Ever seen that designer item you've always wanted, then realising you really just can't afford it. You go on to eBay and to you're surprise there is your item, but only 10% of the RRP.
And did you know, that every time you purchase a fake, you are contributing to child labour, organised crime, and terrorism?
Most people think it's harmless to own a fake, saying 'oh, these big companies make millions, why should they miss out a couple of hundred.' Well, for starters tax is paid on an authentic item which goes to the UK government, and then spent on healthcare, schooling etc. The government is losing up to £9m a year through fake goods. Terrorists, even Al-Qaeda, sell fakes to fund they're terrorist acts. I don't know about you, but I don't really want to help Mr Osama Bin Laden and his crew. The children that make these fake items, as young as 8, work long hours just to be paid £10 a week. Child labour is used for the small details that go into the fake items. Personally, I don't really want to own anything that was mass produced by children for Al-Qaeda, I want something that will not break after a day because it's made by a qualified craftsman who is paid a decent salary, and at least my money won't land in the hands of terrorists.
For instance, a Chanel wallet. Item brand new, made from lambskin, with authenticity card, dust bag, box, serial number etc. You think, only £20? It's £200 in the boutique. Believe it or not these items are actually replicas. There is countless websites all over the world who specialise in replicas or designer gear. You can buy them for $40 (from a website in America). That's for a Chanel Cambon 2005 bag.
So, how can I tell the difference between fake and real?
Want more detailed information on Chanel? Check out my guide on checking the authenticity of your Chanel item, or one you are interested in on eBay.
Well, for starters, if I had something I bought for £1000, I certainly would not sell it at £50! Also, Chanel wallets have serial numbers, but there are in the front of the wallet, and not the back. The serial numbers are never visible, always hidden away. The serial number 9395451 (other serial numbers used are 9316391, 9395451, 10218184, 11062948 and 10803549, there is another one but I can't quite remember it. It's another one starting with 1 and it's on the classic 2.55 bags) is used on the majority of fake items. They also come in black boxes with black felt covers. Not white boxes with yellow silk lining. Also, the pink lining inside the wallets are illuminous pink, the fake ones is just plain pink. It's very noticeable close up, and especially if you take a photo of it. Here is an example:
See the difference?
Any doubts, just don't buy. Buy from the boutiques. You can take your items to boutiques to see if your item is authentic or not as well. Majority of designer items on eBay are replicas bought in cheap and then resold. I've seen websites for Chloe, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Gucci. Chanel goods cannot be bought on the internet (except for Chanel make up, skin care, and fragrance. Chanel.com only sell in North America currently. IN the UK we have boots.com, debenhams.com, and a convent garden website which I'll get the link for soon.) Anyone else selling Chanel products online is not authorised to do so.
What about Tiffany?
Another bad one if Tiffany jewellery and watches. Tiffany jewellery can be bought from Hong Kong for £3 for rings and earings, £5 for necklaces. Half of it isn't even real silver, and it can contain lead which is extremely poisonous. If you have ever bought any Tiffany jewellery off eBay, I recommend you get it silver tested by a jeweller, or an antiques specialist. Watches also come from Asia. Fantastically made replicas with boxes, cards, warrantees. You can buy a Chanel J 12 bezel watch for as little as £20. Now, you've seen how much they sell for on eBay for hundreds. Again, buy from a boutique if you don't want a fake, even though the cheapest J12 watch you can buy is £1290, and that's the small one without any fancy diamond bits on it, they're £1000's more than £1290. If you don't mind having a fake, just make sure you don't fork out loads for them. They're not worth it.
Lacoste is a funny one too. There is actually a fair bit of fake Lacoste on eBay. Also Von Dutch, D&G, Dior, Abercrombie & Fitch, Ralph Lauren, Chloe T-Shirts can be bought in Turkey for as little as 50p each. Very fake. Again, don't risk it if you do not want a fake.
Chanel, Gucci and Dior jewellery is another one where most of it is fake. Chanel jewelry, if new, should come with it's plastic tag, black box, white writing (Chanel also use the same font for everything), and sticker on the side stating what the item is. (With the replica wallets, some of them come with black boxes with the sticker on the side too. These are AAA replicas and only specialists can really tell the difference.) All Chanel jewellery, except extremely fine small earings and other items, has the authenticity stamp on it. A small oval mark that has Chanel and a bunch of numbers and the CC logo engraved on it. I don't think I have ever seen real Dior jewellery on eBay. Real Dior jewellery is very expensive, and would never be made by metal that turns your skin green. I've seen replica Gucci dog tags for £10 on some websites. They sell on eBay for hundreds again. I can't really tell the difference at the moment. I'm a Chanel fakes and authentics person.
