The Travellers Guide To Bangkok’s MBK Fake Goods Market

mbk fake market

Nestled in the heart of Bangkok’s bustling shopping district lies a treasure trove for bargain hunters and fashion enthusiasts – the MBK fake goods market. This labyrinth of stalls and shops offers a tantalizing array of counterfeit products, from designer handbags to high-end sneakers, all at prices that will make your wallet sing with joy. In this article, I’ll cover how much you should be paying, the quality of the goods, and more.

I spent a day here looking for a cheap pair of shoes but ended up just buying an official pair at the mall. You’ll find out why in this article.

Finding The Fake Goods in MBK

As soon as you go into MBK, on the first floor you’ll be presented with some fake stalls. Here you’ll find the highest prices in all of the MBK mall, so we suggest going further in, heading to level 2/3. Here you’ll find more fake stalls, alongside custom suit tailors etc. Shop around as much as you can because different shops offer different pricing. In my experience, the lowest-priced stuff was found deeper in the mall.

Here’s what you’ll find in MBK on level 2&3:

  • Level 2 – fake designer shoes, bags, clothing etc.
  • Level 3 – fake non-designer shoes, electronics etc.

Sizing Limitations For Bigger Feet

One aspect that caught me off guard was the sizing limitations for certain items, particularly with shoes and sneakers. While the market had an impressive array of fakes, including models like Yeezys and Travis Scott collaborations, sizing options were limited.

Most stalls only carried sizes up to EU 45 (US 11 or UK 10), which can be disappointing for those with larger feet.

A few models like the Yeezys and Travis Scotts were available in 46, but only in particular colourways. If you’re looking for variety and have larger feet, then you might be a little disappointed in MBK.

The size with the largest range of options is UK8-9.

I had to purchase an official pair of Vans at the mall due to this problem, which set me back 3000 baht ($81USD).

The Art Assessing Quality

When it comes to assessing quality, you have to have a keen eye. The market offers a wide range of imitation goods, from meticulously crafted high-quality fakes to less impressive low-quality counterparts. The key lies in understanding the distinguishing factors – the materials used, the stitching, and the overall attention to detail.

You’ll notice some of the shoes that are priced lower, are made with more synthetic materials and have a less-smooth surface when touched. The higher quality shoes will be made with leather, suede etc. and be much more pleasant to run your fingers over.

Bad fakes range from 1000-2000 baht per pair, and good fakes range from 2000-3000 baht per pair, depending on the type of shoe. For instance, you can get the fake Yeezys pretty easily for about 700 baht for a pair. They’re quite comfortable but don’t expect them to last as long as a real pair.

The higher quality fakes use premium materials that, upon closer inspection, can be nearly indistinguishable from the authentic products. While some giveaways may still exist for the trained eye, these top-tier imitations can easily pass casual scrutiny.

Haggling and How To Get A Better Price

As with any market, prices are often inflated, leaving ample room for negotiation. My top advice? Always start lower than your desired price point. This strategy allows the vendor to counter with a higher offer, ultimately leading to a more agreeable middle ground. Don’t be afraid to walk away from the deal if you’re not happy with the price, often the vendor will shout at you with a better price.

If they don’t, then you didn’t want them for that price anyway, so it doesn’t matter.

Here are some useful tips for haggling effectively at the MBK fake goods market in Bangkok:

  1. Start Low: Always begin by offering a price significantly lower than what you’re willing to pay. This gives you room to negotiate upwards.
  2. Know the Market Value: Research typical prices for the items you want before going so you have a benchmark for a good deal.
  3. Be Prepared to Walk Away: Don’t be afraid to politely decline an offer and start to walk away. Vendors may call you back with a better price.
  4. Buy in Bulk: Aim to purchase multiple items from the same vendor. They’ll likely give you a bigger discount for buying more.
  5. Stay Friendly: Keep things light and friendly. A smile and some friendly banter can go a long way in negotiations.
  6. Use Body Language: Don’t appear too eager by nodding or quickly agreeing. Stay relaxed and unmoved until the price is right.
  7. Pay with Smaller Bills: Have lots of smaller Thai baht notes to make it easier to haggle up from your initial low offer.
  8. Check for Damages: Inspect items closely for any defects or damages that you can use as a reason to ask for a lower price.
  9. Walk Away If Needed: If a vendor won’t budge from an unreasonable price after multiple attempts, be willing to walk away.

