Okay, I’ve had a couple of issues in the past with sellers on Depop (items not sent, shouldn’t have been listed, seller not responding etc.) but I really wanted to give this app a go as I’ve heard some great stuff!
I’ve been obsessing over the Marmont Gucci belt for a while, not because of the name but purely because it’s a beautiful, timeless belt. But at £270 a pop from Gucci’s website I could never justify spending that much on a belt – a bag any day, but it seemed excessive even for me.
So, I’ve been hunting online to find one second hand which have tended to be around the price point of £200. Based on this you’ll understand my surprise at finding one on Depop for just £40!
Being the ever so vigilant fashionista, I messaged the seller to ask for proof of authenticity (thinking maybe a receipt, dust bag etc.) as it seemed like a steal for an authentic belt. He replied and said that he didn’t have any of that, just the photos and the serial code on the belt. I told him I’d need to check I had enough money and would probably buy tomorrow (not the full truth as I wanted to do some research – but I did want to check how much money I had in my Paypal from refunds for a couple of bits I’d returned to ASOS & Hobbycraft). Here are a couple of the photos featured in the ad;
And then off I went to Google after noting down the serial number from the pictures “114984AA61N11546626040” and spending some time (when I should have been sleeping – as I type this first part Aaron’s out for the count next to me lol) looking into what I need to look for when spotting a fake online.
I found a couple of points on various websites and thought it would be handy to summarise (for a more thorough overview, eBay have some great forums for this kind of stuff – make sure to check out the link I used here which covers a broader range of belts, packaging and dust bags than what I’m discussing today);
- Genuine Gucci belts will have 5 buckle holes ✅
- They will have a 21 digit serial number ❌ I did a character count on Google and this had 23 (after receiving the belt I had the sense to do this, but must have miscounted before ordering – I did a Google search on the serial code and nothing came up so I wasn’t too concerned)
- Buckle should be held by leather and not aluminium ✅
- The stitching should be straight and stitches tight, same length and consistent ✅
- Genuine high quality leather (which I’ll need to check once received)
- Belt buckles should be soldered on (again I’ll need to check this once received but it looks like it is on the photo)
- Identifying Gucci stamp – should include “Made in Italy” and a serial number (as per above) ✅
- Typically the serial number should start with “223” or “114” ✅
Based on the above – I decided to bite the bullet and purchase on Saturday 4th November 2017. I made sure to do everything through Depop as they’ve made it quite clear that if an issue should arise when payments have been made outside of the app then you won’t be protected should there be an issue with payment, delivery or the item itself.
Roll on to Tuesday morning and I get a knock at the door from the postman – I’d completely forgotten by then what I’d ordered so was pleasantly surprised that the belt had arrived!
Straight up – the belt was too big which was unfortunate, but not a complete issue as I could always add another hole to make it fit me. I then went on to check the last couple of points above;
- Belt buckles should be soldered on ❌ I went online after receiving and found a couple of videos where this part of the buckle doesn’t look the same
- Genuine high quality leather ✅ – you can smell a genuine leather a mile off and this has got the smell, plus the thickness, sheen and feel is bang on!
Without the documentation to authenticate this, I can’t out and out confirm this isn’t a knock off belt, but I’m quite confident it’s not genuine – the seller also had a couple of the same item for sale and the serial number of the one that arrived was different to that on the pictures; 114985AA6111120.48525040.
The final thing I noticed which confirmed this was too good to be true was the stitching holding the belt buckle on – you can’t notice in the pictures from the ad, but looking at it in real life, one of the lines of stitching wasn’t straight and consistent like the rest of the belt!
Back onto Depop I went to contact the seller about my order and ask whether I could get my money back for a counterfeit item, only to find…
They either have already been reported and removed or decided that now they’ve sold me a fake belt that they would remove their account! I messaged the seller but am not expecting to hear anything back.
I’ve opened up a dispute on PayPal and am hoping to get my money back soon. I got in contact with PayPal after they sent their standard email asking for me to return it to the seller (I was a bit reluctant as I didn’t want them to sell it on to another unsuspecting buyer or to get in trouble for handling counterfeit goods) and they confirmed that it was okay for me to do so as it was the first time this has happened and they would be monitoring the account in future.
This is a really lovely belt, despite some of the issues flagged above. I’ve been able to test and document some of the things you need to look out for when purchasing designer goods at a price that is probably too good to be true, so for the sake of my readers – some helpful tips have come out!
This is unfortunate as the rest of the belt was looking pretty promising – I think I’ll do a comparison once I can afford to buy a genuine one using this post to do so (heads up, this won’t be for a while because I can’t afford a full priced one right now!)
Let me know about your experiences with purchasing designer on Depop and whether you’ve had wins or fails when purchasing in the comments below!
I’ll make sure to write a follow up post once I’ve heard back from PayPal and Depop but I’m guessing it’s going to be a while!