Wednesday, October 20, 2010

J.Crew on eBay: Beware of the Fakes!

A big "thanks!" to Em (in this post) who raised a very important subject with the following comment (also "thanks!" to Sweetsy who suggested this for a post):
I don't know where to post this but... watch out for fake bee necklaces on eBay. Like this one. It is definitely fake. ... but if you hadn't seen the authentic version up close it might be hard to tell.
There are several pieces of jewelry on eBay claiming to be from J.Crew. Many are pieces purchased by customers from our favorite retailer. Unfortunately, some of them are mass produced fakes.

It's very difficult to tell which items are authentic and which ones are fakes from the online photos. Honestly, it's hard enough to tell between J.Crew from J.Crew Factory jewelry. Now we have to be worried about knock-offs!?!

I guess this is another good reason to save catalogs! This way you can refer back to previous seasons, to see what pieces were offered (and not offered).

What are your thoughts on knock-off J.Crew jewelry? Can you tell which items are authentic and which are fake?

32 comments:

  1. Don't buy from anywhere other than USA locations. China, hong kong, etc will always produce fakes.

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  2. Thanks for the heads up Alexis. I've actually been waiting for an opportunity to discuss JC Bling for a while (I know this could be in the 'vent' dept. and is not about ebay fakes).

    Anyway is it just me or does anyone else also find that JC jewelry tarnishes pretty quickly with little or no wear? I have at least 3 necklaces (Golden raindrop necklace,Glittera necklace, forgot the name of the 3rd) that I have never gotten round to wearing—(except trying on with an outfit at home) that look like they came from F21...Yet I purchased from JC (not ebay) I know, I know it's only it's costume jewelry but for what I paid, I expect more. The only necklace I own from ATL looks as good as the day it was purchased! BTW I reside in CA where we have less humidity and I keep all in their original boxes...Anyone else have this experience?

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  3. Does anyone have experience buying authentic JC jewelry from some trusted eBay sellers? Who might those sellers be? TIA!

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  4. lbi,

    Sorry to hear about your JCrew jewelry. That is why I stay away from their jewelry line.

    IMO: It is very poor quality with a super high mark up. I think people in general tend to drink the jcrewlade (not saying you did by any means!) and not really think about the quality of what they are buying and just the name.

    I too have pieces from F21 that look nicer than what I have seen in stores at JCrew. I bought a few pieces once and stones fell out on day one and other times it looked like cheap crap...peeled coating on the pearls right out of the box! I no longer even glance at it.

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  5. I did get a notice from ebay a few months ago about a listing i bid on. They removed the listing and warned me not to pay for the item if I won it. The message also gave instructions on what to do if I did pay. Unfortunately I don't remember who the seller was.

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  6. In my experience it's safe to buy from anyone who lives near one of the dist. centers or in NYC... because if they are a reseller they probably got their stuff from a sample sale or something.

    It is really annoying now to have to watch out for factory jewelry... people totally misrepresent it by taking pictures that do not show the factory tag, etc.

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  7. OT, but Fall Sale (read: not final sale) is back!

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  8. Dashrashi, I just saw that too!! YAY FALL SALE!!

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  9. My understanding is that a company/ merchant, etc. can ask for listings to be removed if the item is counterfeit. Louis Vuitton recently won an ENORMOUS settlement against Ebay as they were able to prove that Ebay was allowing counterfeit goods to be sold without safeguards in place to protect consumers. I would think that J Crew and/or Ebay would do a better job of putting controls into place. Unfortunately, you can't rely on seller feedback alone to authenticate the purchase- many customers can't tell the difference between authentic and counterfeit.

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  10. Christy - That is not necessarily true. I have purchased several authentic pieces on Ebay from Chinese sellers, both J. Crew and Kate Spade. Most of the jewelry is made there, so it stands that they would have some legitimate pieces. Sometimes, I have even purchased pieces prior to their release. You just have to be careful. A good return policy and high feedback score will almost always mean you are safe. However, I do not really care what brand it is, as long as I like the piece of jewelry.

