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Mens Designer Clothes > Beware The Fakes Guide
Beware The Fakes Guide

Learn to spot fake designer clothes

Fake and rip-off goods, people being scammed left and right and the even worse dangers brought about from items such as fake break pads, illegal children’s toys and counterfeit medications. Reports of such things are an almost daily occurrence it seems, with there being almost no walk of life those who traffic in such goods will not enter to ply their trade. The Designer Clothing market is no different, we too have our fair share of rip off and fake goods to contend with.

As the UK’s leading supplier of discount designer clothing brands we have a passion for all things Designer, we believe you should be able to enjoy the brand — and the cheap price — without without having to worry if you’re being ripped off, or if your garment will last and not fall apart as soon as you wear or wash it and so on. You don’t need that worry in life — no one does.

So what to do, is that bargain really such a good deal ?

Whilst we cannot guarantee items purchased elsewhere are genuine we can and will give you the tools to help you avoid the rip offs, we give you the advantage of knowledge. Here at the Mays Clothing website we provide you with detailed information on how to spot fake designer clothing across all the brands we sell (and some we don’t).

The guide is split into sections where we cover both the general advice applicable to all brands as well as detailed hints and tips on how to spot a fake for a specific brand — all the brands we stock are covered in detail. This guide to spotting fake brands is provided free and in the hope that it will help, in some small way, to protect you the customer and bring an end to the forgeries and rip offs in the Designer clothing market.

Navigating the Spot A Fake guide

1) You will find links to this page as well as the rest of the guide, split by section, in the “Fakes” section of the side bar to your left. This is accessible at any time from any page on our site.

2) Each catalogue page has a “Brand Menu” situated at the top of the catalogue entries. The “Fakes” menu item will lead you to the main guide index page as well as a link to the specific brand guide for the page you are viewing at the time.

The brand menu can also be found at the top of each individual item description and order page.

Your Guide to Take Away with you

Reading the guide online is ok and in many cases will be sufficient, however, if you are anything like us then you find reading detailed information on screen is sometimes less than ideal. With this in mind we have also produced the entire “Fakes” guide as a downloadable E-Book in PDF format. This is formatted for standard A4 paper and can be printed out for your offline reference. As a bonus E-books produced as unlocked PDF format files (like this one) can be viewed on many of todays so called “smart” hand help devices and phones.

But WAIT! There’s an easier way

Mays Clothing guarantees each and every item sold is the genuine article. Period.

Quality control is important to us. We only source our stock from well known, established suppliers and maintain a pro-active system of spot checks throughout our processes; in addition we actively seek customer feedback so that we can continue to improve our service to you. Finally, for your additional peace of mind, we offer you an unconditional guarantee of authenticity on every item we sell.

Avoid the worry — Buy your discounted designer brands from Mays clothing

Counterfeiters play the numbers game

Faking designer clothing is a an industry. It may be an illegal one but that doesn't mean they don’t do their sums — if they’re selling at vastly reduced prices compared to the original it stands to reason that something has got to give.

Real designer brands, on the other hand, intend to sell far fewer items than high street brands, this adds to the brand image as being exclusive and sought after; it also means they can afford to not mass produce in the same way as either the high street or fake trades. As a result the true designer item is always of a very much higher quality than will be found anywhere else; top range materials will be used throughout as well as plenty of fine detailing — this is what Designer is all about.

Combine the design, high quality materials and fine details along with the relatively low sales volume and it is easy to see why genuine designer brand items sell for a premium price.

Now consider the fake trade. They aim to sell to the mass market at very low prices; as such the fake trade is not interested in the production of an exact replica — this is not like forging bank notes or famous paintings.

Either because they just don’t see the point or maybe just to be cost effective; it is always the case that a fake brand item will be lacking the quality and fine details associated with the original item. Playing the numbers game as they do leads to the production of inferior and incomplete goods. This lack of fine detail is one very good way to spot the fakes.

The bigger the name

Continuing on from “the numbers game” it is logical to expect the fake trade to put most of it’s energy into copying the more popular brands and items within that brand — after all they want to shift as many items as possible.

As a general rule you are far more likely to come across a fake for a well known top brand such as Armani, Diesel or Stone Island than a lesser brand whose clothes don’t sell nearly as well.

It is in buying such well known brands that you really have to pay attention when bargain hunting.

Common sense

Without doubt, the best way to avoid buying a fake garment is to use your own common sense. Follow the old saying “If it looks to good to be true… it probably is”.

