What should I do? Ebay dilemma.

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  1. TL;DR What is the right thing to do when seller does not provide enough pictures for professional authentication?

    Longer version:

    I found a designer RTW item that I absolutely love on eBay. The seller has thousands of feedbacks, 100% positive. But there aren't nearly enough pictures for professional authentication. So I sent a message to the seller asking for additional pictures (close-up of label, buttons, etc.) It's been days, and I have heard nothing back.

    I'm not sure what is the right thing to do. Should I purchase the item anyway and take the pictures myself when I get the item for authentication? What do I do if it turns out to be not authentic? Seller does not accept returns. Am I justified for filing SNAD if seller doesn't cooperate?

    Or should I simply move on and hope I'll find it again? (Unlikely) What to do if/when this happens again in the future?

    Part of the reason I'm asking the question is I read one seller here saying that h/she blocks the seller if the buyer questions the authenticity because such person is likely to turn out to be a "problem buyer" and I'm wondering if I came across like one.

    Please advise. Thank you!
  2. Well my 2 cents is that any seller (especially an experienced one) should readily provide photos needed for authentication without being asked. And if in error they leave off a required photo/photos then they should willingly send them on for authentication.
  3. #3 Apr 14, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
    Short answer: Why do you want to give a non-responsive seller your hard-earned money?

    And if they're non-responsive before they have your money, how responsive do you expect them to be if there's a problem?

    Editing my previous response in order to remove potential identifying details.

    I don't know whether it was I who you referred to saying that buyers who ask questions are blocked but if so, either you misunderstood or I didn't make myself clear.

    If a listing doesn't have pictures necessary to authenticate the item or to fully disclose any conditional issues, there's absolutely nothing wrong with asking questions.

    However, as an example, someone recently sent me a PM about a potential buyer she had and she wondered whether to sell to this person. In that case, I would definitely block.

    • First the buyer made a rather lowball offer.
    • The seller countered with a price she was okay with.
    • Then the buyer asked for free shipping.
    • The seller offered to split the difference for shipping
    • Then buyer asked about any marks
    • Mark was removed by seller but in removing seller found another small mark.
    • Buyer asked for a picture of the spot, which the seller sent
    • After getting the picture, the buyer asked which of the pictures in the listing best represented the true color.
    • And then the buyer asked if there was another spot.

    Seriously, after this go-around, this is a buyer who I would have blocked in a heartbeat. That type of buyer should buy from a store where she can examine items herself!

    But back to your question: Personally, I think I'd find another seller.
  4. Everything said in this post!
  5. You are justified in filing a SNAD if the item turns out to be fake but that is not a pleasant experience. I would guess that as a high volume seller, your seller is not an expert in this line, does not know what photos to take to prove authenticity and maybe doesn't have this item readily available to take more photos. She may not be trying to hide anything but you don't know. I would not want to purchase from this type of seller. It is a crap shoot. But I can see why you might be tempted if it as a HTF item at a great price.

    As others have said, you are absolutely justified in asking for the necessary photos for authentication if they are not included in the listing. In any case, you wouldn't want to deal with a seller who would block you for this.
  6. A seller should have no problem dealing with this request & the lack of response
    would sway me away from making this purchase.

    Asking for additional details is a very common & expected request from a

    Keep looking for your item.. Eventually it will turn up from a more responsive seller
    & someone that a buyer should want to be doing business with.
  7. #7 Apr 15, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016

    my dear, that's a very good question.

    My answer is probably not the "right" or "conventional" answer (which is: you are in the right to request more photos, and, if the seller can't provide them, you should move on).

    Sadly in the reality of these things it seems as though professional sellers (especially ones that move product en masse, sounds kind of like yours that you described) have some type of supply chain fashion of merchandising their items, and, after photos are already taken, it somehow takes a light year to hear back from them for additional photos, presumably because someone has to go into some stock room and dig out the item and take photos and upload etc... which, from our standpoint, should be what the buyer is entitled to, after all, it is a very high-priced item. And I agree, 1000%. But I am only contemplating from the PRACTICAL perspective, the reality is that most large sellers will delay or refrain from doing outside of the routine factory line operations from sourcing to shipping. Principally right or not, it is the simple reality. Large volume sellers have a harder time following up with photos outside of what's already been taken.

