Case In Review: Keep It Real Real

Hello friends!! It has been a looooong while since I posted anything, let alone a post about Poshmark. Not because things haven’t been going on, but because I’ve been spread thin adjusting to two babies in the household 😝 Nevertheless, I wanted to share the latest case that got opened on me…..Y’ALL IT JUST GOT SERIOUS! I had an AUTHENTICITY case opened on me!!!! Never in a million years would I think I would be one of the Posher’s to go through that, yet here I am on the other side still alive and moving forward. Get ready, I’m about to spill ALL the tea on the details, lessons learned, and how I coped.

Ok so, little background on me; I graduated with a degree in Fashion Merchandising. The final year of the program I was blessed to be part of a group of students participating in a study abroad trip to China (this was back in like summer of 2007). During the trip we did tons of visits to factories. My favorite was a leather factory (smelled like heaven). Anyway, we got to witness firsthand the process merchandise goes through on the trip to being mass produced. The skills and details required to do that kind of work is mind boggling. I have SO MUCH respect for people that make retail items because it is seriously no joke work!

At one point during our trip, we were actually encouraged to visit the open outdoor markets where tourists go to find fakes galore. You think a mall is overwhelming, lemme tell ya, it’s NOTHING compared to what I got to see! Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Fendi, Prada, Burberry, Chanel were among some of the most notable brands the counterfeits were available in. In addition to being immersed in the atmosphere, I naively dabbled in the hype. I bought 2 fake bags at the time: a Fendi Zucca Spy and Marc Jacobs Quilted Stam. I didn’t realize at the time what I was doing or the negative impact in supporting a very dark market.

What some people don’t know, and myself at the time too, is that when you purchase a fake bag, you’re supporting an industry that more than likely uses sweatshop or child labor…and when I say child, I mean single digits age children. The factories we had visited for the legit items seemed just ok and decent. They weren’t anything to be super hype about. But I can say, anything less in my mind would be considered absolute abuse! People might not have safe working conditions, no ac, no proper breaks to rest their tired hands…it literally could be close to slave labor…and that’s super scary.

Once I understood the impact of me simply purchasing one of these fake bags had, I promised to never KNOWINGLY purchase anything counterfeit again. I cannot enjoy a fake item knowing that the person behind it might be a child or someone not being properly cared for by their employer…I can’t 😞. (And it’s even goes deeper than that with fast fashion items, but another topic for another day). So now that you know all of this, on to the case…

The item in question, I had legit purchased from The Real Real. What’s that you say? A lux thrifters dream! They have a very rigorous authentication process and even though they aren’t 100% perfect, I like that they do as much as possible to prevent fakes and allow a safer shopping environment. *Do note that CLEARLY the safest shopping environment to guarantee authenticity is directly from the brand itself 🤦🏾‍♀️🤣

So anyway, this item I bought on a whim. It wasn’t returnable but I thought it was so cute from the pics, I wouldn’t want to return it anyway. I knew I would want to keep it and wear it happily. Well when I received it, to my surprise I wasn’t that giddy about it. It seemed to look better in photos and I felt the material should have been different. It definitely looked, felt, and smelled real. I never questioned its authenticity, but it just didn’t have that extra umpff I thought it would.

Since I didn’t love it like I hoped, I decided I would go ahead and list it since I couldn’t return it anyway. Well it hadn’t been listed long before someone had submitted a reasonable offer and I accepted. I checked out their profile to make sure they didn’t seem scammy since it was a higher price point and all seemed well. I did my normal video of condition, packed it up and shipped it out with my other Posh packages.

