LONDON — Designer resale site Vestiaire Collective has undertaken a study highlighting counterfeit purchases in the online marketplace that lays bare the numbers of women who have been duped into purchasing fake items thinking they were buying genuine ones.
According to the report, 61 percent of female online-marketplace shoppers have been misled into purchasing counterfeit designer goods, or knew at least one person who had accidentally bought a fake designer item through the Internet. Furthermore, 66 percent of women admitted they did not possess the knowledge to tell the difference between a counterfeit product and a genuine item.
The report shows that in 2013 more than 39 million people shopped online in Britain. The study reveals that about 35 percent of female online shoppers who purchased items from resale Web sites said they were unaware they had purchased at least one counterfeit designer item, while 18 percent of respondents were not sure of the validity of some of the items they bought. Some 21 percent assumed they did not make any counterfeit purchases.
“We noticed the rise in the popularity of online marketplaces five years ago, and at the same time we spotted a gap in the market for a trusted site, where customers could be sure that the items they purchased are genuine,” said Fanny Moizant, Vestiaire Collective’s cofounder. “So we launched Vestiairecollective.com in 2009, putting authenticity and quality control at the center of the business.
“The material can tell you a lot about the quality of an item; if it’s leather it should feel and smell like leather. If the item you’re inspecting is a bag, make sure you take a good look at the stitching: Uneven or slanted stitching is a sign of a poorly made item and therefore a counterfeit. Check the logo, which is often a slip-up area for many copies; every brand includes unique details to ensure they can identify a genuine piece. Finally, look for a serial number and color variations in the material.”
Vestiairecollective.com was founded in Paris and has more than 2.4 million members in 40 countries and offices located in Paris, London, New York and Germany. Vestiaire Collective is a part of the Fight Against Online Counterfeiting Charter, an initiative by the French government that focuses on protecting shoppers against counterfeit practices.