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  11. It helps to know J.Crew products well. Not just jewelry but all items. A lot of times I will see a necklace but know that it didn't come in that color combo. Or with a skirt know that it didn't come in that pattern and most likely a factory item. But that is even tough sometimes and I would hate to think I was a newbie to the brand. As a rule I try to avoid out of the country sellers or if I'm curious I will google the item, try to find images, blow them up and compare, if possible. The price is also sometimes a big indicator; who would sell a $100+ necklace for $9.99 new with tags??
    Just my thoughts.

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  12. Thanks for addressing this, Alexis! I think it's helpful as I am sure there are many on here that can provide experiences that were not so positive and help others avoid the same mistakes.

    @lbi
    That is interesting. I wonder if the climate has anything to do with it?? I have countless pieces of J Crew jewelry that I buy because I adore it (not because of the brand-I could care less who my clothing and accessories are made by as long as they are well-made and nice looking) and I haven't had ANY issues with tarnishing, clasps, things falling apart etc. I think it's heavy and very well-made for the sale price but rarely worth full retail. It really is just the dash of fun that can take an outfit from dull to exciting=)

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  13. Ibi, I have that experience too, and I'm not in the same climate. I am still SO annoyed that the the finish of the bracelets I purchased in 06 and 07 started rubbing off almost immediately. I haven't had as many problems with the finish since then, but on more recent peices the crystals fall out. And I am nice to my jewelry. I completely agree, for the price, it should hold up better.

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  14. Ibi et al: Count me in as one who has experienced tarnishing! I don't wear the pieces everyday (I rotate my pieces). However, I did wear the Birds Nest Ring two times a week for a month. After 6-8 uses (of just a few hours each day), the inside of the ring started peeling. I love the ring so I am very cautious wearing it now. It's completely upsetting how quick that happened!

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  15. I agree with JenLynn -- I'm embarrassed to admit that I can usually spot a fake a mile away because I've become so familiar with the pieces over the years. And as Alexi said, it helps to have old catalogs or catalog images to compare to.

    I also agree with Christy -- I tend to not buy from any sellers based in Hong Kong / China / etc. Sure, the stuff's made in Asia, but it's just as likely that knockoffs get mass produced and passed off as real. I'm not willing to take the chance.

    What I also have seen a lot of is outlet jewelry not being described as coming from the outlet. Granted, maybe some sellers don't know the difference, but I think many do and they fail to disclose it on purpose. Don't show me a photo of a necklace attached to a little cardboard holder! Dead giveaway for an outlet item. Derrr.

    I personally have found the outlet jewelry to feel much lighter that retail jewelry. As in weightwise. In comparison, my retail baubles are hefty.

    At the end of the day, if I have any doubts, I just pass.

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  16. @SUMMER, you are absolutely correct I did drink the 'Jewelade'! At least I am not alone.

    I suppose the caviat is stick with the ribbon tie closures and antique finishes. Also I sometimes wonder about the materials used as some necklaces have a very strong odor (cadmium, lead?) Just saying.

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  17. There are sellers on Etsy and ebay that make J Crew-style jewelry, for much cheaper and the same quality, but they don't claim the items are J Crew. Considering J. Crew's jewelry is basically low-quality costume jewelry, I'd rather buy from one of these sellers anyway. It's funny to me that there are knock-offs of such crappy pieces, but I guess since they were so over-priced to begin with, people want to make a buck by deceiving people.

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  18. Good point Emily, those in China realize they can make some bucks by producing JC knockoffs since a lot of them are over priced for what they are.

    Beware of some of the Bow Double serge pencil skirts sold on eBay as they are fakes. You can tell by the tag, sizes, and some other differences.

    Alexis, I've also had problems with some JC jewelry I own that have tarnished. Particularly the shiny gold tones have had issues with this. I now know and try to stay away from them.

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  19. I have drank the jewelade for some time now and have a ton of j crew jewelry. I rarely buy j crew jewelry on e-bay from sellers that I have not purchased from in the past. I can usually spot a fake on e-bay a mile away. I never purchase from sellers out of the US, and agree that most sellers who are selling high end items at a price too good to be true - there usually is a reason...

