Sunday, October 1, 2017

OCTOBER: 31 DAYS OF SCARY COUNTERFEITS

We like to scare you in October!
Clowns, creepy finds....

But this year we are posting links to articles about scary counterfeits. Check back as we fill up the whole month (and your intellect) with 31 tasty bits of bad stuff!

  1. CONTACT LENSES

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Wolff's Flea Market Bans Sales of Eclipse Glasses

Today we sent a special edition email.

Subject: Banned at Wolff's - Eclipse Glasses

  • Everyone is excited about the upcoming eclipse on Monday August 21. However we extend this warning to our clientele:
  • Beware of counterfeit eclipse viewing glasses! •Due to recent news regarding this issue, Wolff's Flea Market is BANNING ALL SALES OF SOLAR ECLIPSE VIEWING GLASSES.
  • Counterfeit glasses can cause eye damage.
  • It is unspeakable to think that counterfeiters would sell something dangerous in order to make a few measly dollars. Vendors and customers do not be tempted to purchase even if someone claims them to be "certified or real."
  • You do this at your own health risk. We are not authorized to determine authenticity and will be making our best effort this weekend to educate and remove from market. If you see someone with these glasses please note space number and call or text 847-524-9590.
  • Remember that counterfeits are illegal and dangerous counterfeits are even worse!

Sincerely,
Wolff's Flea Market

wolffs.com

Monday, August 7, 2017

FIRST TIME VENDORS AT WOLFF'S FLEA MARKET - MUST READ

By Sharon Wolff

WELCOME TO WOLFF’S FLEA MARKET!

FIRST TIME VENDORS!  PLEASE READ!

Created 8/7/17 - Updates as needed

Thank you for considering selling at one of Chicagoland’s best flea markets! Whether you are getting rid of a few household belongings or starting out as a new small business, we are here to support you in your endeavors!

We want your experience at Wolff’s Flea Market to be pleasant and successful.
Please note that in order to ensure that success and maintain our reputation as a legitimate, family-friendly shopping venue, we incorporate stringent merchandise rules.

It is imperative that you carefully read and re-read:


We inspect your merchandise. We inspect everyone’s merchandise. 
All day. More than once. It's what we do. It's what we love. Call us weird. Call us Counterfighters.

We also expect you to educate yourselves on the type of products that are allowed and why certain items are banned.

It is unfortunate that some vendors don’t read our rules and need to either remove a big chunk of the merchandise they invested in, or even worse, not have anything left to sell and therefore need to leave our market. (And worst - take it out again and experience the Drive of Shame, straight out the exit.)

Common items that first time sellers seem to bring:
Counterfeit Dolce & Gabbana purse
See the removable clip-on tag? 
  • Baby furniture: high chairs, strollers, cribs etc. We do not allow because of safety and recalls.
  • Counterfeit wholesale electronics: Online or even local wholesalers are known for selling counterfeit phone accessories - chargers, cables, headphones - BEWARE!
  • Counterfeit sports jerseys: Garage sale/thrift shop/other sources might even tell you the jersey is real. It might appear to be crisp and clean with tags. Items are faked in varying quality. Please know your product before investing and bringing it out to sell.
  • Counterfeit or high end designer purses: Sorry it is very unlikely the (insert brand name) purse you found for $3 at a garage sale is real!
  • And even if you are "sure" that your Coach or Louis Vuitton are real - you still cannot sell them. And a few other brands as listed on MERCHANDISE RULES and pictured here.
  • And other stuff, too, so let's just all read and re-read the rules.
Our famous Counterfeit Collage 2016
While we aim to educate new vendors, those  who don’t get with the program may end up being permanently ejected. 

Our goals: 
Prevention
Intervention
Education
It’s a piece of PIE!


And as always, please call or text us with questions. We are not lawyers, nor do we represent any of the hundreds of brand names and designers we have made it our business to protect. We are a small family-owned business that aims to do the right thing by keeping our clientele safe! We are always learning about new products and counterfeits and sharing our merchandise experience with the world!

Google is your friend: Please "google" many of your questions regarding counterfeits.
Or text/call us 847-524-9590

Friday, July 7, 2017

MERCHANDISE RULES

By Sharon Wolff

Wolff's Flea Market is a leader in the swap meet industry for policy, research and education regarding counterfeit merchandise. Counterfeits are an ongoing worldwide concern, and wholesalers, flea markets, internet sources, small brick & mortar stores, mall kiosks, individuals, guys on the corner etc. are vulnerable and liable for selling fake merchandise. 


