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... and Now For Something Completely DifferentIt’s July and that means that I start thinking about Christmas presents (oh my!).  I was recently at a block sale (no, the block wasn’t for sale  🙂  it was a bunch of people who got together to sell stuff in one location) at which there were about 15 or 20 vendors.  One of the vendors was selling an expandable carry-on fight bag with wheels for $1.00.  One woman walked by pulling one of the bags and gushed at how good of a deal she got[1].  However …

What kind of quality was it?  Would it last more than the afternoon?  Some would say that for $1.00 it would be worth it even if it only lasted one or two days.  But, there’s more to think about than just the price.  What do you think the likelihood of that bag actually costing $1.00 in a store would be?  What would make someone sell a flight-bag for $1.00 anyway?  Perhaps the bags just “fell of the back of a truck?”  Likely?

Two years ago I was at a presentation given by a trademark expert about counterfeits.  I learned a lot that I didn’t know.  In particular, it seems that one method of funding used by terrorists is selling counterfeit goods.  The terrorists will manufacture (or have manufactured) counterfeit goods (e.g., purses, cell phones, cigarettes, drugs, or perhaps carry-on bags with wheels?) sell them and reap the profits.  Those profits will then be used to purchase the goods that they need to perform their activities.  A simple Google® search using the words “counterfeit” and “terrorism” will result in many pages with articles related to this subject.

Ever since I attended that presentation I have been much more careful about what I purchase and where I purchase it.  Counterfeit goods are inexpensive and most of us are trying to save money, but be careful what you buy!  You may be inadvertently funding terrorism.

[1] I need to put a disclaimer here – the woman walked by just at the end of the afternoon.  Her comment was the first time that I had heard about those bags.  I don’t know if it was a name brand or not and was not able to either inspect the bag or find the vendor, so I took no action.

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