• Markets and possibly even car boot sales — there is no way any sane person is going to be selling real genuine designer clothing from a market stall or car boot, and most certainly not for the kinds of prices seen at these events. Think about it for a moment, why would they? Our best advice is simply to never buy any item touted as being designer or indeed antique, rare and so on from a market stall o r car boot.

• Your feelings — how does the deal sound? What does your “gut” tell you? More often than not our subconscious will start to scream in alarm when we consider doing something daft. This works in the case of bargain hunting as well. Listen to your inner self, if something doesn't seem right walk away!

Know the real items first

This very simple concept simply cannot be over emphasized. Being able to distinguish between an original brand item and a knock off copy is obviously easier if you are already familiar with the original.

Regardless of where you plan to purchase your designer clothing it pays to visit the brand store or an authorized reseller store first. Handle the items, get used to how they feel, the textures and flow of fabric, the colours used. The cut, sizing, where the serial numbers or other mark of authenticity is located.

Look at the logo and the design markings.

For jackets, jeans, shirts and so on; try them on, remember how it feels to wear the real thing as this is one of the most common differences when wearing the fakes — they just don’t wear the same way, there is a certain something, a feeling you get when wearing a well tailored jacket for instance, that cannot easily be defined; wear it and you will see what we mean. The fakes are a million miles away from the original.

Bottom line: The better you know the real item the less likely it is you will be duped into buying a fake copy — at any price.

The devil is in the details

This has been alluded to before but is worth mentioning again (and again and again).

Counterfeit designer goods almost never even try to be an exact copy of the original. Yes at first glance, especially if one is unfamiliar with the original, they can have the appearance of being genuine. As soon as you start to examine them however, they will reveal themselves in many ways, some small some huge.

A few of the more common mistakes to be seen are:

• Poor quality print on logo and other branding

• Spelling mistakes (though see later for detailed notes on this)

• Insignias where there shouldn’t be any, one classic is the inner lining of jackets; where often the real design has no markings you will find the copy has been emblazoned with the designers logo or other design.

• Button spacing and number are incorrect

• Missing handling and care instructions

• Incorrect wording on the labels esp. “Made in China” though again we have detailed notes on this area)

• Stitching, this is often a dead giveaway. True designer clothing will have colour matched stitching that is both tight, precise and intentionally almost impossible to see (unless it is forming part of the visual style such as pocket details).

• Missing or incorrect and badly formed security numbers or holograms

• General shoddy or low quality workmanship There are many other examples but you probably have the idea by now. If it looks or feels like poor quality in any way at all, even the slightest hint: walk away. The genuine designer brand will never look or feel poor quality.

Spelling mistakes

As a general rule, if you see spelling mistakes anywhere on the packaging or clothing tags and logos etc. Then you are looking at a fake product. Like any rule, however, there are exceptions. It happens in all walks of life that mistakes creep through the production process. Faulty machinery or just plain good old fashioned Human error. Mistakes happen.

If you see a spelling mistake — just a single one on it’s own — and every thing else rings true, you get a good feeling about the deal, the price is not too cheap, the garment quality is there, no problems with fine details and so on — you are probably looking at the result of “mistakes happen” and will be fine to buy the item. That said you nor we can guarantee it will be genuine, it is a judgment call only you could make at the time.

Don't forget though, as we shall see further down this guide, if you do end up buying a copy and not the real thing, you may still be protected and be able to demand all of your money back.

Country of origin

This is a difficult one. It is often said that true designer fashion goods are only every made in the USA or Europe. These days that is just not true. Genuine designer brands can be found manufactured in places such as India, Vietnam, Tunisia, Rumania and yes, China.

Seeing such a country marked as “country of origin” is no longer a reason, in and of itself, to reject the item as being fake.

However, finding an item where the country of origin is not displayed at all is a sure indication of it being fake. You may, however, have to look closely to see the country information as the label is sometimes dyed the same colour as the garment it is attached to — but should always be readable.

The best way to tell if you should be worried by a “Made in (insert country name here)” label is to go back to basics — get to know the real item in detail before you go bargain hunting; learn where your particular brand is likely to have been manufactured. Always use common sense and double check the facts if you are in any doubt of a garments authenticity.

Second hand good must be genuine - right ?


People tend to think that second hand designer clothing must be genuine, after all why would the fake stuff be being sold as second hand — right ?

The only problem with this theory is that the people manufacturing and selling the counterfeit clothes know that people think this way too. Again it comes down to looking at the deal being offered as a whole. Does the garment pass the quality and detail tests ? Is the price reasonable ? If you’re not sure what price it should be have a look on the net first.

