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Getting boutiques to verify the authenticity of items for you

FidelCashflow

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Someone in another thread asked if a Zegna boutique would verify the authenticity of a Zegna suit off ebay for them. Has anyone ever actually tried to verify an ebay purchase in a boutique store?

Will staff give you a genuine answer, or look at you like you're crazy for buying something off the internet and asking them to assist you with it for free? I would imagine this would bring out the snob in many sales associates, especially ones who aren't too sure how to tell the difference.

Just curious if anyone has ever given it a shot and what the results were.
 

babygreenspots

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It probably depends on the sales associate and the day he is having. Are they obligated to do this though? They might also want to avoid revealing a lack of knowledge of their brand.
 

aragon765

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When I worked in retail, I often had customers come in to verify purchases made online. I would honestly assess the item to the best of my knowledge. I would say 70% of the time there was a major issue with the product, 25% of the time the item was not what the buyer expected, and the other 5% of the time the buyer got the deal of a lifetime on a legit, working item that met his/her needs...

Because I did not completely snub them, many customers that were ripped off ended up buying something legit from my store. Win-win situation. But I must admit that when a good customer came in with his shiny new part from eBay, I did feel a little put out. I gave a couple years of good service, gave them a good deal on parts, and they still felt the need to undercut my service and buy online. Eventually I got used to it, becuase ebay/online shopping really is the face of retail shopping now. I would still be there to service the stuff, and sell replacements for the crap...

This was in bicycle retail, and I think online sellers are even more deceptive for bicycle parts than clothing sellers, although the most common scam is selling stuff that does not work, not necessarily 'fakes' (although I did see that from time to time as well).

Probably more than you asked, but there is my .02
 

FidelCashflow

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Originally Posted by aragon765
Probably more than you asked, but there is my .02

Very interesting, thanks for your perspective.
 

SoCal2NYC

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Many (luxury) stores/boutiques will have a policy that they will not make authenticity statements.
 

rkw5000

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I would think it's pretty cheesy to go in and ask. Further, many sales associates could adjudicate as well as a blind monkey.
 

noVA99

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this can be done if you don't go into the place like a dumbass and tell them you bought the thing off of ebay LOL.....pretty easy to come up with another 'excuse'....."hey I had this suit given to me and I want to know more about Zegna fabrics..." yada yada yada or tell them you want alterations done after having the suit in storage and have their tailor look over the suit etc.....my experience has been that someone working men's boutiques are knowledgable more than the dept store salesman.....you can work the system to your favor if you know how to talk your way around people.....if you can't negotiate a lower sale price for a car, then going to a boutique to get a second opinion on an item you got second hand would not be for you
just my thoughts
 

aleksandr

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Where I come from there are bucketloads of fakes on popular brands like RL, so it's pretty common to go into the boutique and ask for help. Not all the associates can help, though they will usually point you in the direction of someone who can.
 

Viktri

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Originally Posted by SoCal2NYC
Many (luxury) stores/boutiques will have a policy that they will not make authenticity statements.

Yeah, my mom brought some LV bags from the shop in Paris and brought them to Vancouver's LV's shop to see if she could get any similar bags and the sales associates thought they were fakes because the colour/styles weren't offered at the Vancouver shop. I thought that was justified, my mom didn't. I don't think it is reasonable to have a sales associate know all the different products a boutique has; seems like lots of work with little benefits.
 

Journeyman

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Originally Posted by Viktri
Yeah, my mom brought some LV bags from the shop in Paris and brought them to Vancouver's LV's shop to see if she could get any similar bags and the sales associates thought they were fakes because the colour/styles weren't offered at the Vancouver shop. I thought that was justified, my mom didn't. I don't think it is reasonable to have a sales associate know all the different products a boutique has; seems like lots of work with little benefits.

In one way, that's a reasonable assumption for a sales associate (what happened to "shop assistant"?
) to make, as there are so many fake LV products out there now.

However, on the other hand, I think that it is entirely reasonable to expect a sales associate at a store that styles itself "upmarket" to have a very good working knowledge of the products made by the brand or brands that they sell. Surely this is one reason why people pay such a premium - it's not only for the product itself, but also for the whole experience that supposedly accompanies luxury goods, such as the retail experience (including courteous and helpful service), the packaging, the invitations to special showings etc etc.

If sales staff don't have that kind of knowledge, and if you don't get good service, then there's little difference between buying in a bricks and mortar store and shopping online.
 

rach2jlc

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Originally Posted by noVA99
this can be done if you don't go into the place like a dumbass and tell them you bought the thing off of ebay LOL.....pretty easy to come up with another 'excuse'....."hey I had this suit given to me and I want to know more about Zegna fabrics..." yada yada yada or tell them you want alterations done after having the suit in storage and have their tailor look over the suit etc.....my experience has been that someone working men's boutiques are knowledgable more than the dept store salesman.....you can work the system to your favor if you know how to talk your way around people.....if you can't negotiate a lower sale price for a car, then going to a boutique to get a second opinion on an item you got second hand would not be for you
just my thoughts

I agree and was going to say the same thing. In many cases, they'll be happy to help you (especially if it is a slow day or a weekday and they are just standing around looking for something to do), but in most brand boutiques, ebay is very much a four-letter word. As noVA99 says, just say it was a gift or something like that. As well, someone else may have mentioned this, too, but if it is an item that may be difficult for them to identify (whether because it is discontinued, older, or just outside the mainstream that might be sold at their store), I'd always check with the manager as they probably have been employed with the company long enough to know the product lines best. As Viktri said, a junior SA in many cases can misidentify an item just from lack of exposure.
 

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