I recently purchased a couple of Etnies & Vans T-Shirts from an ebay seller by the name of maniac_styles who apparently has the items he sells in Germany. The seller has over 780 feedback comments, which are 100% positive. The description layout is very professional looking, written in both English & German and contains multiple photo's.
This seemingly trustworthy seller wrote to me in English, firstly with an invoice saving me money on postage by combining items. He wrote again to say the items had been dispatched and should be with me soon.
However, when the items arived, I was firstly disappointed to see they were covered with customs forms. Customs forms are NOT required within the EU. This package was fron Thailand!
My attention was firstly drawn to the fact there were NO retail tags on either of the T-Shirts. All of my previous UK purchases from UK outlets had retail tags with barcodes.
Secondly, the garnment tags are different. On my authentic Vans T-shirt, bought in the UK from a Vans retail outlet, the neck label is swen INTO the seam. The front of the neck label says "Vans" in big letters and bears the "R" (registered trademark logo), with "since 66" in smaller letters. On the back of the label is a Vans logo with the Vans web address. There is also a code in small print at the base. Next to the large Vans label, is a small label with an "L" on it, obviously showing the size. The "ingredients" label (don't know what you call it with clothes!) is on the inside seam, about 6" up from the bottom on the left as you wear the T-shirt. It is written in multiple languages, tells you it's 100% cotton, and has the "wash care" instructions etc. on it.
The T-shirts that were sent from Thailand have much smaller neck tags, which is swen ONTO the seam, with "Vans Collection" on the front, and there is no "R" (registered trademark logo). On the back are the "wash care" instructions. There is no small tag stating the size. There are no stitched seams down the side of the T-shirt, therefore the "ingredients" label is sewn into the neck, under the "Vans" label. This label is also very small, and written ONLY in English, with no mention where the T-shirt was made.
Not only is the construction of the T-shirts different (the copies are made by a cheaper method by not having side seams - uses less material) the stitching is different, and there are several cotton threads hanging off in various places. Also, the material is thinner - if you hold the Fake T-shirt up to the light, you'll get blinded by the sun shining through it! And there's the print... One of my older UK shop bought Vans T-shirts is about 6 years old now, and has been washed hundreds of times. Although the print is slightly cracked, it's still there, it's still bold and still has plenty of depth. The Fake T-shirts however, have such thin, poor quality prints you can see the cotton fibres of the T-shirt sticking up through it. Not only that, the print on the front of the T-shirt is actually off centre by about 3/4".
One last "spot the difference" thing is the size. The FAKE Vans T-shirt (Size Large) is 1" narrower across the shoulders, and 3" longer than my UK shop bought authentic Vans T-shirt, which is also size large.
I have no idea how or why this seller has maintained his 100% positive feedback selling this crap... once I get my money back, he'll be getting his first negative!! Which leads me to another thing... although I paid for the item straight away over a week ago, I still have no positive feedback from him! No doubt on leaving him negative feedback for selling FAKE items, I'll get the "tit for tat" negative in return - even though I kept my end of the bargain!
I hope you found my guide useful, and that you can learn from my mistake! Please vote YES to keep this guide featured to help & warn other potential buyers! Thanks.