A seller at the Abbotsford Flea Market on Sunday was trying to pass off designer duds at a fraction of the retail price, but he could now be facing copyright-infringement charges.
The man was busted after Abbotsford Police – both uniformed and undercover – did a walk-through of the market on Sunday and came across a booth selling T-shirts and hoodies with brand names such as Affliction, TapouT, Adidas, Puma, Harley-Davidson, Billabong and DC.
The items were selling for $6 to $20 each.
Const. Ian MacDonald said the officers did a check of the labels on the clothing, but they didn’t match with the brands. They then went to a store selling the authentic items and compared how they looked to the flea market items.
MacDonald said the authentic articles had different labels and silk-screening characteristics.
Uniformed officers then returned to the market, and informed the vendor – the 32-year-old man from Surrey – of their discovery.
MacDonald said the man claimed he was selling the items on behalf of another person. The officers seized 1,026 items, which were valued at $20,000 based on the asking price.
Police are continuing their investigation. MacDonald said one thing they want to determine is the source of the knock-off clothing.
He said such items are usually produced in a warehouse located in the Lower Mainland or overseas. They are often sold online on sites such as craigslist and eBay.
MacDonald said the appeal to buyers is that the items look like the real thing, but at a fraction of the price.
“For some people, there is the status of having the genuine article, but for others they don’t want to pay $100 for a T-shirt, but they’ll pay $20 to look like their friends.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Abbotsford Police at 604-859-5225.