I have been selling Genuine Paul Smith items on EBay for several years and I am constantly asked about fakes goods that are sold. I have given information freely but feel that I should write some guidelines on buying Paul Smith items off EBay.
Rule 1: If it sounds to good to be true, then it is likely to be fake. It is worth checking to see the seller feedback to see if anyone has complained about any that have been sold before. There are a lot of wholesale websites offering cheap goods at the moment, and they are cheap because they are poor fakes of the real thing, so you have been warned. Footnote (People are now paying high prices for fake items, not realising that they are cheap imports. EBay is currently flooded with fake Paul Smith items. Bags, swirls wallets, mini wallets, mini cufflinks, there are all sorts of fake items out there).
Rule 2: Picture wallets - If it looks like the picture is scanned, it IS fake. If it smells of what can best be described as a strong petrol smell, then it IS fake. The leather should feel very soft, not hard or like cardboard. If it comes in a box, the Paul Signature on the box and dust cover should be approximately the same size (Quite small).
Rule 3: Belt do not come boxed, and they should have the Paul Smith signature on the inside of the belt, not printed. Fake naked lady belts have slightly rounded ended whereas the originals are more pointed. Nearly all Paul Smith Naked Lady belts sold on Ebay are fake at the moment.
Rule 4: Keyrings and ties are not sold in boxes either, unless with a credit card wallet (2010). (Footnote: Manchester United Keyrings do come in a box)
Rule 5: The most common thing to be faked are wallets, even I have fallen foul to buying a fake wallet in the past. Always pay by Paypal, and if you feel that it is fake, then ask for your money back! If you are buying a wallet from Asia, then wondered how they can sell a wallet cheap that was made in Italy, went to Asia, and is then being shipped back here!.....
Rule 5a: Update Nov 2012 - Just to make life I little bit more difficult, 'wallet and keyring giftsets' are now Made in China. As with many large companies, Paul Smith now seems to be making more products from China. In terms of thinking about fakes, if you wanted to sell something as a fake, would you then put a tag in it with 'Made in China'. Food for thought.
Rule 6: Check the picture shown in the auction against your goods received. Sometimes they are different. For instance, there are some Paul Smith sandals being sold at the moment that have the Paul Smith signature on the flat of the shoe. The fakes one will show the whole 'Paul' and 'Smith' on the flat. Genuine sandals will have the edges of the 'Paul' and 'Smith' missing. I have learnt this from personal experience. If they arrived in a Red box they are also fake. They should always be in a paper brown colour box.
Rule 7: If it looks cheap or made badly, then I would doubt it's authenticity. I have bought and sold Paul Smith items for many years and I have learnt one thing. You get what you pay for. Paul Smith is expensive, but it is almost always well made, and of high quality materials.
RULE 8: Paul Smith bag are now made in China, but I would advise not to buy outside any official outlets, as there are a multitude of fake Paul Smith websites offering these goods ie PAUL SMITH ER STORE.
RULE 9: Ask for the original receipt, they may actually still have it if they have previously bought it from I legit source. Always worth a try.
RULE 10: PAULSMITHER.COM .......erm, fake goods! Paul Smith are aware of the problem but the world of legality runs slowwwwwwwly.
Finally, nothing is fail safe. I still get caught out on occasion even now, as I, like you, still can't resist a bargain! If you receive goods you think are fake, complain and report it to EBay or Paypal or both!! DON'T ACCEPT FAKES.
This Guide is meant as exactly that, it is not a fact, and it only gets updated from time to time. Thing change including where items are produced, and Paul Smith now produces some goods in China, Spain, Morroco and many other countries
If you have any tips and knowledge you can add to this guide, then please let me know, all input will be gratefully received. .
Paul Smith : Spotting Fake Goods
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24 November 2012
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