We monitor hundreds of brands in all categories along many parameters. We have spent years developing our Merchandise Patrol program and employ a fantastic team of patrollers, also known as Counterfighters. It is not an exact science, and we rely upon ongoing research and news stories to assist us in our quest. While we want our vendors to make money and sell their products, we do not tolerate counterfeit products and aim to Prevent-Intervene-Educate

During our routine patrols around the flea market, we sometimes encounter banned or counterfeit merchandise. Did you know that Chicago is the 3rd biggest US hub for counterfeit products? (Los Angeles and New York are ahead of us). So, it is not surprising that fakes are evident in several Chicagoland venues in small to larger numbers. 

Our first goal is to EDUCATE our vendors in order to keep our customers, vendors and market safe from counterfeits. 

Please click here see the FULL LIST OF MERCHANDISE RULES and an example of our Informational Pink Slip. is given to vendors as information and also as an expansion of our rules. It is updated as new information is revealed as a result of our ongoing research. 

PREVENTION-INTERVENTION-EDUCATION  (PIE)



MERCHANDISE INSPECTION-PLEASE DON’T BE OFFENDED!

By Sharon Wolff
Original post 9/28/11. Revised 1/12,  2/6/12, 9/10/12, 1/27/13, 7/6/17

Please always go to wolffs.com for the most updated information

Wolff's Flea Market is vigilant about inspecting merchandise at every booth, every week. If we talked to you last week or 2 weeks ago, we may talk to you again this week about the same or different items you are selling.  Please realize we mean no disrespect to you, nor are we singling you out from other vendors. It is our job to ensure that the merchandise offered at Wolff's Flea Market is in accordance to our rules, Rosemont/Palatine rules, and state and federal laws. So please, if you see a staff person lingering over an item on your table, or if you are questioned about your merchandise, do not take offense. We try to speak respectfully to you, and hope you can return the favor. When in doubt, we may ask you to remove a certain type of merchandise, or even request receipts from you.

While we are not perfect and cannot claim to know every detail about every type of item-we are open to engaging in productive, educational conversation, especially on the subject of possible counterfeit merchandise. We are lucky to have professional sources at our disposal and have also amassed a small number of people who can unofficially answer our questions about certain types of products. We may ask that you remove an item until we can verify more information at a future date. If we cannot verify more information, then it will need to be permanently removed.

We are aware that counterfeit merchandise exists world-wide, costing legitimate manufacturers millions of dollars of revenue each year, as well as funding illicit trade and deplorable working conditions. The fight against counterfeiting is ongoing and a seemingly endless list of products is affected. Unfortunately, flea markets across the country have received negative press for raids and arrests related to counterfeit merchandise.

Maybe you didn't know that what you are selling is counterfeit or not allowed. While we would love to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, at the same time, it's important for any questionable or banned items to be removed immediately and permanently from public availability.

INTERNET WHOLESALERS
It's outlandish how accessible counterfeit merchandise is over the internet from so-called “wholesalers”. Just google the topic and you will find numerous websites offering high end designer and other licensed goods. 80% of counterfeit goods are manufactured in China.  We find it appalling that overseas countries offer fake designer goods on the premise that they are quality and legal.  Read their descriptions; they actually seem to be bragging about replica and fake products. Even if they don’t indicate that it is fake-the awful grammar and spelling is a tell-tale (and humorous) clue that what you are buying is not real. Federal and international agencies work to shut down these websites but it is an ongoing process, and you, as a buyer and reseller-MUST BEWARE! Always keep in mind that if a bulk deal on any type of licensed, trademarked, designer, etc. goods seems too good to be true-it is! Just don’t get yourself fooled into thinking that what you order online is legal or real. Chances are, the website has not yet been caught and shut down. We don’t know how this part of the process works, but please for your own good, just stay away from such deals.

BRICK AND MORTAR WHOLESALE STORES
Sorry, but the same rules apply to your purchases of licensed or designer items from a wholesaler, even if it appears to be a legitimate brick-and-mortar store. We have seen questionable merchandise that has come from such stores in the city. At this point we do not offer a list of acceptable stores.

