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Saturday, May 21, 2011

☆New Items☆ Replica discussion ? ?


I've ordered a few new things recently that have finally come! When I can't find what I'm looking for with brands (Item is too rare and hard to find and/or far too expensive) I turn to replicas. I really liked the quality of this Angelic Pretty Sugary Carnival JSK!!~

I have three more items coming in the mail soon: AP Milky of the Fawn, AP Lamb print, and AP Lyrical Bunny!!




I really liked Angelic Pretty's Little Bear Cafe. However, not enough to purchase the real thing!


I also purchased the matching bow!



The seller was nice enough to send me this as a free gift!



She sent this as a free gift as well!!




On to the discussion!~


What do you ladies think about purchasing replicas?

This is of course just an opinion, and I know there a lot of them out there, but!

Personally, I believe that there is nothing wrong with purchasing replicas. Not everyone has money for full brand prices, and that's perfectly understandable (And even those of us that do, can't always find the items we want, or simply don't feel like paying a certain price for a certain item.)

However, I have been in the lolita community for years (Since around 2006) and I do recognize a few issues with replicas, such being:

-Buying replicas drives the re-sale value of lolita way down. (In all my years buying and selling, even major economy crashes did not drive re-sale down too horribly--it was when many replica companies came into business that this arose.)

-Buying replicas may eventually drive smaller indie brands (or possibly large brands) out of business. I say this because: You, the consumer, are what funds brands like Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, Victorian Maiden, and Angelic Pretty. They're not huge multinational corporations with million dollar funds--each purchase sincerely does affect the outcome of their future lines, and prospective business. When you buy from a replica company/group, instead of funding your favourite brand, the brand you love so dealy may eventually cease producing prints...prints for replica brands to rip off. And before you know it, there might not be very many brands around!

That is, of course, a worst-case scenario, and unlikely to occur.
But either way, there is still no reason to not purchase from replica companies. To each their own, and I, obviously, have no issue with purchasing from them!

I think the best way to buy is to support major brands and buy from them to keep them in business, while also purchasing from replica brands/other brands!

~What are your opinions on the idea of purchasing replicas that rip off original brands?~


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13 comments:

P o o p e r said...

I'm pretty much on the same boat as you are. :3
I support my favorite brands as much as I can but I have no problems with replicas. I bought DOL's Sugary Carnival jsk simply because I was too late when it came to buying the re-release. :\ Though, if I ever come across the opportunity of purchasing the real thing, used, then I'd do it. I just really wanted the satisfaction of wearing the SC print. xD

Abbey said...

I don't like replicas. I'm especially annoyed as I'd just forked out a fortune for Sugary Carnival and then they announced replicas. I also recently bought Holy Night Story, 2 AP lucky packs and Starry Night Theater...and apparently DoL is ripping off all 3 of them too =/

That said, I do own some replicas. I bought Fruits Parlor from Bodyline because at that point I thought I'd never own brand and was still trying out lolita. I also own Milky-chan replica but I hate it and have never worn it. Ordered Little Bears Cafe replica but that was half a year ago it hasn't arrived so I hate that already too...and if I hadn't ordered it I could have bought the real one for not much more money. So many bad experiences with replicas. I feel horrible for owning them because the brand is so much more magical and I've lost so much resale value from people making replicas (not that I plan to sell them EVER, but it's still annoying!)

I can see why people buy them, but if these companies put all their money and resources into creating their own prints that were of as good quality then I think that'd be a lot better.

Faltering Bird said...

@P o o p e r:
I feel bascially the same way! If I had the chance of puchasing SC again, the real thing, I'd do it! I already own the real blue OP, but I'd like to own more from the print!

The re-release sold out SO soon! o_o

Faltering Bird said...

@Abbey:
Oh my goodness! You've have HORRIBLE experiences with replica companies, I'm so sorry!! o_o
That's really crazy your Little Bear Cafe has not arrived! Have you started a PP dispute with them, yet??

I think that's also a good idea! I wish all these replica companies would put their effort into making their own prints! Eventually, they might become a reputable brand by doing so! :3

SweetsxHolic said...

I got to say I don't have a problem with replicas. I've never had an issue with the quality of them [I mean, if I'm paying 30 dollars for a piece instead of 300 I don't expect for the piece to be the same quality at all] and the shops themselves that I've dealt with have always been reputable.

