I’m writing this because I’m SO FREAKIN SICK of looking through listings on popular secondhand reseller Instagram pages, and seeing fake items for sale. I usually keep my mouth shut, but I totally lost it last week when I saw an item of mine, stolen from me and posted online for sale.
I WAS LIKE,
It’s so damn sickening!!! I got so angry because the picture was taken by me for a potential “trade” and then used so unscrupulously. Like wtf man!
And with the steeply rising prices of branded goods nowadays, I totally understand why people turn towards secondhand stores/resellers/Carousell/Instagram pages. I mean, even I do that sometimes, but rarely now because of all these fakes.
So anyway, I am not here to slam any reseller/people who buy secondhand, I’m just here to WARN you of the dangers when buying your items anywhere other than the store itself.
*Oh and probably throw in some advice, especially when it comes to the brands I love*
BONUS: Story of the stupid b*tch who stole my pic at the end
1. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
This is most evident in terms of price. Like… I know this has been said a million times, but if the bag is brand new or barely used, it’s not likely that it’ll be sold at less than half the price. I’ve seen so many fake Boy Chanels going around on some of these pages and it’s absolutely disgusting. Some of them are actually SOLD. Albeit, they only cost like 2-3k at “Brand new” prices.
The above Jumbo is a fake, sold for 4.3k SGD. It’s retailing for over 7K in SG Chanel btw. Good deal? Meh, you got scammed.
(How do I know? I’ll explain later on in the pics below.)
The poor clueless soul who bought it prolly didn’t know their bag was made in China…
But you might ask, if I don’t buy it just because it’s cheaper, why turn to a reseller at all?!
TRUE, but you prolly want to proceed to my next point before purchasing anyway….
2. Authenticate ALL bags before purchasing
(Eg: bababebi, a very credible Hermes authenticator)
I never buy bags that are “cheap” without AUTHENTICATING the bag first. (there are many sites where you can do that, just Google or check out Purseforum for good recommendations)
And even after I authenticate it, I will make sure the bag is EXACTLY as pictured. If anything’s off, I won’t purchase it.
Even if it means my authentication money goes down the drain.
I mean. Think about it. Yes you lose the authentication money, but that’s better than an escalation of commitment which lands you with a fake bag right?? I rather lose the 100 SGD (think of it as a sunk cost since you decided to purchase a secondhand bag anyway) than throw a few THOUSANDS on a made in China bag.
Authentication services are a MUST for me. No matter how “reputable” the seller is. This is especially true for Instagram accounts/Carousell where people can just post whatever picture they find online. And no one vets these items ok! #justsaying
It’s “caveat emptor”, aka buyer beware, and all items are ASSUMED authentic when posted.
3. Get lots and lots of pictures (4 is not enough, btw, Carousellers)
(Eg: Of my photo album if I plan to sell my items, lots of pics!)
If you do your homework online, and dig through some authentication threads… You’ll probably find out what’s real, what’s not, and what’s a damn good fake. And, you’ll also know what pictures to ask for whenever you buy from a seller.
Do not be afraid to ask for more pictures, CLEAR pictures, and in good lighting. If the seller is reluctant, I advise that you stay away from them. It’s a huge red flag for me because pictures can tell A LOT. And a clear shot vs a blurry is what separates telling real from fake. (especially the super fakes) Also, you should ask for clear pictures of the scratches on the bag if any. Tears too!
You probably know this if you follow the advice above, and get your items authenticated before purchase. The authenticator will definitely ask you for the relevant pictures, so do make sure that your seller is one who is able to provide them.
If not, move on.
4. Check the seller’s attitude
(Lol irrelevant pic of myself with a chaobin…)
I never ever deal with sellers who are too eager to sell, and those who pressure me to make my decisions fast. I would think that buying a branded bag is an investment, and a really expensive one. One should always do their homework and make a calculated decision (will you use it often? is it just a fad?? do you really like it?? is it even practical for your lifestyle??) before making a purchase.
