5 Ways To Protect Yourself When Buying Used Designer Goods Online

The designer goods market can be a risky one – especially when it comes to the online resale market. Although the market is mostly saturated with reputable dealers and re sellers, unfortunately, there is still a very large industry of counterfeit goods. So, how do you know the designer labels you’re buying on the Internet are the real deal?

It is critical to do your research with every purchase you are considering. There are a few tall-tell signs of fake or inferior designer goods, all of which you must take into consideration when thinking about making a purchase.

The following tips will help you protect yourself and your finances:

1. Only Buy From Reputable Dealer
If you Google search used designer goods you’re likely to come up with thousands of websites. Some of these sites offer you incredible deals for used items, ranging from jeans to sun glasses, purses and anything else you can think of. Oftentimes the price seems a bit too good to be true, and chances are it is. Never buy products from a third party website you have never heard of. If you buy an item from one of these websites and you later discover the items are fake, you’re out of luck.  It will be impossible to return your purchase. Instead, only buy items with buyer protection, so even if the items turn out to be fake, you’re able to return the products for a full refund. Websites such as Amazon, eBay and Overstock are exceptional and have a great reputation for protecting their customers.
2. Check the Seller
Sellers on websites such as eBay have personal ratings from individuals who have already bought items from them. Look over these rankings to see what other people have said. You want a high rating around 99 percent or so. It is impossible to please everyone, as some people may rate low due to issues out of the sellers’ control, but if there are continual problems, including multiple reviews claiming the products are fake, it is a good idea to shop elsewhere.
3. Know the Product
Before you go about buying used designer goods from anyone, it is important to know about the brand, label or designer you are looking to purchase. For example, if you are buying J Brand jeans, you need to know the legs run longer than most other jean brands (so if you’re buying a size 6, the inseam might actually be two inches longer than what a pair of True Religion or Seven Jeans has). You need to know what the label looks like and where it is presented on the designer’s product. Most designers keep their logo rather uniform with every product, placing it in the same location on every item. Do your research and in the case of ebay or another used marketplace, you can usually ask the seller to post a picture they’ve taken of the actual label before you purchase it. This is a fairly common practice. If the seller refuses, or makes an excuse, move on.
4. Check the Stitching
After you purchase the item and it arrives in the mail, you still need to inspect the product to make sure it is a real designer item. Just because it is used doesn’t mean it should be falling apart. There are some tell-tale signs for this, including the stitching and interior label. If the stitching is not straight along the seams, is double-stitched in some areas or is fraying whatsoever, chances are it is a fake. High fashion, designer labels pride themselves on the quality of their pieces. Though most of what you are paying for is the label, you are also paying for unsurpassed quality – without exceptions. If your item is distressed, damaged or worn out, there’s a chance it could be counterfit. Of course, designer clothing isn’t invincible. The key here is to really examine the condition of the clothing. Most sellers will explain and specify any kind of wear or damage.
5. Examine at the Label
Many knock offs have incorrect information on the label, including the logo or brand name not appearing straight, having spelling errors or incorrect country of origin (many claim to be made in the United States, when most designer products, such as Prada, are made in Italy). Do your research and compare the labels you find to the item you are considering. You might be surprised how many times you’ll find inconsistencies you might not have noticed otherwise.

Though there is a large amount of trust involved when making any kind of purchase online, buying used designer clothing from anonymous vendors takes risk to the next level. If you follow the tips outlined above, you will likely protect yourself from fraud and disappointment as you shop for designer goods defensively online.

Featured images:
  •  License: Creative Commons image source

K.M. is an associate with EZ Storage a self storage facility with three secure and clean locations in the Boston-metro area.

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