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Top 3 ways to authenticate designer items before selling on eBay

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Many new sellers flock to eBay to sell their Coach handbag, Ferragamo sunglasses, True Religion jeans, or other expensive designer item. Always use caution when selling high-end designer items on eBay or brands that are commonly faked. There are several resources for authenticating merchandise before listing on eBay. Remember, eBay can shut down accounts where sellers try to sell counterfeit merchandise. Once banned from eBay, it is nearly impossible to get an account reinstated. This is a matter to be taken seriously.

All sellers should do their due diligence and research items thoroughly before listing any item that could possibly be fake or counterfeit. Fake items are a huge problem on eBay, and the site is becoming more diligent in policing fake vs authentic listings.

If clothing or accessories, post the item on the eBay Clothing, Shoes, and Accessories board. There are many sellers who have years of experience in the fashion industry and can help determine if the item is authentic or fake. Post photos of the item and ask for help. Be patient. This board is comprised of sellers donating their time and expertise to help others.

PurseForum.com is a free website where knowledgeable volunteers give their time and expertise to help others identify handbags. Go to the section called “Authenticate This” and post photos of the item in question. Again, be patient and wait for an answer as this is a volunteer situation.

AuthenticateFirst.com is a website that charges a fee to authenticate a designer item. They have experts who have worked in the fashion, merchandising, and manufacturing industry for many years and have extensive experience working with high-end designer items. This site can authenticate over 80 designer brands. If a seller has a potentially expensive designer item, it can certainly be worth $15 or so to have the item verified.

Some eBay sellers recommend taking a designer item to a retailer to authenticate. For example, taking a Coach handbag to the Coach store. Most stores won’t authenticate. Some will confiscate the item if it is an obvious fake. This method is not recommended for authentication.

Never take another seller’s word that an item is authentic – always do your own research. Another seller may mean well, but it is your account that can be shut down, and odds are the seller who gave bad advice won’t be able to help get your account reinstated.

If you aren't sure, don't sell the item at all. Selling a counterfeit item on Craigslist, a Facebook Yard Sale Group, or any other way is illegal. The counterfeit industry fuels underground and illegal activities like prostitution, human trafficking, and street drugs.

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