Actually, my biggest issue is when girls string each other up over the fact that one of us is wearing a replica where as another is wearing the real thing. I mean, we're lucky enough that Lolita IS resellable, but to expect you're going to get what you paid for out of it is just silly. So getting angry at replicas for putting out prints that you wanted to sell at a 15% mark up or whatever? I don't feel bad for you. Nor do replicas take away from the business of a brand unless they're selling prints that the brand itself is still releasing. Otherwise they're just taking money away from the girls that resell their items and pocket the money-- it's not like they hand that money off to the brand maker.

I'd much rather have a girl be able to get a print she absolutely loves in an affordable [and sometimes size-appropriate] way, than to see her going into bankruptcy or squeezing into something too small.

Faltering Bird said...

@SweetscHolic:

Oh gosh, that's totally a really good way to look at it! If the brand is no longer selling the item, and it is not avaliable, the replica companies aren't really taking away business from the real brand! Haha god you're smart Kirsty XD

I agree that it's totally rude of people who mark stuff up, to then complain about losing business or having to mark their items down. They were just going to rip you off in the first place! D:

Shannon said...

I personally see nothing wrong with replicas simply because of what you prior stated, not everyone can afford brand. There will always be people with money willing to dish out cash for the brand name, even when there are 10 more who are not; because materialistic brand whores will never disappear. I hate it, as SweetsxHolic stated, when people make commentary about one girl wearing brand and one wearing a replica. If you're angry that someone has the same dress as you and you paid 10x more for it, that's your own stupidity for spending that much on something you could get cheaper. Sure, the quality might be a bit better, but in some cases; they're just the same. And most replicas don't come out until after a set has been discontinued and no longer available, they're not taking away from original sales. Also, I'm pretty sure if replicas are being made, that the fabric is not for one company ONLY because someone else also has it. There isn't anywhere stated that you can't use the same material for the same item. You see 500 of the exact same cupcake necklace that different girls made and charge different prices for. One just might be more well known than another, so they charge more; it doesn't mean the quality is any less in the cheaper version.

As for Bodyline, I don't consider them a replica company, because in most cases; their items are unique. They may be similar to another line, but never exactly the same. They're an off brand, not a replica company. I have several pieces from them and they're just a high quality as I'm sure anything from AP is. That's why I like them, their stuff is adorable, durable, and cheap.

Molly said...

I'm personally against it for a few reasons.
First, the reasons you posted. Studies have shown that companies lose millions of dollars every year from replicas (although obviously this is on a larger scale). Lolita brands, as you said, aren't huge companies and really cannot afford to lose tons of money every year. Think about this, if the replicas put Angelic Pretty out of business in the worst case scenario, the replica wearers would have screwed themselves over because there would no longer be AP designs to replicate.

Second, the brands hate it. Of course they're horrified that companies are stealing their designs for their own profit. As someone who really likes supporting the brands I like, even if I cannot afford them terribly often, I would feel terrible spitting in their face like that and wearing replicas. I'm glad that they don't allow bodyline at their tea parties in Japan for example.

I could go on and on, but there are other things bother me as well. Along the general discussion guidelines, I HATE that I get skewered on the EGL comm for ever mentioning that I don't like replicas. I always make a point of saying that I don't dislike or look down on others for it but it doesn't matter. They assume I'm a brand snob and super rich which are both ridiculous. I love making my own lolita, am greatly in favor of offbrand and would happily help others learn to sew. But no, people just tell me I'm being a bitch because of it, no matter how valid the reasons I give may be :( I'm actually really glad you brought this up because I'm glad to see a nice civil discussion about it. If it ever gets brought up publicly it's just anger and bitchiness it seems like.

When it comes to items not being worth as much, I assure you just because I wear brand name does not mean I intend to mark it up :/ It's just nice to think that if I change my mind about a $350 dress purchase someday, that it would be worth $200 used instead of say, $100. It would be like buying a replica for $80 and then finding out a cheaper replica came out so your used replica is only worth $20 instead of $40. It's just financially disappointing, it's not about being greedy and trying to do a markup. Honestly and truly, how often do you really see brand name dresses sell for more than their original price of at least $300? It's really not that often.

As far as afford-ability, stores like Anna House or even the non-replica Bodyline pieces are lovely. It's not like it's brand name, replicas or crap XD I am always shocked that people claim they want brand but cannot afford it yet spend $130 or so on new F+F? Used brand in great condition goes for much cheaper than that on the sales comm.

