Australian luxury fashion retailer accused of selling fakes

An Australian luxury fashion retailer has been accused of selling fake designer handbags, with customers dropping thousands of dollars on the alleged knock-offs.

Several buyers have slammed discounted designer goods retailer Cosette for allegedly selling them counterfeit bags, according to an investigation by the Sydney Morning Herald.

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The customers claim authentication experts confirmed their worst fears — the bags were allegedly fake. However, Cosette denies ever selling counterfeit goods.

A NSW Fair Trading spokesperson confirmed to 125 complaints had been made this week involving goods valued at almost $300,000. understands 74 of the complaints were made since Sunday, with the remaining 51 filed since Thursday.

“NSW Fair Trading has started an investigation and at this stage is unable to provide further information,” a spokesperson told

Several women told the SMH they bought bags they believed were authentic before later suspecting they were “superfakes”, high-quality knock-offs that can be difficult to tell apart from the real thing.

One buyer claimed she spent $2400 on a Saint Laurent envelope medium chain bag, which sells at the brand’s boutique for more than $4000, only for an authenticator to tell her it was a fake.

Cosette, which operates a store in The Rocks in Sydney and trades online, says it sources luxury designer brands from Europe to sell to Australian customers for less “thanks to our exclusive networks and high-end buyers”.

“By taking advantage of the opposite seasons between Europe and Australia, we bring you the most sought-after brands long before they would be on shelves in Australia,” its website states.

“Our premium brands put you in the front row with runway-worthy styles and very highest quality staples, without the designer price tag.”

The retailer has issued refunds to several customers concerned about the authenticity of their items, but denied this was an admission of any wrongdoing.

“The refunds issued in recent days have been purely for the purposes of customer satisfaction, not because we have any concerns about the authenticity of the products it sells. In no way is this any admission of liability,” it told the SMH.

NSW Fair Trading said the matter had not been referred to any other agency as of Friday.

“Fair Trading will liaise with other agencies when appropriate,” the spokesperson said.

“Under Australian Consumer Law, a consumer is entitled to a refund if goods have been misrepresented, including when fake products are represented as genuine.

“Consumers who have purchased from Cosette are encouraged to lodge a complaint online at to assist NSW Fair Trading with the ongoing investigation.”

Companies who misrepresent the authenticity of products can be charged whichever is greater: $50 million, three times the value of the benefit received, or 30 per cent of annual turnover in the preceding year (if the court cannot determine the benefit obtained from the offence). has contacted Cosette for further comment.

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