The personal luxury goods market is forecast for 3-5% annual growth through 2025 reaching $365 billion according to the 2019 Bain Luxury Study. At the same time, a surge of shoppers is turning to online sellers for the high-end brands of watches, necklaces, handbags and accessories they love, but at a great deal.
Lately, however, luxury brand authenticity has come into question, as the counterfeit market booms, consumers get fake goods and brands file lawsuits against sellers.
One ecommerce merchant has found a niche solving this problem by partnering with brands themselves to ensure authenticity. ShopWorn sells warrantied and authentic luxury goods that have only been tried on in a retail store and never pre-owned. Shopworn execs, father and daughter duo Richard and Elana Birnbaum, have offered consumers tips to protect themselves from unknowingly purchasing a fake.
Courtesy of ShopWorn we found out a few tips that you should keep handing when authenticating luxury goods.
Authenticate the seller: Do some background research. Does the website tell you where products come from? Check if the website is transparent in its sourcing strategy.
New or pre-owned? It helps to know whether your purchase is pre-owned. If that’s the case, be aware there’s no guarantee the item is 100% authentic, as it may have after-market parts added to it.
Shipping policy: If 2-day shipping is unavailable, the website may not have your item in stock and you may be in for a very long wait.
Chat with customer service: A phone number should be listed prominently on the website. A professional customer service representative should pick up the phone and answer any questions you may have.
Make yourself a product expert: Do your homework on the brand and familiarize yourself with the brand’s details. Maybe there’s a specific country of origin imprinted in each label. Many brands include serial numbers and specific details in the logo. If any of these are missing or altered, that’s a sure sign of an impostor. And look for a warranty.
Know the mark of quality: Educate yourself on the look, feel and sound of high-quality pieces versus less expensive versions. For example, a true mechanical watch movement has subtle but distinct differences in look and sound. All gold items, whether watches or jewelry, will have a hallmark denoting gold purity.
Is it refundable? Look for a return policy on the site or whether the item is “final sale.”
Is it genuine? Some third-party sellers have hired on-staff luxury “authenticators” to demonstrate a commitment to authenticity. Be wary of these claims. First, there are no formal accreditation processes or best-practice standards in this field. Also, there’s no guarantee a well-made fake can get past the experts.
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