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  20. I've bought several pieces of jewelry from J. Crew - I NEVER buy full price, though. And I've never had a problem with jewels falling out, tarnishing, etc., although I don't buy shiny gold tones (just about all my purchases are in antique tones).
    I've also gotten a couple pieces from eBay and honestly, I really don't care if they are "fake". I just like the style, they were cheap and they are made just as well as the "real" J. Crew pieces. It's not like they are designer pieces.

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  21. I just wanted to chime in and say that a high feedback score and good return policy do not mean you are safe on ebay. A good return policy means that if a seller is selling something the buyer thinks is fake, the buyer can return it and get a refund ... which will help ensure more positive feedback.

    I had an experience with a seller who did just that. She had an Asian name but lived in the U.S. I thought I was fine because she was in the U.S. and had a really high feedback score. The necklace she sold me was clearly a fake and I called her on it. I knew it was fake because I took it to the store and compared it to the real thing. She denied it was a fake, but told me I could send it back for a full refund, including shipping both ways.

    What could I say? I felt like I couldn't really leave negative feedback because I got all my money back, but I am certain it was a fake necklace. I just chose not to leave her feedback because I didn't want to get into an argument about whether the necklace was authentic. I had my money back, and that was that.

    I would not buy any jewelry at all on ebay except in limited circumstances. It's just not worth the hassle.

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  22. stpattygirl, exactly...we're talking about getting over-priced, cheaply made jewelry for a lower price, so who cares if it is fake. It's not Kate Spade, LV, or an actual designer. J Crew jewelry is not known for its craftsmanship, it's not one of a kind, and it is definately mass-produced, so who cares if someone else imitates it for cheaper? Yes, ethically it's lying, but if you know it's fake and are paying less, I don't think it matters that much.

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  23. I may be alone on this, but I *do* care if it is fake. When I buy something off of eBay that says it is from J.Crew, I expect it to be from J.Crew.

    If one wants to sell something that looks like J.Crew than just say "J.Crew inspired". But don't claim it is from J.Crew. Give me the option whether I want the inspired from J.Crew item or the real thing.

    On a related note, I hate when eBay sellers conveniently forget to mention the item they are selling is from the J.Crew Factory line. Again, just be honest.

    Alright, I am off the soapbox now. :)

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  24. Honesty is always the best policy and ebay sellers who are claiming that their items are real when they're not shouldn't get away with it. I guess I just think it's funny that this is being categorized similarly to high-end designers. I bought a bubble necklace for $25 on ebay, it looks real, but maybe it's not...I don't really care. The original price was a joke.

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  25. guess i just can't resist this crappy, cheap, ugly, overpriced jewelry that's such a joke people can hardly beleve anyone would bother to knock it off!

    well then, more for me. ...

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  26. I ordered a "Tiered crystal libretto necklace" on ebay. I figured it was a fake, or was from the manufacturer since the seller was in hong kong.
    The necklace looks great in person! The only complaint is with the ribbon that ties. It feels lesser quality, but I can have that replaced, the important part is the metal and crystals, and those look fantastic.
    To be honest I don't know wether it is real or fake.

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  27. Before you (knowingly) buy a fake item, this article is worth a read:

    http://www.nytimes.com/
    2007/02/12/business/
    worldbusiness/12iht-fake.4569452.html

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  28. Emily, I got one of those bubble necklaces on eBay for $10! :) Since I paid so little for it and it's made well, I'm okay if it's a fake (I also get compliments on it all the time).

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  29. Heidi, I got that necklace (tiered crystal libretto)from eBay too and you're right, it does look great!

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  30. Thanks for the link jbird, it was a good read. No kidding that China is the leader. When we were in Hong Kong there were fake designer bags everywhere and while shopping we were solicited on several occasions to accompany a salesperson to view "designer" products. My husband joked that I didn't need to worry about having my coveted LV bag stolen as everyone probably assumed it was a fake. We didn't buy any.

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  31. stpattygirl - that vendor has tons of them! They are always for sale.

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