I'd like to start off by saying that at least 90% of the Juicy Couture bags listed here on eBay.co.uk are FAKE. Only a very small portion are authentic, and I think that's a disgrace. Please read my guide thoroughly before wasting your money on the hideous bags some sellers have the nerve of calling 'Juicy Couture'.
Okay, so I may not be a trusted power seller here on eBay, but one thing I am confident about is my knowledge of Juicy Couture bags. I love their products - I own five Juicy bags myself - and am willing to help with any doubts you may have about Juicy bags listed on eBay. Why am I so sure? Because I have experienced FIRST HAND a fake Juicy bag. Although I didn't buy it from eBay, I was reassured by the seller the bag was 100% genuine. The reason I knew it wasn't genuine was because I have three other Juicy Couture bags, all of them authentic and high quality. Of course, I was extremely alarmed at the prospect of having paid £100 for a counterfeit bag (I didn't pay it through paypal either) and the only course of action I could take was to contact Trading Standards as the seller DID NOT OFFER REFUNDS at the time!
To cut a long story short, I eventually got my money back and the seller was legally required to accept refunds as they were breaking the law by not doing so. Of course, they were also breaking the law by selling counterfeit bags and misrepresenting their products by using the OFFICIAL pictures from reputable websites who sell Juicy Couture products. This I have noticed a lot on eBay, and I find it highly alarming that these sellers are not providing their own photos of their products. This was how I was duped into believing I was getting a 100% authentic product! Surely, eBay should wake up to this fact as many people are getting away with selling illegal products at high prices on this site.
So, what are the deciding factors between a genuine and fake Juicy Couture bag?
If you are buying a Juicy bag with a heart-shaped mirror attached to a strap with the writing 'I am the fairest' on it, PLEASE BEWARE! The writing should be EMBOSSED on it, rather than simply printed on. If you buy a bag with a mirror strap, run your fingers over the writing... you should be able to FEEL the letters on the leather. I've noticed a lot of sellers actually hide the writing on the strap and is not in clear view. Same goes for any words on pockets like 'SHOP!' and 'Hello?' etc. PLEASE, PLEASE ask the seller to show you an up-close photo of the lettering on the leather. You can actually tell just by looking at the photo if the writing is embossed or not. It is a dead give-away, believe me!
The top strap is FAKE - the writing is flat and untextured. Also, note where the mirror is attached to the strap, there is a round gold pin. This is a good way to tell the fakes.
The bottom strap is AUTHENTIC - can you see the letters PRESSED into the leather? And also notice that where the mirror is attached to the strap, there is STITCHING, rather than a gold pin. It's the small details like this you should be aware of! You can see a better example below:
Again, the letters are PRESSED into the leather. Also note the superior stitching on the J and heart-shaped mirror. This is an authentic bag.
When you look at the BACK of the strap, you can see the engraving of the letters indented into the leather. (Shown above.) The back of the strap in the fake bags does not have this as the letters are PRINTED, not embossed on!
- Another give-away which I did not realise until I had the fake bag in my hand, is the pink Juicy Couture tag. Look inside the bag, at the bright pink tag in one corner (which many sellers show on their listing) and look INSIDE the tag - that's what's important. There should be a white, nine-numbered label inside the tag. All of my three other Juicy bags have this sticker, and the fake bag I recieved did not. ASK YOUR SELLER to photograph inside the label.
This sticker is inside ALL of my Juicy Couture bags, (I now own five) and was NOT in the fake one I recieved. A seller in America (ebay.com) also photographs this sticker when selling their Juicy bags to prove authenticity.
- The most obvious way to spot a fake bag is by the gold hardware (J's and chain handles etc.) The metal should be matt and heavy, (often called a 'brushed' gold effect) unlike the shiny, tacky-looking metal I have seen on many fake Juicy bags. An easy way to tell is look at the small J pull on the inside of most bags (it's attached to a 'SHOP!' pocket.) If it's shiny and bright, it's fake. If there's not much reflection and a darker gold colour, it's authentic.
- Stitching. This may sound obvious, but it is difficult to spot until you actually have the bag in your hand, especially if the seller has used an official photo from a Juicy website. The stitching should be well defined and of high quality. You would not believe the poor quality stitching on the fake bag I had - you don't even need to be an expert on Juicy Couture to spot poor craftsmanship! The stitching on the heart-shaped mirror with a J on the back is a dead give-away:
The mirror on the left is FAKE - You can see there is a slant in the J and it is less well defined. The stitching around the mirror is also harder to see.
The mirror on the right is AUTHENTIC - The J is straight, and the stitching around is much clearer and pronounced.
It's kind of hard to see in this photo, but the craftsman ship was very poor on the fake Juicy bag I got. The mirror on the right shows just how bad it was - can you see that it's not even heart-shaped like the one on the left? The material wasn't even stuck down properly!! Very shoddy work indeed.
- The 'leather' on the fake bag I recieved was atrocious. It was more like pvc and was thick and very rubbery! Again, the leather on my other bags is thinner and has more texture to it, especially on the mirror strap. You can tell just by looking at a picture - the fake leather straps are often very flexible and thick, whilst the real mirror straps tend to be thinner and harder to bend. You can tell right away by the feel of it if it's real or not! And although this sounds obvious, SMELL the leather... we all know what leather smells like. I've just recently purchased a genuine Juicy Couture fluff bag, and it smells like real leather, unlike the cheap PVC stuff that was on the fake one!
