Thursday, December 17, 2015

FLEA MARKET CHRISTMAS & HOLIDAY CRAFTS

A few of our 2015 Holiday Crafts at
Wolff's Flea Market Palatine

MATERIALS: Reclaimed wood, Modge Podge, glitter, glue-ons, printable images, pipe cleaners
Made with love by Wolff's Craft Kids
Tree made by Impatient Pallets from recycled fencing and pallets. Decorated by Wolff's Crafty Kids.

MATERIALS: Foam, hole punch, star stickers, pipe cleaners
Made with love by Wolff's Crafty Kids



Wednesday, December 16, 2015

FLEA MARKET GARDENING PROJECTS


Although it's December and we are in Chicago, we can still dream and plan for our future flea market garden. Check back as we continue to find awesome gardening ideas and links by the original creators!

Number 1: BARNWOOD BLOOMS
http://www.fleamarketgardening.org/2013/10/31/jeannes-barnwood-blooms/
    Spigot handles were thrift shop finds
  1. Choose a beautiful old barn wood board, give it a coat of Polyurethane …
  2. “We added some garden junk spigot handles that were thrift shop finds in my stash…I’m always lookin’!” Jeanne says
  3. Rusty barbed wire for the stems which is hammered on with fence post staples.
  4. Use screws for flower centers. Add a couple eyelet hooks on the back with wire, so they can stand alone or be hung up.




Number 2: FLEA MARKET FAIRY GARDEN
This adorable flea market fairy garden was made by Wolff's Crafty Kids at Wolff's Flea Market Palatine. About 12 vendor and customer children 11 years old and under added their own personal touches. They had so many ideas! I just put out miscellaneous found supplies and let them have at it. I spy. What do you see? On display HERE.

HOW CUTE IS THIS!

Number 3: TREE LOG PLANTER
For 2 weeks I noticed 3 partially carved log bowls. I thinks they were rejects from a wood carver. A vendor won the at an auction and sold me this one for $5. I shoulda bought the others.
This easy project involved just a few steps:

  1. Drill a couple holes for drainage
  2. Line with gardening cloth
  3. Fill with compost or your favorite soil blend
  4. Since this was towards the end of the season, I just transplanted a few sedum clippings and annuals
  5. It is on display in front of a recycled pallet with has glass insulators containing LED lights.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

RECYCLED FLEA MARKET SERVING CART

This old, tired "curbside" butcher block ended up at the flea market. A little TLC transformed it into this serving cart.
  1. First I removed the yucky loose and useless shelf 
  2. A good sanding removed most of the dark stain, but I left some to show through the final finish
  3. Bottom half of cart was painted with 2 coats of dilutes Barn Red paint. Dark blue, forest green and creamy beige were also blotted on and then wiped off to add a slight weathered look.
  4. Top and painted areas were covered in 2 coats of Varathane Golden Oak semi-gloss Stain & Poly (water based).
  5. Hardware: shut off valve knob (front left), bottle opener (front right), craft fair stone hook (side right), 4 caster wheels.
  6. Shelf: I added a sanded plank of recycled cedar fencing as a removable bottom shelf
  7. Accessories: Handmade wine caddy on top and wineglass box on bottom shelf are made from recycled fencing and pallets by me (Impatient Pallets)



Monday, November 30, 2015

A FLEA MARKET THANKSGIVING

These items were collected from vendors at
Wolff's Flea Market Palatine to create 

mix and match eclectic tablescapes.

2013 TABLE



2014 TABLE
2015 TABLE

RECYCLED ELEMENTS USED TO CREATE UNIQUE THANKSGIVING DECOR
KIDS CRAFT: RECLAIMED FENCING & DECOUPAGE

3 IDEAS IN ONE:
VINTAGE GLASS INSULATOR WITH LED CANDLE
SCARECROW WITH OLD BUTTONS
RECYCLED PALLET MAGAZINE HOLDER



Wednesday, September 30, 2015

HOW TO REMOVE PAINT FROM OLD HARDWARE - NO CHEMICALS!


BY SHARON WOLFF

You found your cool vintage drawer pull, but it's covered in nasty, chipping paint. Here is an easy, safe, chemical free way to remove the paint and bring out the beautiful patina of your old hardware.

