Knock-off and Counterfeit Prom Dress Sites

This is a guest post by Alex Berger, a partner at DSTORE, an international retailer of prom dresses with a focus on the Brazilian market.

bad-knockoff

Knock-offs and counterfeit prom dresses are a huge problem here in the US for brands and retailers alike.

Can you imagine what is going on in places where laws are not as strict or not enforced as they are in the US?

Our company operates an online store that specializes in the Brazilian market. In Brazil, until about one year ago, there were only legit web sites selling prom dresses. The legit sites were contributing to improve internet sales reputation in the country. A tough job to do, but as long as you deliver, as promised, quality products on schedule, word of mouth spreads the good word.

Little by little knock off sites started to appear. At first they were very shy, as if testing the waters. They could not get good organic search results, so only a few paid sponsored results here and there.

As of a few months ago they jumped as if a giant was wakening.

We, the good ones, always tried to follow Google’s recommendations to the teeth, once we were always told that of you don’t comply with them you will get penalized: perfect grammar structure, lots of contents, only legit back links (people who link to your site – some people sell links and Google always said that if caught one gets dropped in search results).

Unbelievable as it might seem, Chinese knock off sites, using automatic translators, with horrible grammar structure, even hard to understand what they are trying to say, now show up in the first 5 or 10 organic (free) search results for prom dresses in Brazil. What ever happened to Google’s recommendations?

And that is on free search. As far as the paid results, they are on top of all results. It is their invasion. A pay per click ad on Google that used to cost pennies a year ago, now costs up to a dollar per click. No legit business can afford it anymore.

Google just launched in Brazil Google Shopping, a service that most people believe is just a free goodwill service provided by Google to show you who sells what. Not true anymore. Google shopping is a paid result advertising product just like any other of their ads or sponsored results.

Needless to say, these knock off and counterfeit sites advertise the same products we do, using in many cases the same images (which they steal from legit sites). Difference is that they do not deliver the same product. Instead, they deliver a very poor quality copy of the product. Whereas a legit dress would cost $500, they sell a copy for $100. A misinformed customer, especially young girls, do think that they place an image of the product they have to offer and intend to sell. Some customers even ask us why are we so overpriced compared to other online stores. Some sites don’t even care (at least in Brazil) and advertise the product as being authentic and original from the American brand.

What consequences does it bring?

Well, besides the obvious, which is to hurt legit people’s businesses, both the retailers and also manufactures, they are contributing to a much more serious outcome: the reputation of e-commerce as a whole. We are now hearing many stories of people saying: “I know someone who got screwed buying online, therefore I will never buy anything online”. It is becoming very hard to differentiate us from them. They used to have cheesy sites, but they have become professionals. Customers become inclined to believe that they are serious and legit.

People like Google, only interested in making a quick buck, are killing their own businesses, their own golden eggs. They will be responsible for destroying the online business that they helped to create.

As long as Google, Bing, Internet providers and other players in the industry allow them to advertise as a legit business, things will only get worse. It is as if we are moving backwards in e-commerce, at least in our industry. These players have to accept their responsibilities and protect the internet future.

It will be impossible to stop knock offs and counterfeits, but a good place to start is for Google to respect copyrighted images, and remove them when requested by the copyright holder. The watch industry managed a few months ago to get US ISPs to ban certain sites they were selling knock off Rolexes and Omegas. But they came back with different store names.

We all know that we should not believe everything we see online. But the problem is when something is advertised. It kind of borrows the trust and reputation of the vehicle, in this case, Google.

The advice we can give our customers is: do your research. Contact the brand. Check is a retailer is authorized to sell a certain brand. Check the store’s reputation. Don’t rely solely on what you read online.

And, finally remember this old saying:

“When a deal sounds too good to be true, it’s generally because it is too good to be true”

Mac Duggal dresses on top of the world

It’s a grand view from the top.

Mac Duggal and his fabulous array of prom, pageant, couture, homecoming and other special occasion dresses are certainly enjoying that view these days, thanks to a trifecta of top-tier accolades, some of the highest awards available in the fashion industry.

