Sunday, December 28, 2014

ACCEPTABLE DISPLAY CASES FOR E-CIGARETTES

As of January 2015, all electronic cigarettes and accessories must be displayed in a closed case.
Here are a few examples of acceptable cases.





Printable E-Cigarette Sign

(PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO PRINT)

SB 1756, PA 98-0350, ilga.org. 
As of January 2014, sales of electronic cigarettes to minors is banned in the state of Illinois. This ban prohibits a person under the age of 18 years of age from buying, possessing, being sold, bought for, distributed samples of, or furnished an electronic cigarette.

VENDORS SELLING E-CIGARETTES & ACCESSORIES AT WOLFF'S FLEA MARKET ARE REQUIRED TO CARD CUSTOMERS & ENSURE THAT ALL INDIVIDUALS ARE OVER THE AGE OF 18

Friday, December 12, 2014

FLEA MARKET GIFTS ARE THE TRUE DEALS OF THE SEASON!


THESE GIFTS ARE THE 
TRUE DEALS OF THIS HOLIDAY SEASON!
By Sharon Wolff
Wolff's Flea Market

Too many choices in the mall can lead to an empty wallet, frustration or hasty decisions. 
Why not find your gifts at the flea market this year? 
Great deals on antiques, new merchandise, handmade and bulk items that no one else will have. 
Be the star of your holiday gift-giving scene and shop small at your local flea market!

$5 HANDMADE BRACELETS

BOOKS!

MAN CAVE BEER CLOCKS

ANTIQUE DRAWERS

COLORFUL GLASSWARE

VINTAGE PORCELAIN FOR DOG LOVERS

TOYS YOU HAD AS A KID

VINTAGE TRUNK

EVERYONE COULD USE MORE SOCKS!

VINTAGE TURNTABLE



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

COUNTERFEIT EDUCATION: COMPARE REAL & FAKE HELLO KITTY MERCHANDISE by Wolff's Flea Market

Sharon Wolff
Wolff's Flea Market
Creative Media and Merchandise Consultant
wolffsflea@aol.com
Copyright 2014
May be used with permission and credit to this source

In our ongoing quest to educate staff, vendors and customers, we keep presenting these informative photo collages. We just can't help it.

Over the years, we have created enough collages to fill a book that includes information on many vulnerable brands and products. We show it off at the market as we make our rounds. This method of education proves to be very useful for all learning styles and abilities.

Below are a few quick ways to distinguish between real and fake Hello Kitty products. Images and names used for purposes of education and discussion. Trademarks belong to the individual licensees. Information and conclusions presented here are based on our own experiences. We are not lawyers or trademark experts and research is ongoing.

Counterfeit merchandise is not allowed at Wolff's Flea Market. However, these types of products are unfortunately and perhaps tragically readily available through brick and mortar and online wholesalers. Resellers must remain aware of this never-ending worldwide issue. We hate it when our hardworking vendors lose money and potential income when they are scammed into purchasing inferior and illegal products from unscrupulous sources.

Visit our Haul of Shame Counterfeit Museum at Wolff's Flea market Palatine!
More info at wolffs.com
Or call 847-524-9590



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

10 SMALL (BUSINESS) REASONS TO SHOP AT A FLEA MARKET

Old advertising letters
By Sharon Wolff

People regard Small Business Saturday as a day to honor small and family-owned businesses after mall and big store shopping on Black Friday. But we here at Wolff's Flea Market celebrate small businesses each and every day that we are open, as do other markets worldwide.



WOLFF'S FLEA MARKET CHICAGO AREA
FLEA MARKETS AND SWAP MEETS ARE
COMPRISED OF HUNDREDS OF SMALL BUSINESSES
1970's LOVE Chair

What types of sellers might be found at a flea market? Families, individuals, start-up companies, small business entrepreneurs, non-profit groups, inventors, crafters, designers, junkers, senior citizens, charities, veterans, collectors, hoarders, garage salers, downsizers, empty-nesters, students, hobbyists, service providers, business owners. There are surely even more!

