Nowadays we opt to avail for products and services in the most convenient ways possible. I mean why bother going out looking for bags, wallets and other stuff (especially if the brand is not available in the country), if you could just browse Instagram shops in the comfort of your own home. With just a tap of a finger, you can select that product you like, pay via on-line bank transfer, credit card or through your nearest remittance center and then just wait until your package come to your doorstep.
I myself is an online shopper for years now. Though most of my transactions were fast and legit, I also experienced being wronged twice. So based from my own experiences, here are my tips that I hope would prevent you for purchasing fake items.
1. Do not Trust Easily.
Well established online shops is not a guarantee that you will not be able to avail fake items.
I purchased a fake power bank from a well known online shop before. Given that it has credibility and clearly stands for the authenticity of its products, I gave my full trust. Luckily, they are kind enough to immediately entertain my concern and return my money back. They put the blame on the vendor where the item came from. Though I think that it wasn’t a valid excuse, I’m still glad that they were very attentive and sorry for the inconvenience they have caused me.
2. Research and Authenticate.
There is no better way to check the originality of a product but through research. Thanks to the World Wide Web and to the bloggers out there, identifying the fake from authentic products is easy with detailed descriptions, comparisons and illustrations.
Warning!!! TMI (Too much Information)
Just recently, I purchased a Kate Spade bag from an Instagram seller; she claimed that it is Original, Authentic and Brand new. I did not suspect the low price of the bag because I am aware that when branded bags are on sale in the US, they really mean it, it is really a steal. After I inspected the bag almost all of the details seemed legit, except from the feet.
Additional Info: The feet of Kate Spade bags (depending on the model, some have feet while others dont) should not be coned-shape or pyramid like, they should be small, flat and rounded.
My fault was that I did not research that much and just told myself that I will just do an examination once I got it. This leads to the third tip which is to
3. Have a clear conversation with the seller.
(Applicable for Instagram, Facebook and OLX sellers).
Once you did your research or you already have a product from the same brand, it is now time to give the seller some job by asking him/her to do the things for you. Start by asking if the product is really authentic even if it is stated already. If he/she quickly said that it is just an “authentic overrun” you are lucky but if not….
Do some follow up questions and validate every details of the product based from your knowledge. But do not stop there, also require some actions:
- Request him/her to send you a picture of the actual item.
- Ask where it was made.
- Request him to send close up shots where you can identify if the product is fake or authentic.
This is very important, screen shot your conversation. It saved me from the fake Kate Spade bag encounter.
4. A bag or accessory that comes with Care Card, Box, Dust or Paper bags does not mean that it is authentic.
Remember, there are talented individuals with very delicate hands and machinery out there. These things can be easily copied and replicated.
5. There is no such thing as “AUTHENTIC OVERRUN” items.
No offense but personally I don’t think that items tagged as authentic overruns, tester Dubai perfumes or SG authentic makeup exists, for me they are all nothing but fakes or copy cats. Come to think of it, why Dolce and Gabbana would release a Dubai made version of their light blue perfume for only P1, 000.00 when its original version costs roughly P4000.00 each? Clearly, it is a threat on their market.
6. Look for customer testimonials.
Taking time to read customer feedback’s is a great way to know if a shop is legit and the quality of product they are selling.
Take note also that the number of Instagram followers does not follow that the shop is legit.
7. Demand for refund.
Once you are confident that you got the wrong or fake item, immediately contact the seller and informed him/her that you cannot be fooled. Show your basis and ask for a refund. In my case, after 2 days of negotiations with the seller I managed to received my money including the shipping fee and returned to them the fake bag.