NY Police Destroy Counterfeit Clothes Rather Than Giving Them To The Homeless

from the can't-let-that-destroy-the-brand dept

Last week there was a big controversy over the fact that some stores in NY were caught destroying unsold garments rather than donating them to charities. After people got upset, the main store in question, H&M promised that this wouldn’t happen again. This week we’ve got a related, but somewhat different story, as the NY Police have admitted to shredding and burning the counterfeit clothes they’ve confiscated, rather than giving them to the homeless, as had always been done in the past. When asked to explain why, the police claimed “no one asked” for the confiscated clothing — but many charities insist they had, in fact, made many requests for the clothing. Apparently, the destruction is being felt at clothing banks, who say they have many fewer clothes on hand this year than in the past.

Not surprisingly, a lawyer representing various clothing designers was quite happy with the news, saying that they don’t want those clothes “back on the street,” which suggests that the designers may have pushed for the police to destroy the clothes rather than help the needy. Of course, it’s worth pointing out — yet again — the recent study that showed most people are not fooled by counterfeits, and they rarely represent a “lost sale.” In fact, many counterfeit purchases lead to real purchases later on. So the idea that they act as a “substitute” or somehow “harm” a brand is not actually borne out by the research. And, of course, some companies have learned that there are ways to embrace counterfeiting to their own advantage, as a form of price differentiation.

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Comments on “NY Police Destroy Counterfeit Clothes Rather Than Giving Them To The Homeless”

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42 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

I agree with the general principle of counterfeit leading to a sale of the genuine item. I have seen it happen. However, even if we assume that theory is false, the police could still give away clothes to the homeless shelters. Just mark the clothes-no one is going to buy a designer knock off with a cut or a color variation. Of course it sounds a little like the Seinfeld episode with the muffin tops, but that is acceptable here I think.

Ryan says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

So what’s the point of marking it in the first place if nobody ever sees the mark? And I would think the fact that you’re buying a used clothing item off a homeless person on the street would devalue it more than any simple “mark” could.

On the other hand, it seems dumb to even debate whether homeless people would dislike a marked article, as if anybody gives a shit. They’re getting free clothes, and I don’t think they’re using them to pick up chicks at black-tie cocktail parties anyway.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Xe’s not saying they have to be marked with a yellow star of david of anything.

Maybe we could come up eith a new mark for poor people. How about a green rectangle with a red X through it? Then make a law that all people below a certain net worth must wear it (selectively enforced, of course). That should help the police keep the riff raff out of areas where they don’t belong.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“However, even if we assume that theory is false, the police could still give away clothes to the homeless shelters.”

Sigh, haven’t you been paying attention. NO THEY COULDN’T!!! Counterfeit clothes are a LOST SALE.

Imagine how much designer clothing those homeless people will buy now that they can’t rely on the counterfeits!

Zoolander’s Derelicte line out to be popular….

/sarcasm

Anonymous Coward says:

something to think about

Any of these knockoff clothes designer knockoffs? The reason why I ask is that if the homeless person can resell the designer knockoff for a decent amount of cash, the homeless might use the clothes for purposes other than helping them. (They sell the clothes, then buy booze/drugs with the cash.)

Think big picture here. The last thing you want is supplying the homeless with a means to a bad end.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: something to think about

“Think big picture here. The last thing you want is supplying the homeless with a means to a bad end.”

Exactly. People are homeless and poor for a reason: they’re supposed to be that way. It’s just the law of nature. Besides, it’s probably their own fault. Think about that the next time you’re tempted to give a bum a handout or contribute to a charity for the poor and don’t do it!

Anonymous Collard says:

Counterfeit...

My brother bought me a “Rolex” off the street of NY. It was a gag gift and although it looks real, anyone with a basic knowledge of Rolex’s can instantly tell it’s a fake.

I lost my real watch and actually started wearing it until I found a new watch that I like. Some people commented on it, and I actually feel guilty for wearing it.

But, it has made me look at used Rolex’s. I’m actually considering getting one if my new iPhone app takes off.

Anonymous Coward says:

Liars

When asked to explain why, the police claimed “no one asked” for the confiscated clothing — but many charities insist they had, in fact, made many requests for the clothing.

Well, somebody is obviously lying here, and it can’t be the police because they’re heros! I’m not suprised that charities for those disgusting homeless people would be lying. Working with homeless people probably rubbed off on them.

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