How to avoid buying fake items on ebay. Your essential guide.

With millions of genuine items for sale on eBay at any one time worldwide, there will also unfortunately be those that are not. Fake or replica items on eBay are prevalent in almost every category.

Whilst eBay has techniques to identify and remove fake and replica items (95% success rate), it is clear that some will and do slip through the cracks. eBay also has a policy where individual users can report what are suspected or knowingly suspicious items for further investigation. eBay reports that more than 18,000 companies worldwide have joined their Verified Rights Owner Program (VeRO) which was set up in 1988 to protect intellectual property.

Don’t let the nasties stop you searching for and buying what could be the bargain of the century. Buying designer products on eBay can be safe, can be done and can be done without concern.

Buy Genuine Louis Vuitton, Prada and Tiffany on eBay

Take a moment to sit and read through the 9 tips I have offered you below.

As an eBay Trading Assistant myself, I have had the pleasure of selling many stunning designer products including handbags, shoes and sunglasses over the years. Louis Vuitton, Prada, Tiffany and Rolex, just to name a few. I understand the concerns buyers have. I have been asked many questions myself to ensure authenticity. I have experience in this field.

These tips I offer are your essential guide to bidding and buying off eBay with greater confidence than ever before.

Common eBay Categories Where Fake Items Exist

Whilst fake or replica items are sprinkled all through eBay, there are some categories that are more ‘popular’ than others and therefore require greater attention.

  • Designer Products – clothing, shoes, accessories
  • Entertainment – DVDs, Movies, Music
  • Computers – Software
  • Collectables – Figurines, Antiques, Art, Glassware and more

How to identify fake items on eBay

Step 1: Read Descriptions Carefully

  • Look for words such as ‘…similar to…’ or ‘……..’ or even ‘…similar to…’.
  • Words such as ‘copy’, ‘reproduction’, ‘replica’ or ‘ look-alike’ are your cue to walk away.

Step 2: Photographs

  • Blurry photographs are an instant giveaway for you to walk away.
  • If photographs provided are catalogue images or appear to be taken from a website, contact the seller for ‘real-life’ photographs of the exact item you are buying.
  • Genuine buyers tend to provide multiple photographs showing intricate details – stitching, tags, certificates of authentification, labels, colours, any signs of wear and tear or flaws and more.

Step 3: Look for manufacture or trademark details

  • Look out for a marker’s mark or hallmark if you are shopping for silver, precious metals, china or porcelain. Particularly if it is a valuable piece you have spotted.
  • Collectable dolls, action figurines and even diecast cars will have an imprint of some sort providing you an indication of the era or year of manufacture or trademark or even model.

Step 4: Compare to other products on eBay and online

  • Spend some time on the internet reviewing your product of interest. In particular become very familiar with the features of the item from the manufacturer’s website.
  • Search eBay for all listings, current and completed, to see if there are any key differences to the one you are looking at.

Step 5: Price

  • A genuine Louis Vuitton Handbag, for example, will never have an auction price commencing at $0.99c, no matter how desperate the owner is to part with it.

Step 6: Check Feedback

  • Feedback linked to each eBay user (buyer or seller) is a key indication of their reputation.
  • The higher the number, the greater the volume of items they have bought and sold. By clicking on the feedback score which you will find next to their name, you will see the number of positive, neutral and negative feedback given to them in the last month, up to 12 months ago.
  • If you see red negative reviews being given, take heed. Drill down further and read the specific feedback comments provided. It could mean others have been scammed and you are being warned to stay away.

Step 7: Ask Questions

  • Ask the seller any questions you have about the item, ask for additional photographs if you want to see specific features. If they do not reply, or a reluctant to assist, again this is a key sign to steer clear.

Step 8: Return Policy

  • Check the terms and conditions provided by the seller in regards to their returns policy. A policy of no returns is a good sign of a product that is not genuine.

Step 9: Follow your instincts

  • If you still feel something is not right, no matter how small, walk away.
  • If you find you are hesitating your instincts have kicked in and you can walk away knowing that you have not been taken for a ride.


Have you ever accidentally purchased a product online that turned out to be a replica? Share your story below!