Again, you ask, we answer! In this type of blog post, I take your great questions and answer them for the masses!
"Just making sure. You DO sell authentic items? I know that everything is pre-owned, right? Is it possible that fakes could slip by without you even knowing it? How do I know that what you sell is not fake?"
Such a great question and the short answer is no. We at FASHIONPHILE absolutely do not sell fakes. But let me get into a little more detail (OK, it ended up being a LOT of detail on this for those of you who aren't familiar with what we do and what our standards are.
First off, we don't believe in selling counterfeit goods, period. The counterfeit market supports all kinds of dirty stuff that we refuse to be a part of in any way shape or form: like funding terrorism, horrifying child labor violations, and internet scams of various types (seriously, these aren't just scare tactics to keep you away from buying a fake bag- check the references below for more detail.) Not only that, but like a work of art- we wholeheartedly believe in the intellectual property rights of these brand owners to design, develop, produce, advertise and sell the unique handbags that they do. Quite frankly, if someone can't afford an authentic luxury branded bag- even a used one at that- then that person is much better off going down to their local TJMaxx or local mall and picking up a cute little affordable and trendy bag of their choice. It's real and they'll feel like an authentic person carrying it.
I just had a lady come in with a few bags to sell. She had bought them herself at the boutique and knew they were authentic. She had another bag that was given to her from her mother in law. She assumed it was real too. After authenticating the lot, I let her know that we would not be accepting her Louis Vuitton Mulitcolor Pochette- because it was not real. She thought that it still had some value and couldn't see why we wouldn't simply disclose that it was fake and sell it for less. Anyway, we just don't do it. Period.
Secondly, we are experts at authentication, and employ a team of skilled authenticators covering every brand that we sell. We have worked with eBay and PayPal and Credit Card companies, local police- you name it, in helping with their authentication efforts. Our livelihood depends on us being right, and we are extremely careful. This has been a challenge for us as we've grown. When I started this business, I was only selling Louis Vuitton. I have studied the brand extensively including every catalog they have produced and have handled literally thousands of authentic (and hundreds of fakes bags to date). I was being asked to sell other brands, but was not an expert in those brands. We made the decision right from the get go, to not add addition brands to our selling list, until we had authentication in place. Soon after we began accepting other brands, we decided to go "two deep" on these authentications. We have an in house authenticator and a contracted one for every bag that we sell. We don't make mistakes.
Which brings me to my third point... hey, if you don't believe us, get it authenticated We have a 100%, no questions asked policy on authentication. Our standard return policy requires that you bring your bag back within a certain number of days, and you have to have the tags on etc. etc. But our return policy for authentication has no expiration date and no strings attached- ever! That said, if you're shopping our site and have a question about something- ask! If you want another opinion, the Authenticate This section of The Purse Forum is an amazing resource. Just post a link to our item on that site and hear what other handbag experts have to say. If you've purchased a bag- you can also bring it in to your local boutique... try a side by side comparison or ask a Sales Assistant. Not all will assist with authentication issues, but some can't help themselves to comment!
Finally, we are not just some fly by night internet operation. I started selling online on eBay in 1999. My business sloooowly grew and developed into what it is today. We've been doing this longer than anyone else in our little niche (selling authentic, pre-owned luxury handbags) on the www- and now have two, beautiful showrooms- one in Beverly Hills, California just off Rodeo Drive and the other on the charming Maiden Lane in San Francisco- we share a wall with Chanel (on the same, adorable little foot traffic only street, you'll find Gucci, Hermes, Prada, Marc Jacobs, with Louis Vuitton and Bottega Veneta just around the corner). The Sales Assistants from many of these neighboring boutiques are regulars in our stores, and refer friends. In July of 2008, Forbes magazine did an article about how to avoid online auction scams, and in particular referenced FASHIONPHILE and our reputation and guides to buying authentic luxury handbags online. Catt Sadler from E! Live from the Red Carpet on live TV called FASHIONPHILE "the most trusted source for pre-owned authentic luxury bags". We've been in the Wall Street Journal, Inc Magazine, the Times Online, etc. where our authenticity was a part of the focus. The CEO of Prada (Francoise Kress) came to the launch party of our San Francisco Showroom!!!! We would NEVER ever risk all of this- and our reputation by listing something that we weren't absolutely 100% confident was authentic. We would never "slip in a fake" to make a couple extra bucks. We don't believe in them and it would make absolutely no sense for a legitimate company like ours that has worked as long as we have to develop our reputation for good to be intentionally involved in the scam of selling a fake.
So what does all this mean? I just want you all to know how important this issue is to us, and that we are absolutely committed and vigilant about our commitment to authenticity. You can feel safe buying from us.
I know that some of you all know all this about FASHIONPHILE, it's just old news... but I also recognize that many people are just learning about us, and the question of whether or not we sell fakes is a valid and important question to ask! Feel free to email with any additional questions or add a comment!