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Pre-purchase alternative evaluation: prestige and imitation fashion products

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this study is to understand the pre-purchase alternative evaluation for prestige and imitation fashion products. The Engel et al. pre-purchase alternative evaluation process served as the basis for the model. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A convenience sample of 158 undergraduate female students completed surveys. The final questionnaire consisted of four scales that measured shopping motivation, reference group influence, perceived product risk, and perceived transaction risk. Findings ‐ When compared with the imitation product, consumers' pre-purchase evaluation of the prestige fashion product was characterized by higher shopping motivation, higher reference group influence, and lower perceived product and transaction risks. When compared with the prestige product, consumers' pre-purchase evaluation of the imitation fashion product was characterized by lower shopping motivation, lower reference group influence, and higher perceived product and transaction risks. However, not all variables were significant predictors for both the prestige and imitation fashion product. Research limitations/implications ‐ Since college students were used, results cannot be generalized to the entire population. Further, respondents' answers were self-reported, and may not represent actual behaviour. Suggestions for future research include additional studies to determine the validity of the model, and replication of the study using different populations. Originality/value ‐ No studies have examined the pre-purchase alternative evaluation process for prestige and imitation products. Most research has focused on counterfeit fashion products. Findings from this study can be used by educators, manufacturers, and retailers to help understand, and explain consumer preferences, and pre-purchase alternative evaluations of fashion products.
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Keywords: Consumer decision process; Consumers; Fashion; Imitation; Perceived risk; Prestige; Reference group; Shopping motivations

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-07-12

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