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Flea Markets and Counterfeiters SUCK!

October 19th, 2008 | Posted by dk in Action Sports

We are moving our main Santa Cruz Skate Shop store to a new location (912 41st Ave) this month so I have been more than busy painting, destroying and making pretty…if you catch my drift.  One of my recent employees catches me getting a third coffee for the day and hands me a business card.

“Hey man, I know how pissed you get when people tell you this, but this guys is knocking of the SC Brand at the Santa Cruz Flea Market”. Now…I have never been a fan of Flea Markets for this exact reason, I mean why can’t the people that run these things see the counterfeiting and bootlegging that is going on? I know I cannot expect people to know all the brands, but when someone is knocking off NFL and MLB team product, it doesn’t take a genius to see that. I digress, this is Tuesday when I get wind of what is going on, and mind you I actually have the guys card so I could call him or go visit….such a hard temptation to resist.  So I go about my week, all the while this is on my mind of me getting to confront the person knocking off the SC Brand .  Some of my friends are psyched to go with me down to the Santa Cruz Flea Market until I tell them I am rolling at 7am,  I don’t blame them.  Having done this a few times at our local flea market, I knew the earlier the better. I get to the Flea and find easy parking, but people are all setup and ready to go…it was going to be a nice day. I pay my $1.50 to get in and didn’t need to walk but 100 feet and there was my culprit. Not only was he knocking my stuff off but he was occupying a prime location for traffic.  

If you notice in the pic, we are in good company with the other premium brands that are listed there. No Fear, Metal Mulisha, Volcom, Santa Cruz Skateboards, Nor Cal not to mention the NFL, NBA, MLB items and tons of Mainstream Brands. I have to admit when I walk up on  counterfeiters I look at them as competition without boundaries, they must be shut down.  Companies work hard to establish their brands through trademarking, marketing, production and distribution to represent the vision and the image companies want portrayed. Some guy that can buy a die cut sticker machine can pay as little as $15 for a spot at the Santa Cruz Flea Market without regulation and profit from others hard work. I start taking a couple pictures of the booth at this point to document before I make him take it down. He observes me taking pictures and proceeds to ask me what I am doing. I let him know that he is counterfeiting a trademarked brand.

and I am going to the Flea Market Management.  I call the Sheriff’s and I am informed that it is a civil matter so they are not responding, AWESOME! Management and I walk over to the booth where now the SC Brand items are removed from the banner (see circles on banner).

By this point one of my business partners has shown up  with is iPhone to take pictures as well for other brands. Management and the owner are discussing a few things saying he took it down and that someone gave him the sticker to make…now based on how the items were displayed it appears to me that he is marketing the fact that he is selling these items on a regular basis. Now as we try to take pictures, dude starts getting upset and demands we stop taking pictures, Flea Market management also demands that we stop taking pictures. So let me get this straight, my companies brand is being counterfeited along with other major brands, the Sheriff’s won’t respond and now I cannot document the fact. Wow…I think I am doing it all wrong. Why doesn’t everyone open a Flea Market business that has no documentation (if you notice all transactions at least at the Santa Cruz Flea Market are CASH ONLY) of your payment to be there, I am sure everyone is paying there taxes as well. After it all is said and done our stuff is not for sale at the Flea Market and we would give the same deal at one of stores if we were.  What ever happened to the local flea market of people selling the items they had no use for anymore and the farmers market? Not the one of today where people are selling fake Nike’s and counterfeited porn. If the people that run Flea Markets happen to read this, bring back the Flea Market of yesterday and rid yourselves of poaching low lives.

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