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I Spent $925 on a Fake Canada Goose Coat (theatlantic.com)
37 points by cr1895 56 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 72 comments

Are Canada Goose coats really worth it in the first place ?

I don't own one, but it seems to me that they are very expensive due to marketing and being trendy, but that you could get the same quality or better for much less.

I sent an employee to Iqaluit, Nunavut in Canada during winter there for 6 days.

He said his Canada Goose coat was great and kept him really warm.

They are indeed a very warm coat. So warm, that I prefer a Ski jacket where I can open the armpit zipper when I overheat while walking.

Remember, if you are in motion, you will generate heat, so if you are waiting for the bus a lot, a very warm coat is good. If you walk a lot in winter, you need a versatile warm coat that also allows for heat to be released so you don't sweat, and get colder.

Edit: My ski jacket is nowhere near the price of a Canada Goose Jacket, it was bought on sale for $200. So yes, they are very expensive coats and you can buy very warm coats for much cheaper. Not endorsing any specific coat, just pointing out that they are indeed very warm coats (too warm for me).

Agreed. I have a large red winter jacket that makes me look like I am going on an artic expedition. I'll wear it to snowblow the drive and halfway through I'm sweating so bad I have the coat unzipped and my hat off.

Yeah, I have a parka I bought for some specific needs I had at the time and was really glad I had it. I rarely wear it these days though. It's just too warm unless I were walking around in sub-zero (degrees F) or I were spending a bunch of time standing around in "just" sub-freezing temperatures. And it's pretty much too warm for any real exercise.

I live in Alberta, Canada. Canada Goose is a fashion statement. The people who need a parka that warm will buy a cheaper parka that is just as warm. These people are outside working, getting dirty.

You don’t need a Canada Goose in the city. You are just going from warm car to warm building. Best to wear layers when jumping from in and out. Same goes for winter activities.

I live in Canada, a cold part even. I live in a city, it's still cold. I haven't bought anything from Canada Goose but have spent similar money on layered clothing for similar (or better) performance.


Because I don't drive. I don't live with a driver. There's a very large assumption in your comment; the kind that an Alberta shouldn't make because ending up in a ditch for an hour could kill you.

I live in Toronto and I use my feet + public transit for getting around, as do most people who don't want the hassle and expense of car ownership. I've yet to see a bus or streetcar stop that was inside of a nice warm building.

I've managed to survive in -30C with finds from TJ Maxx/Marshalls, so I certainly wouldn't pay CG jacket prices, .

The outdoor clothing market has a slightly weird dynamic. The features that make a garment suitable for use in extreme conditions tend to make them unappealing to casual users. Conversely, outdoor brands need to maintain some semblance of credibility, which is jeopardised if they exclusively make clothes for dog walkers.

There are a lot of fantastic clothing brands and products that are largely unknown to the general public, and a lot of really mediocre garments being sold by big-name brands. Many sponsored mountaineers and climbers wear brand X clothes because they're good, but have them embroidered with brand Y's logo because they pay the bills. Certain brands are known for using very discreet logos on their garments, because they don't want to cause trouble for people with endorsement deals for other brands.

Canada Goose jackets are reasonably well made, but they're fashion items and priced accordingly. The Snow Mountain and PBI Expedition parkas are decent enough garments for arctic use, but they're overkill for normal use. Rab, Montane or Marmot will sell you a jacket of equal or better quality for less than half the price.

It's a fashion statement first and a warm coat second. So the question "Are they worth it" is highly individual (I reside on the "hell no" side of the fence!).

They are very effective cold weather jackets, and have been designed and made for practical usage. High end outerwear is expensive across all brands. That it oddly took off as a fashion statement doesn't diminish the utility. Though I do think they are hitting the peak exposure moment, and soon they're going to have to remove the outer branding to allow utility buyers to not look like fashionistas.

This. Living in Toronto means living in a sea of Canada Goose wearers come winter. They're very well-made and warm coats - honestly far too warm for typical Toronto temperatures - but I wouldn't buy one currently because of the overt branding.

I don't like the overt branding either so I just got a black labeled one instead.

Living in Scandinavia, I own one, since it can get very cold. It's one of the best garments I've ever bought quality-wise, and it's extremely warm. No complaints.

