Did you hear the one about the woman from Lakewood charged with selling fake designer clothing and handbags? I’m just not sure who the joke is on.

The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office says Courtney C. Michaels, 25, was arrested after a search of her home found various counterfeit items. Authorities say she imported large quantities of fake designer jewelry, clothing and handbags from overseas. These included counterfeits of brand names like Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Chanel according to Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer. He says she then sold them through retail websites to people across the United States at a fraction of the cost. Prosecutors say she’s been charged with counterfeiting.

Now here’s the thing.

Did these customers KNOW they were buying lookalikes? Because some people will buy things like this knowingly. They want to look like they have a Gucci so if it’s a good enough fake they’ll pay a small price just so everyone else will think they have the real thing.

When you think about it no Gucci bag is truly worth $1,500. I read that the actual manufacturing cost of a designer bag can be as much as 20 times lower than it will retail. Meaning a $1,500 Gucci might really be worth only $75 if there were true transparency. Okay so let them do a 100% profit markup and sell it for $150.

But they don’t of course. So they will suck your financial bones dry if you’re willing to pay for a name. You’re not buying quality or materials. You’re buying status. And it’s only impressing others exactly like you.

So if you’re that person, you might knowingly buy such a counterfeit bag and flaunt it. You would hardly be a victim.

If however you are unsuspecting and naive enough to really think you got this killer deal on a designer bag then yes, you’re a victim.

Just not one for whom I’d have much sympathy.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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