    Also, imagine if it's one of those bulk Japanese sellers like brandoff or JFA, then the seller isn't even in possession of the item, it's a mass advertising network and when the item sells the bag gets couriered to them from the shop that actually has the item in stock and they ship out to you, so, you are likely never going to get additional photos.

    So, I think my slightly unconventional answer is, It really depends on how badly you want it, paired with your likelihood of finding it with a better seller who can provide more photos. And yes, it's possible you will lose out on it if you wait for additional photos. I think there is nothing wrong with asking for them and any person who blocks a customer just for asking for photos clearly isn't a business-minded entity (nor smart, either) and it sounds like this seller is (a business-minded entity). So, no worries there.

    Personally, I like working with sellers who provide many photos, because outside of authenticity, there may be other attributes about the item I can see with more photos than less photos. And, I think it's just professional. And right. But those sellers I like to work with don't always have everything I want, especially if it is some dress Marilyn Monroe wore out to a dinner with JFK (I'm exaggerating, my point being, rare, hard to find). So again the question becomes is it a MM dress or is it a classic flap. Classic flap - find another seller. MM dress... well, your two options realistically are this seller or no dress. RTW... I am thinking is somewhere like 79% east of classic flap, 21% west of MM dress. :P

    As for your rights if it comes back fake, that's the law. If you live in the United States and you purchase an item that says "Chanel" in the description and it's not authentic you have a right to your money back. It's not simply SNAD, it's counterfeit, it is contraband, it is a federal crime. (Side musing - some people are funny, I notice some friends who shop on Ebay and they won't pull the trigger if the listing doesn't say the word "authentic" in it because they feel that the seller is purposefully side stepping authenticity, but it's still illegal and SNAD since if it's not authentic then it's not Chanel/Coach/LV etc, so the mention of the brand name as a standalone is enough without any type of "authentic" verbiage).

    So, if authenticity is your only concern, and you really want the item and it's unlikely to find this from a better seller, if it were me, sure, I would just pull the trigger, assume that this reputable seller is selling authentic, get it checked out, and if it's fake, you can ask for your money back, and a return label. If this seller is a good seller, they would probably want to bend over backwards to do right by you, embarrassed that they sold a fake anyhow. If they are a devious seller, the financial transaction is on your side. It doesn't have to be Ebay or PayPal, even your credit card company will refund you if you end up with a fake. It's just a matter of headache and hassle and time.

    (for the record, my main stance still is that every consumer should get their item authenticated, whether it be pre- or post-purchase is up to them, so this still applies).

    For RTW, my bigger concern would be the fit... because people get things altered all the time, but that's an entirely different story...

    what is TLDR?
  8. i sell mainly luxury handbags and will post the maximum number of pics allowed, but those pics take a lot of time and effort. i sometimes ignore requests for more photos when the person seems like they are fishing and not really interested. it is a huge waste of time to take photos for people who are just making inquiries, and the way i figure it (as a luxury brand seller)... if someone cannot tell authentication by themselves w/out help, then they have probably never owned that brand before and yes, could be a problem buyer. if you are worried about authenticity, perhaps ask the seller if they cross-listed on tradesy, where they do offer the authenticity guarantee. most luxury brand sellers do cross-post and i often send people to my listings there from ebay b/c they feel safer.
  9. I think for me, your answer hit the nail on the head- that I need to look at this in terms of risk-benefit ratio i.e. how much do I want it, how unlikely is it for me to find this item again vs what's the likelihood of seller not cooperating if inauthentic, how much hassle will I go through if seller uncooperative. And as you pointed out, if they are a good seller (given their feedback and history, I am inclined to think so) it is likely that they would be cooperative, which lessens the risk somewhat...

    Incidentally, while they are not the seller in question, I have been watching and considering for purchase a few items from JFA so I appreciate your insight re: them and similar sellers. It hadn't occurred to me that they may not have items in person, though it does make sense considering their enormous inventory!

    TLDR is short for "too long, didn't read." Basically a summary for those who don't want to read the entire post, most likely borne out of Millenial tendency to consider anything more than a tweet-length "too long" :lol:
  10. Not terribly responsive, I would expect! :P

    This is 100% logical *and* would be my normal course of thinking, but the unlikelihood of finding the same item again is what tempts me. That, and my (perhaps naive) expectation that given their good feedback, if it does turn out to be inauthentic and backed by solid evidence, they may bend the no-return policy.

