I recently came across a guide on Ebay giving much in-depth information on why 90% of Ugg boots on Ebay are apparently "fake". This interested me, so I thought I'd look into it myself, and discovered that this statement is rather subjective.
"Ugg" boot is a generic term that has been used in Australia for years to describe a particular style of boot (an ugly boot made from sheepskin). The Ugg boot is and was made by many different manufacturers in Australia, hence the name being generic (bit like a bowler hat - anyone can make one).
Unfortunately, this generic name has been trademarked in many countries, including the US (where the trademark is currently owned by Deckers Outdoor Corporation).
In Australia, the trademark was revoked several years ago because the term is generic (generic terms CANNOT be trademarked). However, due mainly to ignorance and lack of support in other countries, the trademark is still in force elsewhere (though it's legality may be questionable, someone needs to raise the question in a court of law - and this would need to be done separately in each country). There are various stories (use Google to verify both the stories and the Australian campaigns) of Deckers Outdoor Corporation trying to stop several Australian Ugg boot manufactures from using the term "Ugg". This was what caused these manufacturers to form an alliance and challenge (successfully) the trademark in Australia.
So what does this mean?
If you go to Australia, you won't find many Decker Ugg boots (probably due to the bad feeling they caused when they tried to stop Australian manufacturers from using the term). However, you will find quality Australian Ugg boots made from Merino sheepskin, most of which are made in Australia (as opposed to China, where Decker boots are made), though some are made elsewhere. There are a variety of manufacturers of these boots.
Are Decker boots superior? In my humble opinion, decidedly not. You are paying a huge premium for a "brand" name - if that makes you feel happy and gives you peace of mind, that's up to you. I'd rather pay for quality, not brand.
Because of the above, I don't believe that there is such a high proportion of fake Ugg boots on Ebay. A fake Ugg boot is one that is NOT made from sheepskin - it is nothing to do with who manufactured the boot. There are genuine bargains to be had on Ebay for Ugg boots - but also, there are genuine suppliers of Ugg boots that cost a fraction (sometimes half) the cost of those produced by Deckers, and are of top quality. I personally get mine from an Australian supplier that will ship to the UK for just over £10 - but I have also bought a pair on Ebay that turned out to be from the exact same supplier and of superb quality.
Incidentally, another interesting point I noticed is that several of the guides (in fact, the most viewed ones) regarding "fake" Ugg boots are written by sellers of Deckers boots. So of course they'd want everyone to think that a boot made in Australia is fake (for example). Remember, Uggs were around before Deckers were.
What are fake Ugg boots?
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19 January 2010
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