We all have a secret (or not so secret) love for nice things, designer things even. They just seem more special than anything that you would buy without the designer label, better quality, and right on trend. We covet these pieces whenever we see them photographed in places like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar magazines. We dream about them, talk about them with our friends, and then we even dare to take a peek at the designer price tag.
It is that moment of seeing how much these designer shoes, accessories, handbags, and sunglasses cost that in most cases, they remain a dream. Being that it is very difficult for regular people with regular incomes to acquire a designer piece in the thousand dollar price range, many people turn to vintage stores, consignment shops, and online boutiques in order to bring home one of these pieces at a more reasonable price. However, when you are purchasing something that isn’t coming directly from the designer or a trusted retailer, it can be difficult to know if what you are purchasing is a hundred percent authentic.
Many accessories can easily be tampered with to make it appear to the public that they are indeed worthy of the high designer price tag, when in reality they are not. It is amazing how many people try to make a quick buck by fooling people who don’t have knowledge of the specific details of designer products, and take advantage of consumers. The reality is, hundreds of fake designer bags are being produced every day.
Luckily, there are wonderful people who exist in this world who pride themselves on being experts in this field and know exactly what to look for in order to determine if a specific product is real or fake, and make it much easier for the mass public to avoid buying designer knock-offs.
10. Check The Source
Whether you are making the designer product purchase online or through a brick and mortar store, take some time to learn a little bit of information about the company. Check reviews to see if they have a great customer base that is both satisfied and happy with their purchases. If you are making the purchase online, pay close attention to how the official URL reads. Many times, companies try to mess with their customers by creating a URL that is very similar to that of the actual designer. If you are actually purchasing from the designers factory store, they will have a link to their official factory store from their official website. Be smart!
9. Check For Spelling/Grammar Mistakes
This goes for spelling and grammar mistakes that can be found everywhere! Check on the website, what is printed on the bag that you are contemplating purchasing, and the care tag that the bag should come with. Counterfeit companies will make numerous, careless spelling and grammar mistakes because they are moving so quickly. A true designer would never make a mistake on any of their marketing material, website, etc, because they have a huge team of people working for them. Companies creating knock-offs on the other hand are moving at such fast paces in order to get a lot of bags produced.
8. If It’s Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is!
If a deal that you found is for a bag that is currently being sold in department stores or currently considered a hot handbag, and the seller is offering it to you for a huge discount, it is probably stolen or fake. Unfortunately, we can get so excited whenever we come across deals like this that we jump at the chance to make the purchase, but the reality is that designer handbags are priced high for a reason, and you won’t find them for a huge discount.
7. Check The Company Policy
Make sure that whenever you are doing research on the company that you are buying your designer merchandise from that you pay close attention to the company policy that they hold in regards to returns. If for any reason you purchase a bag from them and later find out that it is a fake, you should be able to take it back for a full refund. If they don’t offer you that option, they probably know that the merchandise they are selling is not real.
6. Be Skeptical Of Third-Party Payment Transactions
Let’s be honest here, no reputable brand or designer would ever send you away from their website in order to process a payment. Therefore, if you have decided to move forward and make a purchase from an online vendor that is not coming directly from the designer, be very skeptical of this extra step. Many websites that are trying to collect more than just your payment information will often send you to a third party to process a payment.
5. Beware Of http vs https In The Website URL
Whenever you are shopping online for anything, make sure that the part of the URL that comes before the www has https written before it. This simply means that you are shopping with a secure website. Be especially mindful about this whenever they send you to the checkout page because there are some well crafted counterfeit websites out there that will be secure up until the payment processing portion of the transition.
4. Be Mindful Of Poor Packaging
If you have ever purchased something from a designer before, you are well aware that they go above and beyond to make sure they have exquisite packaging. These are the special details that make purchasing from a designer extra special. The packing might include cloth bags, boxes, etc, anything to make it look nice. If the designer product you are purchasing is not being wrapped beautifully for you, but is only coming in a plastic cover, be very skeptical of its authenticity.
3. Check For The Specific Item Model Number
Every product that is put on the market by a designer has a specific model number to use for the designer and retailers to keep things organized. If you are looking to purchase a designer product and find that it is either missing a model number completely, or missing numbers that should be on the model number from the correct manufacturer, it is almost guaranteed that the bag you are looking at is a knock-off. People who are creating fake designer products overlook the model number most of the time, so this is a key detail when shopping.
2. Look Over The Product For Unknown Markings
If you are purchasing a bag or designer product from a previous season or was previously owned by someone else, the condition of the bag must be described to you. This way you are able to decide if the discounted price you are purchasing is worth the damages. But, if you are looking to purchase a bag that is titled as being “in new condition,” then there should not, under any circumstance, be any unknown markings anywhere on the bag. If the bag arrived with these problems, then in most cases it was not being taken care of whenever it was shipped because it’s not a real designer handbag.
1. Know The Brand Or Product Very Well
At the end of the day, be mindful of the designer brands you know and love. If your favorite designer released a killer handbag as part of their spring 2014 collection and you are obsessed with it, don’t just look at it online or in your favorite magazine, go and visit it at the store! Pick up the handbag, hold it in your hands and study it. Take the time to learn about the bag so that if you do end up purchasing it from a different retailer and it arrives looking skeptical, you are able to get a refund and report the bag.
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