I wrote about The Collectory a couple of days ago but I really wanted to share this blog post from them. It seems everywhere you look there’s another resale company (or seller) that pops up and is selling “authentic” luxury goods. Whether they have their own website, a Facebook group, or page or Instagram, the amount of fraud out there is palpable and you seriously need to do your homework before you start sending your money out to who knows where. No one wants to be a victim of fraud but it is important to note that there are things you can do if this has happened to you. Many people decide to contact a lawyer such as this Morgantown attorney Jeffrey Mehalic who can help fight for what you deserve. We don’t want this to happen though so take care on deciding where to spend your money. These are really good points to be made and you would be crazy not to do your homework first.
During a recent trip to Paris, a dear client of mine from LA called to ask for a favor: she desperately wanted me to go to an address in the outskirts of Paris to pick up a Herm?s Birkin bag.
About a month before, she had bought a Birkin from a website called JP Marant . She sent $12,000 for the bag through a wire transfer and had yet to receive it. After asking about her purchase to JP Marant, one of their sales reps stated that the item was shipped out, but due to a customs issue in the US, the bag was on its way back to their store in Paris. The representative promised to ship it right back to her upon receival of the package and even offered to refund her money back to make up for the inconvenience and to reassure her. She refused the refund and decided, instead, to be patient and wait for her bag to be sent back to Los Angeles. Several days had gone since her last exchange with JP Marant, and still no bag nor any new updates. After sending multiple emails, she started to worry and asked herself – “did I just get scammed?”
After speaking with her on the phone, I decided to do some light research. Within 5 minutes, I found a post on PurseForum indicating that JP Marant was indeed a fraudulent business and that my poor client had, indeed, gotten royally scammed.
So, the main question here is, how can you avoid getting scammed when buying luxury handbags online?
- Research your seller
Ever wonder where else you could use those amazing stalker skills you’ve mastered on your ex’s social media? Nowadays, you can get as much information, if not more, about a seller or a business through the internet than by meeting a seller face-to-face. Type the name of the seller or the name of the business on Google, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Purseforum. Chances are if your seller is a scammer, someone documented it online. If the business has a Facebook page, look for their reviews. If they have a website, see if they have some measure of security in place, be it from Sift or another company. Don’t let the number of Likes fool you since those can easily be bought out or acquired through ads. Comments and reviews, however, are much harder to fake, due to the fact that in a matter of clicks you can get a clear idea of whether those followers that are commenting are real or not.
- Engage in conversation
Talk to the buyer – try to get a feeling of the person you’re talking to. Does this sound like someone who is knowledgeable about the products they are selling? Does the person sound professional and detailed in their answers? Ask yourself if the conversation reflects the person or business you’re dealing with. For example, if the person is called Amber Jones, can she write and spell English words properly and does she sound like a woman?
- Be open, be bold, be shameless
After doing thorough research, you should have a better idea of who you’re dealing with – but you might still have doubts. My advice to you is to be proactive about it, continue some more research – scams can be prevalent online, but if you were also to think that 96% of Americans shop online at least once a year at the moment, with that number and frequency probably only ever-increasing… Why stress over it when you can just ask? Keep in mind that you’re about to spend a considerable amount of money, so you are entitled to ask any questions you may have. You’ll be surprised to see how comfortably sellers will answer your questions. As a matter of fact, fraudulent people have the tendency of getting offended by questions or simply dismiss them, in order to not reveal too much information or to prevent making any mistakes. When making a business transaction, both sellers and buyers are deciding to trust each other. So there should be no reason for you, as a buyer, to be left with unanswered questions.
- Take your precautions
In terms of payments, my advice to you is to never do wire transfers with sellers you don’t trust 100% because if you get scammed, there is no going back. The bank won’t cover your loss and you’ll never see that money again. If you are going to buy from an independent seller, one of the safest ways to send money is through Paypal. Be sure to use Paypal Invoices, as opposed to Paypal Friends & Family – you’ll have to pay a 2.9% fee, but you’ll also have a middle man in your favor if things go sour. Ask your seller detailed invoice describing the good with attached pictures for an extra layer of protection.
In addition, ask for the tracking number to be inputted on the invoice and always ask for signature required. Even if you think you might not be there to sign for your package, you can always pick it up at the nearest post office – and, it’s just better to be safe than feel sorry.
Finally, if you or somebody you know has had an experience dealing with a scammer, please let us know so we can share it with our community in order to prevent it from happening to somebody else. Email us firstname.lastname@example.org or message us through our website , Instagram or Facebook .
If you still have any doubts when buying online, reach out to us! We are here to help you make the best decisions.
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