In no particular order, here are 
10 SMALL (BUSINESS) REASONS TO SHOP AT A FLEA MARKET


Repurposed window art
  1. Personalized attention as vendors engage their customers in conversation and camaraderie. 
  2. Support of small and growing start-up ventures
  3. Handmade crafts like soap and holiday decorations
  4.  Last year's new merchandise finds a home after big box stores sell their surplus to auction houses for resellers. Consumers save big bucks on new items like clothing, shoes and accessories.
  5. Store returns in mint or slightly banged up condition (often fixable) find a home as big box stores minimize their losses by selling these items by the pallet to resellers. Toys, small appliances and household goods abound in this category.
  6. The concepts of Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle come alive for used merchandise as one man's trash is another's treasure
  7. As the Duggar's say, " Buy used and save the difference". Save money on used items that are perfectly usable.
  8. One stop shopping. Flea markets offer just about every category of merchandise from furniture to books, clothing, jewelry, art, home decor, kitchen goods, gifts, antiques, sports memorabilia, movies, music and more. Very convenient!
  9. Unique and one of a kind items like vintage estate jewelry, collectible toys or retro signs are hard to find and dealers are able to deliver to their customers.
  10. The element of surprise! Who knows what you will find?

Vintage tin garage
What will you find at the flea?
Shop small at your local flea market!

Nice Banana Crate







Friday, August 8, 2014

WANTED POSTER: FAKE SAMSUNG PHONE ACCESSORIES

Because of the popularity of Samsung products and the seemingly quick counterfeit evolution and mutation of packaging, we have now banned many Samsung related products from our market. Yup, Samsung has been added to the growing list of our banned brands (Coach, Louis Vuitton, Dr. Dre Beats, Chanel Perfumes, MAC cosmetics, OtterBox, LifeProof). 

We will not attempt to authenticate such items.

While wholesalers offer useful deals on many "generic"or "compatible" accessories for your smart phone (e.g. Samsung, Apple), the ones pictured below do not adhere to those concepts!

These products are considered trademark infringement and therefore counterfeit.

How do we know?
Some of the parameters we look at include:
  1. Confusingly similar packaging
  2. Confusingly similar product design
  3. Unauthorized use of trademarks and/or brand names
  4. Prices that are too good to be true 
  5. Unrealistic availability and more...
Images used for purposes of discussion and education. Counterfeit merchandise not allowed at Wolff's Flea Market. Trademarks belong to individual licensees. We are not lawyers or trademark experts and conduct ongoing research. 




PITFALLS OF WHOLESALE MERCHANDISE

SOME OF THE ACCESSORIES IN THIS WHOLESALE DISPLAY CASE ARE CONSIDERED TO BE COUNTERFEIT BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN APPLE AND/OR SAMSUNG TRADEMARKS. 

WE ARE NOT LAWYERS OR TRADEMARK EXPERTS. WE CONDUCT ONGOING RESEARCH ON MANY PRODUCTS TO MAKE DECISIONS ON ALLOWABLE MERCHANDISE.

COUNTERFEIT SALES ARE NOT ALLOWED AT WOLFF'S FLEA MARKET.

IMAGES SHOWN FOR PURPOSES OF DISCUSSION AND EDUCATION AND TRADEMARKS BELONG TO THE INDIVIDUAL LICENSEES.

COPYRIGHT WOLFF'S FLEA MARKET 2014



Friday, August 1, 2014

WOLFF'S FLEA MARKET EDUCATION: CELL (SELL) PHONE ACCESSORIES

By Sharon Wolff

As part of Wolff's program of Prevention, Intervention, Education (PIE), I have compiled 3 slides to increase your understanding on how to identify appropriate cell phone accessories to sell at our markets.

We are not lawyers or trademark experts. The information contained in this blog post is meant to be educational and should not be taken as legal advice. Conclusions based on our opinions, observation and research.  It is not all inclusive, and is only a sampling of what we do in our Research Zone. We conduct ongoing extensive research regarding counterfeit issues for a variety of at-risk brands and merchandise categories. Images used for purposes of education and discussion. Trademarks belong to individual licensees and companies. Information subject to change based on new information (lawsuits, arrests, updated merchandise, evolving levels of counterfeits, etc.)

