I just wanted to write my thoughts on fake North Face Jackets (or other items for that matter), since I have heard that there are a large number of fakes out there, apparently most of them being sold in Ebay.
I am no expert on this matter, but before I bought mine, probably like you, the reader of this article, I did some research to make sure that my money went to the right place. I guess that, by reading this, you already are on the right track and soon will realize that, if you want to buy a genuine North Face product, you will have to spend some of that hard cash that you have earned with hours of work, or at least have some prepared just in case. Nevertheless, in my experience and my humble opinion, it will probably be money well spent.
...Unless you are happy to go for a fake North Face, which will unlikely protect you up there in the mountains, in the ski slopes or plainly when the weather is not so good, or from your snobby mates when they find out about your cheapo jacket. (Ah, the price you have to pay to keep those 'friends' eh?)
The first thing I noted when trying to find a genuine North Face jacket is the sheer amount of cheap, used-looking jackets on sale in Ebay, many stating,
Gore-Tex XCR Summit North Face or simply North Face Gore-Tex (the ones stating "From Japan")
Well, now just go to the North Face site and browse the jackets in the pictures. Isn't it obvious. They do not look the same at all. Come on, you are able to browse Ebay, so you surely are also able to browse the North Face site at thenorthface.com and you will see what I mean. Those jackets in Ebay (most of them) do not match in colour or shape to the ones in the North Face site. Isn't that a sign that there is something wrong, somewhere? In fact, the colours and shape of most of the North Face jackets in Ebay look terrible. I would say they look like the cheap pvc overalls that you get in the seafront shops of any coastal UK city when it rains. I do not understand how they manage to sell as many as they do, is it just because some people want the North Face logo on their jackets? It really beats me...
When you buy your jacket, and find that it is in fact, a genuine one, you can tell straight away. The stitching is superb, the materials are touch proof, and it smells and feels comfortable (yes, they also smell good). Of all the North Face Jackets I have since seen in the shops, one of the aspects that stands out is the outstanding lining they come with. It feels soft, smooth and also very durable. You can tell straight away, just the lining makes up for the price, and you could wear it on its own.
If you are going to pay around £150 for a jacket in the internet, I am sure you will also be prepared to ask for pictures of the jacket before you buy it, and compare it to these sites, all genuine sellers of North Face jackets; altrec.com or backcountry.com compare them and find out for yourself whether the jacket sold in Ebay is genuine. These sites have nice pictures of the jackets where you can see how they should look.
Actually, that could be my best advice, compare the one you want to buy with the ones shown on these sites, particularly the North Face site. You can't go wrong.
The zips are something else as well, as they normally work smoothly and the stitch is also of superb quality. They come with their straps and/or rubber covers, to make it easier to find when its cold or you are wearing gloves, and the stitching on these little straps is also of superb quality, to ensure that it will outlast the jacket itself. It is true that the zip to close the jacket is in the right side (as you put the jacket on, the zip should be on your right hand), another detail to take into consideration.
The little details also make up for the price, and show that someone has put some thought into these jackets. For example the hoods some of the jackets come with have two ways rubber strings to pull from so they adjust to your head and you can actually see where you are going, because the hood wraps the head and moves with it.
The stitching on the actual logo and the hyvent or gore-tex labels on the arms has to be of first quality as well, like everything, with no loose ends or wobbly letters. It cannot be seen from the inside, and you can tell that they won't come undone easily.
The fitting also feels very good, with plenty of space under the arms, and around the chest (unless you just bought a small size!) And also the shower test, as mentioned by another ebayer, is a good test to carry out, although by the time you carry the test out it will be too late because it will mean that you may have already paid for that fake! Don't let the country of origin fool you, they can be made in Bangladesh, in Mexico or some other countries apparently. Mine was made in Bangladesh, and the quality is superb.
I heard that retailers buy the genuine items for around 45% of the final price, so don't expect to pay £50 for a jacket that was sold at the time of coming out of wherever was made for around £80. Be smart, don't be fooled by those prices.
When I was doing my fishing around the internet, I found an ebayer selling what it seemed to be a genuine North Face jacket. I immediately got paranoid about it not being a genuine item and contacted the seller asking to confirm that the jacket was genuine. Since I got no reply, I withdrew my bid, and contacted the seller again to inform them of my decision and the reasons. I never received a reply. Typical. (They probably thought I was having an episode of hysteria for behaving like I did, but they never got my money or managed to sell me a fake.)
Now, for the part which will look suspicious to many, but will surely help you get a cheaper genuine North Face item: the place where finally I bought mine. It is not intended to provide free advertising for them, but I owe it to the owner since they provided everything you expect from an Ebay shop: a good price, good service and genuine item. Although I had problems to receive it due to a lousy delivery company, they took care of it and I went on holidays with my jacket and enjoyed it. The person I spoke to in the shop took full responsibility right until the time I received the jacket. I never said thank you to them until now, and I hope my article expresses how grateful I was for a spotless service, and also for having provided me with a genuine North Face jacket at a nice discounted price. Trust me, I did loads of research and is hard to find them under this seller's terms. The shop in Ebay is called topbrand-outdoorgear, now explore-outdoors
As a genuine seller would do, they make clear from the start that they sell only genuine items. I liked that, how many can they say it?
I hope this article helps you getting the North Face jacket that you need, once you get it, you will not regret it! Hopefully that way people will buy more genuine items and that market of fake products will
disappear, and the good stuff will be found easily everywhere. Wouldn't it be a shame if genuine brands vanished simply because the fake brands sell more?
Please vote if you found my guide helpful.