How to save yourself from buying FAKE items on eBay!

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Dear all eBay members,

I have always been a completely honest person when buying and selling on eBay. When selling, I have always written detailed and true descriptions about the item for sale. I will and have gone as far as pointing out a loose thread on one of my items. So for this reason I feel completely cheated and robbed when I buy something on eBay which arrives through my letter box and is a 100% fake! In my situation, I have only ever bought items of designer clothing and accessories which have turned out to be fake, but I am sure there are fakes of all kinds of things on eBay, such as cell phones, MP3 players, furniture, CDs, video games etc.

My aim in this guide is to help prevent you from being conned into buying a fake item on eBay as I have on a few occasions, and here are a few suggestions I would encourage you to make and look out for, before buying / bidding:

  • Always check for words such as 'copy, styled, edition' in the description of the item.
  • Always check for words such as 'authentic' and 'original' in the description of the item, as proof from the seller that the item is real. If it turns out to be a fake, then you are in the strong position when asking for your money back. If such words are missing in the description of an item, email the seller immediately to answer your query before buying / bidding!
  • Always contact eBay (and if applicable PayPal) if you have unjustly bought a fake item on eBay. By all means express your issue with the seller via email, but do not try and take the law into your own hands.
  • Always look at past feedback of the seller before committing to buy / bid. You probably already check the number and percentage of positive feedback, but I would strongly advise you read some of the comments from previous buyers.
  • Louis Vuitton items - beware! 80% of all Louis Vuitton items you see in the street are fakes and this percentage is likely to be similar on eBay as well in my opinion. I have been a victim of Louis Vuitton fakes on eBay.
  • Be suspicious if a brand new item comes without a box. Fakes do not come in expensive boxes. This is generally applicable for items such as designer wallets, watches, underwear, jewelery etc. If such an item does not include the box, email the seller and ask why!
  • Just because the item in the photo shows the designer label on the collar of the shirt, or has a Made In Italy print on the wallet does NOT mean it is an authentic item. Fakes these days will include exact look-alike labels and logos on them to help fool you.
  • Beware when an item is selling for an amazingly low price. There are just too many eBayers around to let an authentic Chanel handbag sell for under £100.
  • If PayPal is not available as a method of payment, raise an eye brow and look closer into the item.
  • When looking for items such as watches, TVs, computers, cell phones, MP3 players, high-end sound systems, etc. It is advisable to email the seller and ask for the serial number of the item. With the serial number, you can often go to the website of the item (e.g. iPod > Apple website) and check whether the item has been reported as stolen, find out the exact date of manufacture and for which market it was made for, etc.

I believe it is a great shame that eBay can be spoiled by such selfish people, however I truly hope that this guide helps many of you to buy & sell safely on eBay!

With best regards,

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