How to get the real deal, second-hand
The ABC of anti-counterfeit
explained by the expert
Fakes, counterfeits: if you know them, you avoid them. New, but also second-hand. Vinted shares the basic vocabulary of anti-counterfeit, plus some tips from the expert May Berthelot, Director of Anti-counterfeit and authentication at the C2C second-hand fashion marketplace.
Counterfeit, Fake, Replica. A vocabulary to trade safely
Replica items or counterfeit items are an issue for much of the fashion industry. Selling and buying counterfeit items is prohibited as it violates intellectual property regulations, damages the brand owners and hurts the general economy, on scale. Also, replicas are often of unclear provenience and quality.
These are some reasons why, when buying fashion items, you should always avoid choosing replicas. Here's the ABC to do so, second-hand:
A - Anti-counterfeits. According to the terms and conditions, selling counterfeit items is strictly prohibited on Vinted, and the platform is committed to fighting this issue.
Vinted has automated measures in place helping to detect counterfeit content and is regularly developing new tools and technology to help members trade safely and securely, C2C. For example, at the end of last year, the platform implemented a new functionality for listings to be verified by algorithms before being visible on the platform.
Despite these measures, as none is 100% bullet-proof, it may still happen that some counterfeit items make it to the platform. And even though Vinted puts its best efforts to remove them very quickly, that's when everyone can do their part and support the fight against replicas. Members can also report replica items on the platform. You just need to click the three dots button in the top right of the listing in the App format, the flag at the bottom right of the pictures in the desktop version or through the help centre or via the "contact us" button. User reports are checked by a dedicated moderation team which makes the final decision, especially to avoid abusive reports. Brand owners can also report intellectual property infringing content through a dedicated tool.
On top of informing and educating its members (ie. through the Terms & Conditions and catalog rules or informing sellers what authenticity information they may upload to their listings), recently Vinted has also strengthened its measures by increasing sanctions and the severity of its policies. As safety is a top priority for the platform, Vinted is developing new capabilities through different teams dedicated to anti-counterfeit training and anti-counterfeit quality and is working on further technological features to improve its tools.
B - Buyer Protection. But first, Buyer Protection! When trading on Vinted, you can pay via the ‘Buy Now’ button. This ensures you’ll be covered by our Buyer Protection (5% of the order’s cost plus a fixed fee of 0.70€), which enables safer transactions and higher protection than transacting outside of the platform. Buyer Protection entitles the buyer to report an issue with an item and suspend the transaction within two days after the delivery. As part of this process, buyers can report any doubts about the item received to our member support teams, whether it's about the item's authenticity, or if it's significantly not as described in the listing. Vinted teams look further into each case individually and can decide to issue a refund, and to take other actions, in case they find the item is a replica.
C - Counterfeit According to the Cambridge Dictionary a counterfeit is “something that is made to look like the original of something else, usually for dishonest or illegal purposes”. Sounds like something you might not want to do or buy, right? New, but also second-hand, remember that selling and buying only original items should be part of your fashion etiquette so that you can avoid ending up in unpleasant situations. Just think that last year, the teams at Vinted were able to remove more than 2.6 M listings containing counterfeit products.
Bonus point. Item Verification Service: Looking for a really special piece from your favourite designer? Vinted recently started trialling, in some selected markets including France, and Italy, an Item verification service, to allow members to sell and buy higher-value and designer items with more confidence. This consists of an optional paid service to check the authenticity of selected designer items; if an item is bought with the Item Verification service, it will be physically examined by Vinted's expert teams to check, based on objective criteria, whether the item is authentic. More information can be found at the Vinted Help Center.
Tips and tricks from the expert: May Berthelot, Anti-Counterfeit Director at Vinted
May Berthelot is the Anti-counterfeit and authentication Director at Vinted, where she leads efforts in fighting counterfeits on the C2C platform. As a luxury and renovation expert, fashion enthusiast and second-hand passionate in the first place, May shares on her Instagram advice for safe preloved branded shopping. Here are her top tips and tricks:
- KYP, Know Your Product: When buying second-hand designer pieces, go the extra mile with some research. Check how the product, first-hand, looks like (there are unlimited resources online and offline!) and what’s its price, new. Don’t forget to visually memorize the product and the realistic second-hand price according to the new price.
- Get to know your seller: A good idea is also to get to know your seller. Check the seller’s profile and recent reviews, they can give you a good indication of their trustworthiness.
- Seek for proof of authenticity: sellers are asked to add proof of authenticity when selling well-known brand items. But if not visible, we encourage buyers to proactively ask for proof of authenticity, like the logo, labels stitching lines, patterns and more. Zoom in on some of the details, and check that the logo shape is correct and that there are no imperfections in the seams and finishing of the product.
- Misspelling, packaging and details: Counterfeiters usually make mistakes on the packaging by using the wrong font, colours etc. Misspellings are quite frequent, especially in French and Italian so keep an eye out! This principle also has to be applied to the details such as the inner label, engravings and/or zippers.
- Be wary of bargains: Too good to be true? It probably is. On Vinted it’s possible to find true gems at great prices, but “that” item from the last season of your favourite brand will not likely be offered at half of the price, same for sought-after and sold-out pieces