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Real Authentication provides top tier Authentication, Identification and Valuation services for over 100 Designer Luxury Brands: Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermes, Prada, Gucci, Fendi and more. Contact us today to shop and sell with the confidence and protection you deserve!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Inside the world of reselling clothes on Shopping apps

It’s never been more chic to wear someone else’s clothing—that is, clothes that once belonged to someone else. Kate Moss herself is a great advocate of vintage. “I love the idea that the clothes have a history and have been worn previously,” she said recently in a press interview for her new book. “Who knows what they have experienced?” While we can’t all be the poster child for the super glamorous supermodels, there’s no doubt that the secondhand fashion market is thriving. According to a study by ThredUp earlier this year, the total secondhand apparel market is set to double in the next five years—with resale and shopping apps driving a lot of that growth. In fact, resale has grown a whopping 21 times faster than retail over the past three years.

These are numbers to be happy about, especially when we are coming to terms with the impact that consumerism and fashion can have on the planet. 

Shopping apps like Depop, Carousell, and Poshmark have made names for themselves by offering users the opportunity to gain a little cash from clothes they probably just had lying around anyway. Closer to home, Toronto-grown trading app Bunz, extended this philosophy past just your closet to your entire household.
There’s money to be made off of your own closet, it seems—and with strangers you’ve never met on the internet.

The sustainability bonus is a significant benefit. 

Ethical blogger Nannan Wan has been a proponent for secondhand fashion for a while, noting that consumer trends are shifting quickly away from fast fashion to more sustainable options.

“Secondhand clothing has started a movement where it’s now cool to purchase luxury vintage at the thrift store,” she says. “These apps open the space for people to explore secondhand buying and selling, maybe for the first time.”
What makes these apps so attractive, aside from diverting has-been clothing from landfills, is knowing that you’re in it together with thousands of others with similar goals. These apps have gained traction not only for their ease of use, but also the platforms and communities that they have created.
Poshmark, for example, made its hotly-anticipated expansion to Canada just this year (after being founded 8 years ago in California. The app now boasts over 500,000 users in Canada alone.

“Our app allows people to create a revolving closet, giving a second, third, or even fourth life to clothing while also making room for new pieces,” says Maria Morales, Poshmark’s Director of International Expansion.
“But most importantly, Poshmark is a social platform above all else. We’ve seen the community grow so quickly because buyers and sellers have the ability to like, share, comment, and build connections with each other.”

Community is the core driving force of these apps and consequently, it’s become the core driving force of secondhand fashion in general.

These apps would be unfeasible if not for the thousands of users scrolling, posting, and engaging everyday. The apps offer a new digitized version of thrift shopping and conscious consumerism, and they do it in a way that is mimics social media.

London-born Depop gained traction due to its uncanny resemblance to Instagram, (founded a year earlier in 2010). Users have similar profile pages with likes and comments, and the home feed looks nearly identical.

Even Bunz originated from a secret Facebook group.

Since 2016, the company has grown to a user base of over 400,000 and averaging 5,000 posts a day—with clothing and accessories as its largest category, about three times as much posted daily as furniture or beauty.
For Toronto-based illustrator Wandy Cheng, Bunz is a welcoming place, where you can get rid of things for something useful to satisfy both parties’ needs.

“The app had just launched when I joined, so it was a whole new exciting space for everyone,” she says. Cheng has quite an extensive history with reselling clothes, from Kijiji and eBay to Salvation Army, but stuck with Bunz because of the people she found there.

“Compared to other sites, Bunz was the only space where I felt a strong sense of community, which was a surprising bonus when I had initially joined with the sole purpose to declutter.”

Since joining three years ago, Bunz and thrift-shop finds to make up the bulk of her closet—however, she continues: “I’ve also been making a conscious effort [not only] to buy less, but also to bring less clothes into my life. Although I am still excited to trade for cool items, I ponder on the article of clothing for a lot longer than I used to.”

Whether you’re just dipping your toe into the world of reselling or if you’ve been a secondhand apparel wearer for years, there’s no question that apps have become an integral part of the process.

Poshmark, Bunz, and Depop apps act like closet extensions, mini thrift-shops and social platforms all in one—all from your phone, meaning you don’t even have to leave your house. It’s like online shopping, except better for the planet. Only in this case, there’s no telling what—or who— you’ll find.  oa here


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Fake baby products are everywhere—here's how to spot the difference

Counterfeit strollers, car seats, carriers and more put your child in serious danger—and the problem is more widespread than most parents realize. Here’s how to avoid buying a fake.

