WHAT YOU NEED
Cash — preferably a couple $20s wrapped in one-dollar bills.
Really, all you need is cash.
- Pick any storefront that features merchandise resembling the item you want. These will be the “obvious fake” items, no doubt, since America’s gone all “anti-counterfeiting” on Chinatown. Jerks.
- Glance around for undercover cops.
- No one around? Good. In a hushed voice, ask the salesperson for the item you want.
- The salesperson will pull out the worst fake you’ve ever seen — a Gacci wallet, maybe a Looey Vitton bag — and assure you it’s the best available. It is not.
- Look at the seams. Are there gaping holes? Perhaps the pattern doesn’t quite line up? Does it smell like plastic? Is the glue holding the handles together still wet?
- Ask if there’s anything in the back. If you’ve come this far, you deserve the best that a shady import operation has to offer.
- You’ll be led on a trek — à la Billy from The Family Circus — out of the shop, around the corner, down a flight of stairs, through the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant and, finally, to a secret closet.
- The closet will contain heaps of quality AAA fakes. The absolute best fake will be practically indistinguishable from the authentic — a layperson would need a microscope to spot the differences. (It’s best to avoid hanging out with experts, who will only kill the joy of your triumphant discovery.)
- You may feel pressure because you are in a secluded, converted refrigerator locker. Do not let this feeling stop you.
- Pick your item. Ask for a price.
- The salesperson will name an absurd price.
- Counter-offer with half that amount.
- Continue to haggle.
- When offered something close to your target price, start to walk away.
- You’ll be grabbed by the arm and told you are crazy. Do not freak out. This is the lead-up to locking in your price.
- Pay cash. Flee.