I COLLECT RUSTY HARDWARE. DON'T ASK ME WHY. THIS $1 FLEA MARKET FIND HAD SEVERAL COATS OF PAINT RESIDUE. NOT THE MOST, BUT ENOUGH TO REQUIRE THIS  EASY PAINT REMOVAL METHOD.
YOU NEED: OLD POT, 1/4 C BAKING SODA, TONGS AND A 
SCREWDRIVER OR OLD TOOTHBRUSH

Place your item in boiling water & baking soda. Boil for 20-30 minutes,
depending upon how much paint is on the item. 





USE TONGS



IF PAINT PEELS OF EASILY, YOU ARE DONE, OTHERWISE RETURN TO POT



CAREFULLY USE A SMALL TOOL OR 
TOOTHBRUSH TO GENTLY REMOVE RESIDUE
BEAUTIFUL!
BOTTOM LEFT, ON THE RUSTY HARDWARE WALL

Monday, May 25, 2015

COUNTERFEIT DIGEST: MAY 2015

By Sharon Wolff

This digest will be a (mostly) monthly update on counterfeit issues in the news. We subscribe to google alerts to keep current on all topics. I will include links, photos, commentary and descriptions. Arrests and existence of lawsuits do not indicate guilt. Outcomes and updates to cases may be listed in future posts as information becomes available.

We are not lawyers and trademarks, patents and copyrights belong to individual holders. Images and logos shown for purposes of discussion and education. Research is ongoing. We recognize that counterfeiting is an ongoing worldwide problem that is fueled by consumer demand and greed. 
Counterfeits not allowed at Wolff's Flea Market. 

BRANDS & CATEGORIES OF CONCERN
BRANDS: Beats By Dre, Coach, LG, Michael Kors, North Face, OtterBox,  Louis Vuitton, Tory Burch, Ugg
CATEGORIES: purses, jerseys, clothing, sun glasses, headphones/earbuds, phone cases, phone cables, chargers

20/20 "To Catch a Fake"
5/15/15-Year-long investigation on counterfeits:
http://abc.go.com/shows/2020/listing/2015-05/15-2020-051515-to-catch-a-fake

CONSUMER REPORTS
Article, "How to tell real from ripoff" http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2015/05/counterfeit-goods-how-to-tell-real-from-ripoff/index.htm

FLEA MARKETS
South Carolina (Noteworthy from March 2015)-Flea market vendors arrested 
Florida (Noteworthy from April 2015)-Swap Shop flea market owner settles with Louis Vuitton over counterfeits:
Massachusetts-Arrest for pirated DVD & CDs:

CUSTOMS
Texas-Airport bust:
Florida-Counterfeit auto parts:
Connecticut-Counterfeit tricks:

ALIBABA
Alibaba sued by Kering (Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent): http://money.cnn.com/2015/05/17/investing/alibaba-lawsuit-fakes/ 

Alibaba's growth affected by counterfeit allegations:

STORES
Louisiana-Store owners plead guilty to selling counterfeit merchandise:
Ohio-Store owner admits to selling counterfeits:

SOCCER JERSEYS
California-Man pleads guilty to selling counterfeit soccer jerseys:
http://www.sandiego6.com/news/local/Chula-Vista-man-admits-to-selling--305050821.html?m=y&smobile=y

COSMETICS
The dangers of counterfeit makeup:
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/05/21/counterfeit-makeup_n_7356884.html

ETSY
Stock plummets 8% amid counterfeit and trademark violations.
http://money.cnn.com/2015/05/11/investing/etsy-stock-fall-counterfeit-warning/ 

ETSY, ALIBABA, EBAY, AMAZON
How these Internet sites handle counterfeits:
http://www.thestreet.com/story/13161841/1/how-alibaba-etsy-ebay-and-amazon-deal-with-counterfeit-goods.html

WHOLESALERS
North Carolina-Man arrested at wholesaler for selling counterfeit purses (noteworthy from April 2015):
http://myfox8.com/2015/03/24/man-arrested-after-detectives-seize-counterfit-purses-at-his-lexington-business/

