Unfortunately, the web is full of bootleg / counterfeit designer goods and Ebay is no exception - one of the most common bootlegged items I see are mens designer ties. Unscrupulous sellers often travel to South East Asia and buy up on cheap counterfeit items from various markets / factories / counterfeiters and bring them back to Australia to sell on Ebay and make big profits.
I regularly see buyers (often new members) on Ebay fall prey to bidding $40 - $80 for counterfeit chinese made ties that aren't worth anymore than $2
Over twenty five years in business, I've owned dozens of designer silk ties, plus I've worked and travelled extensively in China, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Bali etc so I've seen fake ties, cufflinks, wallets and belts by the truckloads and can pick a fake from a real one pretty quickly.
The fake designer brand ties most commonly seen on Ebay are Giorgio Armani, Hugo Boss, Paul Smith, Ermengildo Zegna and Burberry - although I have also seen fakes of Versace, Ferragamo, Dunhill, Carnival DeVenise and many others !
When you hold a fake designer tie there are often simple ways to tell its a fake if you are familiar with good silk ties - suspect construction of tie, stitching of tie is inconsistent, suspect feel to alleged "silk" material used for tie etc - however when you are just looking at a couple of small pictures on an Ebay auction, then it is a lot more difficult to identify if the goods are real, especially if you aren't an expert on designer ties and the nuances of each different fashion house. And don't be fooled because some seller has a lot of positive feedback on their sales of designer ties and cufflinks - that can simply mean the buyer didn't know the difference between real and fake either ! Possibly if you could contact the buyer six months after purchase they may tell you the tie quickly lost its sheen, the tie has develped unsightly kinks or the stitching is starting to thread apart - the buyers then might have changed their mind about what type of feedback they would have left on the sale !
Most of the guides I have read about "how to pick fake designer ties" are about making a closer examination of the tie in person - but that's only possible AFTER you have bought and paid for the goods - and a crooked seller could just then argue the point with you about the tie's authenticity, which then puts the onus on YOU to prove its fake if you want to try and get your money back or lodge a complaint with Ebay - so isn't it smarter to not bid for that fake at all and save yourself money and headaches ??
That said, here are two of the easiest way's to tell the difference between genuine and junk just by the auction photos for most designer fakes !
PACKAGING - This is the simplest and most obvious give away that the item is a fake - Armani, Boss, Zegna, Burberry or Paul Smith DO NOT sell their ties packaged in identical, cheap black cardboard boxes. Have a look at the attached images of alleged designer ties - notice how the packaging is identical regardless of the brand name - these goods are all chinese produced fakes. Go into a reputable designer menswear store like a DAVID JONES Dept Store, or the HUGO BOSS stores in George St Sydney & Collins St. Melbourne - you will NEVER see this type of cheap black box packaging in retailers selling genuine HUGO BOSS or GIORGIO ARMANI ties.
TIE - CUFFLINKS - HANKY - Additionally, none of the above mentioned designers even produce a tie pack with matching tie, cufflinks and handkerchief presented in one black - these packs pictured below are merely poor quality, chinese polyester ties with the designers logo illegally sewn onto the tie and the designers name stencilled onto the box.
So where do all the fakes come from ? Just go onto the internet and google the wholesale trade website "ALIBABA". ALIBABA is a trade website to connect mainly Asian based manufacturers with trade buyers for thousands of different items from electronics to clothing to building materials. If you enter a search on ALIBABA and type in the words "designer tie" and do a search in mainland China, you will find over 10,000 different factories offering copies of designer ties packaged with hanky and cufflinks for about $2 to $4 - you will even see sample pictures of their fakes just like the ones below - fake dsigner ties in black boxes with hankies and round cuff links.
As mentioned, Giorgio Armani ties are one of the common fakes you see on Ebay and a common mistake made by the chinese counterfeiters is to include the Armani "Eagle Logo" on the tie, cufflink or box packaging - the problem is that the "Eagle Logo" is only used on EMPORIO ARMANI products, not on GIORGIO ARMANI - so as soon as you see that "eagle logo" on an alleged Giorgio Armani item, then you know its a fake.
The goods shown below are all chinese produced FAKES ! DO NOT BID on alleged designer ties if they are presented in these little black boxes with tie-hanky-cufflink set, as you are only buying counterfeit polyester ties.
Now take a look at these non-branded ties on offer from various Chinese Ebay sellers for only $1.00 - notice how they are presented and packaged identically to the counterfeit designer ties shown above - now you can see what you are really buying when you bid on counterfeit designer ties - and don't be fooled by the "100% silk" on the front of the box - thats a case of english / chinese "lost in the translation" - these chinese ties are merely a high sheen polyester with "silk feel" - after only a few months they will quickly dull and start to show wear and tear.