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Is it Safe to Buy Designer Jeans on eBay?

Updated on April 22, 2009

It's not uncommon to find a pair of lightly worn designer brand jeans for under a hundred bucks on eBay. In fact, I used to run a business where I bought used jeans from people all over Southern California, only to resell them on eBay. There is definitely money to be made in discount designer jeans. In the process, I learned a few things about the pros and cons of buying designer jeans online.

First of all, yes, there are plenty of fakes on eBay. Whether the seller is aware of it or not, some of the designer jean auctions on eBay are for fakes. However, at the same time, there are countless for REAL, legitimate pairs of jeans as well. So, how do you differentiate the good from the bad?

Well, it's a lot easier if you have the jeans in front of you. Some pairs of knock-off jeans are so poorly done that just about anyone could tell from a mile away that they're fake. On the other hand, some fakes are done so well even people that work for the designer can't tell the difference. The same applies to counterfeit handbags, and just about anything else that is counterfeited. There are good knock-offs and there are bad. But, for the sake of this article, we'll assume that you are only interested in buying 100% authentic designer jeans.

Feedback is Your Friend

Ebay's feedback system is one of your biggest allies in the war against counterfeits. A seller with thousands of positive feedback and an overall feedback score of 99% or higher is extremely unlikely to be engaging in any questionable business practices. That seller is also likely to verify a product is legitimate before accidentally selling a fake pair of jeans. Always buy from a trusted seller with a long positive track record on eBay when you can.

Avoid International Sellers

Try to only bid on auctions that are offered by domestic sellers. Most of the fraud that occurs on eBay is a result of overseas transactions. It is very difficult to hold people accountable for scamming on eBay if they're from another country, so con-artists abroad often take advantage. Sticking to the first rule about feedback should also help you circumvent this problem.

Compare Photos

You shouldn't be bidding on an auction that doesn't have clear pictures of the jeans. Those same jeans should be available for sale from licensed retailers, if not on the designer's own website. For instance, True Religion showcases most of their current products on their website (and they're also available for sale). As an added precaution, you might want to compare the details of the pair of jeans shown in the auction to pictures of the same pair for sale online.

In my own personal experience, by far the most counterfeited designer jeans on eBay are True Religion, Rock and Republic, Seven For All Mankind, and Joe's Jeans. Of course, knock-offs certainly aren't limited to those brands, so you should always use your best discretion.

Ebay is still a great place to get deals on genuine designer jeans. By using a little bit of your own dilligence, you can make sure that you always get the real thing.


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