DISCUSS the Hermes AT Thread

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  1. This is the same message I posted in the AT thread but wanted to have a thread to discuss it in. Please use this thread to discuss!

  2. #2 Jan 12, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
    Thank you Megs. And also, thank you for the clarification from jag. I doubt that I speak only for myself when I say, I enjoy coming to the Auth. thread daily (if possible) to read and learn more about these lovely bags. Even after a month of doing it, I still made a stupid mistake of buying a pair of fake belts without having them authenitcated first. I was unaware of how rampant the counterfeits were ("even belts and scarves and bracelets?" i thought -- so naive!) I consider myself really fortunate to have gotten my money back, and the care and support of some of our authenticators and members definitely helped back then.
    So with the start of a fresh authentication thread, I have a suggestion. In addition to making the template/format for auth requests explicit, maybe it would be helpful to be a little stronger in stating the reality of how risky it is to buy Hermes items due to the omnipresent counterfeit industry. As obvious as it seems to many, believe me, it bears repeating.

    Thanks for always looking for ways to improve things -- I believe that's the mark of greatness, isn't it? ;)
  3. #3 Jan 12, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
    At the bottom of this note you will see one suggested format for reporting. I would love to say a few words about why this is such a great way to present your items for authenticating, and about why its use is always encouraged.

    Of course, it helps the authenticators in many ways.

    But it also insures that you will receive a better and richer report. Why?

    Photos alone tell only part of the story. The photos may be marvelous and they might obviously show a truly authentic bag. But that is only part of the larger and more important package.

    Some sellers and sites are known for their customer care and their track record of selling authentic bags. Others have a history of selling many fakes. Sometimes with this full authentication format we can better spot problems like stolen images. When we know WHO the seller is...or what the site is, it give us rich information.

    With items offered on eBay, the full format is critical. It allows authenticators, at times, to give a fast thumbs up when the seller is well known to all. It also allows authenticators to do far more interesting research. What kinds of items has the seller sold (or even bought) in the past? (If they have 100% feedback but it turns out they have only been selling weird $2.99 bottles of sex-enhancing tonic you might want to run to the next seller.) Is their feedback full of posts from legitimate members, or is it largely from new members who have joined at the same time, and who have just a few feedback posts themselves (an warning sign that could indicate "planned" accumulation of feedback using associates)? Has anyone on tpf had personal transactions with this party? There are so many things that can be used to give you the fullest report that are only possible when using a suggested format. Without the information requested in the format, reports can be dangerously incomplete. Without this format, for example, you could get a report that a bag looks good...but miss the chance to find out that someone, say, in the past has had a bait-and-switch experience with the seller when they ordered a bag but got one that was different from the one shown in the images.

    That is my sales pitch for the format...thank you!
  4. Perigord excellent excellent sales pitch
  5. I think we're all agreed on the format - it's what people have been asked to use for some time now. Often, they don't. And sometimes, people come to the thread with bags they received, bags they've been offered, and other venues where Ebay doesn't come into play. It's then that a certain less than friendly attitude is exhibited.
  6. Megs in the absence of an eBay listing (private sale situations) posters to the auth thread might also provide the following extra pictures which need to be large and really sharp. It is recommended they use the macro function of their camera;
    - Front view of bag
    - Zipper
    - Zipper end
    - hardware
    - craftsman stamp on strap
    - Hermes stamp + top stitching
    - crystal clear picture of the interior lining
    - base of the handles
    - side view of the strap guides

    That would be really helpful for those seeking help but whose bags fall outside the format guidelines.

    If I might add to Perigord's remarks the use of the suggested format also assists "searching" making it easy to see if an item has already been assessed.

    Thanks for taking a look at the Auth thread, I know our Mods have been working hard on it :smile:
  7. Thanks mistikat! I think people should fill out the format as completely as posible because when they only post a picture we don't know if it is on eBay...a site...from the "friend of a friend" or whatever. They can use the format to enter the info about who the seller is, and they can use it to give a link if there is one.
  8. Very useful feedback, much appreciated. The current thread is too long anyway and overdue for replacement. I shall evaluate all the suggestions and put together a new thread with fresh instructions (which can work as a template for other forums' AT threads) tomorrow.
  9. I think there is also the phenomenon of "authentication burnout" that can lead an extra serving of cynicism and negativity which can put people off. I've noticed a few veteran authenticators take an extended leave (here's hoping they come back). Maybe more defined ground rules can help address the above, along the lines of "no basic format no authentication". Another pitfall may be blind faith reliance on one member's opinion where others may not want to disagree (but that's human nature and no rule will change that)

    It can also help to add a specific caveat along the lines of "we will give you our yay/nay opinion, but no details can be provided" so basically take it or leave it. This isn't a paid for authentication/appraisal service, just a bunch of people volunteering their time and talent (and nobody can challenge authenticating H is not a talent)
  10. Another thing--I think it is critical that language be added stating that authentication comments are made by unpaid members with varying (but often wonderful) levels of experience. They must always be considered opinions and they are not legally binding.

