So you’ve decided to spend hundreds or maybe even thousand of dollars on an authentic designer handbag! Yay, I applaud you! But be forewarned… you should know exactly what you are buying before you buy it!! Please be sure to do all your homework before you bid on a handbag on eBay to ensure that you are truly buying an authentic designer handbag!
Sellers on eBay are REQUIRED to sell only Authentic Designer handbags!!!!
True, but unfortunately some sellers will not only sell counterfeit or fake handbags, but they will also go to great lengths to try and trick you into thinking that you are bidding on a 100% authentic bag.
Here are some tips to help you stay safe:
- Check the location of the seller. In many, BUT NOT ALL cases sellers from Asia are selling fake handbags. This area has very unspecific intellectual property laws and there are many, many factories manufacturing fake handbags. China, Korea and Singapore should be avoided.
- Examine the photographs carefully. A seller’s photographs may help you determine if the handbag is authentic and in the promised condition.
- Check to see that the photos are not “stock” photos. Stock photos are pictures of the item usually found in ads or on the manufacturer’s website. They have a professional appearance and may have an all-white background that indicates they have been modified with the use of software. If they are stock photos, you will not have the ability to see the bags true condition.
- Is the handbag displayed from all angles? Front, back and sides? Inside lining, labels, zippers, stitching details, handles or straps, and the designer’s stamp or brand name should all be shown in the photographs.
- Contact the seller directly if you want additional photos of the handbag, especially if you need close-up views of the serial #, designer name, or stitching to help determine authenticity. A reputable seller will be happy to oblige you, if they don’t I would suggest running as fast as you can and don’t look back! Ask any and all questions before bidding!
- Review the seller’s feedback ratings and comments. This helps determine whether the seller is trusted in the eBay community and if other buyers have been satisfied with their purchases. Look specifically for any existing negative feedback comments. Buyers that have purchased counterfeit handbags or received goods in a different condition than what was listed will leave negative feedback.
- In some cases, buyers may just leave neutral feedback if they bought a counterfeit bag, but were refunded their money. Be sure to read these carefully as well.
- Review the seller’s return policy! You must determine if you can return the handbag to the seller or be refunded if the item is not as described or counterfeit.
- You may not want to purchase items from a seller who indicates that all sales are final or that returns are not accepted.
- Read store policies carefully as well. Some seller’s charge a re-stocking fee when you return an item. If the seller’s policy indicates a restocking fee of 30% of the selling price, then you may only be refunded $280 for a $400 handbag! That’s a hefty profit for a dishonest seller!!
Contact the handbag’s manufacturer directly to confirm specific features. For example, if a handbag looks appealing, but some details are questionable, such as the color, the manufacturer will be able to confirm if they ever released a handbag of that style.
- To locate the manufacturer’s contact information, visit the website of the handbag’s manufacturer or visit the manufacturer’s retail store if one exists in your local area.
Do Your Research!
It is so important to do your research on what the handbag you’ve chosen should look like. If you have a local boutique or department store that carries the handbag you want, you really should be visiting it. Take along a checklist… perhaps even print out the photos on the eBay listing to take with you.
- What color is the handbag?
- Does it have a serial #?
- Where is the serial # located?
- Inspect the fabric and stitching.
- Does it come with a dust cover?
- What does the lining look like and what is it made of?
- Does it come with authenticity cards?
- What does the hardware look like?
If you are not able to go to a store that sells your item try going online to the actual manufacturer’s website and make comparisons there.
An Authentic Designer handbag should ALWAYS have a dust cover, authenticity/care cards, and serial numbers. These things are also counterfeited so don’t rely on them totally to verify that the handbag is 100% Authentic!!!!
It is VERY important to check the wrapping of the handbag in the pictures. Paper around the buckles, plastic over the handles, and square tags of material hanging from the handbag are all tell-tale signs of a fake handbag. Brand new handbags from the boutiques never have any wrapping on them UNLESS THE HANDBAG WAS A SPECIAL-ORDER. Get a very clear answer from the seller when it comes to the circumstances of purchasing the handbag.
If the seller tells you that they acquired the handbag from the Internet, ask them which website. Websites usually leave the wrapping on the handbags, however there are very few websites that sell Authentic Designer handbags from High-End Designers. eLuxury is the most popular one; also the websites of department stores (Neiman Marcus, Saks, Macy’s, etc) will sell Authentic Designer handbags. When these websites do have wrapping on their items, the handles are covered in tissue paper or plastic and the buckles are covered with blue plastic adhesive. Also the leather square tags that hang from the straps of the handbag are on fakes!!!!! You can also Google any brand of Authentic Designer handbags and put the word “replica”, “AAAAA” or “mirror image” at the end of it and do a search. More than likely, something will come up. You will pull up brands of items that you would NEVER expect!!!!
Lastly, watch out for sellers who sell a large number of the SAME ITEM. This is very different from sellers who sell a lot of the same BRAND of items. A seller who is selling 30 of the same handbag in one brand is very suspicious, while a seller who is selling 25 different styles of the same brand is much more legitimate. Sellers who may be selling wholesale are always selling fake designer handbags!