I've been banned from the Thrift Store!

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  1. #1 Sep 19, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2010
    Lately I have been checking out goodwill, salvation army, and other thrift and resale stores to look for vintage coach bags that can be restored with a little TLC.

    I've always gotten them authenticated here and so far I have been lucky. I've seen quite a few fakes and felt that I was getting pretty good at spotting the fakes but I was recently fooled by a very good copy.

    I had visited a small, local Thrift Store and bought what appeared to be be a genuine Coach Scooter bag in excellent condition. The tag on the bag was labeled "Coach Bag" and the price was $20. It turned out to be a fake, see the authentication pics at the thread below. There were signs but I missed them and I've learned some very valuable lessons from our wonderful authentication experts and my TPF colleagues!

    I didn't like the idea of buying a fake so I wanted to return it; but the thrift store is a run by a religious group and I didn't want them to lose out on the sale. I took the bag back but carefully picked out more than $20 in other items to do a return and exchange. I naively figured that as soon as I explained it was fake they would be shocked and would be happy to make the exchange. After all, their inventory is freely donated and many of the staff are volunteers so why would it matter to them what I spent the $20 on?

    Boy, was I wrong!

    They didn't care that it was fake because they "get lots of fake handbags and it doesn't matter if it is fake, nobody cares, and the store policy is that all sales are final!"

    I told them that it is illegal to violate copyrights by selling counterfeit goods but my argument was dismissed. I've had never returned anything to a thrift store before but I know that goodwill will take back items within 10 days with the receipt so I was amazed that they refused even after they learned that it was an illegal counterfeit.

    I didn't lose my temper but I dug in my heels and kept arguing that the bag had been labeled "Coach bag" and it was not a coach and that fakes are illegal. Eventually, the manager, the SA, and another customer were all yelling at me at the same time in the middle of the store and telling me that I was was wrong and that it doesn't matter, anyway. I held my ground!

    The customer was saying that she has "several fake coaches and it is perfectly legal as long as they are labeled as replicas or Foach". I told her that she was incorrect and I gave her several specific examples that it is "not okay" to sell, buy, or own fakes.

    Finally the manager yelled "we'll give you your $20 bucks back but you will never be allowed in this store again!" I just said "Fine!" because I don't ever want to shop there again, anyway!

    They REFUSED to let me buy the items I had picked out as an exchange and they returned the full amount. I may be the only person ever to get a refund from that store!

    And this is really funny! There was a bowl of pepermints by the cash register for the customers and I picked one up while the SA was processing my return, but she sharply told me "YOU can't have any of those!" So I was also denied candy because of my refusal to accept a fake bag! :roflmfao:

    Anyway, since I had $20 burning a hole in my pocket I went to Goodwill and bought a bag that I am pretty sure is genuine but I plan to have it authenticated by the TPF experts!

    Here's the thread with pics of the infamous fake scooter bag! Buyer beware!
  2. :roflmfao: sometimes the people at thrift stores/consignments shops/goodwill are the mean ones...but that is so funny. some people dont understand the whole "its illegal to sell/buy/own bags" oh well at least you found out it was a fake and got your money back.
  3. That's the craziest story! I can't believe they wouldn't care that it's illegal to sell fakes. Definitely glad you got your money back. At least at Goodwill, you'll get treated better!
  4. That's how I feel about it; at first I figured that they didn't know it was fake and I felt bad about possibly taking money back from a charity. But after I found out that they know and don't care if the bags were fake - I was happy to be "banned"!
  5. I dont think the thrift store really cares if a bag is real or not - they are raising money for poor people.
    When I shop at a thrift store it is to help poor people not to snag a bargain.

    Is the store for profit? Most of them are usually non-profit.

    Dont get me wrong - I believe they should have let you make an exchange - it seemed they got all pissy for some reason.
  6. Denied candy??? THAT is hilarious!!!!!
  7. How odd that they were so rude and claim to be a religious organization! Glad you got your $ back.
  8. #8 Sep 19, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2010
    I enjoy both helping others and snagging a bargain!

    I imagine it is a non-profit organization because it is run by a church group but I am sure that they have overhead expenses.

    On the other hand, their inventory is donated, most of the staff are volunteers, and they don't pay income tax. That's why I was so surprised that they made such a big deal about making an exchange.

    Not only did I feel bad about buying a fake, I also thought it was "my duty" to let them know about it. I thought that they would WANT to know about it, silly me! They probably labeled it "replica Coach" and put it right back out for sale.
  9. This is a charity, the items are donated to be sold for profit to support the organization. It's not surprising that their sales are final, they are not in the "retail customer service" business. This is just a way to raise money for charity while "donors" may find a bargain.

    It's like an ongoing garage sale.
  10. #10 Sep 19, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2010
    Good for you for digging in.:tup: I don't care whether it's a charity thrift store or an individual at a flea market with a booth full of fakes...it's still against Federal law to sell counterfeits.

    You did the right thing. You would think a "religious" group would care about the ramifications of these counterfeits. They should have appreciated what you did instead of acting like fools.
  11. .....and don't come back!!!! lmao, lol and wondering what those womens CLOSETS look like!!!! ugh
  12. I'm a regular at our local Salvation Army and the manager knows I do the same, look for older Coach to rehab but they don't accept returns, so I have to be sure that it's what I want or leave it there if I'm not sure.

    No reason for them to be so rude to you. Glad you're not going back there!
  13. Seems to me you could have approached this differently. Rather than asking for the money back or an exchange, ask to speak to the manager and let her/him know you had purchased a fake bag at their store, and give her/him copies of the statutes governing the sale of fakes and their responsibility in this area, and perhaps offer them resources for authentification of goods.
  14. LOL no candy for you! :lolots:

    Glad you got your money back.
  15. It never occured to me that would be necessary; but I don't think that it would have made a difference.