LEGIT WHOLESALE MERCHANDISE
Sellers can purchase wholesale merchandise from the Midwest Merchandiser catalogue on display at Palatine and Rosemont.
"The Merchandiser Group magazines bring you coast-to-coast coverage of the Flea Market and Swap Meet industry. Each monthly issue is packed with sources of wholesale merchandise as well as articles bringing you the inside scoop on how to prosper in the fascinating world of flea markets and swap meets." Source: Sumner Communications, Inc.

RESALE SHOPS
Used and pre-owned counterfeit items cycle their way into garage sales, resale store and thrift shops. Private individuals and both for profit and non-for profit shops have not been targeted by officials, probably because of the small number of used items that trickle in. Official investigations seem to focus on new items, sellers, wholesalers and the manufacturers. However, keep in mind, that although you may think you are getting a great deal on a used designer bag, chances are that it is fake. Even if it is used, or if you have only one item, it is not allowed to be sold at the market.

QUESTIONS
1. Is is ok to sell a fake item if the seller tells the buyer that it is fake? 
   No! It is illegal to sell counterfeit products.

2. Is it ok to sell my own real purse?
No. There is no way to determine authenticity of many types of items unless a representative of that particular company is present to do so. In some instances, we may accept a receipt that matches the item(s), but some brands are never allowed at the market because we just can't tell for sure that they are real. For us, it is sometimes easier to tell if an item is fake, but not tell if it is real. Some brands that are never allowed: MAC Cosmetics, Dr. Dre headphones or earbuds, Coach, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci.

3.  Why can't I sell a purse whose logo is similar to the real thing, but is slightly different?
 This is called "Trademark Dilution" and essentially tricks a buyer into thinking they may be buying a designer item. Owners of the trademark believe that dilution diminishes the value of their brand with inferior representation.


EXAMPLE
For this article, I am using the Louis Vuitton brand as an example for counterfeit and dilution.  The same concept applies to other trademarked brands. I include the logo for educational purposes only and understand that it is owned and copyrighted by Louis Vuitton. 

A genuine Louis Vuitton handbag may cost $1,970 from the official, authorized Louis Vuitton store or website. This price exceeds the budget of most of us regular folk. If you can knowingly or unknowingly buy a fake bag for $35 or even $60, would you? What is wrong with someone wanting to have the "designer look" but not pay the designer price? First of all besides the legal ramifications, the fake bag is of poor quality and will likely begin to quickly degrade-seams will tear, zippers will break. The loss of even $35 is a waste of your hard-earned money. Why not buy a nice no-name leather bag that will look better and last longer? We applaud the vendors who offer these acceptable attractive & quality items.  And what about the naive buyer who actually thinks they are getting a good deal and have been tricked? That's just wrong.


There seems to be a fine line between "designer inspired" and "Trademark Dilution".  Our research continues. Below is an example of trademark dilution.



Think you're looking at a genuine Louis Vuitton item?
 Look again and you will see that the logo
 is actually "LX" and the quatrefoil
 monograms are incorrect.
This is called "Trademark Dilution", and it's illegal.
Confusion-dilution-illegal
This is the Louis Vuitton monogram logo.
Even if you don't care about prancing around using a "disposable" purse, the real crux of the matter includes the economic and legal ramifications of buying and selling counterfeit merchandise. I will conclude this article with brief information on these 2 areas and include links for further reading.

Economic: The industries and owners of the trademarked items lose millions of dollars in sales and profit to counterfeiters. Governments lose money enforcing laws related to intellectual property rights.

Legal: Louis Vuitton is actively committed to fighting counterfeit trade. As a result, over 13,000 proceedings and 6000 raids have been launched resulting in the arrest almost 1000 counterfeiters. (Source HERE) This is just one company's process, and many other companies have joined in the fight.

Google the following terms to read more examples and cases related to the legal ramifications of counterfeits: designer handbags, fake purse, counterfeit raid, flea market raid, wholesale designer sunglasses. Please be informed and protect yourselves and your families!

REVISION January 2012: A federal jury has awarded Louis Vuitton has been $3.6 million in a settlement for trademark infringement against a San Antonio flea market for allowing counterfeit items to be sold at their establishment. This landmark case shows that not only are individual sellers liable for counterfeit goods, but also the flea market owners who rent space to them.

