How do I know if a knock-off is reputable?
November 21, 2020 6:28 AM   Subscribe

My wife loves this green coat from The Undoing. Christmas is coming. I've found it for sale from several places, but how do I know if a store is reputable and will supply a quality product? Specific retail recommendations are welcome.
posted by donpardo to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can you share the places you have found this coat for sale? Then folks can share their experience with those particular retailers.
posted by phunniemee at 6:34 AM on November 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

Some things to look for are:

* Numerous genuine-looking reviews of the item on the site, that include a variety of different sounding voices, maybe including the small, specific things they didn’t like as well as just being vague positive comments.
* What else are they selling? If they’re also selling elastic bands and motorbike covers and kitchen gadgets, avoid.
* The photos across the whole of the site are often a giveaway - if it looks like they’ve lifted a heap of photos in bulk from elsewhere, they’re probably making cheap knock-offs.
* Likewise, if you google the object and loads of sites are using identical photos, likely a knock-off. The exception to this is when they’re all selling an item from a particular brand eg. If you look up a North Face coat, they’re all going to be using the same photography provided by North Face, that’s fine. But if you look up eg. “fleece-lined leggings” and there are dozens of sites all using an identical photo, probably a touch riskier.
* Don’t buy via Amazon.
* Look for the physical address of the company - it should be somewhere on the site.
* Look for the social media accounts of the company. Drop them a message on one of those accounts and see if they reply. If the don’t have any social, steer clear.

These aren’t foolproof, but can be useful ways of avoiding the cheap mass-fulfilment imitation sites, usually based in China, that are so prevalent right now.
posted by penguin pie at 6:54 AM on November 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

Always, always run a quick google search on “name of company scam”. It will turn up a lot of reviews of fake websites and places that will not refund your money.

If the price is way too good, it’s probably a scam. Expect to pay a decent amount of money for a reasonable knockoff of that coat. If it’s $24.95, you are not getting what you see in the picture, if you get anything at all.

If all of the reviews are five stars, that’s a bad sign. Somebody somewhere will always have an issue with fit or quality, and some people rate very good items at 3/5 stars. Look for some variety in the reviews.
posted by corey flood at 8:05 AM on November 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

Looking at this site, the reviews are all too good and the descriptions on the site are exactly the same as this site, which also has this worrying bit of information:

"Thank you for taking interest in our products. We apologize but right now we don't have the actual images of the product but we can do a favor that you can order the jacket and after its completion, we will send you the images. If you will approve the pictures then only we will ship your order. Moreover, We assure premium quality material that you can use it for many years."

There's also no details of where these online store are located. So probably the same factory in China that supplies Wish/Ali Express.

I think it would be $159 you'd never see again, or if you did get anything, more likel than not it'd be a green bathrobe.
posted by essexjan at 8:39 AM on November 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

The coat in the show was vintage, and altered. This company specializes in TV/movie knock-offs, but I’m not sure that the items are made in the US.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:26 AM on November 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

As essexjam says- this is risky. I've ordered from a few of those dubious sites and in every case, something ended up being seriously wrong. Usually one of both of the following: terrible quality, TINY sizes. Like an XL would not have fit a 10-year-old girl.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 9:29 AM on November 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

An alternative would be to fine a local dressmaker, provide them with photos of the coat and ask them how much it would cost to make. Then rather than surprising your wife with the coat (which may or may not fit), she can have it made to her exact specification, using a pattern and fabric of her choice.
posted by essexjan at 9:52 AM on November 21, 2020 [8 favorites]

this etsy seller has pretty good reviews and their "astrakhan" style of faux fur seems to be the right texture though I don't see a pea green colour option like I'm seeing in nicole's coat.

But they do do custom orders, and it seems like good quality, it might be an option if you don't mind perhaps missing christmas on a custom order of a coat.

I'm with everyone else, I wouldn't trust a knockoff site, that texture of the faux fur seems very unusual and I doubt you'd get it right from anywhere for cheap!
posted by euphoria066 at 12:46 PM on November 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

Thanks everybody! Everything you've said confirmed my suspicions. I'll look into local options.
posted by donpardo at 3:57 PM on November 21, 2020

Don't miss the reviews on this site (linked above):
Excessively delicate and smooth softened fabric joined with luxurious highlights is a complete blow for me. I wasn't anticipating that it should be that incredible since generally online dealers fluctuate from the true outfit. This Grace Fraser The Undoing Nicole Kidman Green Coat sure changes my recognition with respect to non-brand outsider vendors.

After I saw The Undoing I love Nicole Kidman's character and also her green coat. It fits consummately. This material keeps you as warm as you will actually be. I live in Southern California so it doesn't get that cold, yet when it does, this coat manages the work it's alleged.

I was looking for and got the connection to this coat. It is an incredible item with an appealing green tone. as I would see it, as I like it without a doubt.

Comedy gold!
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:20 AM on November 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

The Coat has even got its own article in The Guardian!
posted by essexjan at 8:26 AM on November 24, 2020

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