Consumption of counterfeit designer brands : reasons, practices and consequences
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This thesis examines the consumption reasons, practices and consequences of nondeceptive counterfeit designer brand clothing, which has been becoming rampant in Turkey as stressed by diverse resources. Utilizing qualitative research methods, the study was conducted through interviewing twenty counterfeit designer brand consumers nine of which additionally possessed the authentic items. Three consumers who solely consume the authentic items were also included in the sample. Findings suggest that consumers prefer counterfeit designer brand clothing not only for economic reasons, but also for symbolic reasons such as ardent desire, reference group influence, experiential fulfillment, nostalgic appeal as well as perceivably unfair prices of authentic items. Consumers selectively display the counterfeit items in different public domains and selectively disclose information about their consumption to avoid social anxiety and embarrassment. As a consequence, consumers authenticate an otherwise strange identity through such consumption practices. It is not only fantasy and real that commingle, but also fake and authentic, which mesh through a process of authentication as determined by the desires of the consumer. The study has implications for the literature on counterfeit consumption, price fairness, symbolic consumption as well as postmodernism and concludes with a discussion of limitations and opportunities future research.