Before You Buy, Authenticate!

Whenever possible, purchase your charms from authorized retailers that way you know you are receiving an authentic charm.  If you must purchase from secondary sources (ebay, bonanza, etc.), as is often the case for charms released more than 2 years ago (outlets will often carry charms that were released ~2 years prior) here are some things to consider when trying to determine whether a charm is authentic or not:

Check the photos.  If there are only stock photos provided, there is a chance that the actual item is not authentic.  Always ask for the seller to provide photos of the actual item from multiple angles, including the clasp.  Once you have photos of the actual charm, compare them to the individual charm photos.  Use photos of known authentic charms whenever available, as they tend to show more detail.  Most of the time a stock photo accurately represent the charm, but sometimes final details are left out.  Be sure to look for the small details, as these are often left off or are inauthentic charms.

Once your charm arrives, be sure to re-compare your charm with photos of the authentic charm.  There have been times when a seller will use a photo of an authentic charm, only to send out an inauthentic charm to the buyer.

What clasp is appropriate?  Juicy has changed the size and style of the clasp multiple times.  Check the Charm Clasps and LE Hangtags page for more information.  If the charm size/style isn’t appropriate for the year of release it is likely not authentic.

Juicy did not begin releasing charms with a silver clasp until 2008, so any charm from before this time should have a gold clasp.  Since 2008, many charms originally produced with a gold clasp have been re-released with a silver clasp.  To be sure, check the individual charm listing to see what clasp(s) are appropriate for the charm.

What box did the charm originally come in?  These days, many of the older charms are being sold without a box, or charms are being sold in the wrong box.  If the charm is sold with a box, check the individual charm listing  to see what box(es) the charm may have been released in.  

Does the box have the original tags?  If the listing claims that the charm comes in an original tagged box, ask for photos of the tag.  The tag should have the appropriate YJRU style number, name, and other appropriate information available.  See the Understanding Charm Tags Page and the individual charm listing  for additional information.

What is the listing price?You know the old saying, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!  Charms that are currently or were recently on sale at retailers and outlets tend to have a lower price associated with them, as do charms that don’t have a high demand.  Older, harder to find charms typically sell for higher prices.  An easy way to determine the going rate for a particular charm is to do a completed listing check on ebay.com or bonanza.com to see what the charm has been selling for within the recent past.  If the price seems too good to be true (especially if it’s a ‘Buy It Now’ price), be sure that the photos and other information available coincide with information for the authentic charm.

Check the seller’s selling history.  If the seller repeatedly re-lists the same charm after it’s sold, consider whether it’s possible that they have multiples of a single charm or if they are re-listing an item that was returned to them for being fake.  With the availability of charms at discount prices, sellers are more likely to have high volumes of newer charms, but it is unlikely that many sellers have charms released beyond the last ~2 years stockpiled.

Check the seller’s feedback.  If the seller has sold Juicy Couture charms in the past, there should be evidence in the feedback history about whether the buyers received authentic or inauthentic charms.  If all of the charm-related buying history is positive, you’re in a much better position to assume that a charm is authentic than if the feedback suggests that the seller has sold fake items on multiple occasions.

Where is the seller located.  Many authentic charms are sold from China, so beware if the seller is based out of China.  Other overseas locations may also get their stock from China, so be aware when viewing overseas listings.

Listing titles.  Often sellers circumventing the rules of sites such as ebay will play with words in the listing so that the listing is not flagged for removal.  Most sellers of authentic charms will list it as “JUICY COUTURE (charm description,” while inauthentic charm sellers will list as “FITS JUICY COUTURE,” “JUICY (charm description) COUTURE,” or will include a Juicy Couture item (such as perfume sample, stickers, gift wrap, etc.) along with the purchase.

If you have questions about authenticity of a charm, I highly recommend posting your questions and appropriate photos and/or listing information on the Purse Forum’s Authenticate This Juicy page in the Juicy Couture subforum.  Many of the members in this subforum are collectors that have been collecting Juicy Couture charms for years and really know their stuff.  Plus, many times they have the advantage of owning the charm and being able to compare their personal charm to available photos. 

2 Comments

2 thoughts on “Before You Buy, Authenticate!

  1. I’m looking for the champagne bottle that has the letter “J” on it. Being a 1st time buyer, I don’t know where to start looking for it. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

    • That one came out in 2006 and has long since been out of production. Your best bet for locating this one is going to be through the secondary market (ebay, bonazle, craigslist, second hand/thrift shops, etc.). If buying online (or in person, for that matter) try comparing photos of the charm you plan to purchase to known authentic photos (there’s a link to an authentic one – Just click the YJRU number). You can also get opinions on the authenticity from other charm collectors by posting photos and/or a link to the online auction in the “Authenticate This Juicy!” thread in the Juicy Couture subforum of The Purse Forum.

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