ARRESTS
Tennessee (noteworthy from March 2015)-Arrested for selling counterfeit purses, North Face, Ugg- http://www.wjhl.com/story/28354839/man-woman-arrested-for-selling-fake-high-end-goods-in-sullivan-county
TYPICAL COUNTERFEIT MICHAEL KORS PURSE. Removable emblem. (Photo WJHL)


COUNTERFEIT NORTH FACE (Photo WJHL)


COUNTERFEIT UGG BOOTS-we have not seen these (Photo WJHL)


COUNTERFEIT TORY BURCH  PURSE -we have not seen these (Photo WJHL)
COUNTERFEIT COACH PURSE (Photo WJHL)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

CUTE COUNTERFEITS ARE STILL COUNTERFEIT

Our Bottom Line: 
Counterfeits are Illegal and 
Banned at our Markets. 
Even if they are cheap, used, cute, etc.

Over the years, I have had many discussions about counterfeit purses with both vendors and customers.

REAL QUOTES:

"I like the purse because it is cute"
"I would never buy the real thing"
"I can't afford the real thing"
"I don't care if it falls apart in a month"
"It was so cheap"
"It's not hurting anyone"
"I want to wear that brand, but won't buy a real one"
"Everyone knows it's not real, so it's ok"
"It might be real"
"No one will notice that it is fake"
"It looks really good for a fake"
"I know it is real and I got it at a great price"

I can argue each point, but for now will focus on the "Cute Factor".

Over the years I have amassed a large selection of new and used counterfeit items. Many were found at thrift shops (passively sold as fakes). Other sources include vendor gifts (they love to help the anti-counterfeit cause), dumpsters (true story), online sites, area wholesalers.

I am continually impressed and amused by varying degrees of effort that manufacturers put into a fake-then consistently neglect important details
DIDN'T WE LEARN HOW TO SPELL 
"WITH" IN FIRST GRADE?
THEY COULDN'T EVEN COPY 
THE LETTERS TO 
CORRECTLY SPELL "JERSEY"

Most of the fakes I have collected are stupid, ugly and obvious. A few required up to a couple of hours to figure out was was wrong.

It was not until today that I found what I consider to be an potential "Cute Counterfeit". I knew this bag was bad as soon as I spotted it from afar at the thrift shop. Upon closer inspection, it was even more obvious that the details and stitching were horrendous. But the problem was that it was just a little cute. Maybe I will never understand what people feel when they buy a cute counterfeit, but I may have almost felt a tiny stirring if not for the fact that the bag claimed to be Louis Vuitton and I hated it on the spot. 

I did buy the bag for my educational Haul of Shame and to keep it "off the streets".

DON'T LET THE POTENTIAL CUTENESS TRICK YOU!
THIS BAG IS A FAKE! 
CUTE COUNTERFEITS ARE STILL COUNTERFEIT!



WE SHOULD MAKE THESE!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

ENTER THE RESEARCH ZONE - TIPS

This educational document was shared with other flea market participants during my round table discussion at the 2015 National Flea Market Association Conference in Las Vegas.

Prologue:
If you read this post, you will understand that we take merchandise research very seriously. Sometimes we can determine that an item is authentic or counterfeit right on the spot or in just a few moments. Other times, we may need to send the item to The Research Zone. This paper offers tips for conducting your own research.

*Remember - we do not authenticate or allow the following brands (new/used/real/fake): Coach, Louis Vuitton, OtterBox, LifeProof, Chanel, Gucci, MAC and sometimes others.

Believe me when I tell you that shopping at the mall for me is completely ruined now. It is no longer a relaxing stroll. It is no longer a place to people watch or look at pretty things just for the heck of it.

I cannot be placed in a retail setting without my Research Zone buzzer awakening my Counterfighter mentality. Invariably, some designer or licensed item grabs my attention and draws me in.

A typical example: I am walking with my family, engaged in conversation, and from afar I see the Journeys sign and their doorway display of Converse Allstars. I craftily duck inside the store because I remember one tiny detail I needed to confirm on the sole of an authentic Chuck Taylor shoe so that I could compare it with something I saw at the market. Observers might find me weird as they watch me pick up the shoe, feel its weight and then rub the sole like a magic lamp... One reason my family doesn't follow me.

