Buying a pre-owned bag can be daunting. I know firsthand how exciting the hunt can be, and then how nerve-wracking it can be to actually make the purchase. We already gave you a comprehensive guide on how to make a wise pre-owned bag purchase, and even after you've done your research and feel good about a bag's authenticity, we still recommend getting your bag authenticated on our PurseFourm.
Many of you are familiar with (and perhaps already members of) the PurseForum. While tPF is a great place to chat and share our love of handbags, it's also full of resources, including opinions on authenticity. Currently, tPF members volunteer their expertise and insight to weigh in on bags from over 25 premier and contemporary designer brands to give their fellow bag lovers some peace of mind. These members aren't PurseBlog employees and we can't guarantee their opinions, but each of them has gained a strong reputation in the brand-based communities on our forums; their feedback and depth of knowledge often prove helpful, either before or after a pre-owned purchase.
I recently shared my Céline vs. Valentino dilemma, and in the end, I opted for the Céline. I never thought I would buy a pre-owned bag, but I decided to check out some of our recommended pre-owned websites, and I ended up finding the Céline of my dreams on Fashionphile. I decided to take the plunge because of the site's generous return policy, which is a very important part of the pre-owned buying process. After I received the bag (and fell in love), Megs suggested that I authenticate my bag on the PurseForum, and I'm glad I did.
The process was seamless, and in less than 24 hours I felt confident my bag was authentic. In three easy steps, here's how to authenticate your pre-owed bag on tPF:
1. Carefully Read All the Rules Before for Posting
After you find the spot for the brand you want to authenticate, review the rules of proper posting etiquette and all the relevant information our authenticators need to help give you the most accurate authentication. Each authenticator has a different set of qualifications and methods they like to follow, depending on the brand and bag, so make sure to read the first post in the brand's authentication thread for all the details. Also, since our members are volunteering their time and knowledge, please remember that kindness goes a long way.
2. Take Clear and Crisp Photos
This is very important. All brands' authentication rules carefully detail what our members need to be able to see in order to authenticate your bag properly. You want take big, clear photos of all angles of the bag, including the front, back, bottom, sides, serial number or tag, hardware and interior. I found it best when taking my photos to take these images by the window and with the flash of my camera turned off. If you are using a digital camera, our forum members suggest using macro mode. In total, I uploaded ten photos, and I've included a few to give you an idea what they are looking for.
3. Be Sure to Include All Necessary Product and Seller Information
In addition to photos, our members will need some details. If all of this information is not included in your post, your request may be skipped. In order for your bag to be authenticated, you must include:
Item: Name of the Bag.
Listing Number: Provided on the seller's website in most cases.
Seller: Website or retailer you have purchased or thinking of purchasing from.
Link: Provide a link to the public sale listing, if you purchased from one.
Comments: Any comments or concerns you would like our forum authenticators to know.
4. Post Your Inquiry and Wait for the Moment of Truth
Once you have completed everything above, it's time to draft your post, upload your pictures and send! As long as all the appropriate information is provided, your request will be answered by the authenticators at their earliest convenience. My bag was authenticated in less than a day, and I can say firsthand I felt so much more at easy once the verdict was in. Even if you're 99.9% positive the pre-owned bag of your dreams is authentic, it doesn't hurt to get another set of eyes on it.
For your reference, here's the link to my Céline Authentication thread.
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