Replicas are copies of original products. These products can be varied ranging from branded items like, clothes, shoes, jewelry, leather products, accessories, and even trophies awarded for sports, etc. Sometimes these replicas are used in museums and other sports or award functions because the original is too expensive to be moved from one place to another and the hassles involved to arrange for their security.
The main thing about a replica is that they may be a very close copy and almost indistinguishable from the original. Replicas are also used sometimes when the original thing never existed and yet it has to be displayed in a museum.
Replicas also indicate they are copies of original products made only by the company originally making that product. This is done in order to reduce the cost of the original product which is usually very high for designer pieces.
Replicas are not only used for displays in museums and made by the original companies but are used to sell products of cheaper quality for a higher price as a counterfeit. Money, coins, clothes, handbags, shoes, accessories, watches, artwork, and firearms all are sold for a profit without the buyer knowing that he is buying a replica.
A replica is meant to be an exact copy of the original and is meant for display purposes. There are examples in sports where teams winning world cups are handed over replicas while the original trophy is kept safely being more expensive and of antique nature. Replicas are often used in museums for display purposes. In the market, if you find a seller showing a replica handbag (Gucci), it means that the bag has been made by another company and may be identical in looks and also same material may have been used to make it. But still, it is only a copy of the original and not the original itself. The bag will, of course, carry the logo of the company making it and not the Gucci logo. You are told that it is a replica and that you are getting it at a fraction of the cost of the original. This is the biggest feature of a replica and you are not duped in any manner.
Fake products are copies of original products and are used to make money by selling the cheaper versions for a very high price. Most of the time people buying fakes are unaware of buying a fake.
“Fake” is used to refer to a variety of things ranging from movie sets to props used in dramas, dance or theater. Characters of fictional stories are called fake characters. Fictitious examples used for medicine or law purposes are called a fake. The behavior of a person who is not behaving like himself is called fake behavior. “Counterfeit, forgery,” and “decoy,” all these things are considered “fakes.”
Fakes are easily available. They are cheaper because of poor quality and are at a risk of less damage as they do not require animals to be killed as in the case of fake fur and ivory, etc.
Also, they do not require licenses as for many firearms.
In general, a fake and a replica are both copies. In general language, they are even used interchangeably. But a replica is used more often as a more legitimate copy than a fake is considered.
As the name implies, a fake is only meant to deceive the customer and lure him into buying the product. In this case, not only the quality of the product is very low, the manufacturer does not use his own logo but keeps the logo of the original thus giving an impression that the customer is getting a chance to buy the original at throwaway prices. This, of course, has a great effect on many buyers and they buy fakes thinking they are actually buying original product.
15-30% of internet searches on watches involve people looking for replicas. According to the Swiss watch industry, the replica watch market costs them billions of dollars each year, and efforts are made to confiscate fake watches and destroy them in spectacular 'demonstrative' ways. One of my favorite examples was from 2010 when about 7,000 replica Rolex watches were smooched with a steamroller in front of press cameras as the culprit was sent to jail for six months. Most counterfeit goods aren't given this treatment, and in reality, this theatrical performance was done at the behest of concerned watchmakers working in tandem with customs officials. How big of a problem are replica watches and are they actually a substitute for the real thing?