Vendors are ultimately responsible for their own merchandise. 
Please call 847-524-9590 with questions

INTRODUCTION

TIP 1

TIP 2





Wednesday, July 23, 2014

CHRISTMAS IN JULY: SANTA at WOLFF'S FLEA MARKET to DISTRIBUTE SCHOOL SUPPLIES

By Sharon Wolff

Sure, a lot of businesses like to celebrate Christmas in July, just for fun.

Wolff's Flea Market and the WFM Vendor Council is hosting a 3-week event at the Palatine location (1775 N. Rand Rd.).

Kids can enter a coloring contest to win Wolff Howler Dollars to be spent at the market.
Customers of all ages can participate in the Flamingo Scavenger Hunt for a chance to Spin the Wheel and win prizes.

The event culminates on Saturday July 26 with a visit from Santa Claus. Yes, that's right, Santa in Summer will be in the house 11am-2pm, and he will be giving all kids a school supply related gift.

Photo opportunities will also be available. The Vendor Council will print special effect photos for $1 or you may
take free photos on your own device.

Plus shop over 300 independent sellers offering antiques, collectibles, fresh produce, art, jewelry, books, vinyl, clothing, food, electronics, music, movies, computer repair, home decor, resale, new merchandise and more!

REUSE, RECYCLE, REPURPOSE, RECLAIM!
Only at Wolff's Flea Market, Palatine.
Open every Saturday and Sunday year-round 8am-4pm

SEE YOU AT THE FLEA!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

HOW TO GET RID OF JAPANESE BEETLES: No Touch Method






By Sharon Wolff
NO TOUCH - NO PESTICIDE
JAPANESE BEETLE CONTROL
Gross!
(Photo Viette)
Ugh! It's that time of year. Bees are buzzing, flowers are blooming, birds are singing and Japanese Beetles are returning! The ones in my yard love the Rose of Sharon shrubs. Leaves, buds, flowers; these pests love every part of the plant.

Today I found the first uninvited guests and it was time to take immediate action.

First Japanese Beetle of the season
(Photo Sharon Wolff)

Supplies:
  1. Stick (I need a particularly long one so as to remain as far away from the buggers as possible)
  2. Plastic cup
  3. Any liquid soap mixed with water


Soapy water and a stick
(Photo Sharon Wolff)
Method:
Early summer leaf damage to Rose of Sharon
(Photo Sharon Wolff)
  1. Position cup under the leaf/branch that contains the bug(s).
  2. Swiftly knock the leaf/branch with your stick (or hand if you aren't petrified of touching the beetle). See video below.
  3. Bug will fall into soapy water and die almost immediately.
  4. If you whack too slowly, the beetle will tightly hook itself onto the leaf and attempt to intimidate you with its ugly tentacles. If you aren't scared, pick it off and drop into soapy water. Otherwise, you will need  to wait for it to relax and try again. You will eventually get your rhythm and efficiency established.
  5. Check bushes several times every day to get the newcomers. 
Getting in position to whack the beetle
(Photo Jordan Wolff)
video

Suggestions:
  1. Keep bushes short so you can reach the top branches.
  2. Although pesky, these bugs are not so bright and it's easy to catch them off guard.
  3. Once your Rose of Sharon blooms, many beetles will congregate inside the tasty flowers, so you can catch several at once.
  4. Scared of bugs? No one is a freaked out as I am. This no touch method works with only very rare accidental physical contact with the beetles. This happens if I miss the timing of the whack and beetles scatter and bump into my head while escaping. If this happens to you, do what I do:  Scream, go into the house, wash your hands, and enjoy a glass of wine. Until you work up enough nerve to do it again.





Intimidating Japanese Beetle on a bloom
(Photo Sharon Wolff)


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

PARODY vs. TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT

5/20/14, updated 6/23/15
This article will be updated as our research continues
COUNTERFEIT
In order to understand our stance on parody clothing, you first need to understand our stance on counterfeit products. It is illegal to sell new or used counterfeit merchandise. All around the country and world, FBI, Homeland Security, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and local authorities seize illegal counterfeit merchandise at ports of entry, flea markets, wholesalers, websites, independently owned stores, mall kiosks, people's homes, street corners... Hefty fines, lawsuits and prison time ensue.

Counterfeits are strictly prohibited at our market. We are not lawyers or trademark experts, but conduct ongoing research. What may have been acceptable last week, may be banned this week.

