My first designer handbag purchase was a used Louis Vuitton neverfull mm tote bag that I got on eBay. I remember how excited I was when I bought it, how accomplished I felt for being able to afford a designer handbag (including a used one), and how practical I felt the purchase was. That handbag actually appreciated over time too so the price I paid for it back then (which was $800) ended up being a great deal since that handbag is now $1,320 USD.

Outside of vintage shopping, I actually used to work at ebay for 4-years. Throughout my time there I really learned the ins-and-outs of differentiating legit vs fake sellers, especially when it came to luxury goods. There are some key things to consider, some more obvious than others. Since I consider myself well-educated in this space, below are some ways to tell the authenticity of a seller regardless of the marketplace they’re selling on (ebay vs poshmark vs the realreal and etc.) This vintage Chanel Diana flap handbag I’m wearing was actually purchased on poshmark!

How to tell if a seller is legit or fake on eBay and other marketplace websites:

  1. Check the seller’s store and reviews: when you find an item you like, check the seller’s profile and other products that they’re selling. Does it seem like they’ve been a seller for a while? Do they have a lot of positive reviews? Do they have other items similar to the item you want? Some red flags include: they only have 1 listing, they don’t have reviews, or that item listing looks different compared to their other listings. Sellers usually have a consistent look and feel whether its the way they take their photos, the way they write their listings or the types of products they sell. If something looks “off” about this listing or the seller’s profile consider it a red flag.
  2. Do competitive research on the item you want: a lot of sellers (especially the legit ones) will list that same product on different websites to widen their scope of customers. If you see the exact same product listed in other marketplace websites (which actually happened to me with this Chanel bag) by the same seller, be rest assured that the seller is legit and trying to increase their chances of the item selling. Doing research is also a great way to tell if the pricing makes sense. A common way for sellers to verify their pricing is to compare it with how much other sellers are selling it for. When it comes to vintage items, sellers do this by seeing how much that exact product (brand, model, year) costs on competitor websites. All it takes is a simple Google search to compare and see if the price that the product is listed for makes sense compared to where it’s listed for elsewhere.
  3. Make sure authenticity is guaranteed on the listing: The best way to tell if a listing is 100% authentic is if it says “100% authentic” (with no typos) and they offer returns. This means they’re verifying or trusting that you’ll love and keep the product, but in the case that you don’t like it (for a reason outside of authenticity), they’re willing to take it back. The great thing about companies like Poshmark though is that they’ll automatically verify the authenticity of any product over $500. Since this Chanel handbag I bought was $1,400, after I purchased it, it got mailed to Poshmark headquarters where they verified the authenticity of it, then mailed it to me only if it was legit. This definitely helps alleviate the stress of buying expensive vintage designer goods and wondering if it’s legit or not. Luckily, a lot of marketplace companies will guarantee some form of authenticity for you and in the rare instance you end up buying something shady, you’re usually able to get your money back.

So the next time you’re considering buying a vintage designer handbag, or any designer product make sure it passes these 3 tests to guarantee authenticity! Thanks for reading! 🙂

Wearing Splendid turtleneck, Shop Isalis skirt, vintage Chanel Diana handbag purchased on Poshmark (shop my Poshmark store), and Zara boots (similar here on zulily).

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