Counterfeit versions of this feeding mat are widely available and could put your baby at risk. Photo: Hip Mommies 
  Jayne Gregory* was pregnant with her first baby and perusing the booths at a downtown Toronto baby show this past spring when she noticed a table selling a product called Happy Mats—silicone placemats that double as plates and suction to the table or high-chair tray so little hands can’t knock them off. Gregory had heard of the mats and they sounded great, so she bought one.
What she didn’t know is that she hadn’t actually purchased a real Happy Mat; it was a knock off. “I just assumed it was the same one—I had no idea it might be something different,” says Gregory. How could she have known? The booth, which featured a number of brightly coloured teething toys, bibs and stuffies, looked totally legitimate. The seller was pleasant, and Gregory was, after all, at a large, reputable, big-city trade show.
It wasn’t until a few weeks later that she discovered through a random Facebook post about counterfeit baby products that she hadn’t bought the real Happy Mat, which is manufactured by a Colorado-based company called Ezpz, and distributed in Canada by Toronto company Hip Mommies. “My biggest concern is health and safety,” says Gregory. “There’s going to be food touching this, and I would be putting it in the dishwasher. What if the material breaks down?”
Hip Mommies owner Jennifer Chua says she often hears from parents who, unbeknownst to them, have purchased fake Ezpz mats. “They come to us saying the product doesn’t work well, and they want a refund,” she says. “I ask them where they bought it, and then I have to tell them they’ve bought a fake.”
Unfortunately, this problem isn’t limited to Ezpz mats. Fake baby products are now everywhere—both online and at bricks-and-mortar stores. And some of them could put kids in real danger.
“The counterfeit problem in Canada is massive,” says Lorne Lipkus, an intellectual property lawyer in Toronto. He says the value of counterfeit goods sold in Canada annually is in the tens of billions, and while no one is certain how much of that is baby products, it’s clear that many major baby-gear brands are affected. Infant-carrier maker Ergo, baby gear company Skip Hop and stroller manufacturer Maclaren, for example, all have pages on their websites about fakes.

How does this happen?
Counterfeiters are masters at replicating. They’ll make fake product websites that look just like the real ones, or advertise a product on a site like eBay, Amazon or AliExpress using images stolen from the real company. An image of Chua’s daughter appears on the authentic Ezpz mat packaging, and she says the picture is now being used around the world to sell fake mats.
Chua says scammers have even begun running real Ezpz ads on Facebook, but when users click it, they’re taken to an illegitimate site, and Lipkus says criminals are increasingly using social media to peddle their wares. “We’re seeing more and more where social media sites like Facebook or Instagram are being used to house the counterfeit operations,” he says.
Because the counterfeit problem is so rampant on Chinese e-commerce sites like Alibaba and AliExpress, it’s super easy for pretty much anyone to order a bunch of knock-offs and sell them at baby shows, in pop-up retail locations, on buy-and-sell websites like Kjiji and Craigslist, and even in mom-to-mom Facebook groups.
The dangers of fakes
Wearing a fake Kate Spade bag that you got on Canal St. in New York is one thing. Wearing your baby in a knock-off baby carrier is another. When a shady company fakes a name-brand product, there aren’t any checks and balances to ensure the item won’t put your kid in danger. Nobody is checking what material it is made of, how strong the product is, and what chemicals were used, whereas products that are imported legally must be declared with the government and can be subject to inspection. They would have to comply with Health Canada’s consumer product safety regulations, which address things like flammability, phthalates and for certain children’s items, choking and strangling hazards.
It’s important to note as well that companies who are legitimately importing from China will visit factories and develop relationships with manufacturers to ensure processes are acceptable. Distributors may also do some due diligence; Chua’s Hip Mommies, for example, reviews third-party safety testing reports for its products before it decides to distribute them.
On top of that, when you buy fakes—whether it’s baby gear or that Kate Spade bag—you may well be supporting bad people doing very bad things. “The factories in China that are making more than 80 percent of the counterfeits are often controlled by organized crime,” explains Lipkus. “They might be providing terrorist financing, and they often use slave and youth labour.” He says he’s had clients go into factories where kids as young as six years old are mixing dangerous chemicals. That can’t be worth a few dollars off the list price.
How to avoid buying a counterfeit baby product
While Lipkus says that every major store you can name has had a problem with counterfeit products, there are nonetheless ways you can protect yourself.
-If you’re looking to buy a specific product, visit the manufacturer’s website to see who is legally allowed to sell it. You’ll often find this under “authorized retailers/distributors” or “where to buy.” Both brick and mortar stores and online shops are usually listed.
-If you’re buying online from Amazon, click on the “sold by” link. It should list either the manufacturer itself, or the name of a distributor, which you can check to ensure it is authorized (see point above).
-Be skeptical if you notice poor descriptions of the product online, such as grammatical errors or other eyebrow-raising verbiage. For example, a fake Ezpz mat on says the product is good for use on baby walkers, an item that’s illegal in Canada.
-Stick to well-known, well-established online retailers, and/or ones that also have brick and mortar locations. If you find a smaller online retailer that you’d like to shop from, do a bit of digging. Do they have a Contact Us page, and do people respond to your emails? Are their social media accounts active? Beware of websites that offer time-limited deals, or ‘only five left’ at a bargain price.
-If you’re buying in person from a store, baby show or market, inspect the product carefully. Does it look and feel well-made? Take a close look at the packaging, as counterfeiters often use flimsy plastic and leave off key details. You may also see spelling and grammatical errors.
-Be careful when buying from buy-and-sell websites or off Facebook. If someone advertises that they have a limited number of an item at a great price, those could be knock-offs. Similarly, if someone in a neighbourhood group says they have 14 baby carriers available, it’s worth wondering why any one person would have so many carriers.
What to do if you discover your item is fake
Start with the retailer who sold you the item and request a refund. It’s possible they, too, have been duped, and may readily offer you a refund. If that doesn’t work, call your credit card company. Most protect against fraud, so if you’ve used your card to buy an item that turns out to be counterfeit, you may be able to get your money back. Lipkus also recommends informing the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre as well as the police (using the non-emergency line). It’s an extra step, but if nobody reports these things, it can never be stopped. Once the matter is resolved, destroy the item. If it’s not safe for your baby, it’s not safe for anybody else’s either.
 oa here

