But that's not the case anymore in Downtown Los Angeles.
Back in November, a multi-agency task force launched a crackdown on counterfeit sales.
The city attorney's office filed four criminal cases Monday, totaling eight since November. The penalties for those caught selling everything from fake designer watches to T-shirt to cigarettes range up to eight years in jail and $2.5 million in fines.
Officials say that counterfeit sales worsen with the holiday shopping season, and it is a problem with far-reaching ties into even deeper criminal activities.
"The crime of counterfeiting and piracy exposes consumers not only to health and safety risks, but also impacts legitimate businesses, employment, and believe it or not, public safety," said Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich.
Trutanich also said counterfeit sales cost the county $483 million in lost tax revenue and 106,000 lost jobs.
Looking at those numbers, they hope that more arrests and aggressive prosecution will help deter counterfeit sales in Los Angeles.