The math: 9 infringed trademarks x $4 million per mark = $3.6 million

Sources and Further Reading:
Bogus Goods to cost flea market $3.6 million
Trademark Dilution Revision Act of 2006

No parts of this article may be copied or distributed without permission from Wolff's Flea Market.
Trademarks shown are for educational purposes only and belong to Louis Vuitton. Seriously how else can we educate?

HOW TO GET A SPACE AT WOLFF'S FLEA MARKET ROSEMONT

Updated and made better on July 7, 2017

Potential flea market vendors always ask, "What is the best time to arrive at Rosemont to get a 'good' space?"

Well, we are there for you as early as 2am. That's right, the Wolff family and many early shift employees don't sleep much on Saturday nights. And many of our diligent vendors & customers don't sleep either!

This is also the world of Earlybird Shoppers who pay $4 and arrive with coffee, flashlights and a strong desire to wake up in the middle of the night to catch the sleeping worm. A culture of its own that has developed over the last 26 seasons.

While the earliest recorded vendor in line was at 10pm on Saturday night, we stress that this is NOT a requirement, merely a preference based on vendor experience, superstitions, desires and....

Here is the timeline:
2am: Permanent reserved and daily vendors allowed in. Known open spaces on the east side of the market are assigned to daily vendors on a first come-first served basis. Some vendors prefer to wait for a space in the "6:15 line" (more about that below)
4:30ish: Spaces are assigned in the "Double Letter Rows" on the west side on a first come-first served basis
5am: Our recommendation for non reserved vendors to arrive. You will then have time to be assigned your space and set up before 6am
6am: Market opens for business
6:15am: Reserved "no-show" spaces are assigned to vendors waiting in the 6:15 line (first come-first served) and then to others who arrive.
We continue to assign spaces throughout the morning as vendors arrive. We rarely run out of spaces. Sometimes we run out of table rentals, so if you need a table, arrive on the earlier side.

At the vendor entrance on the west side of the building:
1. Pay your daily fee $40. Receive your permit.
2. If you need to rent a table, do so at this time for $7. You will receive a table ticket and the table will be delivered to your space.
3. A sticky note will be placed on your car, and a staff person will escort you to your space
4. You will be directed to park across the back of your 25'x18' selling space
5. Have a great day!

      For complete schedule, more information and Merchandise rules, Palatine flea market, please go to wolffs.com
Call or text us at 847-524-9590
As always, please follow us on Facebook
                   SEE YOU AT THE FLEA!



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wolff's Flea Market: Lost and Found ... Again!

By Guest Blogger Betsy Fons

When growing up, Gabe Defrates, now a resident of Chicago, used to go to flea markets each Sunday with his Grandfather, Don Bryant. Don passed away in 2006, but Gabe and his grandfather made a new connection this weekend at Wolff’s Flea Market in Palatine.
A vendor at Wolff’s Flea Market came across a framed piece that included pictures of Don with flowers and a holy card from his funeral. Through some online research, a Wolff’s employee was able to find Don Bryant’s daughter in Carbondale, Illinois and inform her that the item somehow appeared at Wolff's Flea Market.  Her nephew, Gabe, came to Palatine to pick up the cherished family piece.
Gabe told us his mother had the memento made after her father’s funeral. When she moved from her home in Elgin, the box containing the piece got mixed up with boxes of items that were given away.  Somehow the item mysteriously made its way to Wolff’s Flea Market in Palatine. Gabe said his family was thrilled to have the piece back, and thought it was so funny and more than appropriate it was reunited with the family through a flea market since that was Don Bryant’s favorite hobby!
Don Wolff, one of the owners of Wolff's Flea Market makes every effort to return items of sentimental value to families whenever possible. Over the years, he has returned an urn of ashes to a family (Video link HERE), a Desert Storm scrapbook to a soldier and many personal photographs.

Now in its 26th year, Wolff’s Flea Market has always been a family friendly flea market, and continues to bring families together in a variety of ways!


Monday, March 13, 2017

BUY MOTIVATING WORKOUT GEAR FOR LESS - A REVIEW

By Sharon Wolff

Over the last year, regular exercise has been a very important aspect of my journey into Health and Fitness.

From first-hand experience, when I like my outfit, I feel positively motivated to get out and move. Because honestly, sometimes momentum can be a little challenging. 