- Anyone buying a Juicy fluff bag listen up!! The OBVIOUS give-away is the connector strap inside. I have seen soooooo many of these bags listed on eBay and hardly any of them (except for certain ones on the US eBay) have the genuine, heart-shaped clasp. Please, I beg you, ASK your seller for a genuine photo of the strap inside the bag they are selling. The strap should be connected with a HEART clasp, NOT a spring-hook clasp, like so many sellers are showing just now. This can been seen on 'Her Majesty' bags and the new baby fluff terry bags:
This is what the heart connector looks like, and THIS should be in all fluff bags... It's very Juicy Couture, I must say! PLEASE ASK your seller to show you this clasp, as many sellers HIDE it in their photos because they are just spring-hooks!!
Again, here is the heart-shaped clasp. BEWARE of the bags showing this kind of clasp though:
In case you can't really see from my blurry photo, (sorry about the poor quality!) this is a spring clasp. It's just a hook and is what is in the FAKE bags!! Beware of these clasps.
Sadly, there are so many sellers out there who couldn't care less about where the bags are coming from, and many probably won't even see it in person. Fair enough, Juicy Couture is imported from China, but there is NO denying there are more and more fake bags coming from there as well. Beware if your bag will be 'drop-shipped' as this is how the fake bag I bought was delivered to me, and came straight from Hong Kong, which it shouldn't have. Thank God that eBay have decided to list where the product is coming from, as I wouldn't even look twice at a bag that is being shipped from China, no offence. I think the US eBay have far more genuine bags (though they have their fakes too) on their website, and I think it's a shame that any fans of Juicy Couture like me who live in the UK have to miss out as some sellers don't ship internationally. Even buying Juicy Couture in the reptuable stores like Harvey Nicks and Selfridges is a total rip-off! I I know of only two sellers here on the UK eBay who deal with Juicy Couture that I would trust completely... that's how sad it is.
My tips for buying a Juicy Couture bag on eBay are:
- Don't be afraid to ask your seller for photos of the ACTUAL bag they are selling; do not go by the photos they provide alone, especially if they are using the official screenshots from Juicy. Sellers should answer ANY questions asked, especially if they are genuine and have nothing to hide. Please beware of sellers who only provide ONE photo of their product - please ask them to email their own photos of the inside of the bag.
- BE SURE that your seller offers refunds, not only is it reassuring, but they are breaking the law by not doing so!
- Try and pay through paypal wherever possible - if you are not satisfied with your bag and are having trouble refunding with your seller, it is easier and quicker to claim through paypal than it is with Trading Standards - believe me!
- Check your seller's feedback score and comments. Please READ the comments, rather than go by the plusses or minuses alone.
- DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Have some idea of what the bag should at least look like... Be very, VERY wary of bright, garish colours such as purples/reds and glittery designs on many Juicy bags listed here on eBay. Juicy Couture DO NOT make bags in horrible, tacky colours and they just look terrible! The worst colour I have seen is *SHOCK HORROR* Grey and Pink... YUK!
- Juicy DO NOT wrap their handles in plastic - only the fakes do so! The Juicy tissue paper should be wrapped around any gold hardware and should NOT arrive just sitting folded in the bottom of the bag.
- A lot of the fake bags have another tag next to the price that says 'Protect your zipper' with foreign writing... BEWARE! This should NOT be on the bag at all! It is intended for clothes and the fake manufacturers add it because they think it makes the bag look more authentic. Let me assure you, it definitely isn't.
- Juicy has unique names for their colours like 'Skaist', 'Farrah', 'New Day' or 'Socialite' to name but a few... They're not just called 'Green' 'Pink' or 'Yellow' etc. Be wary of very low prices, anything under £50 is most probably fake, especially if it is a Buy It Now item. I wouldn't pay less than £70 for a normal sized handbag and would expect to pay around £100+ for a bigger bag. Don't be fooled by the £70 - £80 Buy It Now's on some bigger bags like a lot of the Daydreamers and Fluff bags... at least 90% of the time they are fake, especially here in the UK.
Fortunately, I now know what to look for and can pretty easily spot a fake bag, but for those of you buying Juicy Couture bags for the first time, it can be so difficult to know what's real and what's not. I remember first looking for a Juicy bag here on eBay about two years ago, and not having a clue what a real one looked like - even back then there were still hundreds of fakes. Thankfully I didn't buy any until I did my RESEARCH!! Hopefully, this guide will help you with any uncertanties and help you buy in confidence. Believe me when I say that if I had my way, I'd report ALL the con artists on this site who are breaking the law by selling fake bags and get them kicked off eBay for good. This type of piracy is just unacceptable, and I'm sure you wouldn't buy a Juicy Couture or Louis Vuitton bag for £15 from your local high street market and believe it was authentic, now would you? So why would you do the same on eBay?
Ebay DO have genuine products, as long as you know what to look for...
Safe bidding and Have a Juicy Day!!