    I don't think it was you! It was a plain statement, no backstory, and it was from a while ago IIRC. I've been sick and stuck in bed so I've been reading a LOT of posts in this forum, along with browsing eBay.
  11. Personally I would not trust my ability to self-authenticate, for instance Chanel and LV bags, even though I have owned several, nor do I think most people could. I am a little taken aback that some sellers may think this...

    I do understand the difficulties of taking good photos for auction (I have been a seller as well, though not luxury designer items but in another high-dollar area where small details matter just as much, if not more) and also why seller would ignore requests for add'l photos *given* there are enough photos for authentication posted already, as I'm sure is the case for your auctions. Unfortunately it is not the case for this item. I also made clear of my intention to purchase once authenticity is confirmed...

    Thanks for the tip re: Tradesy. I'm not familiar with the site but will look into it!
  12. #12 Apr 16, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
    I don't know if you are familiar given the generation gap :graucho: but there were all these Japanese pre-owned luxury bag magazines that would circulate in Japan, and in countries like Korea back in the 80s, 90s and early 2000's. Names like BrandOFF, BrandAge, etc. It would be these monthly catalogues like J.Crew catalogs back in the day, but filled with pages and pages of used bags. Each picture would have a reference number and in the back index you could find the contact information for the store who had it. This was all so well-orchestrated by these companies who would have the shops mail print photos to them, and they would publish these issues monthly and sell them in bookstores and deliver to subscribers. Sadly, back when there was no internet or detailed photos to reference, counterfeiters would get their hands on these magazines too and rely on these printed photos to create their counterfeit bags and different models/stlyes. And these mags would make it to be folded under the arm of each alley-way "superfake" peddler to show to interested passerbys what types of fakes they could get if they followed them inside.

    Today they are online, and these companies still operate the same way, but everything is digital... and now you see how that moved to become BrandOFF and JFA and others like it today.
  13. I didn't know that, really interesting thank you :smile:
  14. well said, Roku. Agree 100%. I am quite an impatient person, I have found a bag on eBay I want desperately, but I am waiting for the confirmation that it is not a fake one. The bag is amazing, the price is great, any one can snatch it any second by clicking "buy it now" button, I am worried sick, but stuck to my guns and waiting to be told if it is OK to buy... There is a possibility I am going to be given green light, but too late. On another had I know if I click to buy and later on find out it is a fake one, then I won't have a problem recovering my money from the seller. PayPal has been great in the past when I had similar problems, I did not loose a penny. But it is just the hustle of it.. I do suspect that the only reason I do not click on buy it now is because I won't be terribly disappointed if it goes to somebody else. I guess I will be upset . But I shall recover and find another one :smile:.
  15. #15 Apr 16, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
    I have always walked away when the seller is irresponsive. If they don't respond to my polite message, I tend to think that they have something to hide, or aren't too eager to make a deal, so I take my business elsewhere. Even if they don't have the bag in question at hand to take pictures, the least they could do is give you a reply of how and what.

    Speaking of which, about a week ago, I made an inquiry for some more pictures from the seller brandoff on Ebay (great seller, btw). And this was his lightning fast reply :

    "Thank you for your message

    We are sorry that we cannot take the photo to you in this time
    Since the item is stocking at our other retail shop now
    But if you bought it, we can transfer the item to our office then take the photo to you before the shipment
    Of course if you see the photo then doesn't like it, we can cancel the order and full refund to you
    Also, we will wait your confirm before ship to you
    Please consider it, thank you

    Even though I didn't get what I requested, I truly appreciate that the seller took out the time to give me a response. These are sellers I see myself doing business with. A reply only costs a minute, but will give your buyers the feeling that you do appreciate their business.

    Now, if the bag you're looking at is a rare find and it's a great deal, then look at the seller's feedback, other items he has for sale, and also the listing itself. If nothing screams fake, and you think you'd regret it immensely if it got away (and you don't mind the seller's irresponsiveness), then buy it. Worst come to worst, you'd always get your money back if it turns out to be fake. Did the seller provide enough pictures for you to determine the bag's condition (I personally would worry about that more)?

    As for me, I'm not sure I can get over the lack of response (it's just that silly principle I have), but I have also never been in a situation where I want a bag that bad.
    luv2bling likes this.