Cancel that trip to Canal Street -- cops raid fake-goods dealers


If one of your favorite parts of a Christmas trip to New York City is trolling Canal Street for knockoffs, you'll be disappointed by this news: Manhattan cops raided around 30 stalls Tuesday, seizing thousands of faux Prada, Louis Vuitton and Dolce and Gabbana items, among others.

The holiday shutdown is one of several major busts that have occurred since 2006, when the city created a special police unit devoted to stamping out New York's thriving counterfeit industry.

And make no mistake -- it is thriving. In recent years, merchants of fake have stepped up their games, expanding their repertoire to contemporary brands like True Religion and moving with lightning-fast speed to recreate the latest must-have looks.

Just check out the photo next to the news story about the bust -- see that red tote in the righthand corner? That's a terrible attempt at the Valentino Petale tote, which sits at the top of every fashionista's wishlist this year and retails at Saks for $1,995.

What to do if you had your heart set on snapping up that very knockoff this winter? Well, don't worry: legit retailers take style cues from the couture houses, too. Save yourself a trek to Chinatown and pick up this ruffled rosette bag from Spiegel -- for just $44. No haggling required.