On Aug. 7, Mac Duggal stepped forward to accept three prestigious awards from Top 10 Prom during the annual Atlanta Apparel World of Prom Market. The designer, who will celebrate 30 years in fashion next year, was honored by Top 10 Prom with the Customer Service Award, the Most Improved Vendor Award, and Top Sales for dollars earned for official retailers.

Best of the Best ~ Mac Duggal's three Top 10 Prom awards were placed on prominent display during the Atlanta Prom Market fashion runway show from Aug. 8-11, where the fabulous Spring 2014 line was revealed to retailers!

Best of the Best ~ Mac Duggal’s three Top 10 Prom awards were placed on prominent display during the Atlanta Prom Market fashion runway show from Aug. 8-11, where the Spring 2014 line was revealed to retailers! Mac Duggal was hailed by Top 10 Prom for his Customer Service and the value his gorgeous dresses bring to the retailers and boutiques who sell them.

Top 10 Prom is a direct mailing book sent out to markets each year, aimed at advertising the top prom fashions to junior and high school girls. Denise Knapp, owner of Top 10 Prom, said that more than 700,000 books are mailed out each year, featuring the designers in the collective. Mac Duggal is among one of the most honored designers of Top 10 Prom this year. The book represents about 100 total retail stores and exclusive boutiques across the nation, all which feature all the Top 10 Prom designers.

Knapp said that the awards are well deserved by Mac Duggal and his entire team.

“Mac gives exceptional customer service,” Knapp said. “Mac’s dresses also sell so well, that it helps our group make money… What I care about it what sells from the floor out the door. And that’s what we track. And Mac Duggal helped our group make money last year. So they got the award for dollars produced for our group.”

Knapp said that the Most Improved award is like an MVP for Top 10 Prom, because Mac Duggal’s “rating” by stores and customers grew the most from 2012 to 2013.

But above the awards themselves, Knapp said that the kudos well deserved because of the way that Mac Duggal does business.

“I think Mac is a very sincere person,” Knapp said. “I think Mac is the real deal. I like Mac as a friend and I think if I was not in the industry, I would still have him as a friend, a good friend. I’d do anything for him.”

Knapp also noted that Mac Duggal keeps his designs fresh and appealing by surrounding himself with dedicated and talented staff who work hard season after season with the customer in mind.

“All of Mac’s people love and care for him and they love and care for the company,” Knapp noted. “I think that their loyalty to him is very strong. And when you have people who are that dedicated, your success is abundant. And so that’s what I think about his collection is that it shows the true hard work that his people give.”

1150425_10151775336649430_1925873773_nMac himself noted that hard work plays a big role in the continued success of the gorgeous lines of Mac Duggal dresses.

“These awards are really a reflection of all the hard work of our whole team,” Mac said while accepting the awards. “We work hard to make sure we get all the right dresses in all the right stores. We make sure that the customers are getting the products that they truly need.”

And Knapp noted that the general public should keep an eye out for the Spring 2014 Mac Duggal Collection, because Mac Duggal is one of the most fashion-forward stars of the entire industry, with a natural “couture” eye.

“I love Mac, and he never ceases to just amaze me,” Knapp said.  “He can walk in somewhere and see something that nobody else sees, but he sees it. And I just think he’s brilliant. He’s always been extremely good to me, and for that I’m thankful.”

mac signature endnote banner

Homecoming dresses to make a statement

The news across the nation this week is HOT-HOT-HOT.

And as the sun cloaks the country in sweltering temperatures, things are heating up at Mac Duggal as well, starting with all the sizzling selections of the Fall 2013 Dress Collections. Because the cool crisp air of fall might seem out of reach in this heat, but this is still a good time for gals across the nation to start thinking of that annual fall festival of high school glitz and glamour.

homecoming2013

Homecoming 2013 may not be here for a few more months, but the planning begins now!

Each year, teens trend toward starting their homecoming dress shopping in the height of summer. Perhaps all the summertime festivities have teens envisioning a night of football rivalries, cheers, parties, and of course the biggest event of autumn. Or maybe they’re great organizers who have their weeks meticulously planned around shopping, sales and the introduction of all the great Mac Duggal fall lines. Maybe they just love to try on those gorgeous dresses!

