Saturday, November 7, 2009

Shopping cautiously online.....

Shopping online is a great way to take the stress out of the mall crowds at Christmas. Like everyone else I enjoy the holiday decorations that no dime is spared to lure us in!

Saving time, energy and getting the best value prices at the most hectic time of the year, shopping online makes every bit of sense!

This is also the time to beware if you are buying a unique and pricey item touted as being original. If the price is too good to be true, might be wise to think again. Would have to ask myself why I would buy a purse that retails for $2000., created by a manufacturer that sells only through licensed shops bearing their name. At first glance, the online selling price of $900. from a non licensed dealer would send up red flags all over the place.

High end fashion and accessory shopping online of new products, poses a problem if you are not purchasing directly from the authorized and licensed store. With so many fake items bearing the hard earned reputation of signature manufacturers, exercising caution is all I can advise.

Have to question online sellers that lure unsuspecting online buyers to purse and accessory items bearing names such as Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, Gucci, Tiffany, Chanel and more. Many claim to belong to groups that can validate authenticity.

Seems that valid authenticity can only be validated by the creator of such products. Knockoffs have become so sophisticated in workmanship, that the average person might have difficulty spotting an unauthentic item. From the smallest piece of hardware to product materials used, many duplicates have been reproduced to incorporate all that that "experts" caution buyers to look for when making a purchase. Doubt that that designers of exclusive items have turned over or licensed people to authenticate branded items. If designers accepted the practice of outside "expert advice", have to wonder why the designers of these products do not link to outside "experts"?

If you are buying a new pricey product outside of its element, then you have right and obligation to question the authenticity. Ask questions, determine online presence credibility, and then follow your own intuition cautiously.

Like the old adage - if it is too good to be true, likely your dream is that, an online pipeline dream that may bring you disappointment at a hefty price.

To assure authenticity of such items seems only logical to visit licensed stores bearing their name. Several years ago, visited an authorized Gucci and Hermes Store. It was like visiting a museum hosting the Hope diamond. The priciest of their handbags were under lock and key, with security so tight that I was afraid of staring too long - the security alarms might go off.

While is say this in jest, my curious window shopping trip to visit these exclusive stores, lead me to realize that high end designers take extreme measures to insure that their products remain exclusive. They have spent mega-dollars to keep this exclusivity for the affluent buyer.

Knock offs and replication of products today is incredibly sophisticated, but illegal. The reproduction of tags and authenticity certificates are produced to dupe even the most sophisticated customer.

Beware, be careful and if you think you are getting a real deal - watch out!


Norbridge Antiques said...

Most on-line sellers are honest business people. If you are buying something expensive, find out how long they've been in that business, and read their comments on their website. They might also have a blog with regular postings. You can get a feeling of their character by what people write. You can also contact the seller and speak directly to him/her by telephone. You can send an email with your telephone number so that the long-distance charges are incurred by the seller. On-line selling is convenient. You can find many unique treasures on-line.

Virginia said...

Well said Norbridge - most on-line sellers are credible and honest!

If after much discovery or attempts to do so, leave you with a doubt, follow your intuition.

Thanks for your sage comments!