My BF bought a really pretty (expensive) bag, but it turns out to be fake! :(

  1. Hey guys, I found this thread by searching for Tolblanc on the internet, because i saw a bag of theirs in a store and I wanted to buy it...

    Anyway, I think I know what the original asker was asking (the girl from the Netherlands), and I don't think anyone else really address her question (but I also don't think she made it very clear).

    Basically, what does it mean when a product or brand these days has NO internet presence? It just seems really strange and rare for that to happen! Like, what if I wanted to contact Tolblanc for customer service? They have NO website.

    Of course, she really likes the bag and it's beautiful (I like the one I want to buy, too), BUT it just seems kind of fishy in today's internet-soaked era that a brand or product would NOT have a website or ANY internet presence at all.

    Anyone have any thoughts on this?

  2. You've pretty much answered your own (unspoken) question. According to what is found on the 'net, these bags aren't worth a whole lot. Buy something else.

  3. Hi,
    I was in New York last week for honeymoon and I've came across that shop aswell. It looked like a nice shop selling quality bags, hanbags and purses. It said sale on the window and I went in. The things they sold were very nice but the brand name was unfamiliar to me. I'd never heard the name TOLBLANC PARIS before. I thought there might have been such a brand name which I didn't know of. Anyway, I bought a nice black&camel purse saying 'genuine leather' on it. The shop was on sale but the prices were still high because the original prices were very expensive.
    After I paid, they put the purse in a white plastic bag with no name (Tolblanc Paris) or anything on it.
    Anyway, when I came back to Cyprus I googled the name to see what Tolblanc paris was all about but couldn't find a proper site about it, except eBay and some other onlineshopping sites. So, I felt a bit disappointed.
    But I think it's still okay because at least the purse is nice and has a good quality.
  4. Yes, Exactly, well said :smile:
  5. ouch! that hurts!
  6. I have just read the story. It's true no one in France knows anything about the brand...
    In fact, selling a product whose name sounds French is a good way of ripping people off....Pretending you get a bargain by advertising 70% off on the item is a part of the rip off, too. The whole package if I may say so....And the lady's BF jumped into the trap, like probably hundreds of people, travelling abroad and trusting shops in posh areas.
  7. no, before you buy anything expensive, not from the actual boutique, you HAVE to do your own research before committing in that pile of money. it's a consumer's responsiblity. i just have to say... money can always be earn back. since you said its a really pretty bag, just treat it that you are buying for the design, not for the brand. feel sorry, but hope this gives a lesson.
  8. Just registered to say thatnks that I didn't get scammed. I'm in NYC, just stopped by a nice boutique called inRosso Italia that said closing sale, up to 90% off, blabla..

    Say very nice stuff (not sure of quality though) and told myself to look online before buyinig.

    Found out the two brands I wrote down are unknown and then found some website talking about the scams. The brands were Tolblanc Paris and Mito Milan.

    There is a page describing the scam and fake closing sales (different store names):

    Basically, they sell $500 tagged purses for $100 and $900 tagged for $250. It's probably not worth anywhere near $250!

    When in the store we overheard people outside saying "hey, this store is still in closing sale" meaning it's always in closing sale..

    thanks to this forum I have saved $250!
  9. Well done!

    I have to say though, there are hundreds of genuine and fabulous Italian/Spanish/French/other European leather-wear makers who have very little Internet presence due to the companies being run by a very, very small workforce (often including only family) and possessing more of an 'artisan mentality', any on-line presence they may have may be in their respective languages. Even those that do, may be so awful (or geared to wholesale) they bear no comparison to the amazing things they produce, The House of Florence and Machiavelli Export both from Italy for example.

    If you can recognise quality for what it is (and what it is not) and not by the price (full price or otherwise) then you won't be tempted by 'window dressing'.
  10. True story! I would add designers from Central and South America to this list, too. I've seen some lovely bags coming from Brazil, Peru, Columbia, distinctlively styled (although different in style than European bags) with beautiful workmanship and quality leathers - little or NO Internet presence. If you like the style and can recognise quality, you can get some great looks at wonderful prices.
  11. I bought a Tolblanc purse in NYC in May 2012. It was at a store that advertised 60-70% off and also had a going out of business sign. The store was a nice store on the east side of 6th Ave just a little south of Central Park South. I stopped because I liked the style of the purses in the window. I paid about $150 for the purse. It is nice leather and nicely made. It's worth about that amount; not the ridiculous amount they said it was "originally." I've gotten tons of compliments on the purse and been asked where I bought it and what's the brand. I was in NYC again in Jan 2013 and returned to the store and bought another purse. The signs said 60-70% off, but they had taken down the going out-of-business sign. I paid about the same amount for the second purse -$150. A friend of mine had a purse almost identical to mine and when I asked her where she got it she said, "Oh, I got it years ago at the purse store on 6th Ave that's always got everything "on sale" for 60-70% off and "always going out of business." Yep, that's the place. I know what I am getting for $150 and I think it is well worth it. The purses are good quality and last a long time. They just aren't $800 that you are getting for a steal at $150. That's the "scam."
  12. I don't understand why you had to go online and do a brand search. I think that defeats the whole purpose of your lovely boyfriend buying that heart filled gift for you. If you love the gift I think you should just appreciate it and show him how much you appreciate it.
    Even if your boyfriend did put in a few lies... I don't think that matters. What matters is, he wanted to buy you something of value which looked good and something you'd enjoy.
    That was his purpose.
    Asking for cash on the other hand is just sooo un-thoughtful and just wanting to fulfill your own want.
    Your boyfriend is sweet. If you love your bag I think you should just leave it at that.
  13. Awww, that sucks... I just paid a good amount of money for a handbag on eBay that I hope doesn't turn out to be a fake. I had conversations with the seller and the seller always responded with pictures and receipts. I know all of that can be fake, but within the conversation, the seller agreed to do a full refund if the item is not real. So, I can use that to get my money back from Paypal if necessary.
  14. #60 Apr 8, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
    Monique – your wonderful BF was not a fool. He was fooled. The TOLBLANC PARIS bags DO look very much like expensive GENUINE LEATHER bags. The sad news is, as you already guessed it, they are not real. They are made of man-made material – a very good one, but fake nonetheless. I know - because I got sucked into this fraud last week.

