Your fairy godmother guide to buying authentic Mulberry

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Goober1473's guide to buying Mulberry   

Introduction

I was recently asked if I’d consider putting together a guide on Mulberry products to assist bidders in making informed bids, so here goes.  I’d like firstly to say these are my comments based on my own experiences. I do NOT work for, or represent the brand in any way, shape or form.  I cannot guarantee this guide will protect you from buying a fake, help you win the lottery or otherwise enhance your life, but I do hope I help some of you make informed decisions.

I am a Mum of one, who works full time.  Handbags are my passion and I have an extensive Mulberry collection and go to Mulberry events regularly.  I have used Ebay since 2002 to firstly buy wedding things, then sell bags and other items from my crowded wardrobe.  In that time, I’ve seen the marketplace flooded with non-authentic product.  I spend time reporting this to VeRO where I can and report far eastern websites offering product direct to the brand.

I have to emphasise, I am a private seller.  I don’t own a shop or a concession, I am just someone who loves the brand so I only sell on bags I am done with, or have bought on a whim and never used.  There are a lot of them but I’m trying to curb my habit now I’m a Mum!!

I can sometimes offer you an opinion on bags.  I have done this in the past for former customers of mine who have purchased bags from other people on Ebay and then got a nasty surprise. I have supplied comparison photos for them to immediately see the problem with their purchase.   What I offer is only my opinion based on the knowledge I have built up.  I cannot protect you from buying in this environment, the only truly 100% safe way is to buy from an authorised stockist.

I’m not saying that every listing is fake.  It isn’t.  For us genuine listers, it’s very frustrating that bidders are being duped out of hundreds of pounds, the value of our authentic product is being lowered, the brand is being devalued and bidders are expecting to get a brand new bag for £100.  Seriously, people.

There are many genuine sellers out there.  Ask me.  I know some of them!   Looking for a particular bag? I can put some feelers out for you amongst the network of vendors I trust through personal contacts. You need to know who to trust and where to look.  I’m hoping the following will point you in the right direction if you do choose to buy here….

Bags do differ, some have serials, some don't.  Some are made in different factories, the internal tags can differ.  Fittings never look cheap, tags never look tacky with a disproportionately large tree.  Typos don't happen. The quality of an authentic product truly shines above the counterfeit versions.

My best advice? Don't expect a total bargain.  Expect to pay a fair price for a bag.  Ask sellers for help.  Ask other sellers for their opinions.  I will always try and offer you my best opinion. Visit a PURSE FORUM and ask them to help you authenticate from pictures.

But more than anything, if in doubt…..The safest thing is always SAVE UP and buy it from an authorised dealer.  Even Mulberry have factory outlets for end of line and slight seconds– one in Somerset, one in Bicester. 

Safest places on the net to buy Mulberry? Undoubtedly direct from Mulberry's webshop every time.

Get Smart. Know your Brand, Love your Bags

Firstly, there’s a lot of replica product popping up on Ebay.  Let’s be clear.  Replica means counterfeit.  Or Fake.  It’s illegal for you to knowingly buy it or sell it.  Here or abroad (Go to most countries in Europe now and purchase a counterfeit item and it’ll be seized, you’ll be fined thousands of euros and probably prosecuted).

More importantly - Think about who makes your product.  Counterfeit goods are not made in authorised factories, with employees paid fair wages by a corporately responsible company. Do you want your hard earned cash going to a criminal?  Do you want your money to end up being used to fund criminal activity?  Terrorism? 

You need to appreciate that the Brand has to have spent month upon month in the design, sampling, manufacturing, QCing, testing and marketing of their products.  Mulberry is an English Company.  Counterfeit products devalue their brand.

Secondly, it doesn’t take much to become smart.  If you’re looking to invest in a quality bag, then RESEARCH first.  Go to a store, familiarise yourself with the product.  Feel the quality of the bag.  Smell it.  The leather should smell divine and look perfect.  The fittings will be immaculate, they will be perfectly finished. Check the details. Find out what colours the bag is available in.

Type replica mulberry into Google, see what you find.  There are HUNDREDS of websites out there.  Just because it’s a real internet site, doesn’t mean real product. Look at the bags.  You should be able to immediately see which bags are currently counterfeited.   