I’ve had bad experiences with sellers who RUSH me into making a purchase and I just feel that’s kinda fishy. Like yeah, maybe you really need the money… But please la, let me do my homework first ok!?! If the seller keeps rushing you, he/she prolly just wants to clear the bag on hand ASAP and maybe… Because there’s something wrong with it. They won’t tell you!
Rude sellers are another bunch that I avoid like plague. Like wtf even though I’m not buying from Chanel directly you don’t give me sh*t attitude k.
The worst ones would be sellers that are dubious, and who know NOTHING about the bags/items when you ask more questions. Like when they bought it, how much did they buy it for, how old is the item, what leather is it.. etc. The list goes on. If the seller is ever unclear about these things… I’d avoid them too. How can I trust them if they don’t even know their own bag?? Ridic! Could be a fake for all I know which was bought from another reseller.
5. View the bag in person, before you make a purchase/place a deposit.
I am very VERY particular about this. I never do any transactions through mail/online because I know super fakes exist and I wouldn’t risk having a seller run away with my deposit. NO MATTER HOW MUCH I WANT THE BAG.
Branded bags are luxurious, and they should exude the same air of grandeur. This part of a bag, is IMO, the hardest to fake.
Most of the time, fakes are sloppy, lack the leather smell, feel like plastic and PVC, and look absolutely crap in pictures.
But for the super fakes? It’s going to be REAAAAAL hard to tell them apart. Especially with just photos. You need to see them, and do a side by side comparison.
Double check the photos the seller sends to you with the bag in person. (I know of people who have authenticated a real bag and then received a fake in person.) Feel and touch the bag, make sure it’s not plasticky/PVC-ish.
Look at the DETAILS. I cannot stress this any more than I already have. The stitching, the zips, the buckles, handles, dustbag, boxes, receipts (yes they can be faked!), EVERYTHING. Just one stitch off could mean heaven and hell for you. You have to KNOW the bag before you buy anything secondhand. This is why….
6. I always advice that people own a REAL, GENUINE item before buying second hand, only then can you tell the difference
For those who have never owned a branded bag… Go buy your first one from the boutiques. It’s worth the whole experience. And you’ll KNOW what’s a real and fake bag. You must take time to understand the design and the nitty gritty details before you buy another from a reseller.
I always believed this,
“Once you feel Chanel’s lambskin… You’ll never fall prey to a fake again.”
It’s true. I’ll only buy a secondhand bag in the same design (different colour) because I can bring my own genuine one to compare when I view the item in person. If you don’t have that bag, ask your friends/family who have that bag (make sure it’s real la) to go along with you so you can make a comparison.
I swear. Side by side, the fakes can never triumph.
The only trick is to BE VERY DETAILED and patient. Do not rush to buy the bag or go “OMG ITZ GO PRETTY THX I’LL BUY IT NOW.”
7. Avoid designs that are frequently copied
Ok that doesn’t leave you with much choice does it? Chanel’s Classic Flaps, 2.55, Boy Chanel, Lady Dior, LV anything, Hermes Kelly and Birkin and everything popular are usually copied to the MAX.
And I’m telling you. I’ve seen some AMAZING fakes. I could barely tell the difference until I put the bags SIDE BY SIDE. People can even COPY RECEIPTS nowadays.
Let me show you an example below :
(box fake, ribbon fake, receipt fake)
Compare it with my Chanel purchases below, you can tell the font is all wrong. The “C” is not rounded enough!
Freaky ya??!? But even when it comes to superfakes… It’s hard to fake the receipt/boxes/dustbags to absolute perfection. I’ve seen duds online because of the box. The font is just not right.
8. Everything can be copied, the devil’s in the details.
(fake authenticity card, font is WRONG, and the bag was sold wtf. This was the jumbo I talked about in 1.)
Sorry I’m going on about detail detail detail. But it’s so damn true. Ok. Sometimes super fakes get EVERYTHING right, but they ALWAYS forget the packaging/receipts.
Like for Chanel, I can easily tell between a fake box and a real box. Just the BOX not the bag itself. Why? Because of the font. You wouldn’t notice it unless you study and admire your bags all the time (Yes I’m a CC freak lol) and if you actually owned one yourself. Even the weight and the feel of the box is different.