They are up ahead looking for ice cream. But before I can catch up, I notice the Lids store and want to confirm a secret bit of New Era authentication information that I may figured out on my own. I won't tell you what it is, but I quizzed myself on a half dozen hats, and felt refreshed and good to go. Yes, it was unusual for someone to be flipping hats willy nilly, but I put them back.

Done and Done.

By now my family has finished their ice cream and is ready to go.



WE AREN’T LAWYERS. THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE. We share with you a few helpful analytical skills, sources & strategies. We do not authenticate designer handbags and ban the sale of certain brands. Your awareness of counterfeit identification can lend credibility to your position.
ENTER THE RESEARCH ZONE-TIPS
WOLFF’S FLEA MARKET 2015

ON THE SPOT ONLINE RESEARCH
  1. Use the Red Laser bar code scanner app on your phone. What comes up? Correct item? Different item? Retail store? Amazon/eBay listing? Numbers? Nothing? Be suspicious if there is no bar code on a package.
  2. Counterfeiters generate & replicate accurate bar codes, so a scan might not tell the whole story
  3. Brand’s official website-does item exist? How much should it (or a comparable item) cost?
  4. Search (BRAND NAME) + COUNTERFEIT, CHEAP, WHOLESALE, REPLICA, etc.
  5. Google search for informational/comparative “guides” regarding commonly counterfeited brands
  6. Search example: “How to tell the difference between real and fake (BRAND NAME)”
NO QUICK ANSWER? GO SHOPPING!
IF IT'S NOT ONE THING,
THEN IT'S ANOTHER
  1. Examine authentic products at retail stores
  2. Take notes on item details, labels, wording, packaging
  3. If comfortable, ask an employee for permission to open a package.
  4. If possible, take pictures
  5. Purchase authentic items for study
  6. Call a brand’s customer service # with questions. This action provides inconsistent results. Answers are only as good as the representative’s ability and willingness to stray from script and connect you to a knowledgeable person. Be patient.
  7. Find a helpful expert, vendor, store manager/employee or brand representative
BUY/BORROW A FAKE FOR STUDY
  1. Online sources that sell real and counterfeit products: eBay, Amazon, craigslist
  2. Do you know of a store that wholesales brand name items to your vendors?
  3. Ask vendor if you can borrow the item in question or pay their cost to obtain for your research (vendors may even give it to you-and of course also remove other offending merchandise).
  4. Purchase counterfeit purses at local thrift shops. Don’t even get us started on this subject...
  5. A nice employee might be willing to go dumpster diving if you promise to bake him chocolate chip cookies.
ONGOING RESEARCH & SEARCH TERMS
  1. Fortunately, you can apply the same parameters to many types of counterfeit merchandise
  2. Unfortunately, you cannot apply the same parameters to all types of counterfeit merchandise
  3. Keep current with news, raids, arrests, trademark lawsuits, popular/in-demand products, brands, logos
  4. Subscribe to Google Alerts for relevant keywords and phrases: (also use as SEARCH TERMS)
  • Counterfeit, arrest, lawsuit + purses, handbag, phone cases, clothing, NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, etc.
  • Apple, Samsung, other tech or electronic brands
  • Counterfeit, arrest, lawsuit + designers (Coach, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Michael Kors, etc.)
  • Counterfeit + Arrest
  • Counterfeit + flea market, swap meet, store, website, kiosk, customs
  • Ice.gov, Homeland security + counterfeit
  • Lawsuit + counterfeit, trademark, dilution
  • OTHER
HELPFUL INFORMATION/SOURCES/GUIDES
  1. thecounterfeitreport.com
  2. ebay guides
  3. spotfakehandbags.com
  4. ice.gov
  5. iacc.org
  6. uspto.gov
  7. TTAB
  8. ipcybercrime.com
COUNTERFEIT MERCHANDISE SOURCES
Missing here is our directory of known counterfeit sites. We visit those sites for research, but do not feel comfortable publicizing them to the world. Unfortunately they are too easy to find.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

LEARN TO IDENTIFY LOW LEVEL COUNTERFEIT PURSES

One of the cheapest ways to make a counterfeit purse is to simply take a no-name "blank" purse and add a designer sticker or metal emblem.