Know and love your seller too.  

Less than 50 positive feedbacks?

One day listings?

Tonnes of unwanted gifts?

Not too keen on Paypal?

Bought a lot of one penny electronic books?

Sold a few bags for very low value?

Maybe they’ve gone all shy and private feedbacked themselves?

Well, congratulations, you’ve discovered a very generous Ebay newcomer who is desperate to purge themselves of their trappings of wealth and materialism.   

Uh, wait a minute, no you didn’t. You’re about to get stiffed.

Ask your seller questions.  If they’re genuine, they’ll help.  Ask them the origin of their goods.  Ask them about the details of it. Ask for more photos.  

Look at their feedback – what have they sold?  Just as importantly - What do they buy?  Build up a picture and make an informed decision – would you ultimately trust this person?

Now, here's your chance to play Private Detective..................Go to Advanced Search - choose Items by Seller - Tick Completed Listings and see what you glean. In one week alone, 2 ebayers have asked me to authenticate bags which to me, looked very iffy. By simply doing this homework I've seen the same unwanted gift from ex-partner sold 3 times. It takes you a MINUTE to do a little research and guess what - even the private listings will show up !!!!

If I have receipts, despatch notes etc then I always will forward them, or copies of them.  I will always invite people to have bags authenticated as I have nothing to hide....

Know what you covet……

Bear in mind, your seller may be selling on a bag completely blissfully unaware that the "gift" they've been given is a fake.  Or they may have bought it on Ebay and be passing it on, again, unaware of the fact it's a "replica" bag. Either way, what they are doing is illegal and ignorance is NO excuse.

Hint - If it’s a popular bag, chances are, it’ll be counterfeited by someone.

 

Mulberry has had an image makeover in recent years and usually, each season heralds an It bag.

 

The Roxanne

Launched in 2004 and arm candy for many an A List actress, the Roxanne propelled Mulberry into the fashion stratosphere again.  A new Mulberry Roxanne will set you back £595 although limited editions (Rio, Snakeskin) can range from £695 to upwards of £1000.

 

The Roxanne is the most counterfeited Mulberry bag.

I have never seen Mulberry Roxannes with a handy piece of sample leather attached.  See this on a listing, then it’s a fake one!

Plastic wrapping round the handles?  Hello !! 

Large tree on the swing tag, in the middle of the front of the tag?  Nope.

 

Roxanne serial numbers – some have them, some don’t.  If you see 120468 or similar then it ain’t real.  026904 is a definite NO NO NO !!

I have 5 Roxannes, 2 are currently on listings. 3 have serial numbers, 2 don’t.  All are authentic.

The bag can be produced in Somerset, China or Turkey.  Mulberry do manufacture overseas now, it’s an effect of their success.  Later bags will have an internal black label either in upper or lower case showing made in XXXXXXX. 

Darwin is the leather of choice.  See a really grainy, orangey looking leather?  Chances are, it ain’t real.  Darwin is not really really coarse.

  

Limited editions have been made in Rio, Glove, snake or Vernis leather.

I personally wouldn’t touch the canvas bag on Ebay auction– too counterfeited. 

Pay attention to stock photos. Fabric backgrounds. Shot from a distance so you can't see any detail. Ask the seller if they could possibly send you detailed pics with their Ebay ID in the photos.

 

Roxy don’t stink! You may think I’m a weirdo telling you to sniff an authentic bag but make no mistake, the real one is delicious.  The Far Eastern replicas have a chemically smell about them, as the leather is treated differently.  Once smelt, never forgotten.

The bag also isn't square. It's perfectly formed, but not overly angular. Ask me for photos, I'll show you the difference between a real one and a fake.

Watch out for – Will be delivered in 10 working days.  Yup, via EMS probably, from China.  NEVER send a cheque.

Watch out for …. Bright red, baby pink, blue, white, canvas with red handles, nasty looking brown, coarse leather.  Mostly, they won’t be real.  Also, newly counterfeited – black patent.

 Mulberry Phoebe          

These bags are easy to spot if counterfeited with a  little practice.