Read these articles: 

Does Wearing Fitness Gear REALLY Boost Your Workout Motivation?
Do Your Workout Clothes Actually Affect Your Performance?

Given the technology of performance fabrics, "designer" workout clothing can be pretty pricey. Personally, I don't see the point in paying $40 or more for just the leggings alone. 

Because don't we all know that exercise = sweat? Perhaps this new tech fabric moves the sweat away from your skin and into its magic mesh. But to me - ahem - sweat is sweat - and it is only temporary. I would rather go for quantity and variety in my workout clothing. Then go home and take a shower.

I bought this brand new 2-piece heather design outfit upstairs in Palatine and give it 5 stars in all of my personal categories.

SHARON'S PERSONAL CATEGORIES:
COMFORT:  soft and stretchy
WASHABILITY: wash cold and hang to dry
PRICE: under $20
VERSATILITY: Wear top or bottom as part of your layered fashion look
SIZE; 1 size fits all

Plus, I bought post work out high-protein snacks from our food vendor downstairs.

So, ladies, if you work out, couldn't you use a few extra really cute outfits?

Support small business and get in shape, too! 
Several vendors at Wolff's Flea Market Palatine sell an array of soft, stretchy, comfortable and AFFORDABLE sets.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Flea Market Find: The Ice Saw

We usually don't know what happens to the unique and amazing collectibles purchased at Wolff's Flea Market.

But, thanks to customer Joe V., we have the full picture of the special home of The Ice Saw.

"My thanks to Don at Wolff's Flea Market to help me purchase an Ice Saw for the Barrington History Museum. The Ice Saw will be added to future displays of farm tools and the early tool exhibit currently planned for 2018. 

The saw will also be included in the ice harvesting exhibit loaned to the American Water Works Association museum exhibit at their WaterCon conference in Springfield, IL.

The Barrington History Museum, a not-for-profit, is located at 212 & 218 W. Main in Barrington. It currently is open by request and will reopen with new exhibits on Saturday afternoons starting April 8th, 2017."

Thanks,
Joe V.


Photos Betsy F

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Wolff's Flea Market Rosemont 2017 Schedule

WOLFF’S FLEA MARKET 
ALLSTATE ARENA
6920 N Mannheim Rd.
Rosemont, IL 60018

Open Sundays


Subscribe to emails for free admission coupons & updates at wolffs.com

Stay Current! 
For updates and last minute changes due to weather or stadium events like concerts, Wolves games, etc.

Text or call 847-524-9590 and follow us on facebook & twitter

CONTINUE TO VISIT US IN PALATINE 
EVERY Saturday & Sunday 8am-4pm
1775 N Rand Rd.

Palatine, IL 60074
SEE YOU AT THE FLEA!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Wolff's Flea Market: Elemental Fusions- A Vendor Success Story!

By Sharon Wolff

Have you met Tom and Casey of Elemental Fusions in Palatine? 

We congratulate them on their vision and attention to quality, detail and reasonably priced offerings. This successful husband and wife start-up business recently celebrated its one year milestone anniversary!

Homemade soaps, Valentines gifts, lotions, bath products, candles, uplifting home fragrances and special rocks.

Read more HERE

Visit Elemental Fusions Saturdays & Sundays at 
Wolff's Flea Market Palatine
1775 N. Rand Rd.
Palatine, IL 60074
847-524-9590





Tuesday, January 10, 2017

It's a box! I think? Wait. What is this?

By Guest Blogger Candice lee Conner

Last week, my friend sent me this photo of a very interesting box that had bellows on the side, asking me what in the world this thing was. Surely it's some type of accordion, I thought. But where are the keys to play the music? And why are there a bunch of circles? I consulted the most knowledgeable data base I have in my arsenal - my musical Facebook friends with You Tube as confirmation. 

This, my friends, is Shruti box. The Shruti box's creation was based off the Harmonium, a keyboard instrument in which the sound is produced through reeds and bellows. The more humble shruti box is keyless and was invented so that one could create a perfect droning sound. Pitch controls are on the top or on side.

Today shrutiboxes, or shruti petti, are electronic and have recently been making a come back throughout the world.

There's even an app for that

If you are looking for that unusual gift for a musician friend, the boxes are affordable. You can find older ones on Ebay for $50-$300. Electronic boxes go for $30-$200. 
This one in particular was made by Music International