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

How small U.S. firms fight off floods of Chinese knockoffs

In this case, they are real. But many brands like sunglasses company 100% find themselves in an uphill battle against cheap knockoff products that come from China. (100%/Yahoo Finance)
Two months after the new model of sunglasses came out in May, knockoffs started popping up.
“It was amazing,” says Ludo Boinnard, CEO of 100%, a California-based eyewear company whose popularity has ballooned in the past year. “Two months!”
It was the second time this had happened. Just over two years before, the motocross-rooted company turned to cycling eyewear, and the fakes sprung up in early 2017.
For a small, up-and-coming company looking to gain market share — 100% has fewer than 30 employees in San Diego — there’s an aspect of flattery at seeing facsimiles, both branded with the company logo and unbranded, show up in the marketplace. But it’s also the source of stress.
“They just started to show up. It’s been just exponential; we used to see a lot of Oakley knockoffs but we never paid much attention because we were not in that world. Sometimes you’d see the Facebook and [Instagram] ads with the fake Oakleys,” said Boinnard. “Now, because we’re in the eyewear business, we’re more aware of what’s going on and it’s insane.”
Incidents like these have been going on for a long time, as domestic intellectual property (IP) is co-opted and duplicated with lesser materials abroad, either to be sold as cheap counterfeits, fraudulently, or as something of a generic.
The ongoing trade conflicts and back-and-forth tariffs with China have largely been about the President’s interest in closing the trade deficit, but intellectual property has also been at the forefront of U.S. complaints: China has been guilty of ripping off American tech in the past. (The U.S. has long said that theft of intellectual property, including copyrights, trademarks, patents, has cost American companies billions of dollars.) 

In the discussions of IP by China, the focus has often been on the theft of technology and electronics, often via foreign ownership restrictions that require U.S. companies to show their cards to China or a Chinese corporate partner if they want to operate there. But while a simple copy-paste for consumer goods like sunglasses may not pose the same security risks or enormous financial damage of a complex tech algorithm, it does significant damage to a company.
The potential harm to the company has a few layers. The simplest is that they take away business, as some people will buy the cheaper knock-off on eBay or China’s Ali Express for $25 instead of $150 from an authorized retailer. Many companies and brands suffer from this issue, from Ray-Ban to Gucci to Apple earpods.
Sometimes people know it’s a fake, but mistakenly believe they are getting the same product from the same factory simply with a different logo, or maybe the factory stayed open an extra day off-contract. (This is not the case for 100%, which sources from France and Italy only.)
But the fakes are sometimes sold at full price to unsuspecting consumers, which for sports sunglasses that require shatter-resistance, can cause serious injury. Other times, “people think they’re getting a deal,” said Boinnard. Unfortunately, the lower prices for knock-offs usually means that there isn’t a budget for R&D or safety testing.
“One of the first occurrences is one guy who called and said, ‘I’m very unhappy about your product, I was injured by it,’” said Boinnard. He sent photos of the cracked product and cuts of his forehead, and the company told the guy to send the product. It turned out to be fake. “He bought it full pop on a Chinese website,” said Boinnard.
In other instances, he said, people import fakes and sell them at events — at full price.
“They have the experience of touching and feeling it and saying ‘oh this product is crap,’ which hurts us at a different level,” he said.

