I'm very disappointed with the sheer quantity of fake Abercrombie & Fitch for sale on this website. I have written this guide to help people to try and spot the fakes so to avoid the disappointment I, and many other people have endured. Some of the following information is fact, some is purely my opinion. If you disagree with any of my statements or know better, then please feel free to contact me so I can amend this guide.
The ultimate guide for avoiding fake Abercrombie & Fitch
WHAT TO DO BEFORE YOU BUY
1) Assess who exactly you are purchasing from. If the seller has 'power seller' status and /or has been selling for a long time on eBay, this DOES NOT mean they are genuine, reliable or trust worthy! Power seller status just means they have sold a lot of items and have a good feedback. All of the items the seller has sold previously may have been fake and the feedback good simply because nobody has realised or cared.
2) Check the sellers location as well as the actual item location. If either the seller, or the item is coming from a place like China, Thailand or any other "Timbuktu" country then there is a high chance the item is going to be fake. Check out the official Abercrombie website and click on "store locator" at the bottom of the page and find out where the official stores are located. Abercrombie themselves state, they do not sell any products from anywhere else but their own actual stores or online store. Anyone claiming to be a supplier, or has purchased directly from a supplier is lying. Remember though, a seller may have purchased the item online legitimately and had it sent to a country that does not have an actual store, so don't necessarily assume the worst if the item is from a country that doesn't have a store.
3) Ask the seller questions. If the seller is not willing to be cooperative then why on earth would you buy anything from them. Ask the seller important things such as, "Is the product GENUINE". A lot of sellers will not use the words authentic, or genuine in their adverts if the merchandise is actually fake. This is because it leaves you the customer free to inform eBay that the seller is using false advertisement. If a seller uses words like "authentic" or "genuine" in their advert and you find out the product is not, you are fully entitled to a full refund and could report this to eBay and Abercrombie if you so choose.
Why not ask the seller why they are selling the product. If it is extremely cheap, find out why. If an item seems too good to be true, believe me, IT IS.
ALWAYS ask the seller to see actual photographs of the item! Many sellers use adverts copied from someone else selling on eBay. A lot of sellers also use photographs which have been copied and pasted from the official Abercrombie website. If the seller says they cannot supply photo's, they may not want you to see the actual product in question, this probably indicates fakes.
Ask for photo's that will prove the authenticity of the product, like label, zip, buttons, studs and close-ups of the logo's etc. It may sound a lot, but it doesn't take long for a seller to upload some digital pictures or even send them to your email address. Any seller who knows they have authentic stock will probably have a good selection of pictures for you to see already. If the item is a supposed unwanted purchase from an official store, ask to see the receipt, or have it shipped to you with the receipt in the package.
4) Check the sellers feedback. Even if the feedback is perfect, it DOES NOT mean the product is going to be genuine. Previous buyers may not have realised they have purchased a fake item and they may not even care if they did realise. Always make sure you have a good look at the type of items the seller has been supplying in the past. If they have already sold a number of the same item in the same, or various size then it is likely to have been bought in bulk from a cheap replica store and is going to be fake. A lot of sellers will buy replica stock in large quantities from countries like China, paying extremely low prices. They will then charge you the customer more, sometimes double what they have paid, plus the postage fee on top!
AFTER YOUR PURCHASE ARRIVES
If you have the guts to take the plunge and buy something, ALWAYS check the item IN DETAIL. The smallest details are what can determine whether or not the item is fake or not. If you have ever owned an original peace of Abercrombie clothing, you will know that each item is made to perfection using the highest quality materials. If it is a genuine, new piece of Abercrombie & Fitch clothing you have purchased, it will be immaculate quality, in feel and appearance.
1) PRICE TAGS. If it was advertised as "New with tags", make sure the tag is still attached to the clothing. It will usually be fixed through the Abercrombie patch label inside the garment. If you open your delivery and the tag is simply sitting unattached on top of the item, it could have come from anywhere or any other item. Sellers often place an expensive price tag on the item so to distract you from the quality of the garment and make you think about what a good deal you have just got.