While we wish our vendors the best of sales and success, every seller is vulnerable to making a few mistakes when seeking acceptable merchandise to offer at our flea markets. Savvy sellers regularly read our wolffs.com Merchandise Rules to check for updates as our cross-categorical research is ongoing.

When we analyze a product according to our parameters, it usually becomes clear as to if it is authentic or counterfeit. As more popular or sophisticated versions of counterfeit products enter the country we need to keep up with news and busts and continue to compare real and fake items.

Occasionally, we may not know on the spot and will place a product in our Research Zone for further analysis outside of the flea market. Sometimes we will borrow this item for the week and compare it to authentic products online and/or at a retail stores. Savvy vendors appreciate the care we take to assist them in being safe sellers and to keep our market a legitimate venue for good merchandise. We appreciate your cooperation as we home-school ourselves. Additionally, we have several community sources to assist us in this process.

As mentioned, outright counterfeits usually have quantitative, clear-cut qualities that allow us to assess their legitimacy and decide if we will allow them at our markets. However, a few brands are banned.
  1. Coach, Louis Vuitton, Gucci are not allowed because authentication is too complicated. We can usually tell if it is fake, but will not take the responsibility of assessing if it is real. So sorry, your own or grandma's old real purses are not allowed.
  2. Again, why? Flea markets have been sued by Coach and Louis Vuitton for allowing the sales of counterfeit products.
  3. Unrealistic availability: a quantity of authentic versions of certain high-end brands-not gonna happen (Chanel perfume, MAC cosmetics, Otterboxes, Lifeproof Cases, Beats by Dr. Dre...)
  4. Yup, the bad guys ruin it for the good guys. That's how society works.
If you are still reading this article, then you must be wondering about the parody thing we were beginning to talk about?

PARODY
Parody is simply defined as the use of trademarked/copyrighted material in a humorous, irreverent, spoof, lampoon application. Images of logos and team characters are often altered to varying degrees and additional images or props are included. Parody is considered fair use and the creators of parodied products are often successful with their sales. You may have seen parody and humorous versions of Chicago sports team clothing for sale around stadiums, corner stores and at flea markets (Wolff's included).

Unfortunately, unlike counterfeit merchandise parameters, there is not always a clear-cut answer as to where parody ends and trademark infringement begins. A problem occurs when the original licensee calls foul and sues or seizes parody products as counterfeit. The licensee claims that the parody item too closely resembles the real thing and a seller is accused of merely trying to capitalize on the original licensed imagery.

This happened with Blackhawks merchandise in June 2015 in Chicago and has affected our stance on sports parodies. 

How close is too close? How far is far enough? We continue to research and come to our own decisions. Remember that we are not lawyers. Even if a vendor is allowed to sell certain products at other venues, it does not necessarily mean that we will allow it at our market. And we are so obsessed with figuring this out, that we will change our opinion and ban another parody version in a heartbeat as we gain more information.

A few current parody versions that we do NOT allow: (prior to June 2015)
  • Any item that claims to be a parody, but uses portions of an actual trademarked logo. Examples: Bandana scarf over a team logo, mixed logo design, Chicago Blackhawks tomahawk/C
  • Any items using team or player names
  • JUNE 2015: THE SALES OF PARODIED SPORTS CLOTHING THAT INCLUDES PARTIAL OR ALTERED LOGOS IS CURRENTLY SUSPENDED AT WOLFF'S
Articles that have helped us figure this stuff out:
  1. "...the Board noted that the defense of fair use of a trademark by parody is weaker when there is potential for confusion as to the source of goods or services with a known mark, especially when used on similar goods or services."  http://www.natlawreview.com/article/united-states-trademark-trial-and-appeal-board-just-say-no-to-crackberry
  2. "...a federal court ruled in favor of Chewy Vuiton, whose products are decorated with a pattern reminiscent of the luxury-goods maker’s famed logo. Wrote Judge James Cacheris: The fact that the real Vuitton name, marks and dress are strong and recognizable makes it unlikely that a parody particularly one involving a pet chew toy and bed will be confused with the real product” http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2006/11/28/chewy-vuiton-beats-louis-vuitton-but-feels-a-bite/

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

THE COFFEE TABLE vs. THE BALL WALL

By Sharon Wolff

Where does the good stuff go when nobody wants it anymore?

