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Can I afford to print holographic stickers?
November 26, 2004 1:36 PM   Subscribe

Everything from software to sports souvenirs to designer accessories now has “authentic” holographic stickers on it. How much does it cost to buy equipment to print holographic stickers? (MI)

The technology has been around for a while. Is it still that expensive? I mean if a factory owner in Hong Kong can bootleg designer handbags or CDs would it really take much effort to make fake holographic labels? The only stuff I can find on Google seems to be out of date.
posted by arse_hat to Media & Arts (7 answers total)
 
I don't know how much the equipment costs, but I've been seeing bootleg Hong Kong dvds with holographic stickers on them for at least a year now.
I'm sure they're also on other bootleg items.
posted by Zetetics at 1:48 PM on November 26, 2004


Here's an interesting article that has some presumably outdated costs of counterfeiting holograms.
posted by philscience at 2:36 PM on November 26, 2004


philscience - Thanks for the link. That’s the sort of thing I was looking for. I can only assume the cost continues to dwindle.
posted by arse_hat at 5:04 PM on November 26, 2004


From my understanding, it is very expensive to create holograms as you can't just print them off. There are methods to fake them, using Alpine printers, different inks and transparent paper -- but generally you can tell these are fakes unless it's dark and the bouncer is 22.

So the idea is if you buy a Prada shirt that's $250, $50 of those dollars go towards making sure it is really Prada. The great expense of the actual holograms is what makes it unprofitable for knock-offers to reproduce. I'm sure hologramming prices will come down and if it is so they'll figure out new ways to add intrinsic value to the items. Having items that have no real value but what we put on it are one of the downfalls of industrialization, mass consumerism, evil in the world, etc.

I hope this answers your question?
posted by geoff. at 6:50 PM on November 26, 2004


If you're wanting the actual price, it's probably not insanely expensive. The ballpark figure of $20,000 comes into mind. The idea is it's not isnanely expensive, but enough so to keep all from the biggest counterfeiters from doing it.
posted by geoff. at 6:52 PM on November 26, 2004


Insanely is the word of the day btw.
posted by geoff. at 6:53 PM on November 26, 2004


If we go by geoff's numbers where a hologram printer costs $20,000 and a Prada shirt sells for $250 then counterfeiting sounds like a very easy business.
If we spend $50 to buy cheap Chinese knock-off shirts, ship them , and market them, we are left with $200 of profit. If we get a five-star dinner for two every time we sell a shirt ($100) then we are left with $100 profit per counterfeit shirt. We only need to sell 200 shirts to pay off our hologram printer.

A friend-of-a-friend used to own distribution rights for Dunhill fashion in China. Interestingly, selling the legitimate stuff in the middle of the counterfeiters was insanely profitable. The business grew so quickly that they sold it off and bought another high-end European brand to develop.
posted by b1tr0t at 12:43 AM on November 27, 2004


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