How to Spot a Fake
Have you ever been bidding on a piece on Ebay or shuffling through a vintage store and wondered if what you are gushing over is real? Well, Stephanie Lewis from Georgia is an expert on how to spot a fake and is going to share some great tips on how to spot a fake...Beware, there are a lot out there!
How do you spot a FAKE?
LOUIS VUITTON are EASIEST to IDENTIFY because the LV SHOULD NEVER....EVER be CUT OFF....THE SYMBOLS will run in the corners and be CUT OFF....however, the LV LOGO will NEVER EVER BE CUT OFF. This is the CASE with all of their PRODUCT including WALLETS, CHECKBOOK HOLDERS and BUSINESS CARD HOLDERS...NO MATTER how SMALL the item is, the LV LOGO is NEVER EVER CUT OFF due it running into a SEAM or a TRIM. Also, the SERIAL NUMBER is located on the leather tag sewn on the inside of the interior pocket. As for as CHANEL, there should be a small HOLOGRAM Double C serial number located at the VERY BOTTOM the purse. FOR ME, I can tell by the QUALITY and WORKMANSHIP on some of the designer purses such as COACH or DOONEY & BOURKE. The DOONEY & BOURKE label that's located on the inside of the purse should ALWAYS have a serial number. As for as EMILIO PUCCI is concerned, the EMILIO signature is LOCATED throughout the COLORFUL print....on all items including shoes and purses.
Should the seller allow you to be able to check and see if the product is real at a boutique and give the buyer the opportunity to return the item if the item is fake?
MOST DEFINITELY....any HONEST seller will and SHOULD. Whenever I inquire about the AUTHENTICITY of ANYTHING to a seller....I will email them and ask them if AUTHENTICITY is GUARANTEED......9 times out of 10....THEY WILL NOT RESPOND at all. Ebay has a STRICT policy about selling KNOCK OFFS. If you suspect that you have just purchased a FAKE....after INQUIRING...and AFTER they have GUARANTEED AUTHENTICITY....you can REPORT the item to EBAY and file a report....PAYPAL will freeze their ACCOUNT until the situation is investigated....and EBAY will sometimes SuSPEND their account. If you feel that item is FAKE while it's LISTED on EBAY, you can REPORT that item and Ebay will AUTOMATICALLY END the listing THEMSELVES...especially if the seller DOES NOT respond to you GUARANTEEING the products AUTHENTICITY.
How much do used designer pieces usually cost?
It TRULY depends on MANY factors....from the SET PRICE in your mind that you feel the item is worth....and what you are willing to pay. It also depends on how hard this item is to find...and if it's HIGHLY COLLECTIBLE. It can also depend on the CONDITION of the item.....a MINT CONDITION RUDI GERNRICH COLORBLOCK DRESS can go from $300 up to $700. Finally, it also DEPENDS on the ECONOMY as well because a few years back, HIGH END designer vintage items such as EMILIO PUCCI, were going for prices as high as $1000.00 or more on EBAY. I truly feel that this is a BUYERS MARKET because now you can get a NICE Pucci dress for $200.
Besides ebay, where else do you think that people can find used/new designer pieces for a good price?
You may LUCK UP and find designer items at your local Thrift Stores such as Salvation Army or Good Will. You may have BETTER LUCK finding them at local CHARITY Thrift Stores such as the Council for Jewish Women Thrift Shops and Junior League Thrift Stores. I LOVE The IRVINGTON INSTITUTE in NYC and HOUSING WORKS in NYC as well. They both have LOADS of DESIGNER Vintage items. You will have EVEN better LUCK at CONSIGNMENT SHOPS because well dressed FASHIONISTA take their items there to make a SMALL profit off of their designer clothing that they are NO LONGER wearing.
What advice do you give to anyone trying to find a vintage designer piece-be it a purse or a dress?
RIGHT NOW, it is DEFINITELY a BUYERS MARKET.....You can look on Ebay at the ENDED AUCTIONS to see any items that ENDED but DID NOT SELL....and sometime contact the seller to make an offer. If the items has been listed a few times WITHOUT any bids, the seller is usually HAPPY to accept a lower price because each time he list the item he is still being charged the NON-REFUNDABLE ebay fee. Again, go to your local CONSIGNMENT SHOPS because IN TODAYS BUYERS MARKET, they may be willing to bargain with you on a certain designer pieces. It also depends on the CITY.... you can easily find DEISIGNER items in ATLANTA at pretty REASONABLE prices than you can PERHAPS in NYC. There are still some places here in Atlanta where people do not KNOW what they have. TRUST ME, I KNOW, I found a Chanel Linen Jacket at one of my BEST KEPT SECRETS here in Atlanta for $28.00 and sold it on Ebay for about $200.00. I also found a GUCCI Clutch Wallet purse at the SAME PLACE for about $30.00. I found a BURBERRY Plaid Pleat Skirt on their sale rack for $6.50 and sold it on Ebay for almost $100.00. I would have NEVER EVER found anything like that at those prices in NYC.
If you have more questions for Stephanie Lewis you can find her on myspace with her own page and a group called Ebay Fashion, which you can join once you are a member of myspace.com.
*Interesting read on the topic: "FAKE:Forgery, Lies, and eBay" by Kenneth Walton
*Also, check out this site that sells Designer Vintage items: http://www.efashionhouse.com/index.php?ichangeid=1