So obvious, so fake, so illegal.

We don't allow counterfeit purses of any level at Wolff's Flea Market, and this educational post should not be construed as instructions on how to make a counterfeit purse. Don't do it.

Images and links shown for purposes of discussion and education.

People are arrested and imprisoned for this crime!

This happened at flea markets and supports our policy of not allowing certain brands of merchandise at our markets

Below are a couple of examples.  If you see an alleged designer purse boasting an emblem, just pick on the label to see if it is a pull-off sticker or a loosely secured metal emblem.

Then. Walk. Away.

Or, if you are me, pull the fake tag off and add it to your sick collection.


Close-up of counterfeit PRADA clip-on emblem


The blank purse is sort of cute. Ridiculously ruined by a fake GUCCI clip-on emblem


Forgot to polish my nails

COMPARISON OF REAL VS. FAKE PACKAGING

When purchasing new name brand items, look for appropriate and proper packaging that indicate that the item is authentic.
Note the differences between authentic retail packaging and improper/counterfeit or blank packaging on the right of each section. 

Authentic packaging includes at least:
Licensing information
Company address/contact info
Company logo
Company font 
Product and model information
UPC Codes

Beware of items that are priced cheaply and come in generic cello or blank packaging. The contents of such packaging is usually counterfeit.

PROPER LABELS: WHY WE LOOK INSIDE

Why do we stroll by your booth, grab a few items, turn them inside out, nod and walk away?

We are inspecting certain name-brand and licensed merchandise to make sure it is legit. While we are not trademark attorneys, we study authentic products with proper labels and tags.  We can often (but not always-that would make our job too easy) discern legitimacy by merely looking at sewn labels.

Brands identify their products with their names, logos and other details on well-sewn or applied tags.
They do not use generic or Made in China sewn tags.
Period.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
NEW ERA HAT, NORTH FACE DENALI JACKET, ADIDAS MEXICO HOME SOCCER JERSEY




Of course, some counterfeiters attempt to replicate the real labels, but they usually don't seem to get it right.




Thursday, April 2, 2015

THERE'S A BUST FOR THAT (COUNTERFEIT) PART 2

As a follow up to our 2013 blog post:

WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY DAY: There's a Bust for That Counterfeit!

We share with you links to recent significant (in our own minds) busts that have assisted us in forming cementing our opinions and policy.  Remember ongoing research regarding counterfeits remains a crucial tool. Arrests do not necessarily mean that a person has been found guilty. Please read further on subjects listed below in order to obtain the most up to date information. We will add more links as we find them. How can you find out more? We recommend that you subscribe to Google Alerts for a variety of counterfeit and brand name related key words.

INDIVIDUAL ARRESTED:
http://fox13now.com/2015/03/16/strike-task-force-arrests-man-on-charges-of-selling-counterfeit-merchandise/

ONLINE SELLER ARRESTED FOR FAKE IPHONES:
http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=33894606

OTHER: Article, "The Top 8 Biggest Counterfeit Busts and Seizures"
https://blog.stigmasearch.com/the-top-5-biggest-counterfeit-busts/


Brands involved in one or more of the above news stories:
Michael Kors
Chanel
Coach
Louis Vuitton
Beats by Dr. Dre
OtterBox
Nike
Air Jordan
Monster
Polo
Hello Kitty
North Face
Apple

*All of these brand and many more are on our "Brand Watch List".

BANNED MERCHANDISE COLLAGE
ONE OF MANY EDUCATIONAL COLLAGES

WOLFF'S FLEA MARKET APRIL FOOL'S 2015

BREAKING NEWS!



ABOUT WOLFF'S FLEA MARKET BLOG

Thank you for reading Wolff's Flea Market Blog. Our goal is to share all things flea market related!

We love to share our creative ideas!  Our posts on repurposing, cooking and offbeat humor reflect the fun side of our business.