The leather will be too shiny. Pay careful attention to the front pocket.The front pocket should not be overly round, or an ovally shape.  The strap which closes this front pocket should be fat, over 1 inch.

If it looks thin, this is a sign of a counterfeit bag.  The side fittings should be equally generous.  The usual colours copied are the popular ones.  Oak anyone??!

This bag was part of the Coconut Glove limited edition range. You may seem them popping up in Coconut Glove or a dark green colour glove leather, these can be authentic, but equally, have been copied.

Another easy way to spot a fake? Weight. Whilst this bag is not as heavy as a Roxy, it's a hefty quality bag.  However, you won't know this until it's in your hands and that's too late.

Retail is £595. Beware of bargains......

Ask me nicely, I'll send you pics of the real and fake for you to see the differences.    

 The Mulberry Bayswater or Ledbury

Not my area of forte, but suffice to say – google your replica bags and try and find a Bayswater.  What?  You can get a Handtooled Oak ,Chocolate or a solid Oak or a Chocolate from all the Far Eastern replica sellers?  Watch out for shiny padlock fittings..... Tacky looking interiors. The popular colours are counterfeited more regularly, oak, hand tooled – but also the nasty looking over coarse, cheap darwin shades – orange, white, red, pink, blue.  Patent versions are now appearing on websites.

    

 The Mulberry Annie .... the counterfeiter strikes back.......

Dear oh Dear. Another It bag, another copy.  Frighteningly, the Annie seems to have been counterfeited at lightning speed.  But they are good, good fakes.  The internal fabric is very similar. You'll find these in Oak, Black or Vanilla.

You have to get very detailed pictures and check all fittings as these are tricky to spot.  The fakes have a slightly stretched look.  The top of the bag is too square. I have seen these with the wrong locking mechanism (should be a ball)

The Oak looks overly shiny, even in natural daylight. The stitching is way too evident. If in doubt, ask for help or don't bid.       

The Ayler

Already out there, counterfeited and massively, massively inferior in comparison to authentic product. Watch out for harsh shapes (Easier to cut and mass produce for the counterfeiter) on what should be a beautifully shaped bag and harsh nasty colours.

The Blonde and Oak Knightsbridge

Again, another case of sophisticated copying. Very convincing to the untrained eye.

Watch out for fuzzy pictures (hides the fact that the leather is inferior)The fittings are a lighter weight than they should be.  The Mulberry internal disc is too tinny. Fine toothcomb, trusted seller only and Paypal protection people !!!!!!!

A Blonde Handheld Clutch – What a bargain!!

As soon as it's out, it's copied.  These literally stink.  You won't know it necessarily till it turns up as it's relatively easy to counterfeit a purse.  The interior fabric is no good, the internal fittings are “pleather” not leather.   But it looks real at a first glance – and it's only £90 - Unless you know your seller is a registered charity, please don't chance your money.        

A locking purse – Whoo Hoo!

Chocolate ! Cheap !!The exterior looks the same at an initial glance.  However, internally, it's cheap, the stamp of Mulberry is thick and u-g-l-y. Yes people, a £250 purse is £250 for a reason.

I have spotted the locking purse AND the concertina purse in Oak and Chocolate on replica websites. For replica read c-o-u-n-t-e-r-f-e-i-t.      

The Rosemary

These bags are not over - square.  Counterfeit bags in Oak and other colourways are regularly coming up on Ebay and many look very plausible.

You may seem them popping up in Mauve, Olive, these were limited edition colours in 2005/6 as were the Rio shades.  I'm yet to see a fake Rio Rosemary personally, but this doesn't mean they don't exist. 

Mine didn't come in plastic wrap on the handles!!! The fake Rosemary, like the fake Roxanne has it's shape all wrong.Too stiff, too square. Again, ask me for a before and after picture !!   

My popular friends, Emmy and Alana

Oh dear, oh dear.  People. Please look veryyyy carefully at a real Emmy or Alana. These girls are beautiful.  The detailing is fabulous.  The bag is a soft barrel. It is NOT square at the ends.  I see so many incorrect copies on the internet.  And yet, people see a bargain.  The fake bags look stumpy, high angles on the ends of the bag and they're straight. Not soft curved like a real bag. 

