Read the below post first then scroll back up and read Part 2 here.

I wrote in an earlier post outlining the risks of purchasing items off Instagram and while there are amazing people that sell truly authentic items, there is a whole other set that has no issues with screwing you out of your money. This is why you may want to consider simply saving for those high-end items and getting them from the source, be it haruni for their beautiful jewelry or, in this instance, Chanel.

Below is an email I received from a woman who is starting a designer resale business and purchased items off Instagram from a seller that has a huge following. I have removed the names of the seller but did reach out to him. His response was less than professional and gave zero insight so I’m leaving that out.

The buyer in this piece purchased three Chanel necklaces and these were accompanied with certificates of authenticity. Unfortunately the necklaces and accompanied certificates we’re all fake. I suppose that’s what you get from shopping on Instagram suppose to going online to look at Adina’s Jewels or Gucci’s new line.

This past week I had the displeasure of purchasing a few Chanel necklaces from XXXX. Upon receiving these, so-called, Chanel necklaces, and taking a closer look at them so many red flags revealed themselves to me, I knew they could not be authentic. I immediately filed a Paypal claim. I initially “won” the Paypal case and was eligible to return the item for a refund. But, inferring from what I had learned about XXXX I knew he would not go down without a fight. I then called Paypal and spent around two hours expressing my concerns on the nature of the seller, as well as shipping counterfeit goods across the border, which is illegal. I was not going to ship those necklaces back to him not only because it is highly illegal, but also because he could then resell them to another unsuspecting individual like myself. With this new mission in mind, I sent hundreds of photos of the items that I received to a respected authenticator to get documents to legitimize my concerns about the authenticity of these pieces. Paypal then reopened the case so I could submit the documents from the authenticator. I requested that a “destruction clause” be included on each document. A “destruction clause” typically states that the third party authenticator does not recommend returning this item, With the reason being that the seller is out of country and counterfeit goods can be inspected and seized by customs authorities, which can subject both buyer and seller to punishment by local and international laws. I submitted these documents three days ago and I am now waiting patiently to hear back from Pay-Pal on the status of my case. All I can do now is sit, wait, and pray for my refund.

There are a few major lessons that I learned about buying on Instagram from this unfortunate experience.

1. If the seller you are buying from cannot provide you with a website then move on. For example, in my situation, XXXXXXXXX could not provide me with a website. 2. Do your homework!! Research the seller you are buying from. A simple phone number lookup can provide you with a wealth of information. By looking up the phone number I was provided with from XXXXXX Instagram it led me straight to their Yelp page full of the horrible reviews.

3. Have the item(s) authenticated by an authentication service of your choice. In my situation the seller had the items “authenticated” by a company called XXXXXXXXXX. Upon doing further research on this company it was found that they have no website, only an inactive Instagram page. Closet Full of Cash has a lot of great information on the authentication of luxury items. Please check it out even if you are not in the market to purchase right now, it is always key to be on your toes about counterfeit goods.

4. If a seller starts to become rude or agitated by your questions, back away.

5. Never pay for luxury goods through Paypal’s “Friends and Family” option. This offers no protection for buyers. Thank goodness I did not pay for these necklaces through Paypal’s “Friends and Family” option.

6. Being tricked/or scammed online can happen to anyone. Do not be embarrassed it happens to the best of us! Do everything you can to get your money back but, do not be ashamed to reach out to authentication experts or Deanna at Closet Full of Cash.

7. Never try to return an item outside of Paypal. There is no guarantee that the seller is honest and will give you your refund once they receive the item. XXXXXXXX tried to get me to return my item outside of Paypal. Thank goodness I didn’t. I found a post on Purse Forum the next day about a lady in the same situation as him. She sent her items back after being promised a refund. After he received the items back he ignored her calls, and texts and just relisted the items for sale!

All in all these many lessons were learned from this situation. All I can do now is take what I learned from this and just be that much smarter when buying online. Please, never be afraid to reach out if you are unsure of an item or particular seller! In the next few days, I should find out if my items were eligible for destruction, let’s hope that they are.

All the best, and happy holidays!

Here is one of the necklaces she purchased, a Chanel Paris Edinburgh, with the enclosed certificate of authenticity and the most recent authentication from Meme’s Treasures. I have covered the name of the first authenticator but again, no website just Instagram.

Chanel Edinburgh Necklace

Chanel Edinburgh

Authentication sent with necklace

Here’s the current authentication. Notice #5

Chanel _Paris Edinburgh_

Chanel _Paris Edinburgh_-1

As you can see the necklace is not authentic but what is most troubling is that the seller included a known fake certificate of authenticity. Even giving the benefit of the doubt that the seller was duped also, the is no “i” in Made n Italy. One look would tell you this is fake. The seller has been reported to the appropriate agencies not only for the necklaces but for stealing other sellers photos and passing them off as their own.

This is just one of the stories that have been sent to me and while I hate seeing people ripped off, you need to perform your own due diligence when purchasing online, anywhere.

  1. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
  2. Check for a website. If they don’t have one, see #9.
  3. Know your seller. You can’t always believe people so err on the side of caution.
  4. Instagram followers can be bought. Don’t let that number fool you.
  5. Paypal Verified means that the seller has a shipping address and a bank account, that’s it.
  6. Always pay by credit card and follow that companies rules for purchases online. Do not waver in this.
  7. Spend the $10-$15 and get an authentication from a reliable authenticator. You can find one here.
  8. If a seller has multiple of an item that has been sold out everywhere else, pass.
  9. Google any info you have on the seller. This can be a savior for you and if there is negative press, pass.

Let this be a cautionary tale for you. Only purchase authentic designer goods from a reputable website.