    TOLBLANC PARIS - the reason why you can’t find any info on this brand is because it’s not legit. This is a fake brand label attached to the fake leather bags. The name of the store where I bought my sorry purchase is called “Tuci Italia”. The name on the receipt is “Cleo & Patek Paris”. The name of the business is called “Eiffel Paris”. I believe all these entities sell the same fake products as GENUINE LEATHER goods. They are not. They are all made from artificial leathers.

    More on this fake brand later. Let me tell you how I was also fooled. I consider myself a very savvy shopper. Over the years, I’ve seen all kinds of scams and frauds, but the owner of this boutique on 56th street and 6th Avenue – well, she takes the cake in her extraordinary chutzpa! (That’s the people with colossal nerves!)

    I don’t normally go to Manhattan because I live in Long Island. Last Thursday, I had lunch with my girlfriend in the city. It was such a beautiful day that afterwards I decided to walk to the train station. While walking between 56th and 57th Street on the 6th Avenue, I saw a HUGE discount sign outside a posh boutique. Inside was well-decorated showroom, displaying expensive-looking stylish handbags and accessories. (This is probably where your BF was fooled. This place looked very chic -- not at all like a place where you’d think people cheat customers!)

    The saleslady told me that the store was closing and that she must sell everything. All her bags were made from "TOP QUALITY GENUINE LEATHER" from Italy. She was very pleasant and very enthusiastic. We chit chat as I walked through the store. She told me she was from Poland. She swore to God a lot.

    I saw a cute Tolblanc Paris bag that can be turned into a knapsack. The bag was originally $598 but I can have it for measly $125. The saleslady assured me that it’s top quality GENUINE LEATHER bag from Paris. (“I swear to God! I gave my customers the very lowest price even if they don’t ask for it!”) She was very convincing. I made the mistake of believing her. I bought that bag and several other items and paid with my American Express card. When I got home, I took out the paper fillers and found a tag inside -- "Made in China". My mouth dropped! When my shock wore off, I took a closer look at my Tolblanc Paris bag.

    To know whether the material is genuine leather or not is to see the underside of it. I looked for any exposed area where I can check this out. The bag was very carefully constructed. All the seams were tightly sewn and fused together. Inside the bag was completely lined. There was no exposed area for me to check EXCEPT the area where the straps went through. Here, the holes were very small but I can separate the two flaps and look under. I took out my craft pliers and very carefully left the flap. The underside was made of --- fabric. Not wanting to believe what I saw, I took out the biggest magnifying glass I have and checked again. It’s fabric all right. No question about it. This bag was made entire of vinyl material.

    I looked at my other purchases. None were made of real leather, including my beautiful red “Italian” soft leather evening bag with removable chain. That one was made in India and it also used man-made material lined with plastic foam to make it soft to touch from outside. It was a very clever trick. I thought I bought soft leather Italian evening bag. I didn’t.

    I went back to the store the next day to get my refund. The same lady who swore to God in front of me now turned into the Devil. She said, “I laugh at you! No refund!” I asked to speak to the owner. She told me SHE was the owner. I point out to her that my Tolblanc Paris bag was actually made in China. She GRABBED my jacket collar and hissed, “Is your jacket made in China? EVERYTHING IS MADE IN CHINA!” Yes, but that’s not what you said yesterday and we are talking about the bag, not my jacket. She insisted that all her bags were made of genuine leather.

    I took out a piece of paper that I had pre-typed which basically states that the bags she sold me were genuine leather and asked her to sign it. She refused. With her eyes glowing, she told me to “GET OUT!” of the store because I was scaring her customers away. I retorted that I was actually SAVING them. She HITS me in my arm with her cell phone and threatened to call the police. She never did. I did. I knew there was nothing the police could do, but I called because I wanted this lady to know that she can’t bully people around.

    I am now disputing my charge with American Express. I told them that while the receipt state “NO REFUND”, that should be applied to the purchase that I believed I was sold -- that the products were REAL leather goods, not fakes. I stressed to them that this was NOT a case of buyer’s remorse but a deliberate attempt by the merchant to defraud customers.

    The business tactic of this establishment is illegal and immoral. Unfortunately, it appears they are located everywhere! Just be wary when you see a sign that said “EVERYTHING IS ON SALE! 90% OFF!” Walk away and save yourself headache and money. If you do go in and see something you liked, just know that you are buying a man-made bag, not an expensive European leather bag at a bargain price simply because the “store was closing”.

    So, this is MY sad story. I hope it’ll have a happy ending.