Too Good to be True: Be Wary of Slick Salesmen Selling Knock-Off Armani Jackets Out of a Car

June 02, 2016


Vancouver, BC – As the old saying goes, if it’s too good to be true…it is. BBB serving Mainland BC has received several calls about questionable sales tactics and potentially fraudulent goods. The complaints deal with slick salesmen approaching people at local parks, playgrounds and parking lots trying to sell Italian leather jackets, many branded as top-shelf Giorgio Armani.

As the ruse goes, a suave, well-kept gentleman drives up in a nice car, approaches people, often seniors, and peddles the jackets out of the trunk of his car. The stories vary, claiming “he’s a sales rep leaving the country and wants to buy a new camera or iPad for his son,” to “I’m an Armani designer heading back to Italy and simply trying to avoid paying taxes at the airport.”

The seller ends up offering people numerous jackets for one low-ball price. The victims find out later that the jackets are fakes and not leather at all. The salesperson even has fake business cards to show as a prop and it has been noted that the car he’s driving, while clean and in decent shape, is a rental. He may even produce a passport.

“This is a scam that has been around in many countries for many years. There is so much buyer beware in this,” says Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for BBB serving Mainland BC. “Firstly, why would a rep for a legendary designer be selling 14 hundred dollar jackets out of the back of a car, only to end up selling two or three for $200? It simply doesn’t make sense.”

The most recent victim bought three jackets for $250 and then asked a friend to resell them on eBay thinking he might make a small profit. Naturally they discovered the jackets were counterfeit.

“The few instances we have heard about recently involve seniors as targets,” adds Kelly. “Making purchases like this, the victim runs the risk of not only buying shoddy and illegally branded products, but also stolen property. Then you really have a problem on your hands. BBB suggests not doing business with anybody in this way.”

BBB offers these tips when confronted by these shady salesmen:

  • If it’s too good to be true…
  • Buying counterfeit goods is illegal.
  • Trying to resell them as brand names…yep, you guessed it, illegal!!
  • Don’t engage in conversation.
  • Legitimate businesses don’t operate in this fashion.
  • Ask yourself, “Why would anyone sell brand name, high-end fashion out of a car?”
  • These kinds of sales likely will not provide receipts nor take credit cards.
  • Understand you have no recourse should you want a refund.
  • These ‘leather’ jackets are likely made with a cheap, fake leather material.
  • Do your research. Buy from reputable stores and authorized dealers and manufacturers.



Media Contacts:

Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor
BBB Serving Mainland BC
404-788 Beatty Street
Vancouver, BC
V6B 2M1

About BBB:

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews, all available for free at BBB Serving Mainland B.C., founded in 1939 and serving the Lower Mainland, Thompson-Okanagan, Northern, Central and Southern Interior BC, and the Yukon, is one of 111 local, independent BBBs across North America. In 2015, consumers turned to BBB Serving Mainland B.C. more than 2 million times for Business Reviews and processed over 7,500 complaints.