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Ask Auntie Plumcake: How to spot a fake site | Manolo for the Big Girl

Ask Auntie Plumcake: How to spot a fake site

Happy Monday, campers! Sorry for the radio silence last week but things were a-brewin’ at the newspaper and you know mama needs her jay-oh-bee.

Anyhoodle, as promised last week, I’m going to talk about how to spot a site selling fake shoes.

If you have to wonder: It’s fake.

Other than department stores, major shoe sites (Endless etc), designers’ flagship sites and these online-only retailers:

Bluefly
Forzieri
Luisa Via Roma
Net a Porter
Raffaello Network
YOOX
Zappos Couture

You’re taking a big chance.

Any site that has a url like www.louboutinstore.com or www.discountmanolos.com are always always always 100% fake.

Here are some other ways to spot a fake site:

  • They use photos from other sites. Each vendor takes their own photos to coincide with their house style, so if you see the exact same photo at the questionable site and Neiman’s, you know something is up.
  • The site looks wonky. If an online retailer has the cachet to get a luxury designer to agree to sell through them, they’re going to be able to afford top of the line photographers and web designers.
  • The sales are too good to be true. I mean duh.
  • They have Hermès Bags. If you can buy a Birkin on the site, you can just go ahead and forget about it. Fakesville.

What about eBay?

EBay is another kettle of fish, because you’ve got genuine sellers and the fakesters out there. Generally speaking I wouldn’t buy a pair of Loubies unless they had the actual store receipt and/or the tags were still on the sole of the shoe.

If a vendor has the same design of a high end shoe in several sizes, that’s a red flag. It’s more of a concern with ultra premium designers. Sometimes eBay sellers can buy out deadstock from Amazon or Overstock and resell them, but that’s not going to happen with Manolos and Loubies. You’re just NOT going to get a warehouse of Manolo Blahnik Sedarabys.

They only sell iconic shoes. The Sedarabys are a good example. They’re the shoes Carrie Bradshaw got stolen in Sex in the City. See also the Something Blue from the (stupid) movie. They’re the most iconic, so obviously they’re going to be the most imitated. Neiman’s sells the Something Blue pumps for $945. So the pair for $138? Faker than SJP’s marriage.

They don’t have the names. People who know about shoes talk about them by name. They’re not just Diors: they’re Blue Angels. They’re not Louboutin mary janes, they’re Iowas. Details count.

Signs of a legitimate eBay seller:

I tend to err on the side of caution. I won’t buy a premier designer shoe without the pricetag from a store I recognize and/or the receipt. On occasion I’ll make an exception, when an eBay seller is selling her shoe collection. For example, if someone wanted to sell me a size 36 Manolo a size 41 Loubie and a size 37 Dior, plus some Beanie Babies and some aluminum siding, I wouldn’t touch it. But if a woman has a dozen pair of shoes, all roughly the same size and from the same level of designer, I’d feel pretty safe in going for it, IF everything else looked legit.

So err on the side of caution and of course you can always ask your Auntie Plumcake to check out a site before you buy.

Gin and Tonics,

Auntie Plumcake

8 Responses to “Ask Auntie Plumcake: How to spot a fake site”

  1. Klee February 28, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    Thank you, Auntie Plumcake!

  2. Jane2 February 28, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

    Excellent advice!

    I have great deals from ebay, but I stick to brands not generally known in America…so no “genuine Laboutin” or “genuine Manolo” for me.

  3. Camo March 1, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    You’re back!

    Thanks for this — The Outnet would also be a trusted online vendor, right? They have a flood of Brian Atwoods that are allegedly retailing for under $400 *before* the discount, which suggests to me that he’s having some shoes made outside of Italy — what do you think?

    I’m with Jane2 — I’ve picked up Les Prairies de Paris shoes from eBay and was comfortable that they were real, but I think it is much tougher when you’re trying to get Louboutins for a song.

  4. Miss Plumcake March 1, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    Camo – The Outnet is part of Net a Porter and yes, it can be trusted.

  5. Thea March 1, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    Thank you Plummie, never again shall I fear the bogus Louboutins and the wrath of those who know the difference!

  6. Lorena March 4, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    Great tips… great ips
    I fell on one of those.

  7. Melissa March 4, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    Oooh, I’m scared….

    Do you know if the site “Footwear etc” is legitimite?
    I recently ordered from them.

    Thanks for any help,
    Melissa

  8. lalalina March 5, 2011 at 3:59 am #

    I love Hautelook, Gilt Group and Ideeli, they are all legit too.