As co-owner of Labels Resale Boutique- The Men's Store in Buckhead, Jessica Highsmith realizes the importance of knowing her product.
"You don't want to waste money and buy fake things and you take a hit so you have to be very knowledgeable," she said.
High-end men's wear is everywhere in Atlanta and fakes are inevitable.
"You know guys, they're adorned now. They have sneakers, belts, wallets, they wear caps - we see a lot of it with guys stuff."
Highsmith and her staff are trained to spot counterfeits, from the obvious to the subtle.
"Each brand has a different set of things that we have to look for and it's extensive," she said.
Replicas range from iconic designers, such as Gucci to more affordable brands, such as Lacoste.
"We see a lot of sneakers, a lot of shoes are counterfeit. Some are very good replicas, and then some are just, you can see it a mile away," Highsmith said.
For example, Louis Vuitton marks all items with a date code and country code. Highsmith showed us an example of a counterfeit sneaker that was missing both, and had a logo on the tongue that was clearly off-centered.
After shoes, men's accessories including wallets, watches, belts and luggage are the next most counterfeited items.
Highsmith showed a Louis Vuitton vintage duffel bag that was easy to identify as fake, noting that the lettering on the duffel didn't match the icon on an authentic Louis Vuitton wallet.
The authentic vintage duffel would sell for thousands of dollars. And even a replica in good condition could go for $500 to $1,500 online.
"Especially, if you're going to buy a $1,000, $2,000 bag, you need to research and know that it came in that color or that it came with that specific hardware. And if the deal is too good to be true, it's probably not a good deal at all," Highsmith said.
That advice is the only "real" thing about the world of counterfeits. Know your brands, do your homework, and be skeptical of a price that's too good to be true.
Also keep in mind, when you're shopping secondhand, don't expect perfection. Stitching that isn't exactly perfect or a warped patch of silk on a tie doesn't necessarily mean it's counterfeit. Even the real thing may have flaws or appear gently worn, because it is.
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