There's a growing presence of so-called resale or consignment sites on the Web that promise authenticity at prices of 50 to 70 percent off retail. The problem is that these sites are also hotbeds for counterfeiters.

INFOGRAPHIC: The Top 15 Most Counterfeited Brands

"Price is the biggest indicator," say Bob Barchiesi, a counterfeit investigator and former NYPD detective sergeant. "If you're spending $20 on a luxury handbag or a high-end watch, it's a fake."


July 26, 2018: Listed: Clothing, jewelry, prescription drugs among America’s most counterfeited items - USA Today

February 2, 2018: A months-long undercover investigation by FOX 11 has revealed that a popular Los Angeles clothing store has been selling counterfeit brand name merchandise under the guise that it is legitimate, KTTV reports.

Spotting fakes:

There are details that the trained eye can spot right away: The part number on the price tag is wrong. The main label has incorrect details. The serial number is sewn into the dress incorrectly. The "Made in China" label points in the wrong direction.

Sometimes the logo itself will feature the trademark, which is not how the originals are made. For example, Chanel pieces with gold hardware, there will be a gold-plating stamp, but never a trademark stamp.

The price is your first indicator. If you're paying for a deal that's too good to be true, it probably is.

  • Another indicator is the location of the purchase. Stick with sites that focus on limited brands. Make sure the company is reputable, they have a good Better Business Bureau rating, and that there is a customer service phone number.

  • Look for listings with a lot of pictures. If you're shopping on a consignment site, make sure the listing of the item you're considering purchasing has quality pictures of the product. Avoid stock photos or small thumbnail pictures where you can't see the markings on the hardware, or you can't examine the stitching closely.

  • Authenticate every listing.

INFOGRAPHIC: The Top 15 Most Counterfeited Brands