Make sure the writing is central on the price tag card. If it is printed off centre slightly, you own a fake. The price tags are made of a rough feeling, smokey yellow card which will have the words "Abercrombie & Fitch written in bold. If the card is smooth, glossy, or white in colour, you own a fake. On the other side of the card it should say Abercrombie & Fitch followed by code numbers and a barcode. Underneath the barcode it should say either MENS, WOMEN, BOYS or GIRLS in capital letters followed by the size, also in capitals. All the printed writing should be in BOLD, unfaded letters.2) THE INTERIOR PATCH. It sounds obvious, but always make sure the writing on the patch is all spelt correctly. If there is one mistake, or any writing which is unreadable, you definitely have a fake. Make sure the patch is stitched in firmly and neatly. As I said earlier, these clothes are made to perfection, any loose labels or really bad stitching indicates a fake. Do not confuse the subtle cuts and nicks that real A&F garments have, for poor stitching. This is a vintage style look, created on purpose by Abercrombie. Look at the stitching inside the item, it should be strong, neat, accurate and well made, especially on the jackets, hoodies, coats and any other of the more expensive products.
Abercrombie make a large number of different patches so I cannot describe all of them, but If the patch inside your purchase looks like the one below, it should be made of a high quality material like satin, and feel smooth to the touch. It should also appear shiny under lights. When you flip the garment on its front to reveal the back, the outline stitching of the patch will be visible on the authentic garments. Genuine patches like will be made of a soft, smooth, silky satin material. The stitching may be visible on the outside of the garment.
3) MATERIAL QUALITY. A&F only use high quality materials for all of their products. When you touch the item of clothing, you should be able to tell straight away if it is genuine or not. If your item is made of a typical feeling fabric, and you are not immediately impressed, you have a fake on your hands for sure. All Abercrombie clothing feels amazing, thus the expensive price of the items. You get what you pay for.
A lot of official Abercrombie clothing, especially hoodies, coats, jackets and sweaters will have subtle distressing, cuts, frays or nicking of the fabric around the sleeves, pocket edges and zips etc, this is to achieve a vintage style look. A lot of the fake jackets and hoodies that have raised logo's on the front have also purposely been frayed and distressed, be careful though because the people that make these often concentrate more on producing a more authentic looking main logo and forget to add the additional subtle nicks and kinks around the sleeves, pockets and zips. Watch out for this. Compare your item to the real pictures located on the official website.
4) METAL STUDS ETC. The zipper on your item, if indeed it has one, should fasten up easily and stay secure when fastened. If it is easily undone by pulling the jacket apart from the top when the zipper is supposed to be closed, or it is hard to do up, then you may have a replica on your hands. The zip itself should also have some kind of A&F logo or moose engraving on it, if not.....fake.
Any studs on your item WILL say Abercrombie & Fitch on them, or at least A&F. If it says anything else it is most definitely fake! Some older A&F clothing may not have the writing on the studs. All the studs and zippers will be made of METAL if your item is authentic.
Hoodie string guards should say Abercrombie & Fitch on them.
5) THE SMELL. Any Abercrombie fan will know, when you buy authentic clothing from the store, it will definitely smell of the Abercrombie trademark fragrance called 'Fierce'. If a seller claims the product is brand new and from the store, it should smell of the Abercrombie fragrance when it arrives to you. Obviously it is easy for a seller to purchase the aftershave and spray a fake garment with the scent, so use all the other checks in conjunction with this one.
Abercrombie clothing is made in Asian countries and it is easy for the same factories making the genuine article to also produce fakes. These factories will have the materials, and equipment to produce fakes that will be extremely hard to spot. The difference will be the time and effort put into the garment. Fakes will be made in a hurry and will probably have parts which have been made from cheaper materials. They will have mistakes like uneven logo's, poor stitching, faulty zippers and misprinted labels. This is why it is always important to check your garment over properly when you receive it.
You may be wondering how on earth I first discovered these "premium fakes" and the bulk buying of these fake items which I described earlier? The simple answer is, I found out the hard way. I was sold an Abercrombie & Fitch "Wolf jaw" jacket on eBay which turned out to be fake. On discovering this I contacted the seller and informed them I knew the product was fake and threatened to report them to eBay and Abercrombie. On doing this, the seller offered a grovelling apology and gave me a full refund. The seller also revealed to me where they had purchased their items from and also tried to point a finger at many of the other sellers on eBay who are doing exactly the same thing.
Well, that's it for now, I hope this will be useful to all of you buyers out there. Don't make the same mistakes I did, unless of course you are happy buying fake A&F.
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Thanks a lot for taking the time to read this.