For some women and men, these names sound like pure poetry: Chanel Timeless Jumbo So Black.
Hermès Kelly 53 Clemence Chocolate.
Bottega Veneta Cabat small Intrecciato purple.
These are the names of some of the most popular and expensive bags in the luxury world, which often not only cost a lot of money, but are sometimes not that easy to get.
This is one reason why fashion fans around the world are increasingly looking for their favorite models on resale platforms.
One of them is the Munich company Saclàb.com, which has focused on the resale of designer bags from Hermès, Chanel, Bottega Veneta and Dior.
“For many people it is becoming more and more natural to buy used luxury accessories and fashion on the Internet.
Perhaps because they are hoping for a lower price or because it is very difficult to find the model they want in the store and you don't want to be on a waiting list for four years, ”says co-founder and managing director Jan-Oliver Stück, who runs the shop in 2018 founded with his sister Alexandra.
A core element of the business of a resale platform is the authentication process: Anyone who deals in products that can cost four-digit sums must guarantee that they are genuine.
Because counterfeits of branded goods, which mainly come from Asia, are not news, but they are still extremely widespread, and not just on the beaches and streets of sunny holiday resorts.
In 2017, for example, the Global Brand Counterfeiting Report estimated that online and offline trade in counterfeit designer goods resulted in losses of $ 30.3 billion to luxury brands.
In addition, modern fakes are not always easy to identify by clearly falsified monograms or logos.
“The range of qualities is very high.
There are definitely bags that are really well counterfeit, ”says Stück, naming the so-called superfakes.
Here he explains what you have to pay attention to in order to be able to distinguish between the original.
Choosing the right platform
“If you scroll through the offers on the German site of Ebay, you can quickly see: of the first 50 advertisements, ten or twelve sell fake bags that are quite clearly visible as such.
Then maybe the price is noticeably cheap or it says in the description that the bag is a 'VIP Gift' and therefore has no serial number.
Of course, none of this is true.
Every time the trade takes place directly between seller and buyer, without a supervisory authority intervening, this provides a breeding ground for the sale of counterfeits.
Obvious fakes, for example, do not reach us, presumably because we know that we check every incoming goods for authenticity.
I have the feeling that when a seller sends us a fake, he or she usually doesn't know that the bag is not real - then you may have bought it yourself on Ebay and now want to resell it.
In general, I think that platforms that specialize in reselling luxury items make online trading in used designer parts safer - precisely because they specifically try to filter out fakes. "
Well counterfeit bags are known as "superfakes"
Do the right research
“Every authentication work starts with looking at which model you are dealing with.
A “Birkin 30”, for example, has certain dimensions and so it starts with checking whether the bag fits.
If it measures 32 centimeters in length instead of 30, that's not a good sign.
In addition, you should research whether the model offered was even sold by the brand itself.
So when we have a 'Chanel Boy' with rhinestones in front of us, let's first see whether Chanel has ever launched such a variant.
The classics are most often counterfeited, but there are also special editions that are traded as fakes.
We have also received 'invented' special editions that never existed as originals. "
Use all your senses
“The easiest thing you can do is just pick up a bag and touch it with your bare hands.
How high quality does it feel, what is the 'look and feel'?
We have already held thousands of Chanel bags in our hands, and you quickly notice whether the lamb leather feels a bit harder than usual. I would always smell the bag.
Counterfeit bags are often treated with glue, and that gives off a plastic-like odor.
Another indicator is a very intense leather odor, which shows that the leather was not tanned to a high quality. "
Pay attention to the details
“One of our most important tools in the authentication process is an image database.
We have stored around 25,000 images on this, of types of leather, colors, logos, stamps, hardware and closures, serial numbers, but also of fakes.
When a bag has to be authenticated, a teammate works through a checklist of mostly twelve points and compares every detail of the bag with the images from our database at every step.
If one point remains open, the bag must be examined by another team member; if there are two uncertainties, it is returned to the seller.
There are also instructions that explain, for example, what seams should look like.
The seams of a Hermès bag, for example, are all made by hand, and you can also tell that it doesn't look too perfect.
In addition, Hermès uses a double thread that is interwoven, one should also pay attention to this.
The hardware is characterized by the fact that it is riveted on the back and not glued or screwed.
On a Chanel bag, the fixation of the double C logo on the flap cap is noticeable: On the back you can see that the metal logo is fixed with two flat head screws.
Counterfeits, on the other hand, often use screws with a rounded head. "
Pay attention to the overall package
“The accessories that go with a bag often provide a good indication of its authenticity.
We have often received models with fake invoices and fake dust bags.
We'll send something back immediately. "
Jan-Oliver Stück checks every handbag
Source: Els Zweerink for SACLÀB / Els Zweerink
When it gets complicated
“Last year, media reports appeared about a forger's ring made up of Hermès craftsmen who had built and resold 'Birkin Bags' on their own in France, even using original materials that Hermès themselves use.
If such an expert, with decades of experience, begins to manufacture plagiarism and also uses the same leather - well, even I would probably not recognize such a manufacture as a fake.
Most 'superfakes', however, are not quite as sophisticated.
Even if the details look like those of the original, you can tell from the materials whether the bag is fake: For example, from the texture of the thread, the leather tanning or the type of seal. "
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Our podcast THE REAL WORD is about the important big and small questions in life: What do breast selfies have to do with feminism?
How does the long-term relationship stay happy?
And what can you learn from the TV “Bachelorette”?
Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Deezer, iTunes or Google Podcasts or subscribe to us directly via RSS feed.