For approximately 20 years, I have been searching for the perfect coffee table.

David was a long-time critic of the coffee table concept. But not because he doesn't drink coffee. He felt that a coffee table would infringe upon our activities of daily living. He first tried to appeal to my devotion to our dog, Gracie, who when running around would bump into it. That was pretty lame because everyone knows that dogs and coffee tables have coexisted for decades, if not centuries.

David's real reason for not wanting a coffee table was that it interfered with Jordan's ball playing. You see, a portion of our family room is devoted to The Ball Wall. This ordinary wall has been the recipient of the many, many loud and sudden thuds, bounces, catches, crashes, dashes and dives that led to the refined development of Jordan's "soft hands" for baseball. Remarkably (to my knowledge), only one little stoneware crock became a cracked casualty of said wall.

The ongoing presence of The Ball Wall has remained completely out of my control. Every one of my attempts to hang a nice picture or patch drywall became only a temporary fix in anticipation of entertaining guests. The crashing and dashing resumed and the chips and dents soon reappeared.

For 16 years or so, The Ball Wall flourished. It ultimately became the subject of Jordan's college essay, which got him accepted to the school of his choice. But I digress...

I love my child and my dog and wish them only the best. However, neither of these anti-coffee table deterrents had anything to do with my notion of Home Decor. So, being the lady of the house I eventually won out.

It wasn't easy. There were several attempts on my part to introduce a coffee table to a skeptical family.  I just couldn't find the right one with the right feel. Included were a rickety antique child's desk, a garage sale tiled bench and a round actual coffee table that David disparagingly referred to as "The Disk".

Alas, I finally found the best coffee table ever.
At the flea market.
In one of its former lives it was a big heavy trunk. Perhaps stored in a dusty attic, or filled with a bride-to-be's sentimental notions. This trunk coffee table now accents the family room and its repurposed function is to hold blankets for chilly nights and host mid afternoon snacks (the second purpose is a complete mock-up because we don't do that, but should).

It's done more for us than it knows. Whenever a child was home sick, Kleenex, chicken soup and hot chocolate were close at hand for the resting blanketed child. The soft blankets stored inside kept us cozy as we watched our favorite TV shows together. We played board games on this table. Snacks for Ben's friends were put out on this table. It provided extra seating when Joe's group of 10 high school boys sat around and loudly played a video game. It's a great thing!

Now you know where the good stuff goes when nobody wants it anymore.
It goes to the flea market and waits for a new purpose in a new home.

Although we may have different ideas about the validity of coffee tables, David eventually came around...and can regularly be seen resting his feet and remote on the trunk.

And now, as the last of three boys heads off to college in a few months, The Ball Wall will be silenced. It will definitely be time for David and me to take a mid afternoon coffee break and reminisce about tables and trunks and wonder: Where did all the time go?
IT'S JUST A COFFEE TABLE

Saturday, March 29, 2014

FAKER FAKER BELLYACHER

By Sharon Wolff

Oh snap, as excited as we are for spring to be upon us we approach the 2014 selling season with caution. Why? Because we have been required to diligently study up on the ongoing worldwide fight against counterfeiting.

We predict the following trends:
  1. Counterfeit cell phone accessories that made it past customs' ports will be sold by local and online wholesalers to non-educated vendors for us to then find and consequently remove. In certain instances, vendors will be permanently ejected from our market for trying to sell these items.
  2. Although the trend for counterfeit purses and handbags has drastically decreased, counterfeit Michael Kors branded items are on the rise. We are on the lookout! In certain instances, vendors will be permanently ejected from our market for trying to sell these items.
  3. Chicago Area Brandwatch: COACH, LOUIS VUITTON, GUCCI, CHANEL, OTTERBOX, HELLO KITTY, APPLE, SAMSUNG, ANGRY BIRDS, MICHAEL KORS, DR DRE MONSTER BEATS, MAC
  4. Category-watch: CLOTHING, PURSES, ELECTRONICS, RECORDED MEDIA, JERSEYS, SUNGLASSES, CELL PHONE ACCESSORIES, PERFUME
IT'S A PIECE OF PIE
P-PREVENTION
I-INTERVENTION
E-EDUCATION

PLEASE REFER TO OUR WEBSITE AND OTHER MERCHANDISE RELATED ARTICLES FOR THE MOST UP TO DATE INFORMATION

We are not trademark or legal experts but conduct ongoing research regarding counterfeits. Brand names belong to the individual licensees. Counterfeit merchandise not allowed at Wolff's Flea Markets.