"Much less"? Not so sure. Good winter coats aren't cheap even when there isn't obvious branding. In any case, most clothing has both fashion and utilitarian aspects.

A friend of mine bought a coat from what is probably Canada Goose's main competitor in their Montreal factory store. It was expensive, even on sale, but it was also a very nice cold weather coat that fit well--in addition to looking good.

Some Canada Goose coats are $900+.

You can definitely get coats with 95% the same utility for 200-300. That is considerably less.

Sure if you want to go to Antartica they might be worth the extra money, but the majority of people buy them for the fashion/status signaling.

If you go to Antartica (professionally, not sure about tourists) you will be issued clothes. For what isn't, Aldi options are sufficient, I've heard.

A couple of hundred is still much less.

Which competitor is that?

Eddie Bauer, Patagonia, LL Bean, REI all make down jackets which are arguably just as good and are half to a quarter the price.

I always thought down was groace and sweaty myself. Even in super cold weather. Easier to adjust things using layers.


> Why would you buy a Canada goose in the first place?

Because you want a Canada Goose coat. For some people the high price is a feature, not a problem.

Canada Goose is the iPhone or top-price Samsung of the coat world, an OK product which retails for far more than it should because the price itself is part of the appeal for the indented customer group. If all you need is a coat which keeps you warm during cold winters you can get something for ⅒ of the price which is just as warm and lasts just as long (if not longer). The latter has the added benefit of not subjecting the wearer to the constant threat of being robbed of their affluence-signalling garment, something which is increasingly common in urban areas where gangs prey on those who wear expensive brands like Canada Goose [1].

I live in Sweden, it does tend to get cold here. I've been using the same jacket (a heavy black fleece-lined cordura/nylon work coat) for about 15 years now, it cost me 375 kr (around $45) back then. Nobody wants to rob me, the opposite is probably true as the thing does look a bit like a police or guard uniform jacket. Had I worn something like those Canada Goose products they would not have lasted more than a year or so, probably less given that I use it while logging etc.

[1] https://polisen.se/aktuellt/nyheter/2018/november/flera-pers... (Swedish police warns about increase in robbery of expensive brands)

I think it is. I've got a few more expensive parkas and jackets from Parajumpers, Fjällräven and Woolrich and while they're all good and keep you warm during cold winters, none of them has kept me as warm as my Canada Goose parka has.

I can wear just a t-shirt underneath it when it's -30°C (-22°F for you using freedom units) on my way to the gym and still feel warm.

Why people spend that amount of money on a Canada Goose while living in a place where the temperature never hits the freezing point is beyond me though.

> Why people spend that amount of money on a Canada Goose while living in a place where the temperature never hits the freezing point is beyond me though.

I assume that they're complicitly contributing to the production of public mirth. It's really funny seeing people walking around the streets of Paris when it's +15C out with their giant parkas on.

For many people, fashion is a hobby and people like spending money on their hobbies. I’ve spent a lot of money on jackets and coats when a “better” one could’ve been bought for much less.

Do I regret it? No. I feel good when I wear it and I like reading about clothes, trying things on, and deciding what to buy.

I'm willing to bet that at least some of the people all indignant about people buying coats that cost more than was "necessary" think very little about buying computers and other electronics that are more expensive than what they really need.

Warm super insulated down coats are pretty terrible above maybe 15f. They're just too hot, and sweating inside a coat like that sucks.

I live in Minnesota and wear a lighter weight parka for most of winter. On single digits days like today however I bring out my heavy duty down parka.

I have a North Face down parka, with all sorts of implications it solves the same problem, that's simply not warm enough for me. It's even named McMurdo after the Antarctic research station, and cost about £350.

There isn't too much out there with extreme rating, so if the likes of North Face and similar brands aren't warm enough you start to consider them regardless of price. Even if they have become surprisingly trendy, for no apparent reason, price alone perhaps? So who is in the same niche with a better made, but cheaper product?

For really warm down parkas, one option is buying from one of the small US manufacturers like Feathered Friends or Western Mountaineering. I have an FF one I bought years ago when I needed a really warm coat for a month-long trip. It's actually too warm to wear for casual around-town use.

And it cost in the same general high 3 figures range even though you're not paying for fashion.

