Have you ever wondered what people mean by saying "do your research" or where to even start? I decided to write something about researching to provide tips for designer and vintage bag lovers, newer to second hand luxury, and have a fear of getting scammed. These tips are not fool proof, but feel it will have provide more context for people who are newer to the secondhand luxury world.
Check out this video if you'd rather listen vs read….
Four tips on how you can research prior to purchasing
Talk to someone you know about their designer bagThis is best and easiest way to research an item. If you have a friend or a friend of a friend you're confident in having an authentic item, just ask! That way you can get detailed information and be able to see the item in person or at least get specific details about the item you're interested in.
Visit an online store and in personVisiting in person allows you to see close up details such as the hardware engraving/stamping, stitching, shape and lining. You should even familiarize yourself with zippers! Pretty much any small detail to help you identify you're getting the real thing the second time around. Remember details are what give away if an item is real or fake so pay attention every minute detail.
If the item is still sold in stores you can always check out pictures online. You can look at the overall details about the item online. However, you will not be able to see detailed photos such as stamping and engraving since the retail site will only feature stock photos. Visiting in person is the best option because you'll be able to review smaller details that imposters typically miss.
Check out blogs and forumsThere are groups where you can post photos and/or link and ask knowledgeable subscribers to authenticate your item. Blogs will help because many reputable online consignment stores will provide authentication tips. Now there's a lot of information out there and all of it isn't accurate, but you can at least get an idea. Stick with a few reputable sites at first and expand as your knowledge grows.
Ask questions and request more photosFirst, only reach out to the seller if you are SERIOUS about purchasing. Review the description in detail and pay attention to every photo. If a seller only has stock photos posted avoid purchasing. If a seller is serious about selling their item they'll be willing to answer any question you have and provide you with more photos. Remember the devil is in the details to help you identify discount designer bags. If something is too good to be true or something doesn't seem right don't buy!