Second Guessing Knock Offs

In the past, I’ve talked about buying knockoff watches and other ‘almost’ things on the Lower East Side in Manhattan. You may decide for yourself whether my purchases have been good or not.

I really didn’t think there was harm in what I was doing. I wasn’t going to buy the high end, name brand, real deal anyway. I find it tough to believe anyone’s buying the Roleckcs and eschewing the Rolex. They certainly never lost a sale from me.

In the past I heard shadow stories about how buying knockoffs support al-Qaeda. Seriously, is there a story with less credence?

Here’s the part of the equation I never thought about. Knockoffs aren’t limited to designer clothes and accessories. There are knockoff drugs and auto parts being made. These knockoffs replace items that provide ‘mission critical’ functions.

My watches come from China (though the case may say otherwise). So did the knockoff Colgate toothpaste, with poisonous additive. Did one beget the other?

If my $30 watch fails, who cares? It’s different if it’s my Lipitor or airplane engine component.

We have become very dependent on the Chinese to make stuff for us. They do, on the cheap. But we’re also buying into their way of doing business, which doesn’t seem to have the same respect for intellectual property as we’re used to. On top of that, there is little regard for the manufacturing employees&#185, much less the consumers at the end of the trail.

Corners are cut. Ingredients aren’t what they seem. The controls we expect aren’t in place. Does anyone police it?

I don’t want to think my purchases encouraged this… but maybe they did

It’s troubling. I’ll admit it.

&#185 – A nameless friend, in China to produce some news stories, visited a plant where workers were plating metal, dipping it, along with their unprotected hands and arms, into a mysterious chemical solution. As toothless as EPA and OSHA are, I can’t imaging that happening here.