Average Prices of Fakes in MBK

Compared with the original prices of designer brands, the fakes are very reasonable. However, due to the lower quality, you should keep in mind that these will last nowhere near as long as an original. In all honesty, for bags, a lot can’t tell the difference between the original and the fakes, so saving over $1000 on a ridiculously overpriced bag is worth it.

With most of the fake bags, you can haggle the price to 1,200 baht. Just be prepared to walk away and be firm.

Here’s a quick breakdown of a few of the prices I found in MBK’s fake market for sneakers:

ShoeReal Price (USD)Fake Price (Thai Baht/USD)
Yeezy Boost 350 V2$2201,000 – 3,000 THB ($31 – $94)
Air Jordan 1 Retro High$1701,200 – 2,500 THB ($38 – $78)
Nike Air Force 1$90800 – 1,500 THB ($25 – $47)
Adidas Yeezy Boost 700$3002,000 – 4,000 THB ($63 – $125)
Air Jordan 4 Retro$2001,800 – 3,500 THB ($56 – $109)
Adidas NMD$130900 – 1,800 THB ($28 – $56)
Nike Air Max 97$1701,200 – 2,500 THB ($38 – $78)
Air Jordan 11 Retro$2201,800 – 3,500 THB ($56 – $109)
Adidas Yeezy Boost 380$2301,800 – 3,800 THB ($56 – $119)
Nike Air Max 270$1501,000 – 2,000 THB ($31 – $63)

Here’s a quick price breakdown for the most sought-after fake bags in MBK:

BagReal Price (USD)Fake Price (Thai Baht/USD)
Louis Vuitton Neverfull$1,6901,800 – 4,000 THB ($56 – $125)
Gucci Marmont$2,4902,500 – 5,000 THB ($78 – $156)
Chanel Classic Flap$5,8004,000 – 8,000 THB ($125 – $250)
Hermès Birkin$12,000+6,000 – 12,000 THB ($188 – $375)
Prada Re-Edition 2005$2,9502,800 – 5,500 THB ($88 – $172)
Fendi Peekaboo$4,5003,500 – 6,500 THB ($109 – $203)
Dior Book Tote$3,3002,500 – 5,000 THB ($78 – $156)
Yves Saint Laurent Loulou$2,2902,000 – 4,500 THB ($63 – $141)
Céline Luggage Tote$3,4003,000 – 6,000 THB ($94 – $188)
Balenciaga City$2,1001,800 – 4,000 THB ($56 – $125)

While the higher-end fakes commanded premium prices, remarkable bargains could be found for those willing to forgo designer labels. It’s a testament to the market’s versatility, catering to both fashionistas seeking the latest trends and budget-conscious shoppers seeking quality without breaking the bank.

Fake Electronics – Are They Any Good?

You’ll also notice loads of fake Airpods Pro, Max etc. littered around the floors of level 3 in MBK. I would not personally recommend purchasing any of these goods. I’ve personally had a pair of fake 1:1 Airpods, and while the sound quality wasn’t bad, the Bluetooth connectivity soon died and many features that are available on the originals are not available on the fakes.

It’s better to purchase a cheaper pair of wireless earphones from a reputable seller. A great alternative is the JVC HA-A30T. I personally use these and picked them up for 2000 baht in the Kingpower on the way home, in the airport.

You additionally get a nice 7% VAT discount on electronics in Thailand as a tourist, so you might end up paying a similar amount that you’d pay for fake Airpods anyway.

If you want to get fake Airpods, just know that these cost around $5-10/pair when bought in bulk on Aliexpress (I know because I bought a tonne of pairs that all broke). So keep this in mind when haggling specifically for Airpods.

As for anything else electronic, there are great repair shops in MBK. For instance, I’ve personally had my iPhone XS max screen fixed there for 2000 baht, using an un-official screen. The face ID doesn’t work, but everything else is great and I would highly recommend repair services here.

Do Fake Goods Still Exist At MBK?

It’s important to note that while the allure of MBK’s fake goods market is undeniable, there are ethical considerations to ponder. Counterfeit products, no matter how convincing, represent a violation of intellectual property rights and can potentially harm legitimate businesses.

This means that Thai Police often raid MBK, and vendors risk up to 400,000 baht in fines if found selling fake goods. Although there’s an effort to clean-up the fake goods market, it’s still thriving and well as of 2024, and I don’t think it’s going anywhere, any time soon.

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