My god, where do you start on this?
Well, there are several guides and internet forums etc which can give a clue as to whether or not you are buying the genuine article but I thought I had to post something just on experience alone.
If you want to know 100% sure you have a genuine, authentic A&F piece of clothing etc then go to the A&F store. Here on Ebay there are people who are selling authentic new and pre-owned A&F items but its a minefield.
I have purchased loads of the stuff quite recently and the different price tags, inside and outside labels, poly bags, clothing stitching, material thickness is enough to shock and confuse you. I read somewhere that around 70% on Ebay was fake but personally I think this figure is much higher.
Many sellers will not use the word "Authenitic" in their listings and a vast majority will use the clothing image directly from the A&F website as their item's photo. I am not saying that "all" are dodgy because this would be untrue but believe me there are a huge amount of sellers on Ebay who buy fake items to sell.
If you like the item you are about to purchase on Ebay and decide to buy it then my advice is to assume its likely to be a fake. Most of the fakes are very good indeed and you will never really be able to tell so accept it for what it is.
A&F have factory's all over the world so just because an item is coming from India, Hong Kong etc etc its doesnt mean it is a fake. A&F do not sell wholesale so if you see internet sites selling wholesale then assume they are fakes. Some of the well known wholesale sites will have it written on the webpage that the items are not genuine or good quality copies whilst others do not. Generally these sites also sell all the other main designer brands too!
Many of the poly bags I have been receiving have small stickers on them. The sort you see on food, you know the ones with the price on that used to be stuck on with a gun type thing. I found that if I googled some of the numbers along with the words "Abercrombie wholesale" it took me to global trading sites. Then if I looked at various feedback from buyers to sellers on these sites I actually came across Ebay sellers ID's. How about that? You can actually see the stock they had purchased, when, general purchase price and then to cap it all you bought it and had it in your very own hands!
So, you may not think that an A&F Tee-shirt you purchased for £15.00 plus postage is too expensive but when you realise that the items in "minimum quantity" costs the seller about $10.00 each (exc shipping), naturally less in bulk, you aren't really getting such a good deal. Plus the fact that you dont actually own a genuine A&F Tee as well is a bit harder to swollow.
Apparently, some of the items being sold from far east wholesalers may be coming from the same factories genuine A&F clothing is manufactured but the 'surplus' and 'additional' quantities from genuine orders slide out of the back door to be sold on cheaply.
The biggest giveaway on FAKE A&F clothing can be found by looking at the zip puller. Naturally, this applies to Hoodies and Jackets really. Genuine A&F only have the zip puller on the RIGHT HAND SIDE of the garment. Take a look at any images on the A&F website and you will see this. So, if you want to know if the hoodie or jacket is genuine then ask the seller which side the zip pull is located. If he replies 'left' then its FAKE (easy isnt it!).
The zips pull's on hoodies are usually quite chunky too (both genuine and fake items carry A&F logo's on them so that isnt a sign of authenticy). The zip teeth are pretty chunky too. Its hard to describe this but fake items have smaller teeth. I'm not sure if this next sentence is 100% true but I've just looked at my hoodies and all the zips are stitched onto 'white' material, with the exception of my outdoor jackets such as Kempshall and SummitRock which match the jacket. I have also found that the Kempshall, SummitRock and my Wolf Jaw Jackets all have a strip of material sewn to the zip puller (this can be seen on the A&F website too).
Whilst on the Wolf Jaw jackets check the faux fur linings as the fake ones have quite short fur. Genuine articles have much thicker and longer fur. Check out the manufacturers website pictures of the inner hood and then see the Ebay pictures of the same part. Where an item has rivets, ie, around the clothes hanger loop inside the jacket, you can see A&F written on them (with the exception of one of my items yet I believe is genuine!!). The fake Wolf Jaw's put up against the genuine article are although quite heavy not as heavy as the real one's.
You can also check the square inner label of the garment. Look at the font used for the wording. Look at the 'Abercrombie' font, the letter 'b' should have a noticeable tail in the bottom left of it. The font used in this Ebay guide for the letter 'b' does not have it (this has a rounded bottom left). Also check for differences in the 'F', 't', and the '&' styles for the Fitch wording.
To confuse you a little more, the inner garment 'MUSCLE' labels around the neck seems to be hit and miss when deciding if genuine or fake. I prefer to believe that genuine labels are machine stitched into the neck taping but you can find a lot of them poorly sewn in by hand using 'white' cotton. This cotton shows straight through onto the back of the t-shirt for example and creates two cotton 'dots' which look a bit rubbish on dark coloured items. As I said though some seem genuine whilst others dont. I tend to cut this label out if this shows through!
I have read that genuine A&F clothing tags are only dark grey which has a slight satin shine when placed to the light. The backs of these being white. Some tags I have seen are yellow or off yellow with white back and yet the items do appear genuine too (so my advice is check for other tell tale signs).
T-shirt sizes: I have found these to be true sizing for Muscle fit, M= 20" pit to pit, L=21" and XL=22"
Some sizes are way different to those shown above which may well be due to them being non genuine.