Next, Fendi. How to tell? The colour. The yellow colour paperbags/boxes are very hard to duplicate because knock offs usually can’t print them right. Fendi’s yellow is a very bright yellow. The fake Fendi paperbags/boxes are usually very dull and lacklustre. Like a dirty yellow. I know, because I almost got scammed by a b*tch (story below as a bonus LOL) and I picked this up immediately once I saw the paperbags.
How did I realise it? BECAUSE I HAVE A FENDI BAG BUG MYSELF. I have the paperbag and box and dustbag and I KNOW what Fendi packaging is like. I actually studied my bag bug very studiously after I bought it. Yknow, just in case I decided to buy from a reseller.
This saved my freakin’ ass!
9. ALWAYS GO WITH YOUR GUT.
If you feel something’s not right, your sixth sense is just working it’s magic. Trust me, us girls have it good. Especially after we’ve done our homework, once something is a bit off, we can tell.
Don’t feel paiseh to reject the person or say no. Just tell them the item is not suitable and walk off. Don’t be in their face like “EH YOUR ITEM FAKE LA.”, I mean, you’re not a pro pro la.
Don’t risk anything. Save that money and continue saving till you can get one from the boutique itself! It’s more worth it I promise! There’s loads of horrible stories about how the SAs are super rude in boutiques now… It’s true (had some really sh*t experiences in Chanel lol) but you’ve really just got to find the correct one.
I finally found my angel at Chanel in SG and I’m super happy with her. She’s made me not consider secondhand Chanel at all. (Unless it’s a vintage piece la… Bobian that one) The experience of buying an item that is pegged with fears/worries is NOT worth the cost-savings of a few hundred in my opinion.
Go for the first-hand!!!!!!!!!!!
PS: If you need any good SAs at Chanel in SG I can recommend you to mine. She’s a total angel, so yes, please email me for that lol.
10. BONUS STORY, B*TCH WHO WANTED TO SCAM ME WITH A FAKE KARLITO BAG BUG
Ok so a few months back (when I was still mugging like mad for my Strat exam) in April, I chanced upon this absolutely UNBELIEVABLE deal (dodgy alert) on an Instagram page.
This lady was selling a Karlito Bag Bug for only 1.2k SGD! Wtf! The retail price in SG is 2.4k btw. Just saying. It was a damn good deal and I really wanted one. It’s so cute right!
So then I texted her through iMessage and she even allowed me to nego till 800 sgd.
I was like, woah, seriously?!?! Ok cool. But I still felt a little uncomfortable about purchasing it, PLUS, I just bought a new Fendi birdie charm and it cost me a good 1.3k sgd. So I waited and told her I’ll try to get the money/trade.
I then Whatsapped her (I lost the convo because my ip6 died in Bali T_T) and I continued asking her if she was interested in a trade. Like my Fendi Birdie Charm for her Karlito. She asked for pics and I sent them to her (BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER). She said she didn’t want to trade in the end and we ended our convo there.
I put this aside because she wasn’t sending me more pictures and only sent me this super blurry pic of the Karlito hanging on a bag. With filters and all. Meh. Not enough pics. So… Nahh….
Fast forward a few months later and I saw a friend’s Karlito, and I just DIED. I wanted it!! It’s so freakin’ GORG!!!!!!!!!!! So I remembered this seller and managed to pull up her number (I synced my mac to my iMessages so I have that but not the Whatsapp) and texted her again.
She replied this time and I don’t have the convo because I resetted my whatsapp (believe or not up to you, it just takes up a lot of space on a 16GB ip) and actually sent me pics!!
Huzzah!!!! I was so happy lor. Like I actually thought I’d finally have one to myself.
She sent me the following pictures of the Karlito and I went over to my trusty pals at ThePurseForum to get this Karlito authenticated.
Of course I didn’t just sit there and wait for the free authentication* lah, I also went online and tried to find out what’s the full set of a Karlito supposed to look like. Dustbag and all!
*Only free for active members of TPF
Couldn’t find anything so I went on to Youtube to find people unboxing a Karlito (then I can see what’s inside duh). A LOT OF EFFORT OK. THIS IS WHAT I MEAN BY DO UR HOMEWORK!
