rapid spreading omicron variant and sub-zero temperatures, the pretend designer industry was crowded with keen purchasers. Though the position only operates at night from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., additional and additional men and women flocked to the location as time passed afterwards into the night time.

Rreplicas of Moncler outerwears are displayed at Dongdaemun Saebit Market. (Jie Ye-eun/The Korea Herald)

Rreplicas of Moncler outerwears are shown at Dongdaemun Saebit Current market. (Jie Ye-eun/The Korea Herald)

“This is Moncler’s newly introduced very long down jacket. (The real item) is priced at some 2.8 million won ($2,330) but I’ll give it to you for 220,000 won. No far more special discounts! I was selling it at 280,000 gained past 7 days,” a vendor who seemed about 40 mentioned when The Korea Herald reporter glanced at the item. 

Though there are quite a few “grades” of counterfeit items, ranging from the of course faux to the almost equivalent, one more vendor captivated shoppers by promoting her merchandise as “Ultra A” grade — super higher-high quality pretend items. The charges ended up considerably less than 10 per cent of the authentic items. Her shoppers seemed largely in their 20s to 40s.

“I have brought some very good regional stuff. Large high quality merchandise are manufactured in Korea, but the vast majority of dresses are imported from abroad, like China … Given that it usually takes so lengthy to convey in (clothing) wholesale, in particular all through the pandemic, I desire I could convey extra area goods. But factories are out there to prevent crackdowns. I cannot help it,” the vendor whispered to the reporter.

Shoppers at Dongdaemun Saebit Market look at counterfeit luxury items on Wednesday night. (Jie Ye-eun/The Korea Herald)

Purchasers at Dongdaemun Saebit Sector search at counterfeit luxury items on Wednesday night. (Jie Ye-eun/The Korea Herald)

In the meantime, some sellers warned shoppers that “photos and recordings are not authorized.” Considering that it is illegal to sell and import bogus products, they compensated eager attention to visitors’ smartphones. Consumers and prospective buyers only dealt merchandise in hard cash and financial institution account transfers. Sold products have been handed about in black plastic luggage. Sellers’ trucks ended up parked ideal future to their yellow tents, seemingly completely ready to flee in circumstance police appear for random inspections, which can transpire at any time. 

Two woman consumers in their early 30s were being on their way home, their arms total of black shopping luggage. Although it was their 3rd take a look at to the industry, they experienced put in about 800,000 received that day for a brief puffer jacket, two mini crossbody luggage and a pair of athletics footwear. They seemed quite pleased with their buys, expressing, “Although we expended funds, we feel like we have saved a good deal.”

A shopper looks at a fake Prada shoulder bag at Dongdaemun Saebit Market on Wednesday night. (Jie Ye-eun/The Korea Herald)

A shopper appears to be like at a fake Prada shoulder bag at Dongdaemun Saebit Marketplace on Wednesday night time. (Jie Ye-eun/The Korea Herald)

Individuals who violate the country’s trademark legislation can be despatched to prison for up to 7 years or pay up to 100 million received in fines. Nearby authorities are clamping down on these conditions, but an escalating amount of illegal dealings are getting put these times. In some European countries, counterfeit item buyers can also be punished with up to a few many years in jail or up to 300,000 euros ($336,800) in fines. On the other hand, in Korea there is no legislation to penalize those who purchase counterfeit merchandise. 

In accordance to the info compiled by the Korea Customs Services, about 467.9 billion won well worth of counterfeit baggage, or 1,866 cases, had been seized from January 2017 to August previous 12 months. Louis Vuitton was the most regular victim of counterfeiting, followed by Chanel, Gucci and Hermes. The local vogue industry also predicts that the range of knockoffs has improved through the pandemic, considering that individuals selected to secretly acquire and offer the copies as a result of social media platforms.

Experts note that Koreans are obsessed with pretend designer merchandise. The country’s collectivism and people’s conspicuous usage tendencies enhance their unwholesome need, according to Kwak Geum-joo, a professor of psychology at Seoul Countrywide University.

Counterfeit watches that resemble high-priced brands are displayed at Dongdaemun Saebit Market. (Jie Ye-eun/The Korea Herald)

Counterfeit watches that resemble significant-priced makes are displayed at Dongdaemun Saebit Market. (Jie Ye-eun/The Korea Herald)

“Korean modern society is really delicate to developments and men and women treatment a whole lot about other people. To feel a perception of belonging, folks opt for to adhere to other individuals to be concerned in a group. Also, to obtain superiority around other folks, they are likely to use pricey things to clearly show off,” the professional informed The Korea Herald.

“But considering that they cost much too considerably, some select to obtain bogus objects. They may perhaps even feel a feeling of joy in deceiving some others. Their inclination, nonetheless, is not likely to change due to the fact acquiring counterfeit objects is also a usage routine.”

Client scientific tests professor Lee Eun-hee of Inha College attributed the pretend products consumers’ buying actions to a strong feeling of rivalry. Lee utilised the expression “Turning inexperienced with envy” as an case in point. At the exact same time, the pro highlighted the importance of boosting awareness of mental residence legal rights. 

“Not only advertising but purchasing counterfeit products and solutions is thieving. The country’s legislation should be strengthened to cease such illegal actions, but similar authorities have to actively inform the general public that it is wrong. Shopper education and learning can consider position by means of different campaigns as nicely.”

By Jie Ye-eun ([email protected])