You may notice that serious topics may have taken over this blog! Over time, we found it necessary to include informative articles and pictorial educational guides related to counterfeits. Throughout the years, we discovered that among other small and large businesses, flea markets are vulnerable to the presence of counterfeit products. We decided to take a big step and become an "open book".  In Wolff's Flea Market Blog, we share our thoughts and knowledge in a public forum with the hope of bringing some sense to this ongoing, worldwide issue.

We are always learning and always teaching. Over the years, we acquired skills related to assessing merchandise as counterfeit or authentic and identifying good and bad merchandise sources. We developed procedures for teaching our clientele, and continue to create pictorial and written instructional reports for educating our staff, vendors and customers. Due to ever-changing levels of counterfeit quality, "google alerts", marketplace brands and new trends, we seem learn something new almost every day! We continue to tweak and update our in-house procedures to reflect this fluid knowledge. One of our mottos, "Research is Ongoing" fuels our quest to legitimize our market as a trustworthy shopping venue.

While we are not the only type of business to encounter counterfeits, as a flea market, we wish to share our point of view and knowledge in order to help our clientele make informed and safe buying and selling decisions.


Some counterfeit related articles are objective, fact based or a summary of information collected during a certain period of time. Since research is ongoing, older posts may seem less detailed or developed. Information may have changed since the first writing of a blog post. We make every effort to remain current on news, lawsuits, raids, busts, laws, vulnerable merchandise, new store products, but it is possible that some older articles will not reflect updates. Information included in each post is current and based on our knowledge and/or opinion as of the date the post was written. Please be mindful of new information.

Some counterfeit related articles have been written with a subjective or humorous slant because it seemed the best way, on that day to share our thoughts. We know that counterfeits are bad, but sometimes manufacturing imperfections are so ridiculous that we find the need to teach through humor.

Our goal is always remain true to another motto: Prevention-Intervention-Education (PIE).

The views expressed in our blog reflect the opinions and experiences of Wolff's Flea Market. We are not offering legal advice, just providing an educational forum and food for thought.

We welcome your questions and comments.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

UNFORTUNATE REALITIES of MERCHANDISE PROCURMENT


Historically, flea markets offer antiques, buried treasure, unique items and discounted new and resale merchandise. 

An unfortunate reality: Illegal counterfeit merchandise is manufactured and obtained through an infinite number of worldwide sources and trickles down, not only to flea markets but also to wholesalers, websites, importers, corner stores and even retail stores on occasion. 

Every day, somewhere in the world, including the United States, a bust/seizure/arrest occurs regarding counterfeits. Individuals, independently owned stores, mall kiosks, websites, wholesalers, warehouses, importers, manufacturers and ports of entry all play a role in the counterfeit pipeline. 

Subscribe to google alerts for the term "Counterfeits" and you will be amazed at the volume of daily updates you will receive. 

Unsure about your product? Please call us at 847-524-9590. While we are not experts, conduct ongoing research in the attempt to keep up with current product news. We MAY be able to answer some of your questions, however YOU are ultimately responsible for authenticating your own merchandise and we cannot be held responsible.


Monday, February 23, 2015

COUNTERFEIT COACH PURSE COLLAGES

COUNTERFEIT EDUCATION:

Although we do not authenticate or allow Coach products at Wolff's Flea Market, we enjoy analyzing a never-ending supply of counterfeit samples that we and our vendors find at garage sales, thrift shops, storage lockers, purse parties, Location X (not us) and even the garbage. 

Many thanks to our wonderful, educated vendors who donate their finds to the counterfeit education cause. 

*COUNTERFEITING IS ILLEGAL. IMAGES SHOWN FOR PURPOSES OF EDUCATION AND DISCUSSION. TRADEMARKS BELONG TO INDIVIDUAL HOLDERS. COUNTERFEIT MERCHANDISE IS NOT ALLOWED AT WOLFF'S FLEA MARKET.
NOT SO PRETTY IN PINK

DID THE ORIGINAL MANUFACTURER OR SELLER REALLY THINK THEY COULD PASS THIS OFF AS REAL
"BECAUSE IT HAS A SEWN LABEL WITH SERIAL NUMBERS?" TOO BAD THEY FORGOT TO PUT SPACES BETWEEN THE WORDS...

