Finding authentic designer jeans on eBay.
These days, the price of designer jeans can range anywhere from $100 - $300. Many of us don't want to shell out that much money for a pair of denim, but we also can't resist the amazing comfortable, soft, and durable texture of designer jeans. The solution?: We come on eBay to find some good deals on the bottoms that we love. eBay is flooded with thousands of designer jeans and unbelievably cheap prices; prices that are almost too good to be true. How do some of these sellers not break the bank by selling hundreds of pairs of jeans retailed at $300 for a mere $75? The answer: Most designer jeans on eBay are counterfeit. That's right, produced in some sweatshop not in the beautiful US of A in some horrid conditions, with the poorest quality denim available in the world. Do you really want to spend almost $100 on a pair of "designer jeans" that are worth less than $20? A lot of the time it can be difficult to distinguish between what's real and what's not. So what's the answer to this dilemma? Don't just be turned off because of the vast number of fakes here on eBay, but learn to find the authentic gems in the haystack. This is why you're reading this guide.
Back to the Basics: Easy things that you can notice that will give you a good idea of the authenticity of a seller's item.
Mutliple pairs: If a seller has many pairs (2+) of the same brand of jeans, in the same wash and cut, with the same pictures, the same or different sizes, then it's a good idea to stay away. Many of the counterfeit sellers purchase their fake jeans wholesale from companies in Asia for about $5 a pair. Then they try to rip off innocent buyers on eBay. It's rare that any high end designer jean company will sell their jeans wholesale in cheap prices to eBay sellers. They have enough buyers as it is; they don't need to rid themselves of their stock. However, there are still many unknowing sellers on eBay (non-wholesale) who buy fake jeans and then re-list them, believing they are authentic the entire time. Although it is not intentional, these fake jeans are just as bad. Be sure to keep reading to get the best ways of determining authenticity.
Stock photos: If a seller only has stock photos (that is, pictures from the website) of the jeans they are selling, don't bit until you're able to secure some real photos of the jeans. Counterfeit sellers don't want to take actual pictures of the fake jeans a) because informed buyers (like you, after you read this guide) will be able to determine the authenticity and b) they're incredibly lazy and don't care about their customers (that's why they're selling fake jeans, duh). But hit that 'back' button on your browser if the listing doesn't have any real pictures. The seller might be new to eBay or they just might have forgotten to take pictures; always request pictures before you make a final conclusion.
Intermediate: Requires a little more effort on the part of the buyer, but still fairly easy ways to determine authenticity.
Cut numbers: This method doesn't work for all jeans - some jeans do not have cut numbers at all. This method works best for Seven for All Mankind and Citizens of Humanity jeans. Cut numbers are numbers that manufacturers stamp on their jeans in order to label a certain batch. They can range from a 3 number sequence up to 10 numbers, or more. They can be amazing indicators of fake jeans, as counterfeiters usually take one authentic cut # that has known to be in production, and they make thousands of pairs of fake jeans using the same cut #. However, similar cut #s are very rare in authentic jeans, as only a few pairs are produced in each batch of the same cut #s. Every pair of jeans has a cut #, and sellers will usually either list them in their descriptions, or if not, you can always ask for the cut #. Once you find out a cut number, and you want to determine the authenticity of the jeans, just do a simple search on eBay. Enter the cut # in the search field, and be sure to check the box that says "search title and description". If only one or two (or three) pairs of jeans with that cut # shows up, then your jeans are most likely authentic. However, if a lot of listings pop up, then STAY AWAY.
Searching for obvious defects in jeans: Some jeans have very distinguishing qualities, and fake jeans are often unable to replicate these qualities. For example, in True Religion jeans, the back pockets have a very distinct horseshoe design, which counterfeiters are unable to capture the shape of. The picture below shows the back pocket of an AUTHENTIC pair of jeans (from my own collection):
Now, here is a picture of a fake pair of True Religion jeans:
Note how the horseshoe isn't even able to retain the same shape: it is very pointed at the top. Also, the bottom is too wide; rather than having a gentle curve, the bottom of the horseshoe is almost flat. The placement is also off; the horseshoe is unable to fill up the entire space of the back pocket, and more of it is towards the bottom rather than the top, and it is not centered.
- Poor fading or distressing: Authentic designer jeans (taken with good quality cameras) should have a sort of "shine" quality in the pictures. If you re-observe the pictures above, you can see that the first picture of authentic jeans has a slight shine, almost as if light is reflected. However, in the second (counterfeit picture), the jeans look rather dull and don't have that shine at all. You can also use common sense to determine the authenticity of jeans: if a pair has terrible fading or whiskering, then you can conclude that it's fake. Many pairs of designer jeans have very gradual fading, and intense fading (for example: very light, almost white at the thigh area, and dark blue at the legs and above thighs) is usually a sign of fake jeans. There is no other way to put this trick: if the jeans look ugly and cheap, then they are most likely ugly, cheap, counterfeits.
- Learning the jeans: Although jeans such as True Religion have distinct qualities, other jeans, such as Hudsons or Citizens of Humanity do not. The absolute best way, and surefire way, in combination with the tactics above, is to learn the jeans. What do I mean by that? It means to study the washes and details of authentic jeans (you can look at stock photos, or pictures of AUTHENTIC jeans that people have posted on the web - visit my about me page or contact me for these links!). There is no other way than to memorize and get a feel of the jeans. This way, you'll know what authentic jeans are supposed to look like, and you'll be able to immediately tell if jeans you're looking at on eBay are real or fake.
Lastly, remember that counterfeiters are usually liars and scammers. Although you can get an amazing deal on eBay on an amazing pair of jeans, if something is too good to be true, than there is usually a chance that it might not be true at all. If you're unsure of whether a certain pair of jeans is fake or authentic, ask for a second opinion (again, contact me or visit my "about me" page for these thinks). It's always better to be safe than sorry!
I hope this guide was helpful to those who read it. Good luck and happy shopping! :)