I've got the same one. Not had an issue with the warmth - but bulk is ridiculous (although I quite like it). Try pulling in the waist cords, it's a bit flappy and open otherwise.

Not for most of us, unless you enjoy shelling out for the brand name. And those who are truly concerned about the cold can opt for a less expensive option, like what recreational snowmobile riders wear.

I don't think so. They are under 700 fill power goose down and at that price range should be 800+ fill power goose down. the higher level fill power will be warmer.

>but that you could get the same quality or better for much less.

If you want a winter coat on a budget your best bet is probably Russian (well, USSR probably) milsurp. You might have to do a little research on how clothing is sized to find one that fits properly and you won't give off an aura of high class while wearing it though (but this is expected with any budget solution).

"Are Canada Goose coats really worth it in the first place ?"

Define "worth"? There are many nice jackets for 1k US$ that you can buy.

This being said, I am not aware of any military Unit wearing feather coats. And this is not a money problem. AFAIK, feather coats are warm but not well suited for continuous outdoor activity.

They are very warm and are a godsend for freezing Toronto winters. Though I don't like the excessive labelling, so I replaced it with my own patch.

That's funny. If the label doesn't matter, why not opt for a less expensive option?

Same reason some (not all!) rich people take some of the badges off their very high end cars. Everyone knows you're driving a Mercedes sedan. No need to be a show off and let everyone know you bought the highest trim AMG, that would be impolite.

You say this in a thread literally about a counterfeit coat. People don't have access to Mercedes-Benz knock-offs.

> No need to be a show off and let everyone know you bought the highest trim AMG, that would be impolite.

I'd hazard with luxury vehicles, showing off is part of the appeal.

Higher end Mercs and BMWs have had a "dechrome" in the options list for years. That's paying for removing all model badges.

And yet they remain quite obviously mercs and bmws

Indeed, and obvious which are the fancy ones with the v8 without needing to hear it start.

correct. they're just overpriced sleeping bags.

Name-brand, truly cold-weather sleeping bags can run $400-$600. And there's a lot more design and stitching in a coat than a mummy bag. So, I'm not sure you're comment is accurate.


Here's a pro-tip for the apparently uninformed journalist: When you spent $1000 dollar on a fake coat and realized you were being conned the correct thing to do was NOT to go back to the same retailer to buy your next coat! I mean, really? If that's how you behave there's only so much sympathy you deserve.

Yes, really. It is essentially downside protection. If you find yourself in a uncertain situation, it is a reasonable strategy. She now already know that Amazon can handle a refund, what to look for when buying and got a recommendation from a friend for a jacket. Could she have walked into a physical store instead? Probably, but at this point she probably didn't want to buy an expensive jacket anymore which is also reasonable. You are the one not thinking.

I'll give you a different example. Say you are in a foreign city and you use Uber. After a while you have a bad experience. Say, the driver insists you pay something which should have beem included. You contact Uber and you get a refund. So what is the resonable choice now? A. Stay with Uber and be mindful of paying extra fees. B. Take other taxis which might be better, or just scam you without any recourse. For most people it would be A. Large brands win when the market is dysfunctional.

“... can't get fooled again.”

Very dramatic article. Author made a lot of assumptions, a common pitfall, and got a fake product. She reports she received a refund. I can’t fault anyone but the buyer here.

If someone went on shadyripoffsite.cn and paid 1/10th the normal price for a counterfeit product then sure, blame the buyer for not seeing red flags. But buying a product on Amazon that claims it's by the official seller, selling at the normal retail price of the product, should be a trustable, reasonable exercise.

That Amazon lets anyone seemingly be anyone, even major brands, as sellers, and lets blatant frauds continue for long periods of time, is a serious problem. This isn't the buyer's fault whatsoever.

Good they got a refund, but it's nice that they shine a light on it.

But buying a product on Amazon that claims it's by the official seller

This is the key, at least from my perspective. If I go to Amazon (or any other online vendor) and an item is listed as being by "International Brand X", I expect that the item is, in fact, being sold by "International Brand X".

Amazon doesn't list the seller separate from the brand. The way the page is lad out, it is clearly meant to indicate the manufacturer is the seller.[0]

0 - http://oi65.tinypic.com/30t2ykm.jpg

>Author made a lot of assumptions

I, too, am guilty of assuming when I buy a product it is actually the product and not a different product.