Bracelet and earings set currently selling for £36 with 22 hours to go. People, you can buy these things in Spain for like £2 each. They also look very silly.
Believe it or not, these are pictures of a replica Chanel Cambon handbag, which costs about £800 in boutiques. This one is just $88 at wholesale price.
Pictures are very small, but I can't help that.
Fake sold on eBay at £92. This wallet is worth nearer £460, if it was real.
User cool8style sells fake designer jewellery. If it looks tacky, then more than likely fake. Chanel costume jewellery is also all made from base metals. Fine jewellery is made from gold and other precious metals, and normally cost a fair bit. If the seller states that their costume jewellery is 14K gold etc. then they are either trying to make a bigger sale on an authentic item, or it's fake.
Chanel bags should also come with black dust bags with only the word Chanel on it written in white. No symbols and any other writing. The boxes are also black, with just Chanel written on it in white, nothing else. I don't know where people are getting these white dust bags from. The price tags are also white, not black with Chanel written on them.
Chanel costume jewellery, Chanel sunglasses, Chanel scarves, Chanel shoes, Chanel clothes...none of these come with authenticity cards! The seller is probably over compensating for the fact that the item is fake.
Make up is another thing to look out for. Benefit is quite bad for this. There is so many Benefit products sold on eBay, but the majority of them are discontinued items from 2 years ago. Make up has a shelf life. These items are not really good enough for using on your skin after that length of time. Other make up brands are bad for this too. I've seen Chanel make up items on sale that are either new or slightly used that haven't been sold on counter for over the shelf life, which is normally 18 months. Think of the bacteria that has been growing in the product for all that time. Especially Chanel cream eyeshadows or blushers. If in doubt about how old a product is, you can contact me.
This is a very bad fake on eBay. Just to let you know, the cheapest Chanel J12 watch is £1290, and that is one with a small round face without any fancy diamond bezel on it. I don't know about you, but I would put a £1290 watch on a starting bid of £0.01, and especially brand new! Watch replicas are getting so good these days, that someone I know had a replica watch, possibly Breitling, took it back tot he Breitling shop because it ran out of batteries, it got replaced and they didn't even notice! This is bad. You might think, so, why should I buy the real one then if the fake one is so good? Simple, who would you rather the money went to? Some money to the genuine company which some of it is tax which is put back into the country to fund things like schools, hospitals etc, or to the fake making crime lords and terrorists. Personally, I would pay the extra couple of thousand, if it meant I wasn't funding the next 9/11.
I think this is one of the worst fakes on eBay. Shoes, bikinis, T-Shirts, jewellery, bags...the list is endless. Most Dior sandals are fake. The plastic one with Dior written on them. Louis Vuitton is equally as bad. And since when have Chanel ever made bone china mugs? o_O
Make up and cosmetics
I've just received a booklet about fake cosmetics from Chanel. The cosmetics that are most likely to be faked are Chanel, Estee Lauder, YSL and Calvin Klein, but there are others, these are the main ones. It might be a photo, you if you're with the person, it may the a genuine product that you are seeing, smelling, or testing, but it's not the product you get. All cosmetics are either made in France, some in the USA, but never in the far east and Asia. In August 1997. £2,000,000 worth of fake Coco by Chanel, Dune by Dior, and Kouros by YSL was seized in London. Most of the fakes come through for Christmas time. Some ways of telling the Chanel item is authentic is:
- If it is a glass bottle, look at the bottom of the bottle, does it have Chanel on it?
- If it is in a box (bearing in mind the fake product could be put into an authentic box), there should be a 4 figure impression batch code on the back of the box towards the base) (bare in mind a lot of the USA Chanel cosmetics don't have this 4 number impression code).
- Pooly packaged and shrink wrapped. Chanel items are in folded cellophane, not badly shrinkwrapped.
ALL DVD BUYERS, READ THIS!
Another fake, DVDs. The item description could say 'copy sold must be destroyed within 24 hours to abide with copyright laws'. That's rubbish. Any copying is illegal. If you are caught in possession of these items, you could end up in jail, or face an unlimited fine. Better to be safe than sorry. Pay a couple of £'s extra and get not just safety, but decent viewing quality!
If ever in doubt, just save your money and don't buy! If you really want the item, then check item description carefully. It also helps to know your designer items. Check feedback carefully. Even a couple of neutrals saying the authenticity is questionable is enough to question the seller.