A few days later I get the dreaded case opening. At first I didn’t realize it was the item, and even when I did I was just not prepared for an authenticity case. My stomach sunk! I’ve never had to deal with something like this before. I never sell anything fake or buy anything fake. I pride myself in researching heavily before purchasing outright so I know that what I receive is indeed real. I always get authentications if I don’t go directly to the retailer, and even when I go to the retailer I keep my receipts…I’m that person 🙋🏾‍♀️

The buyer started off stating the item was CLEARLY a fake, basing it on two main factors:

1- The interior tag stated “made in China”

2- The YKK zipper pull

I had to slow down and just grasp the weight of what was happening. I was only somewhat familiar with the brand and have purchased directly from them before, but it had been a long while. Further, the source that the buyer was citing seemed to be from a website where someone was talking about a specific type of item on the higher end of the brand spectrum within the line, not my particular item I had sold them (which was on the lower end of the luxury spectrum). And the site also mentioned that certain aspects weren’t part of everything that could cause something in that brand to be fake, just that they were POSSIBLE factors.

After I read the comments carefully, I lined up my first response, that obviously being my receipt from The Real Real. I stated that I believed the item was real simply based on the reputation of the place I got it from. I also noted that they have a rigorous authentication process and would even go as far as to pay for Posh authentication to double check it.

Then I decided to do some more digging into ways I could help myself out. I jumped online and found what I considered 2 credible sources of information:

1. I found a link on an authorized luxury retailer that sold the exact item I had at full price. This was not a reseller place like Poshmark or The Real Real, this place sells them brand new. In the details on the listing page it stated that the item was in fact made in China!

2. I found a YouTuber who was comparing real to fakes in the item that I had. She had purchased 3 of these items, all real, two from authorized retailers (non resell) and 1 from Poshmark. She stated that all 3 had YKK zippers on them and stated made in China on at least 1.

I gathered my links and gently responded to the accusation of my item being fake due to the zipper and “Made in China” tag and directed her to my sources until Poshmark had a chance to instruct us further in the process. All I could do now was wait.

Later, Poshmark requested more detailed photos from the seller about the hardware, logos, brand stamps, and stitching. I’m so glad they did because that shows that they are looking at all aspects of the claim to authenticity outside of the zipper and tag that the buyer had deemed was the sole reasoning behind it being a “clear fake”.

If anything I felt the odds slide in my favor just a tiny bit more because the photos from every angle showed clean details, exact matching logos to comparable items, brand name font clean and consistent with the brand, care placed on each brand name engraved piece, clean stitching on the exterior, exact measurements, and perfect symmetry.

I had nothing more to contribute or say. It would be in Poshmarks hands now. I personally don’t think in matters like this they take the tenure of a buyer/seller on their platform into account. In order to be truly unbiased and fair, they need to look at what is presented in photos and compare that to what is true.

While waiting on the verdict, I did some thinking and soul searching. “Had I been duped by The Real Real?” “Had they somehow sold me a fake and let it slip through the cracks and I just happened to be on the receiving end?” “Do I feel like giving up if the odds don’t fall in my favor?” “What will this buyer think of me if I am at fault?” So much ran through my head. I felt sick honestly. I called my husband and vented to him. I felt really down about my closet, what I stood for, and just Poshmark in general. I didn’t want to be let down. I wanted to be right!

But I also started to think about being wrong. If I was wrong, what would I do? I would hate feeling like I couldn’t trust a place like The Real Real with such great credibility as they have in my eyes. I felt like I would just shut down. If somehow I sold a fake to an unknowing innocent buyer, I would hate they would think I was trying to get over on them. Even more, I take it personally that I could be responsible for them being skeptical of others in the future. We all have to be cautious, but I didn’t want to be the stumbling block reason to cause that.

I also started to think of if the bag did turn out to be a fake according to Posh, how bad I would feel that I was the one holding it when it got caught being a fake. How would I cope? Would they suspend me? Would I get removed from the the platform after all this time? The unknown just became so overwhelming. I kept adding fuel to my brain fire…

And then the verdict days later…

The item was indeed authentic! BUT it still got returned due to “undisclosed condition issue” and that being code for a couple loose threads on the interior of the item and a white mark that I couldn’t see on the buyers submitted photos 😐

So I will have my item back and have the opportunity to sell it to someone who wants it. This case took 8 days from open to said “resolution”. I’m writing this blog in 2 parts because I have a whole other part that I would like to address in addition to lessons learned. Until next time, happy Poshing!!

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