Do you have the contact details for the seller ? And finally, never buy second hand designer clothing for cash. Pay with a credit card or paypal, that way if you end up with a fake you can still stand a chance of getting your money back

Material quality

One reason why designer clothing looks and feels the way it does is the quality and type of materials and finishes used to create it. This is also one reason why the price is premium. Top end quality does not come at low end prices.

When you look at a garment for sale make sure you handle it, feel the fabric and other materials used. Compare that to how the original feels and looks, how the garment hangs.

Fake items never ever use top quality materials in the manufacturing. Period.

If it looks or feels cheap. Walk away.

Serial and ID Numbers

Many top brands employ serial numbers or some other form of authenticity marking such as a small hologram placed on the garment. Make sure you know where the number or marking will be on the brand you intend to buy. Know how it is displayed, what type of lettering is used, the colour and style of lettering.

The number may well have information on the origins, style, importer and so on encoded into it. Knowing how this is done may well help to spot some fakes. Here the internet and / or genuine authorized resellers will be of help to you.

Now you may be saying, “Sure, but what stops the counterfeiters copying the serial numbers?”

Well the answer is nothing in most cases, and some of them do indeed do just that. However, as we have already said, a lot of the fine details are not copied well, if at all, on your average fake product. The serial or ID number is often one of the details they simply get wrong. It may be wrong in content and format or it may be wrong in placement within the garment. It may simply be printed in the wrong colour or font.

However the mistakes happen one thing is sure, being familiar with your brands ID number system and how it is used on the different garments is well worth while in spotting fake designer clothes.

Where applicable our detailed brand by brand notes contain the ID number details.

Buying online

Online is probably the easiest place to get sold a fake when you thought you were buying the real thing. That said, online is also where you will find the best genuine bargains on designer brand clothing — especially if you shop with reputable merchants who only sell online, thus they do not have as many overheads and can pass that saving to you, the customer.

There are a few things you can do to help protect yourself when buying online:

• Always make sure the site looks and feels professional, this is something that is part gut feel and part common sense. If the website looks cheap and tacky, full of large garish type and advertising banners (usually for unrelated products) then stay well away.

• Ensure that the site displays a full set of contact details, trading name, address, contact phone number, email address. The full display of company information is a legal requirement in the UK.

• Look for the terms and conditions section and do a quick browse. If the T&C’s are missing, overly long and complex or very short then you would probably do better to find another site to deal with.

• Know what is reasonable to expect in terms of price, if the site is offering vastly lower prices than expected, without good reason, walk away.

• When buying designer clothes online always pay with paypal or credit card. This way, if you end up being sold a fake you can contact the card company or paypal and they will usually grant you a refund and then take it up with the supplier. Most other forms of payment will not offer this kind of facility.

• Know your legal rights. In the UK the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 give protection if you are miss-sold an item over the internet or mail order within the UK.

The main points of the regulations are:

- The seller must give consumers clear information including details of the goods or services offered, delivery arrangements and payment, the supplier's details and the consumer's cancellation right before they buy

- The consumer has a cooling-off period of seven working days. This last point means that when you purchase online you have 7 days to return the goods and cancel the transaction with full refund.

• If you end up with a fake item you can also report the company to the Office Of Fair Trading providing the supplier is within the UK.

Auction sites

By auction sites we mean places like, but not limited to, ebay. It is possible to pick up some really good bargains on genuine new and second hand designer brands on these sites. It is also possible to get scammed badly. Beware!

The good news is that very often genuine resellers will have access to bulk end of line or end of season items and they will sell them off cheaply on auction sites as a way of generating extra sales and interest in the main store.

Spotting these merchants is not hard:

• They will have a lot of feedback and most of it will be positive, don’t be put off by the off negative comment. As the saying goes “you can’t please all of the people all of the time” even a good merchant will occasionally fail to please a customer 100%.

• They will make full contact information available and easy to find.

• If the site allows a profile they will have filled this in, usually with some degree of detail. It will just feel right.

• Links to their other websites and or shops will be displayed assuming the site allows this.

• They will respond accurately, courteously and quickly to requests for clarification or additional information.

• The items for sale will probably have decent individual photographs to go with them - not the stock images from the manufacturers main site. Often times the images will be close up of the details and tags.

On the second hand front, the same basic points apply — though, obviously, in a lot of cases you will be dealing with an individual and not a company.


Who We Are?

Mays clothing are not official stockist’s for any of the brands we sell however we purchase old season and some new season surplus stock from shops who are official stockists around the UK, this is why we can guarantee authenticy and have some of the cheapest prices online.

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