    As we talk about defining the next thread please let me also add (and this is opion only and not legally binding!!) that I always prefer a less legislated thread rather than an overly rule-heavy one. I prefer information to rules...maybe I am just too loose a girl! Those of us who have been around the authentication block so to speak can sometimes forget what it is like for a first-timer, and I would hate for the thread to become so rule-heavy that it becomes daunting or overwhelming for a first-timer. That could be as off-putting as some of our comments!

    Instead of refusing service, for example, to those who fail to initially use the format, I am happier with a little informative nudge--just tell the poster that if they follow the format we can give them more complete information and that we will be waiting to hear from them.

    Occassional comments that might be less than "Miss Manners polite" only bother me when they are fairly brutal. Sometimes we misstep, and sometimes the comments give forth to lively dialogue. Politeness is wonderful and it is not wrong to encourage it, but by the same token I hate to have the feeling that there is a chill put on discourse and dialogue. I also like--gotta admit it--chat! Authenticating is hard, and now and then we all need to mix business with pleasure (the office with no water cooler--eek!). Occassional hot photos of Johnny Depp and accompanying slightly off-color comments just build camaraderie and community. I hope the mods will continue to trust us to be a self-correcting and self-moderating (most of the time) bunch who always manage to find our way back to the authenticating "center."

    Better get off my soapbox on this one...Thanks to all who are working on the next thread.
  11. ^ Agreed it would be a shame to become so PC the thread lost it's character and charm.

  12. I so agree with these comments so well put!

    One thing I always ask when I post for the members to wait for a second viewpoint, because I am not perfect and some H items I do not have the knowledge, also there are other members with much more than I have

    I suppose I am trying to say is it ok if I authenticate? some items there is no real guideline as to who should KWIM.

    Sorry I am waffling its late and I have the flu, I would also agree that alot of really experienced members have stopped visiting the thread and I think that sad and needs maybe some contact from the mods to see what has gone wrong.
  13. <Sorry I am waffling its late and I have the flu, I would also agree that alot of really experienced members have stopped visiting the thread and I think that sad and needs maybe some contact from the mods to see what has gone wrong.

    First, I'm so sorry you're not feeling well, Ardneish. The flu is no fun at all.

    Secondly, I agree about the void we're currantly seeing on the AT thread. Goodness knows, I've given them grief myself, but it was never meant in a harmful way. I miss them, and want them to come back! I'm here to expand on the areas of Hermes with which I'm less familiar. And, they're invaluable. :smile:

    Pepper, Grace, MrsSparkle, and anyone else I've left out, please come back.

  14. I T A with everything Perigord wrote.
    To ardneish's point of who is considered an authenticator and who isn't, I do feel for those brand new to the thread if they think anyone commenting* on what they post is qualified to authenticate or not. I always include the "I'm not an authenticator" in mine when I feel the need to post something I feel is relevant nevertheless. But for those who do have the experience and eye, in Hermes with the "superfakes" (birkins in particular, and soooo much money involved), I think it especially matters who is looking/authenticating. If the veterans are not on there regularly, and not regularly being called out/named as our experts, would a newbie know which/when comments are enough, to feel confident to make a purchase of this magnitude?

    * dear ardneish, obviously i do not mean you when i say "anyone"
  15. So, I know some of the reasons why the authenticators don't want to share their knowledge on how to authenticate H items on eBay... but I also think that if there were more sharing of that knowledge, it could help dispel "authenticator burnout" and at least, get out a majority of the glaringly fake items...

    There was a thread once on how to authenticate exotic bags - and all the people who wanted to learn how to authenticate exotic bags were privately pm'd a list. Couldn't something similar happen again? I'm sure there are a lot of H subforum regulars who would willingly help authenticate, given the proper tools. Many of us simply have not seen enough authentic H bags to be able to tell, but we would love to help out. I know I benefited tremendously from the authentication tools provided on the other subforums, and gladly helped authenticate as long as I was on those subforums.
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