Readers comments on counterfeit goods

Typical manteros offers goods for sale Credit: BearFotos Shutterstock

Along the Costa Blanca, undercover police patrol the streets to fine shoppers purchasing from unlicensed vendors.

These illegal sellers, called ‘manteros’ or blanket sellers, because of the usual blanket they put on the streets to show their products, offer items like shoes, watches, sunglasses, bags and others at lower prices.

However, falling for these attractive and cheaper products in Spain can now result in a fine of up to €200.

This initiative is part of a larger effort to curb illegal street selling. The purpose behind this regulation is to prevent the impact on legitimate business in the country.

What do people think?

Luiza Golin, an 18-year-old from Italy, said she knew about this police action: “That’s why they have the blankets, so when the police come they can put everything together and run.”

Although she was informed about the regulations, Luiza says she still is divided about whether she thinks it’s fair or not. “I understand both points of view. It’s terrible that people just want some income to sustain their lives, but it’s also unfair to local shops and small businesses that lose customers to the cheap prices of street sellers.”

Luiza Golin

A 39-year-old local seller from Finland, who preferred to not share their name, and has lived in the area for four years, expressed a different view: “We sell clothes and other items at flea markets, and the manteros affect our business. They don’t pay taxes, which is unfair to legitimate businesses.”

When asked about the police fee for the population, the seller said: “The €200 fine is good, but it targets the buyers, not the sellers. If nobody buys from them, they’ll have to find other work. It’s important to focus on both the sellers and the buyers.”

Shouldn’t be allowed but seller not buyer should suffer

The restrictions are endorsed by the 19-year-old Swedish Tova. “I think that you absolutely shouldn’t buy from them, I’ve never done it myself,” she said. Despite her stance, Tova expressed empathy for the sellers, recognizing that their circumstances might be challenging. She also highlighted “The police should raise awareness to this new regulation so that tourists are fully aware of it.”

Tova Lind

Francesco, 26, originally from Italy, affirms “In Italy, we have also lots of these people, usually immigrants as here,” and he adds “This new rule is right, because it’s not fair for who is doing the job rightly, in accordance with the law, paying a rent and electricity for the store, compete with people who is almost “cheating” and selling on the streets with no costs.”

However, the Italian also disagree with the fee “I don’t think that the fine for the client is correct, because people are always seeking for the best deals, and if they find something very cheap in front of their face, why wouldn’t they go for it?”

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Written by

Talyta Franca

Talyta Franca, Class 2026, Northwestern University in Qatar.


    • Naimah

      18 June 2024 • 12:45

      apart from anything else, people who buy cheap fake goods for a few euros are hardly likely to impact businesses selling real designer goods are they? If you are used to wearing and affording the real thing, you´re probably not going to be seen wearing or carrying a poor copy of it…. Those that have the money will buy the real thing, those that don´t, won´t have bought the real thing in the first place

    • adolf

      18 June 2024 • 15:31

      what people don’t realise is by buying from the lookie lookie people, you are helping fund illegal activities, drugs, fake goods and also making their handlers rich (no tax / iva etc paid).

      The police need to arrest EVERY lookie lookie person and DEPORT them.

    • Olivia

      19 June 2024 • 11:48

      It depends on what you think is “cheap” – I have regularly heard the looky-looky guys quoting anything up to 90 euros for a large plastic fake bag – which probably cost 5 euros from the warehouse and any decorations on them will fall off within a day.

      Here in La Cala, the square by the beach and a long section of the Boardwalk are always packed on either side with these counterfeit goods. This totally spoils the whole look of the town and makes it difficult to navigate on a beach walk.

    • Suzanne Chapman

      19 June 2024 • 12:26

      The town where we live on the Costa del Sol is training ‘migrants’ for legal jobs here that they cannot fill. A positive way for everyone–it’s a win-win. Nobody’s life is ruined by being deported and authorized jobs are being filled. All the migrants want is to work for a living.

    Comments are closed.