Monday, February 10, 2014

GRAB A FRIEND AND TRY A FLEA MARKET!

Hello! Thanks for visiting Wolff's Flea Market Blog, where you will find information on all things related to flea markets.

Sometimes we focus on the serious side of things, like the worldwide problem of counterfeiting and sometimes we tell stories, share recipes or give how-to ideas for repurposing your flea market finds.

Flea markets are launching pads for small businesses and if you don't attend regularly or
haven't ever been to a flea market, it is a must!
Open air markets are part of global history and you will find new items, resale, antiques, clothing, books, furniture, sports memorabilia, vinyl,  music, movies, specialty food, jewelry, junque and so much more!
So, grab a friend and try a flea market!

INDOOR MARKET
1775 N. Rand Rd.
Palatine, IL 60074

Open year-round Saturdays & Sundays 8am-4pm

OUTDOOR MARKET
Allstate Arena Parking Lot
6920 N. Mannheim Rd.
Rosemont, IL 60018
Open Sundays April through October
Check wolffs.com for 2014 opening date!
Find us on facebook for pure flea market joy!


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

COUNTER-FIGHTER'S DICTIONARY: MISSPELLINGS

By Sharon Wolff

MISSPELLINGS

DEFINITIONOdd word substitutions, incorrect spelling and grammatical mistakes that appear on counterfeit labels, packaging and products. Includes: improper use of capital letters, punctuation and other outlandish or subtle mistakes. 

Misspellings on licensed, trademarked products are immediate indicators of counterfeiting. In fact, if you see misspellings, just call it a day and look no further into your own Research Zone. Legitimate companies pay label makers mega bucks to get it right!

How does this occur? English is not the native language or priority of counterfeiters (80% are from China). Syntax and meaning get turned around and lost when non-English fluent individuals attempt to navigate between languages in order to copy or translate printed material.

Counterfeiters are also not familiar with the English alphabet, and when copying print from an authentic product may not know the difference between the letter "O" and the number zero "0". Also, counterfeiters may be cranking out their products so quickly that they don't care about the details. I have an unsubstantiated hunch: the better the counterfeit, the better the spelling?

Mama told you to pay attention in school. However, the now generation is losing spelling and grammar skills because of reliance on spellcheck, abbreviations and other spelling shortcuts. But you better watch out. Your skills can mean the difference between real and fake product identification.

Examples of our favorite misspellings from the world of licensed sports apparel and electronic accessories:


"articie" instead of "article, plus several spacing errors 
THE FAMOUS ABBLE MISSPELLING/MISDIRECTION ON A COUNTERFEIT APPLE IPHONE CHARGER CUBE

A phrase to nowhere: "When disposing of the wireless controller ___________"

FECAP? LIGHTFAST? HUH?

"Re-cteated" should have been "Recreated".  Non-English speaker confusion of "r" and "t".
You figure out this one!

BESIDES MISSPELLING "Hesdphones", this whole paragraph doesn't even make sense.

AND, THE HAUL OF SHAME 2013 AWARD GOES TO:

Sunday, January 5, 2014

COUNTER-FIGHTER'S DICTIONARY: THE GUY

By Sharon Wolff

COUNTER-FIGHTERS DICTIONARY

A GUY (Alias: Buddy of Mine)

Definition: The individual who sells you (the unsuspecting or uneducated vendor) a quantity of questionable, often counterfeit merchandise. His prices are too good to be true. You may recognize him from the local flea market community or he may be a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend...

While we believe in the goodness of mankind, Wolff's Research Zone has concluded that A Guy is often a nameless, faceless, mysterious, intangible, sly and oddly wicked fellow. Not all Guys are bad. Some may sell you legitimate product, but be careful. The bad Guy has acquired a quantity of "too good to be true" merchandise and sells it to you for quick cash. He may realize he can't sell it himself, so he pawns it off on you. Then he disappears. He gives you no phone number for follow-up. But-we've got his number...

