Fakes are never in fashion, and with the rise of technology, it is becoming increasing difficult to tell the real thing from a counterfeit. So, as a member of the "Charter Against Counterfeiting on the Internet," Vestiaire Collective, a fashion resale site, set out to explore the world of counterfeit designer fashion pieces on marketplace sites in the UK. They discovered that almost two-thirds of online shoppers said they had accidentally bought a fake garments or accessory (spending between $300 - $1600) through resale or knew someone who had. Of those surveyed, 50% had purchased handbags. Shoes and sunglasses were also popular items. Additionally, 66% of the respondents admitted that they didn't feel they possessed the knowledge to accurately spot a counterfeit item from a genuine good.
Fanny Moizant, co-founder of Vestiaire, explained that they launched the site in 2009 to put authenticity and quality control at the centre of the business. It has become Europe’s leading trusted site for the resale of designer and premium fashion. "We launched with an exclusive model that begins with a careful curation process, followed by the physical check of all of the items that are sold on the site by our in-house experts," says Moizant. "We signed the 'Fight Against Online Counterfeiting Charter' in 2012 in order to work closely with luxury brands and ensure zero tolerance to counterfeit goods."
Moizant suggests implementing a five point check system to avoid buying counterfeit item: "The material can tell you a lot about the quality of an item, if it’s leather it should feel and smell like leather. If the item you’re inspecting is a bag, make sure you take a good look at the stitching, uneven or slanted stitching is a sign of a poorly made item and therefore a counterfeit. Check the logo, which is often a slip up area for many copies, every brand includes unique details to ensure they can identify a genuine piece. Finally look for a serial number and color variations in the material."