You’ve all seen the ads for the $149 Christian Louboutin’s, and more recently the YSLs. They lurk on websites in their small ads, with the unmistakable styles that you love. I myself have even gazed longingly at one of the sites and even clicked through once to take a harder look. Even though I knew there was something fishy about them you can’t help but think — $160 for a pair of Louboutin boots? But alternately I thought, ‘how well could these be made?’ Because no one wants to crack an ankle in a pair of cheap imitations. And even more personally, as a former employee of the small and intimate company, would I want to disrespect the man who I admired, and had a pleasure working for? The answer is no. The NY Daily News gives us a few more reasons why these knockoff are just a bad idea.

Despite ultra-convincing pictures and claims that the Web sites are run directly by the designers and the footwear is individually crafted in Europe, it’s a scam.

The goods are neither handmade nor exclusive. They are mass-produced in China.

The “leather” often smells of toxic chemicals, the “hand-stitching” is replicated by sewing machine, and the sizing is inaccurate.

Return the purchase and, on top of the cost of shipping, customers are subject to a “restocking” fee of up to 20%. Little wonder most swallow the disappointment and don’t bother to send them back.

If disappointment were the only result of the fraud, it wouldn’t make headlines. Who really cares about image-obsessed fashionistas being ripped off?

To add to this, counterfeits fund terrorism, gangs, and child labor. Is that shoe or handbag really worth it? I personally could never own a fake. I would rather go to a vintage store, and find an older model, or just save up for the real thing. I think fakes are obvious and it pains me when I see a young girl proudly displaying her obvious knock-off. Not a good look ladies…