Gucci Twirl warning!

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Fancy a Gucci Twirl? Spotted an amazing bargain? Well, maybe it's not as much of a bargain as it seems.

For a couple of years now, the Gucci Twirl has been one of the most popular of watches. Ranging from £525 - £1965 in the shops, Ebay has been the place to get a gorgeous piece of designer chic for a bargain price.

In the last couple of months (I'm writing this in Nov 07), a huge rise has been seen in the number of fake Twirls on Ebay - the counterfeit machine has finally caught onto this extremely popular item. About 80% of the diamond twirls I'm seeing where buyers are private sellers and have less than 20 feedback have been fake.

So how do you make sure that the Twirl you're bidding on is genuine? Well, there are a few tips which could save you hundreds of pounds/dollars. Many of these are common sense tips that apply to any item:

-if your seller doesn't take Paypal, you have to ask yourself why. Are you're willing to buy something of this cost with NO protection whatsoever? In the event that something goes wrong, your only recourse is the police, small claims court or trading standards (if it's a business seller).

- if your seller has low feedback, and you are only covered for £150 via Paypal, think twice before buying. You are not covered for all your money in the event of any issue, be that loss in the post OR counterfeit goods.

-if there are pictures of the actual item (as opposed to stock pictures), compare the detail closely to the Gucci website. Goldsmiths or Beaverbrooks also have good pics to compare against. There are several key things to look out for which are common on fakes:

Firstly, Gucci do NOT currently do a wide twirl (3.3cm wide) with a double row of diamonds. A real double-row twirl is the narrow version only - 2.3cm wide.

Look at the pattern of GG logos on the bracelet. For a wide twirl (3.3cm), rows alternate between 3 complete GG logos per row and two complete GG/two half logos (look at the website pics to see what I mean). For a narrow twirl (2.3cm wide), rows alternate between 2 complete GG logos per row and 1 complete GG/2 half logos. Any watch that DOESN'T have GG logos cut off at the edge of the bracelet isn't real.

On a genuine watch, the GG logos are cut all the way through on the front of the bracelet i.e. you can see through them. If the item in question only has the logo etched/punched into the surface of the metal, then it's fake NB the links/clasp at the back of a genuine watch ARE etched, not cut through.

For the wide twirls (both diamond and non-diamond models), there are 6 'rivets' around the casing surrounding the rotating face.

Ask the seller to send you close up pics of the back of the watch, showing the 8 digit serial number. The number should be on the bracelet around the wace (not the rotating face itself) along with the model number (112) and 'GUCCI'. Any seller who can only send blurry pics where you can't see this detail, or no pics at all, should be avoided to be safe.

A current Gucci watch should only come with a chocolate brown coloured box (same colour inside as out). While this is no guarantee of authenticity (a box and guarantee card can be bought for a tenner), it's a definite warning if the item comes with no box/wooden box with cream inside/green box/other less common varient.

If you still can't make up your mind, drop me a line. While I have little sympathy for someone who buys a new designer bag for £20 and expects it to be real (come on!), it makes me very angry to see people fleeced for hundreds of pounds for a piece of tat. While I cannot guarantee what you'll receive in the end (picture stealing from legit listings is not uncommon), I can tell you if there's anything that I would consider to be dubious on a listing. At the end of the day, you buy at your own peril - find a seller with high/positive feedback to play safe.

Best of luck!

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