Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Do You Really Know What You're Buying On Line?

 Yoox.com and Netaporter.com deliver beautiful boxes of delicious designer clothing to your door, accept returns graciously and have page after page of exquisitely edited merchandise. Gilt.com has developed another type of business; bringing designer merchandise with seriously good reductions that are available for a limited amount of time. Perhaps some of the thoughts talked about at the recent FT Luxury Conference are already relevant; many people do prefer to avoid expensive stores that have uneven service, limited inventory and stringent return policies.

 Where there's success, there will suddenly spring up an entire industry. I think most are simply hard-working entrepeneurs with a love of fashion who do this with style and find ways to create their own niches.

 But there really is a problem, the layers of which I'm just becoming aware of, feeling completely naive frankly. How does one know which companies are actually offering authentic merchandise and will stand behind it? The truth is that I don't know and from my own sad experience of buying an "authentic" Chanel Baby Cabas bag in black patent and not knowing that it wasn't authentic until I came across the specifics of false serial numbers and countries of origin, I think it's painful in all ways to pay for what you are not getting. I know some shoppers are happy with extremely low prices and things that may even be similar to the designer's own products. There's an astounding amount of sites that label themselves Replica, Mirror, Copy, etc.

Fakes. An ugly word which carries some risk, even if you don't know it's fake (ouch). Fakes can be confiscated and I know Italy slaps a 5,000. penalty and I think that is becoming prevalent. Can you imagine having your designer product confiscated and then being fined?

There are several of these companies that have made me feel queasy. It was so easy to go to the designer's website and dash off an email to ask whether the sites were authorized. Balenciaga, Burberry and now Jacob & Co watches responded immediately. The sites I asked about were not authorized and in the case of Balenciaga, I was informed that their legal department would review the situation.

 I asked my credit card company what support they can provide: One has ninety days (it can stretch a bit longer if you have a good reason) to let them know that the product is not authentic and they will charge it back to the merchant.

Oh and those Lindsey Lohan or other celebrity tweets about a great sale? It's a commercial arrangement for which they receive a fee.


4 comments:

  1. You bring up some great points that we all must consider when we think we're getting a great deal. I'm sorry that you had to go through the experience. I know I could easily make the same mistake. Thank you for bringing this issue to light a bit more.

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  2. interesting and very enlightening...it's good that you thought to do this. wow!

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  3. Have you seen Christian Louboutin's Stop Fakes site? LLGxx

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  4. Thank you so much ... Mr. Louboutin is doing a good thing. http://www.stopfakelouboutin.com/index.php/en

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