London proves pricey for knock-off goods

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The Independent Online

London is the most expensive place to buy knock-off trainers, jeans and CDs, according to figures released today, with counterfeiters offering slimmer discounts than in other big cities around the world.

Markdowns range from 11 per cent for fake CDs to 55 per cent for branded jeans and 56 per cent for high-end trainers, according to KPMG's Counterfeit Christmas index, which tracks the value of a basket of knock-off goods.

But London loses its crown if tobacco and alcohol are taken into account, with Prague topping the list when knock-off branded cigarettes and high-end whisky are included.

It is also harder to locate fake tobacco and alcohol in London, Sydney, Johannesburg and Tel Aviv. In contrast, KPMG said they were readily available in Prague, Sao Paulo, Istanbul and New Delhi. In New York, knock-off bourbon whisky can be bought for 60 per cent of the price of the genuine article while in Madrid, fake cigarettes are available at the half the real price.

KPMG's UK head of intellectual warned shoppers to be wary of the heavy markdowns. "Shoppers have to remember that even at Christmas there is no such thing as a free lunch and Boxing Day may be a painful experience when loved ones find their presents are not what they seem," he said.

Fake luxury goods, sunglasses and watches attracted the heaviest discounts, according to the report. In London, KPMG found a fake high-end branded watch for just 1 per cent of the price of the genuine article. A fake designer handbag was found for 13 per cent of the real price.

Overall, the average price of a counterfeit shopping basket was found to be 24 per cent of the price of a basket of genuine goods, leaving it unchanged since KPMG began collecting data in 2007.