Last Updated on September 3, 2020 by Ch Daniel
This post is the stripped-down version of the longer article that goes very in-depth on how you can buy either streetwear or high-end designer items safely. Meaning: without getting scammed.
Make sure you check out the full version of this guide if you have any doubts, and have a look at the checklist below before buying. It’s interactive and it saves your answers if you leave the website.
[frontend-checklist name=”Ultimate Buying Guide Checklist”]
Without any further ado, the short(er) version guide.
Unless you really really know the seller, avoid anything else other than PayPal Invoice at all costs. Even for meet-ups.
PayPal invoice means you’ve got both your ass covered and the seller’s. If the seller is legit, they won’t have anything to worry about by going through PayPal invoice — except for the 2.9-4.4% extra fee.
The common-sense consensus is pretty forward. You and the seller will split this extra percentage fee in a fair manner. Obviously it’s up to you to negotiate this.
If you don’t go through PP invoice at all times, here’s what’s going to happen to 1/15 things you’ll buy:
Say you paid £400 for this item you’re getting scammed for. And we said that it’s the 15th purchase when you get hit (likely it’s going to happen sooner than your 15th purchase).
Assuming the 4.5% (highest fee) and an average of £400 per item, that means you’re paying extra £18 for every purchase, just to be covered.
That means in 15 items you’ve paid an extra of £270 just so that you’ll get help if things go wrong. Paying £270 so you won’t be short of £400 and stuck with a fake item? Seems fair to me.
Not to mention the mental health impact and time saved. Stay safe, always use PayPal invoice, I don’t care if it’s Barack Obama.
Only use do this if you truly trust the seller and think there’s no reason for him/her to scam you OR that if anything goes wrong, they will be nice and do something about it.
You can also use something other than PayPal invoice for a physical meeting IF you’re:
Don’t be afraid to ask for a PayPal invoice if you have any doubts during that meeting. It takes a minute to write up the invoice if you’ve know what you’d need to write in the description of the document (e.g. “The pair is 100% authentic, never worn … etc)
In another article we’ll write up what needs to be added to that invoice so that you can write up the invoice in a minute and just copy-paste that text.
Then it’s a no-no. Unless you’re 100% confident in your ability to authenticate (check our guides), you’re most likely wasting time, if not also money.
99% it’s better to just stick to being efficient and avoiding dodgy situations. No, statistically speaking, chances are not in your favour so that “the item was at a really good price”, you just got it and it’s also authentic.
Hate to say this but eBay is likely not the place you’d want to look out for items. Because it’s not curated, a lot of fakes are over there.
That doesn’t mean all streetwear or high-end designer items are, it’s just that the doors are open for anyone to put their stuff up.
If you do purchase something through eBay and find out it’s a fake, you can get your money back though — open up a PayPal dispute and you’ll receive a refund.
Make sure you do your due diligence and background check the seller:
This applies more to Grailed/eBay/Depop and sounds pretty obvious, however it’s worth mentioning as it will make the checklist.
It makes sense why someone with 157 past transactions are more reliable than someone with 2 or 3. Here’s what I’d add: to those who have a lot of transactions, I’d have a close look at their negative reviews.
Why? In case something goes wrong, you want to see who you’re dealing with. Is it someone who’s going to be immature and ignore you or someone who will handle it fairly?
Pretty clear here: being vetted by an authority like PayPal goes a long way.
Ask for this, it’s a way for you to know that the seller has the items he’s claiming. A tagged picture means that next to whatever you’re buying, there’s a paper with the seller’s name + the date when that is taken.
Its purpose is to simply confirm that it’s their picture and that the item is in their possession. If in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask for that tag to be your name — someone you want to deal with will not be afraid to prove their authenticity.
State the details of the transaction — if something goes wrong, you’ve got it on record. When I say you I mean both you the buyer and the seller.
As mentioned above, we’ll eventually cover some templates in another article that should make it easier.
State details like:
Applies more to sneakers rather than other items, as part of the pair’s value is linked to the box’s condition.
So in order to protect the sneaker’s box, ask the seller to put that in a secondary, outer-wrapping box. The responsibility is on your side, even though most of the time sellers do that automatically.
Mention this in the PayPal invoice — this can prevent a lot of headaches with the shipping company as well (the original box can open during shipment, shoes are lost and my point is made again with the insurance).
If there are still doubts in your mind about what you’re buying, make sure you have a look at the longer version of this guide.
There, you’ll find an exhaustive guide that goes deep as possible into this topic, exploring everything that could go wrong.
Also, if you need our opinion on a specific item, a personalized legit check is a service that we offer:
Ideally you will be safe if you stick to using the reliable methods we’ve described above — if there’s any new scam you’ve heard about or some extra way to stay safe, feel free to contact us and tell us about it.