The fault lies with Amazon for knowingly and intentionally adhering minimally to the law because it is more profitable to do so than to launch an effective crackdown against counterfeiters. If they forced sellers to get verification from the companies whose products they purported to be selling, or proactively banned sellers who are obviously hawking counterfeits (before a journalist shines a spotlight on them), they'd lose profit. We need laws that require these things, and levy fines large enough to be a clear deterrent against those who break them.

Indeed, their behavior is illegal even under current law. They intentionally obfuscate the seller, and prevent revealing a seller as a counterfeiter on product pages. This is knowing abetting of counterfeiting. Amazon is almost certainly the largest and most flagrant abetter of counterfeiting in the United States.

you could also fault amazon for not preventing fraudulent listings. It seems strange to me that instead of expanding their range that comes direct from manufacturers, they decided to merge their own sales with essentially a horde of unvetted eBay stores. Many people still buy from Amazon thinking they're essentially buying from an online outlet store, but they're often buying from random unvetted strangers with very little culpability.

At the very least they could add a "verified/unverified" badge to store names and give verified status to manufacturer outlets.

Never understood why so many people are interested in supporting scammers. These people are criminals engaging in fraud, not a mistake. There is little else to it. Why should we take your opinion seriously?

The buyer looked at a list of authorized retailers after the fact. This should have been done before the purchase. To me - this article is a reminder to be personally responsible when shopping online.


There is an upvote button, Use it instead of replying like this.

The first time I heard of Canada Goose was when I saw the Top Gear trio make their way to the North Pole in that red Toyota. Not long after I started noticing them more and more, and then recently they exploded. I wonder how much the Top Gear guys had to do with getting the ball rolling.

> He reports that his team has also identified about 12,000 merchant accounts linked to four banks in China, one of which just lost its Visa privileges permanently.

Only one and only Visa?

If you buy a counterfeit product through Amazon and then do a credit card chargeback, does that hit Amazon or the seller?

It hits Amazon, because Amazon charged your card. There's no way to tell who Amazon gave your money to.

Terribly overwritten article. The author bought a coat on Amazon. It was a fake. Got a refund. Amazon has a problem with fakes but this is not a very insightful article about the problem.

So she blames Canada Goose because Amazon doesn't have proper quality controls around the vendors, then proceeds to buy another coat from Amazon (of course!) as a point of bragging?

>So she blames Canada Goose

What gave you that impression?

The author chose to buy a coat from a different company and use their platform to encourage others to do the same. Buying a different coat is a totally reasonable choice, but had they bought from an authorized retailer, then this article would have had a much different conclusion. The fake vendor is obviously the bad actor here, but Amazon facilitated them, and Amazon is rewarded at the end with another purchase. The only party here that did not benefit is Canada Goose.

The author was unable to purchase a coat from Canada Goose so she went to Amazon. I assume by the time the whole ordeal was sorted it was still not possible to purchase a coat from the Canada Goose site. It's hard to support the company when they are sold out on their site . . .

There's 23 authorized retailers in New York according to Canada Goose's website. While it's possible they were all sold out, that seems unlikely to me, especially since some of those retailers include large companies like Bloomingdales with warehouses of their own and websites accordingly. They could have walked into any of the 23 and purchased one physically. If they wanted one, they could have gotten one, above board. The real thing that happened here is the author had buyer's remorse and had the opportunity to rectify the situation, and while that's completely fine, this article should be much more indicting of Amazon than it is as they're really the culprit for this author's problem.

Buying a Canada Goose jacket off Amazon... what could go wrong!? They have authorized retailers on their website for a reason. :)

Wouldn’t owning one violate the migratory bird act?

Why are these articles in HN feed? Feed used to be great but there have been a lot of irrelevant content for the last month it seems to me?

Can I vote stuff like this (the article) down? Do I need a specific amount of points for that?

Submissions can be upvoted or flagged. There's no separate downvoting for submissions. I believe the karma threshold for flagging submissions is 31.


Yes, not sure if it's 500 or 1,000.

Not very useful. No discussion and no traction over there, whereas this made the front page and is attracting comments.

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