3 COMPONENTS OF ANALYSIS: A CHECKLIST FOR COUNTERFEIT MERCHANDISE ASSESSMENT

By Sharon Wolff
Wolff's Flea Market 2015

A useful guide when needing to determine merchandise if appropriate and/or authentic.
This checklist was first presented at a counterfeit training round-table discussion at the National Flea Market Association 2015 Conference in Las Vegas.

We are not lawyers and are not offering legal advice. Research is ongoing. if you would like a PDF file of this checklist, please email wolffsflea@aol.com or call 847-524-9590


IT IT'S NOT ONE THING, IT'S ANOTHER



WOLFF'S FLEA MARKET: PHONE ACCESSORIES SALES INFORMATION

NEW MERCHANDISE SELLERS PLEASE READ: WE ARE SEVERELY RESTRICTING THE SALES OF COMPATIBLE APPLE/SAMSUNG/MOBILE PHONE ACCESSORIES

Due to the popularity and exclusivity of Apple/Samsung products, several versions of trademark infringing and counterfeit chargers, cables, cases, earbuds, packaging and other accessories exist online and from wholesalers. Like designer purses, smart phone accessory brands have fallen prey to counterfeiters. 
While we have not encountered all of the brands listed below, we know counterfeit versions are already available online and have been seized at various coastal locations. Like a slowly spreading virus, they may (will) be coming to Chicago... To manage the outbreak, we routinely research and inspect popular accessories. We appreciate the cooperation of vendors, wholesalers and customers as we, along with the rest of the world continue to address the problem. 

Currently counterfeited cell phone accessory brands: To date, we have seen counterfeit versions of the following brands circulating in the Chicago and Indiana areas: Otterbox LifeProof, designer logos, Apple, Samsung Galaxy, professional sports team logos, popular licensed cartoon characters, Hello Kitty, Speck. We are on the lookout for other brands as well.  As of now, we are sorry to say that because of counterfeiting, Otterbox, LifeProof and Samsung branded cases are not allowed to be sold at our markets unless you have received prior approval, merchandise inspection and proof of a legitmate, realistic source

Realize that it is possible for used or new "onesie" authentic high-end cases to legitimately cycle into the flea marketplace. These would be allowed on a case-by-case basis (no pun intended). In some situations, receipts may be required. Many generic non-infringing items are also acceptable, but this is a complicated situation. We must take it upon ourselves to analyze various parameters and make final decisions as to the appropriateness of individual products. While we are not legal or trademark experts, we consistently study this ever-changing, developing situation and frequently update our own guidelines. Also realize that what may have been acceptable last week may be banned next week or in the future. We reserve the right to require that your product be removed. We reserve the right to photograph your product for training purposes.

Please call with questions. Ask before you buy phone accessories (or any other new popular merchandise for resale)! Your wholesaler, local small store or online seller may stock a mixture of acceptable and unacceptable product. Beware of anyone, anywhere who offers you a "cheap buy" on high-end cases (or any other type of licensed, trademarked items). If the deal seems too good to be true...the items may be counterfeit. 

Related Wolff's Flea Market Blog articles: 
We sound tough, but it's the law /policy and we work diligently to uphold it.
Unsure about your product? Please call 847-524-9590 to see if it is acceptable to us. While we are not experts, we conduct ongoing research in an attempt to keep up with current product news. We MAY be able to answer some of your questions, however YOU are ultimately responsible for authenticating your own merchandise and we cannot be held responsible. If we are in doubt about something you are selling, we often ask you to put it away until further proof of authenticity or research about that item has been presented. Occasionally, we may require that you show us appropriate receipts. (FYI-handwritten receipts or receipts from some websites, local wholesalers or independently owned stores stores are NOT acceptable)

Be aware that WHOLESALERS (online or certain actual stores in the city), resale shops, thrift stores, garage sales, "a guy", storage sheds, bulk lots and online stores (e.g. eBay, Amazon, importers, Craigslist), while offering seemingly good resale opportunities are not necessarily legitimate ways to obtain licensed/trademarked/genuine merchandise. If it's too good to be true-it may not be real. Please be careful when purchasing even 1 type of new or used high-end item. When in doubt, we reserve the right to not allow you to sell it. Read our blog posts on this topic HERE and HERE