Who knows and who cares!

Homecoming season is kicking off, and the leading ladies of the Class of 2014 know that they can find their signature look with Mac Duggal.

So what trends are hot this year?

short sassy

64583N-Deep-Purple 64589N-Watermelon

The Mac Duggal Homecoming Line is chock full of short, sassy dresses that beg to be worn by the queen of the dance floor, like styles 64583 and 64589. Spin and twirl around in bright colors decked out with sparkling embellishments.

long regal

61387R-Red-Nude-PC 70004R-Black-PC

If your style leans more toward the regal silhouettes of a long, flowing evening gown, then the special occasion dresses of the Black White Red Collection have what you are looking for. The full line of red carpet worthy dresses includes stunning classic looks with sparkling embellishments, soft overlays, thigh high side slits and beautiful hand-sewn beading. Sparkling looks like style 70004 and 61387 will make heads turn at the dance.

curves

76467N-Cobalt-PC 6465N-Black-Multi-PC

The full-figured divas are not excluded from the hottest fall trends. Mac Duggal knows that glamour and beauty come in all shapes and sizes. Plus size homecoming dresses run the gamut of fashionable frocks, from a rich, colorful and frilly high-low dress, like style 76467, to short flowing skirts drenched in embellishments, like style 6465. These dresses will wow the room from your grand entrance to the last song.

There’s a Mac Duggal gown for every girl this homecoming. Take a break from the heat and spend some time pouring over the fabulous selections. The clock’s ticking!

mac signature endnote banner

Mac Duggal dresses go to prom

It’s a terrible habit that so many women have.

You skim the pages of fashion magazines, watch red carpet coverage, and absorb the celebrities of Hollywood and beyond with one thought in mind:

“I’ll never look like that.”

Do words like “couture” and “ball gown,” “bias-cut” and “sequined overlay” sound like they would never apply to the clothing you own, though you love to browse the styles? Is glamorous styling for women OTHER than you?

Well, stop that train of thought right this instant, because Mac Duggal knows, it’s NONSENSE!

The advantage of the gorgeous collections of Mac Duggal is that they are designed with one audience in mind: The Fascinating Female.

Whether looking for something for prom or homecoming, a black tie gala, a walk down the red carpet, a Sweet 16 party, or any formal event you can imagine, the designs of Mac Duggal’s numerous collections span all style points, from full length gowns to sassy cocktail dresses, and encompass the beauty of all women.

The proof comes not from just our say so, but from the women who proudly wear these designs. Mac Duggal stepped into the limelight across the nation this spring and dominated the dance floor, as young ladies from big cities and small towns alike chose Mac Duggal to help them make a statement at prom.

elizaKrystal

Eliza and Krystal each embraced a long flowing gown with a sweetheart neckline for prom. Eliza stunned in white with blue detailing in style 78761, while Krystal was pretty in pink in style 81838.

michelle sydney  61041

One of the most popular dresses in the Mac Duggal Black White Red Collection is this evening gown, style 61041. The form fitting bodice and flowing skirt are a hit on the dance floor, and the style is a favorite for prom, homecoming, pageants and all special occasions. Michelle (left) and Sydney (right) both look more like they are headed for the runway than the prom!

sammi81609

With a sassy side updo and classic makeup, Sammi stunned and showed off her perfect curves in this full length gown from the Fabulouss Collection, style 81609.

savannah85032

Savannah was crowned Prom Princess at Prom 2013 while wearing this short sequined one-shoulder dress, style 85032.

farmgirl

One of our favorite submissions from Prom 2013 was this fun photo from Brooke, who combined the red-hot elegant look of this gown from the Flash Collection with some good old down-on-the-farm charm, posing on the tractor before heading out to the big dance. Talk about country chic!

Check out even more photos of Mac Duggal at Prom 2013 on the prom pages at the official Mac Duggal website, as well as on our official Pinterest page!

Mac Duggal designs are exclusive styling for an inclusive audience. It’s not about being model thin or an A-list celebrity. It’s about beautiful dresses for beautiful women.

Find your Mac Duggal look in one of our exquisite Mac Duggal Collections.

mac signature endnote banner