So from the video I picked out a key difference, the DUSTBAG for the seller’s Karlito was different. It looked very different compared to my Birdie’s Charm’s dustbag. I thought it was a bit weird…. But i brushed it off (what a stupid girl I was) because I asked her about it and she said she misplaced it so this was from another of her smaller bag bugs…
Oooookkaaaaaayyyy….? No biggie la. Dustbag only right?! Wrong.
So the seller wanted to meet ASAP and my TPF members hadn’t got back to me. What to do? I decided to just meet her lor. Only thing I lost was my transport fare to Orchard (not rly also cuz I went shopping aft tt hahahahaha).
Met the girl and I spotted her from afar. She was carrying this HUGE A4 sized Fendi paperbag which I knew was 100% fake. I knew she was a dud already. But ok. Nvm. Must give face and say hi then show interest ya?? Also quite curious what a fake Karlito is like!
She took out the Fendi box (same fake yellow colour lol) and I KNEW IT WAS FAKE BECAUSE I HAVE THE SAME BOX AND THE ONE SHE HELD WAS SO SO PLASTICKY.
In it was the “Karlito” which honestly was faked damn well. I think if she sold it without the box/bag/dustbag she could have scammed me.
I picked it up and felt it and OH MY GOD it really felt real at first. Like real fur and all. Dimensions wise it looked alright. But feeling wise… I felt it for awhile and realised it’s slightly different from the Karlito I felt in Fendi itself. I knew for sure it was fake once I saw the key ring attaching the Fendi tag to the attachment.
(Fake Key ring attaching the tag, it is thinner)
(Real Fendi Karlito Tag from a TPF member, thicker attachment)
Refer to the pictures above for the obvious difference. Although, this is a very good fake I must say.
OK but anyway!!!!! I just walked off and thought that it was the end.
At least that’s what I thought…..
Until a few days ago, I saw this posted on a pretty famous reseller’s Instagram site.
MY FREAKIN’ FENDI BIRDIE CHARM!!!!! THE SAME ONE I TOOK A PIC FOR WHEN I REQUESTED TO DO AN EXCHANGE FOR THE KARLITO!!!!! That b#$%^&*ch!!!!
PS: U can see my freakin’ notes in the background ok. I was mugging for my Strat paper lol. Wtf.
Of course I flew into a flying rage (wtf imagine if I wna sell my Birdie Charm next time then people say I steal their pic??) and emailed the reseller’s Instagram immediately. They responded quite swiftly and removed the picture after I made my case. But then they posted it up again on Friday, claiming one of their staff didn’t know about what happened. But whatever lah. They removed it in the end. I also warned them about this seller selling fake shit (yes she still has shit posted on their Insta) but they didn’t seem to heed my warning.
After getting my picture off the reseller’s Instagram page I went to WA that dishonest seller. I confronted her and this is the conversation that ensued.
She’s an epic liar. First she told me the Karlito was a gift from her boyfriend (in our firstever WA convo), and then now it’s a “gift from friend”. So she doesn’t know if real or not. IF DON’T KNOW THEN DON’T SELL LAH.
She was obviously trying to shift the blame on an imaginary friend!!! Damn gross I cannot take it. After I exposed her lies she went on to blame others (friends for giving her a fake) and then she’s selling a NEW Birdie Charm (on Carousell now) which I assume is fake as well.
(She said it’s from her friends FOR HER BDAY LOL)
Looks damn different from my Fendi Birdie right?? Lol. Just compare the diff and you will know.
Aiya anyway she’s just full of BS, and I bet she’s not the only one out there. SO PLEASE BEWARE OF THESE SCAMMERS! Selling fakes as authentic products! Super gross I cannot take it.
*end of rant*
Ok so moral of the story….
Don’t be an idiot. Do your homework. Try not to buy secondhand unless you are VERY VERY VERY sure about what you are buying.
Don’t be a cheapo and remember to get your items authenticated before purchasing!
Hope this post helps you!!!!!
(and squashes all the fake Chanel scammers in the market, pui!!!)