Commonly seen items include brand name clothing, licensed sports apparel, purses, electronic accessories. Yep, a Guy's stuff is included on our Suspect Merchandise Category List and the brands are usually on our Top 100 Suspect Brand List.

The Guy may make one or more of the following statements:
1. I got a great deal on _________. You can have the whole lot.
2. Trust me, it's real.
3. I don't know if it's real.
4. Just tell your customers it's not real and it's ok.

Be wary. He may approach your booth with an offering of hot current products that may be similar to the legitimate merchandise you are already selling. We don't like Guy, and he is not allowed to go booth to booth with his stuff. If we see the likes of him, he is swiftly ejected from our market.

EXAMPLE OF A GUY'S EVIL DOING
AN OLDER GENTLEMAN  PAID CASH TO A GUY IN INDIANA FOR THESE COUNTERFEIT IPHONE ACCESSORIES IN THE HOPE TO REAP A GREAT RETURN ON HIS INVESTMENT.
BUT HE COULDN'T SELL THESE PRODUCTS.  THEY ARE COUNTERFEIT.
THE VENDOR HAD NO WAY TO CONTACT THE GUY TO RETURN OR EXCHANGE THE ITEMS. HE WAS DEVASTATED BY THE LOSS OF HIS MONEY AND STUCK WITH UNSELLABLE MERCHANDISE.
WE EDUCATED HIM ABOUT GUYS AND OFFERED OUR CONSOLATION.
 HE WAS REQUIRED TO SWIFTLY PACK UP AND LEAVE THE MARKET.

Friday, January 3, 2014

COUNTER-FIGHTER'S DICTIONARY: REALISTIC AVAILABILITY

By Sharon Wolff, Creative Media & Merchandise Consultant, A Work in Progress

Let's start a "Counter-Fighter's Dictionary"!

In our ongoing quest to keep counterfeit products out of the Wolff's Flea Market bubble, we offer vendors a few tips. You can always call us with your questions at 847-524-9590 and we can try to assist you. This information is in no way complete and should not be taken as legal advice, or even as the final word. Research is ongoing. Ultimately, you will need to decide for yourself if a merchandise source is appropriate. 

Give the plethora of overstock, clearance, store returns, wholesale, hoarded, found, online, discontinued, used, curbside, resale merchandise out there, how is a vendor to determine if their merchandise source is legit and appropriate to sell? Here is one of many tips we will be offering you in the upcoming months.


REALISTIC AVAILABILITY 
Definition: A product's source and presence makes sense in the marketplace

Legitimate merchandise sources may include (but are not limited to nor a 100% guarantee of legitimacy) merchandise obtained through the following sources:
1. Retail sales
2. Store return auctions
3. Generic, non-branded wholesale offerings
4. Official brand websites
5. Salvage auctions
6. Brand outlet store sales
7. Authorized sellers and resellers of licensed goods
8. Liquidation sales
9. Estate sales
10. Garage sales
11. Your personal property

Suspect sources include:
1. A guy you know
2. Another flea market or flea market vendor (sad, but true)
3. Online sources and wholesalers selling current, popular, coveted, expensive items at a ridiculously low price. Known examples: DHGate.com, alibaba.com, eBay, Craigslist, amazon.com...
4. Local independently owned area stores
5. Mall kiosks
6. Pop-up seasonal mall stores
7. Local wholesalers
8. Any other source that offers a higher end product at a price that is too good to be true.
9. Thrift and resale shops (notorious for selling counterfeit designer purses)
10. Estate and Garage sales, you may get a great deal on someone's authentic collection, but be careful and know your product!
11. Websites that appear to be authentic, but are not. Look for poor grammar, misspellings, stock photos of authentic items )bait and switch), location of company (New York distribution center? Chinese import?)

EXAMPLE
COUNTERFEIT LIGHTNING TO USB CABLES FOR IPHONES ARE OFFERED ON ALIBABA.COM. Note the ridiculously low price. This is an inferior product. There is no REALISTIC AVAILABILITY of Apple's Lightning Cables through wholesalers!
Ridiculously low price indicates that this is a
counterfeit product designed to look like the real $19 cable.
Apple does not wholesale these cables!
"for apple light to usb cable"