And finally, before I end this ridiculously long rant ^^; I think lolita is an expensive fashion whether people like it or not. Just one outfit requires a petticoat, nice shoes and socks, a hair piece, and some kind of blouse or cardigan if you're wearing a skirt or jsk. Just because something exists doesn't mean dirt cheap alternatives are owed to anyone. It's not a matter of being unfair, it's an expensive hobby. I work incredibly hard to save up for every little piece so it is frustrating to see others laugh that I would spend that money when they can go run off and buy the replica.

Okay rant done! XD

Faltering Bird said...

@Shannon:

Ahh, I agree on the not being able to afford brand part! I feel that people will go for cheaper versions, if they cannot afford a high price!

The cupcake neckalce thing is also a good example! And you're right, even *I* used to sell tons of those cupcake neckalces, at once point!!

I also feel the same way about Bodyline--in the past they haaave ripped off brands, but now they actually seem to be making their OWN prints. A lot of which are REALLY CUTE. I really want some of their new stuff ;_____;

sparklewolfie said...

I'm a hypocrite and bought the Little Bear's Cafe replica but get mad when there are BABY or AATP replicas XD I guess it all boils down to the Brads you support. I totally don't mind purse and shoe replicas, but I wouldn't but a BABY or IW print replica because they are my favorites and I would rather buy the original.

That being said, I don't judge other Lolitas for buying replicas. Sizing is definitely an issue and also the rarity of popular prints. I DO worry about puttign indie brands out of business though. Several of my friends are seamstresses, as am I, and there is no way I would ever be able to sell my work for as low of a price as TaoBao brands and still turn a profit :(

Faltering Bird said...

@Molly:

Ah yes, the theft of prints...such as the Angelic Pretty name and art being stolen and reproduced, such as on the two items I purchased that are in this post, is really unfair. Although I obviously don't have too much of a conscious because I purchased these items, it still DOES feel like it's spitting in the face of the brand owners/designers. I've met Maki & Asuka (of AP) and Isobe (of BtSSB) upon multiple occasions, and I would never DREAM of wearing a replica, for example, at one of their brand events. I would feel so terrible! Not because I was being cheap, but because I was supporting art theft.
Personally, for me, I reserve wearing replicas for going to events (like raves) where I would ve afraid of ruining the authentic brand garment.

I'm really glad you think I've brought up this discussion in a civil manner! I've seen a lot of anger and bitchiness towards this topic, and I really want none of it! I think that if people are just going to do what they want and buy replicas, then fine, but it's super unfair to call someone who doesn't support replicas a "brandwhore." Not supporting art-theft does not a brandwhore make!

Yeeeah, that's something I've always sincerely wondered about ._. If you buy from egl_comm_sales, or mbok, or Yahoo! Japan or something, you can actually find REALLY nice, cheap, in good quality brand garments. If you really want brand, SEARCH for it! Don't just drool over the brand website, decide you can't afford it, and then buy from a replica place and/or cheap company with bad quality. It honestly makes me wonder if some people don't know about Japanese auction houses, or the egl sales community!! I just recently purchased the ENTIRE Angelic Pretty Lyrical Bunny set (JSK, socks, and headbow!) for roughly $175 USD. I know that may sound like a lot, but for BRAND NEW Angelic Pretty items...a full set...it's so cheap! I have a Lamb set on reserve with a shopping service, and that full set is costing me roughly $600. Not to price drop, but...that is a HUGE difference. Huge.

Personally, I'm almost at the end of my rope with new brand prices. Auctions are where it's at!! :3

Faltering Bird said...

@SparkleWolfie:

Ahh yes, I can see how it would boil down to that! It makes sense. XD

It really sounds like most people are so "iffy" on replicas! (As am I!) I think the issue you brought of of sizing, and of availibility is legitimate. Brand sizing is not always kind to people, even if they're a normal size, let alone slightly heavyset.

That really is my primary worry, honestly. It IS rude to large brands like BtSSB or AP to steal their art, but they will probably survive, it's all just a matter of ethics with those brands, at this point. But with small indie brands, and single seamstresses...it's SO unfair. You're right, you'll never be able to turn a profit, that way!

I'm really so torn on the whole issue! x.X

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