Online Purchase: The FAKE Longchamp Le Pliage

There are numerous reasons why Longchamp (LC) is one of the most coveted bags. Authentic LC handbags are versatile, compact, durable and among the most inexpensive luxury bags in the market. Because of its popularity, more and more online shops offer this brand. The question is, how do you spot an authentic from fakes?

On this post, I shared that I had the unfortunate experience of being duped by an online seller on eBay. This seller strongly claims that his LC handbags are authentic. Although there is no actual photos on his listing (only one photo of the particular item that was captured from Google search), I placed my bid in good faith and in reference to the hundreds of positive feedback that this seller have under his belt.

I had the highest bid at the end of the auction so I eventually won the item. This would have been my very first LC handbag so in excitement, I immediately sent the payment. The seller then shipped the item using one of the cheapest couriers in the metro (seller asked for Php 100.00 shipping fee but the actual cost of shipping is only Php 50.00). After a few days of waiting, this is what I received:

 {Item won on eBay: A Longchamp Le Pliage Medium Short Handle (MSH) in Cyclamen and care card}

The bag looks real at first glance but when I closely inspect the bag, I noticed that the stitching was very poorly made and there was a misspelled word which was stamped at the back of the leather flap (see photos below). I immediately informed the seller about my concern but the seller defensively said that minor stitching imperfection is to be expected because the bag was made in China and it was sold cheaper than the mall price. He insisted that the bag is authentic but politely offer to refund my payment.

I am no expert but my instinct tells me that the bag is not authentic because number one- authentic bags do not have misspelled word/s; and two- authentic bags have flawless stitching. 

 {Stitching woes}

{Incorrect accent of the first E in DEPOSE. Guides say that it should be MODÈLE DÉPOSÉ.}

In my quest to prove that my gut feeling is correct, I took photos of the bag and posted them on one of my groups in Facebook so the "experts" (read: LC handbags owners) can tell if it is authentic or not. My friends said that the leather doesn't look good and confirmed that an authentic bag should have a flawless stitching. The hot stamp at the back of the flap should be perfect, too. Furthermore, I searched for guides on how to spot authentic LC bags from counterfeits. Thankfully, I found this very helpful blog post about determining authentic LC Le Pliage bags and this forum where people can post photos of their LC bags if they would like it to be authenticated. Experts will then tell if a certain bag is authentic or not. I posted the photos of the bag in this forum and yes, they confirmed that the bag is indeed FAKE. The experts declined to be more specific (to lessen, if not totally avert, production of counterfeits) but the verdict is that the bag has generally poor leather quality and wrong/fake tag.

This isn't the end of it all. To further know the difference between the authentic and fake bags, I went to Rustan's Makati to personally see and touch the authentic LC bags being sold locally. Rustan's Makati is one of the authorized stores to sell LC bags in the Philippines (to know other authorized stores, check the list here). The visit opened my eyes on how little I know about authentic LC bags but I was able to point out the difference between the ones being sold at the mall and the one I bought from eBay (which I brought with me, by the way). Did I mention that LC bags are irresistible? Well, I bought one for myself at the mall (LC MSH in Blanc). This time, I am sure that it is authentic. Nevertheless, I posted photos of this bag on the forum. Experts confirmed that it is indeed authentic so I was very happy :).  I am going to share the difference of the two bags on another post. Read the difference of authentic and fake LC bags here.

Meanwhile, I sent this bag (LC MSH in Cyclamen) back to the eBay seller and have received my full refund. In the spirit of eBay tradition, I left a feedback for the seller. I gave him a neutral feedback only because he refunded my payment in full (including the shipping fee) but for the sake of other eBay buyers, I indicated in my feedback that the bag I received is fake.

Lessons learned on this experience:
1. Having hundreds (or even thousands) of feedback does not always guarantee that the seller's description of the item is true and correct.
2. Absence of actual photos of the item being auctioned may indicate that the item you'll receive is significantly different from the photo or descriptions in the listing.
3. Once you received the item, do not leave a feedback without closely examining the item. Some sellers end their after-sale talk after getting a feedback.
4. Be nice in communicating with the seller even if you're so angry (i.e. you got duped, like me:)). 
5. You can always open a case against the seller if the seller kept on ignoring your private messages. In my case, I opened a case against the seller (Item Significantly Not as Described). I personally think that this played a major role in getting my refund :)

Do you want to add something else based on your experience? Have you ever received a fake bag even if it says on the listing that it is supposed to be authentic? Your thoughts are welcome. Share your experience by commenting.

Thanks for reading and have a safe online buying. :)

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  1. Hi. Who's the seller? I'd like to know sana para maiwasan. Thanks.

  2. Some sellers in ebay.ph indicate that their LC bags are authentic but the leather is made of poor quality. So be very careful when purchasing from these sellers.

  3. Fake! Go to Rustan's to make sure you'll get an authentic one.

  4. That's a bad leather. Thanks for posting. I'll have my LC authenticated on PurseBlog.

  5. Lucky you. The LC bag I received from this online seller is fake yet she doesn't want to send my refunds. She even blocked me on FB!


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