How to spot counterfeit clothing, accessories - CBS46 News

How to spot counterfeit clothing, accessories

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Selling counterfeit goods is big business.

"Anything these counterfeiters can put a label on, a logo on, they're putting it on," said an undercover, anonymous Atlanta police officer.

Just this month, those officers raided the Metro Mart USA in Southwest Atlanta. They arrested three people and seized a truckload of merchandise worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

According to the International Chamber of Commerce, counterfeiting costs the global economy upwards of $600 billion a year, and it's not just on the mean streets.

The rise of auction sites like eBay can give you access to some real deals, as long as you're getting what you pay for.

"It's just way too dangerous to shop on eBay, especially if you're uninformed," said Fei Deyle, CEO of Lollipuff.

She created the online auction site, where you can buy and sell designer apparel and accessories. Deyle and her team guarantee the authenticity of every item.

One she said is hugely counterfeited is Herve Leger's bandage dress. Showing CBS46 an example of a counterfeit dress, Deyle pointed out flaws in the stitching and an asymmetrical cut - both very uncommon for Herve Leger.

The fake was also missing a serial number, care instructions and hang tags. Yet both versions would sell for about $300 online.

When it comes to purses, red flags include plastic around the handles, sloppy or inconsistent lettering, and flimsy hardware.

And don't be fooled by the fancy dust bag or card of authenticity. Those are counterfeited, too.

Deyle showed CBS46 an example of a counterfeit Chanel authenticity card with a holographic affect.

"On an authentic, it's a matte gold," she said. "For some reason or another, a lot of counterfeits, they add this holographic effect which Chanel never ever did."

Shoes are also heavily counterfeited, especially heels with the iconic red leather soles.

"For designer shoes like Louboutin, they generally use leather soles. And so leather soles will have a natural, pretty drape over the edges of the shoes, so there's a nice curvature," Deyle said. The soles on counterfeit version were completely flat.

If you're going to shop on eBay, make sure there are lots of pictures of the item taken from different angles. And check for positive feedback from users.

You can also pay the pros online to authenticate for you, but be warned: What you see online may not be what you get in the mail.

And we all know, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. But Deyle said a low price isn't always a dead giveaway - especially online.

"It is actually amazing the prices you can get online from peers," she said. "A Chanel Classic bag will run you about $5,000 plus tax nowadays. But if you got it online, pre-owned you can spend as little as $1,300."

The number one way to avoid buying counterfeit goods is to shop only with reputable retailers.

But we also know how you love to save money, so coming up Wednesday at 11 p.m., CBS46 will show you what to watch out for when shopping at secondhand stores. Plus, you'll find out what are the most counterfeited items for men's wear.

In the meantime, think you can spot the fake? Take Lollipuff's counterfeit quiz

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