Cognac and almond was a limited edition, as was the chocolate and cognac so I would personally be surprised if half those listed are real. Again, Oak and Black are the fakers choice, but beware of chalk and vanilla too.    

The Knightsbridge -Vanilla

New - already counterfeited.  I would be very cautious about purchasing.   

Mulberry Hanover and Rivington

Depressingly, new season bags, already counterfeited and present on replica websites.  You can find fuschia, oak and chocolate in both styles.I'd expect a receipt if I was buying, otherwise, I wouldn't risk it.Want one? Call the Mulberry store at Bicester or buy online from Mulberry. 

 Mulberry Soho

Seen on replica websites in both chalk and new season silver.    Caution !!!

 Mulberry Brooke

Fakes have lighter fittings, clinky, rubbishy chain straps.  They mostly are found in a coarser leather than Mulberry true Darwin and are Oak, Black or Ginger. I've seen all in my travels of the internet to make Ebay a safer place for you :) 

 Mulberry Elgin

Personally, I have a Rio and a Mauve of this style, both from Selfridges.  I have seen TONNES of counterfeits in Oak and Black.  The bags look quite ok from an initial glance. You won't know this if you are just buying one.  The tree on the front buckle is wrong on most counterfeits. It is too thick, heavily "stamped" and blurry. Many sellers are listing tonnes of these. Follow the steps to look at all listings a seller has sold - please educate yourself. I would steer clear and buy from Mulberry or if you must buy then aim for a limited colourway with a proven boutique purchase, tags and all. 

The best of the rest.

I am sorry if this sounds overly pessimistic but I want you all to be cautious.  A designer bag is a huge investment for most people.  I wouldn't like to think of people having paid hundreds for a counterfeit bag of reduced quality.

These bags are already in circulation, in replica.  And some replicas are very good, so it's easier to be caught out with these as you're buying them from miles away. 

Barnaby, Aston

Smithfield, Jasper

Pasadena – Congo (oak and other colours)

Rampling in Congo (oak and other colours)

8 card coin wallet

- Note – this is not an exhaustive list.  Just the most popular and rest assured, now that the new locking mechanism design is out in catalogues, bags will be being taken apart and copied in factories right now to appear on a listing to all you unsuspecting bidders in the near future. 

Other Info..........

Please be careful of LV purchases and Chloe, particularly the Paddington and Betty ranges. Use Purse Forums. If you are contemplating a Balenciaga purchase then I would either choose someone with stellar feedback of 5000+ who only sells authenticated product (lots of these sellers in USA) or avoid altogether. Sadly, it's very very rare to find authentic product.  The manageress of a luxury brand told me they are seeing both people coming into the concession and surruptiously photographing bags from all angles, or buying a bag, only to return it the next day. Either buyer's remorse, or undoubtedly, using a real bag to photograph before shipping 10's to unsuspecting bidders.  

And finally.............If I can be of any assistance, please use the Ebay Contact Member function.  Please bear in mind I do work full time and have a small child, so don't expect any Equalizer like speedy responses, I will be with you as soon as I can !!

If you see any bags which you suspect are not authentic, use the ebay link to report this.  You will need the item number before you start.

Go to the Contact us area of customer support. Select Listing Policy Breaches Subtopic is Counterfeits and breach of copyright

Subtopic is Potential Trademark Infringement This then gives the option of Counterfeit Handbags, use the "Email us your concern" and report the item.

  
Add in the item numbers and submit.

And finally.............If in doubt, don't bid.  There's always another dream bag, waiting round the corner :)

NB - I have put together a guide with photos of real v counterfeit to help you educate yourself and make informed decisions.  If you really have to buy on Ebay, then I would like you to be safe.  My best advice to you, would be to purchase via Mulberry.com or via Mail Order from their store at Bicester Village.  This is the best way for you to make a good, realistic purchase and be totally elated when your gorgeous, authentic bag arrives at your house.

If you're still willing to take a stab at buying on here, then  please,  if you'd like a copy then message me please using Ebay's "Contact Member" function and don't forget to send me your email address  :)

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