A game of ‘Whac-a-mole’

For the most part, 100% contracts out the job of enforcing design patents and IP to Red Points, a firm based in Barcelona that has the technology to crawl the web for design infringement. The company told Yahoo Finance’s sister site TechCrunch that catches around 200,000 fake products for sale every month. Tools like reverse-image search help, as many listings use the company’s actual product photos.
“We have it automated and we have a clear message to all our distributors – if you find a link to a fake please send it and that email gets forwarded to Red Points,” said Boinnard. If there’s a question of legitimacy, the company does have to manually look through flagged products to make the final judgment, something that costs time and money. “It’s a whac-a-mole kind of business,” he said. 

Ethan Wolff-Mann
Senior Writer


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Replica Resale - Fake Louis Vuitton Is More Expensive Than The Authentic Bag!

Replica Resale - Fake Louis Vuitton Is More Expensive Than The Authentic Bag!

Needless to say, digging around the internet late at night will always lead to shocking (and likely disturbing) discoveries, but this one may take the cake. We are more than familiar with the rampant expansion of websites selling only counterfeit designer handbags, however this particular website is offering a counterfeit Louis Vuitton paper shopping bag for $19! 


It is beyond me why someone would pay for a Louis Vuitton paper shopping bag to begin with, but entertaining the idea of paying for freebies - you may purchase the same, AUTHENTIC Louis Vuitton shopping bag on eBay for under $9. This is one instance where the REAL thing is actually cheaper than the knockoff! Go figure.




Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Say whaaaaat - eBay Authentication Program




The eBay marketplace today (Thursday, January 12, 2017) announced the launch of a new in-platform designer authentication program called eBay Authenticate. Buyers will be able to list their items and also opt to have them authenticated by a trusted authenticator within the eBay platform. The sellers will then be required to submit the item to be authenticated prior to collecting funds for their listed item. The buyer does still maintain the right to pay for the item without an official authentication, however this new service is projected to have reasonable price points and therefore become a "no-brainer" for customers to opt for a proper authentication prior to purchasing.

Many online re-sellers like TheRealReal and selling platforms like Tradesy, Poshmark, and Amazon sell pre-owned handbags, shoes, jewelry and other accessories. They all allow consumers to buy high-end brands at a discount.. but generally at their own risk. This system has worked wonders for expanding the pre-owned designer resale market, however without proper regulation counterfeit goods have become rampant.
ebay-authentication Most resellers do authenticate the goods as part of their internal process to keep from selling fake handbags, shoes and accessories. Because the items are verified, consumers feel they can trust what they’re buying is truly authentic. This is a system of checks and balances the larger reseal platforms have not migrated towards - until now.

“We know that many shoppers may be hesitant to purchase high-end products online,” admits Laura Chambers, Vice President of eBay Consumer Selling, in the company announcement. “This service is designed to help quell some of those concerns – and in turn – enhance the opportunity for our sellers to get top dollar for their items,” she says.

As an online authentication company ourselves, we have always warned our clients to buy with caution and always authenticate before, or at the very least - after, purchasing any designer goods pre-owned. We love the precaution eBay is adopting with the eBay Authenticate Program, however if you do need an authentication today, please submit photos of your item HERE and we will get back to you within the same day of submitting! 

You can also follow us on INSTAGRAM for daily tips on authentication!

ebay-authenticateeBay is currently constructing its new authenticate program, so fees for the service remain unknown. However, eBay is likely to charge difference prices for the service, depending on the item’s brand, size and origins. The program will be made available to all sellers in every category around the globe later this year, although eBay has yet to reveal an exact launch date. The company is currently running a pilot program of the service and will share further information later in the year.

China, and other countries in South-East Asia, remain the largest sources of counterfeit goods, with clothing, footwear and accessories being listed among the most copied goods. However online e-commerce platforms have been working hard to ensure their efforts against counterfeit goods do not go unseen. Earlier this month Alibaba filed a lawsuits against two vendors who were allegedly selling counterfeit goods, the first legal action of its kind to occur in China, a few weeks after US regulators accused the company of not doing enough against counterfeiters.
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