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What drives people to buy fake goods

Low self esteem, social pressure and stoking of the ego are some of the reasons why people indulge in buying fake branded goods

Image Credit: Gulf News/Pankaj Sharma
A collection of counterfeit designer bags. For illustrative purposes only.
Gulf News

Dubai Low self-esteem, social pressure and the need to stoke one’s ego are some of the reasons why people buy fake or counterfeit goods, says 
M John, a Dubai-based clinical psychologist.

“Just as school children face peer pressure, people who are extrovert and very active in the social circuit constantly seek social approval. They feel their self-worth will multiply if they are seen using a high-end brand. So even when they really cannot afford these items, they indulge in buying fake designer bags, shoes, watches and jewellery pieces. They have this need for acceptance into the social club they aspire to be a part of. When they get appreciation or positive comments for it, it boosts their ego and they get caught in a vicious cycle of buying and owning fake goods...” explained John.

Then there are consumers who buy counterfeit personal care items such as creams and cosmetics without ever considering the risks. John attributes this to a streak of pure carelessness.

“There are a category of people who are not health conscious or lack the insight to question something. They do not take life seriously or attempt to examine the full implications of fake goods. They scan the net for whitening creams, slimming pills, cheap cosmetics and are naive enough to blindly trust the product without analysing the pros and cons of using it. The grey market zeroes in on the common insecurities of such people and thrives on it,” she said.