This paper provides a new view on consumers of luxury counterfeits and identifies what could make them switch from the consumption of fakes to genuine goods. The study is interpretative in its epistemological stance. It thus relies upon qualitative methodologies and methods both for data collection (21 in-depth interviews, projective drawing) and data analysis (content analysis). Three necessary conditions are identified, which would allow consumers of non-deceptive counterfeits to switch to real goods: an exigency of quality, both in terms of product and of sales force’s competencies; a retail environment “smelling luxury”; and a service experience without any flaw. Marketers and retailers are offered with some practical recommendations, based on the study findings, and crafted under the 4Ps framework.
Originality/value: This is the first research which tries to understand (1) how consumers of fake relate to the luxury concept (2) whether and how they could be turned into consumers of genuine goods. The study also enfolds the vision held by knowledgeable consumers of counterfeit luxuries regarding the luxury industry in general. It’s no more about dreams and symbols, but about very pragmatic and functional details.