The thirst for luxury handbags has not only led to a rise in counterfeiting, but a second black market for luxury shopping bags.
The Wall Street Journal reports that in Korea, where the consumer base for expensive fashion and accessories is growing by the day, women are paying for the paper shopping bags one receives after shopping at Cartier, Prada, Louis Vuitton and the like.
On one site investigated by the newspaper, a seller was promoting four different brand's paper bags for about 25,000 won ($23) each. We took a look around the web ourselves and found two Chinese companies doing the same, one selling Burberry carrier bags and the other Calvin Klein.
One of the sellers spoke to WSJ, making the argument that the paper totes are worth paying for because of the logo, of course, but also because "the paper is thicker and more solid compared to regular paper bags.”
But Sung Young-shin, a professor of consumer psychology of Korea University, said it's simply about keeping up with the Jonses. “In Korea’s collective culture, consumption is not just personal behavior. It is not so much about my need as it is about whether other people in my peer group have it," she said.
We suppose that having a paper shopping bag emblazoned with the Louis Vuitton logo could be the next best thing to having your own leather LV tote... but spending money on paper bags seems just a bit absurd.