Coach, Chloe, Balenciaga, Chanel, Michael Kors, Prada, Gucci, Fendi, Hermes, Kate Spade, Vera Bradley, Louis Vuitton, we could go on and on…
It’s illegal to sell counterfeit merchandise, but in theory it’s okay to sell ‘designer inspired’ items. ‘Designer inspired’ means that the handbag looks quite similar to the real thing, but doesn’t feature any logos or brand names belonging to the company.
That said, VeRO – eBay’s intellectual property rights watchdog - has been known to crack down even on these items. Basically, eBay has too much to lose to take chances. So from their point of view, it’s better to treat sellers as guilty until proven innocent, rather than the other way around. Therefore, if you are going to sell ‘designer inspired’ items, be prepared for some close attention.
Of course, selling out-and-out fakes on eBay will eventually lead to your auctions being pulled (depending on how quick you get dobbed in), with huge fines and even imprisonment in the offing if the company who owns the trade mark decides to pursue the issue.
Problem is, it can be hard to tell good fakes from the real thing, and seeing as the consequences are so scary, it’s critical you know your stuff before you begin.
Start with some serious research into the brands you wish to sell. Knowing your brand and your bags makes it much, much easier to spot a fake. Especially when you realize that many bags are simply modified a little each season, but ultimately stay close to the original design. Researching the brand will also help you learn how the bags are distributed and where they end up at the end of their lifecycle.
The second leg of your research should be concerned with price. The majority of authentic handbags from the big designers can never be found at more than 40% below retail price, barring liquidations. Why? Because distribution is tightly controlled by the company to ensure there is never a surplus. In some cases, excess items are destroyed rather than sold off cheaply. Super low ‘wholesale’ prices, such as $75 for a Chanel handbag that retails at over $1,000, practically scream ‘fake’.
The third very, very, very important thing is to get the paperwork. All genuine brand name items come with paperwork known as a ‘chain of title’. You know how the Transport Authority keeps records on the ownership of each car every made? Well designer handbag companies use paperwork to keep a trail of ownership of each bag every made. Being part of the chain of title means that the invoice you receive from the supplier declares that the item is authentic and states the brand name in full and the style number. And if VeRO should come knocking, being able to display this evidence will stop them in their tracks – or at worst, transfer their attentions to your supplier!
Wholesalers – Designer handbags are discounted rather than wholesale. It can be extremely difficult to find legitimate wholesalers of designer handbag; however we can reveal that SaleHoo contains several excellent wholesalers stocking genuine Gucci, Balenciaga, Dior, Coach, Fendi, Chloe and more!
Liquidators – Liquidation pallets can be the source of some real designer handbag bargains, particularly the pallets coming from big department stores such as Macys. This is the only way you will get designer handbags at ‘wholesale’ or even below wholesale rates.