Elite designer handbags like the Hermès Kelly or Birkin bags can fetch hefty prices, and investing in the fashionable pieces can reap financial reward down the road. It also makes them some of the most likely accessories to be ripped off.
With the proliferation of bag resale on the internet, it can be easier than ever to con consumers into purchasing a fake bag priced at tens of thousands of dollars. Baghunter, a go-to destination for secondary luxury handbags, published an article Monday that reports on how fake sellers are perfecting their methods in getting shoppers to purchase counterfeit luxury pieces online.
Counterfeited and pirated imports are worth almost half a trillion dollars a year, OECD reported in April of 2016. That’s about 2.5 percent of global imports – and the release cited that French, Italian and American brands were among some of the most impacted.
The increase in online counterfeit bag resales has also given way to digital services that claim to be able to produce authentication certificates just by using photos of the bag, alone.
“The rise in fake Hermès handbags across online marketplaces is alarming and concerning for the many women who might only have the means to purchase one Hermès bag in their lifetime,” Evelyn Fox, CEO of Baghunter, said in a statement. “While the photo only authentication services may have good intentions, they are actually contributing to the sales of counterfeit bags by providing authentication certificates which add trust to listings of fake handbags.”
Online retail giant eBay has since launched eBay Authenticate, a new service that allows users to verify luxury goods purchased through the auction website. While the new Authenticate service should assist in helping to combat mistrustful sellers on the site, luxury handbag shoppers should still thoroughly research the listing and seller before buying, Baghunter advised.
In addition to due diligence, Baghunter offered some helpful tips on how to spot a fake bag or untrustworthy seller online.
Pictures That Look Good – Too Good Be wary of professional product photos that bear the seller’s personal watermark. Product images can easily be pulled from other online retailers and doctored with watermarks. Creative backstories can also be an attempt to pull in prospective buyers.
100 Percent Positive Feedback Don’t rely solely on the seller’s feedback scores since sellers can rack up the feedback points from buying alone or selling hundreds of small, cheap items, without having previously sold luxury bags or items. Be sure to fully check the seller’s history, Baghunter advised.
Receipts, Original Dust Bags And Boxes Are Not A Guarantee Don’t rely on traditional markers like “original” receipts or duster bags bearing the brand’s logo. Real accessories, dust bags or receipts do not equal real handbags.
Sellers That Won’t Send Photos On Request Some fake sellers simply post the listing and images without having the physical bag yet. Cheaper versions are often purchased only after an order has been placed. To ensure the bag is physically in the hands of the owner, immediately request a new photo of the bag pictured next to the day’s newspaper.