spotting fake louboutin websites
There are thousands and thousands of fake Louboutin websites. Some will be honest enough to say they're selling fakes, many will not. Over 2,000 websites are listed on Louboutin Resource, but it's important to know what elements make it obvious the website you're looking at is selling fakes.
Always check the following...
You get a sixth-sense as to which sites are real and which aren't, but the following is an overview of what to look out for when shopping online for Louboutins
- The Website address - only the official site uses 'louboutin' and any using 'cl' or similar are dodgy
- Fake websites will overuse the term 'Christian Louboutin'
- Scammers will use an inconsistent style of images
- Fakers will use stock library images of Louboutins and celebs wearing them
- They also gratuitously use company images (couriers, credit card companies) to imply they're trustworthy
Only the official website has the word 'louboutin' in it
The first clue is the website address. The official Louboutin website (us.christianlouboutin.com and eu.christianlouboutin.com) is the ONLY website that has the word 'louboutin' in the website address. Any other website that has 'louboutin' (or CL, or variants) in is a fake. Often there will be subtle spelling mistakes in the website address to get as close to legitimate website addresses as possible.
where the website is registered
Check Whois to see the registered address of the company - if in China, avoid
Type the website address into Whois to see who it is registered too. If the company is registered in Asia, avoid. The contact below uses a gmail email address - not the kind of person you want to do business with, as any reputable company will have a non-web based email account.
Registrant Contact: wu yitao yitao wu
nanshanquzhongshangongyuanlu10 shen zhen GD 201612 cn
christian louboutin this, christian louboutin that
Fake websites will mention Christian Louboutin repeatedly, often unnecessarily
It's in fakers' best interests to appear as high up search engine results as possible, so they go to extreme lengths to achieve this. Anywhere they can mention Christian Louboutin, they will.
As you can see in the above image, there are many, many superfluous mentions of Christian Louboutin. Instead of listing 'Pumps', 'Sandals' etc, it will be 'Christian Louboutin Pumps', 'Christian Louboutin Sandals' etc. In the example above, I did CTRL+F to highlight these references, and on only a small page it found 60+ references to Christian Louboutin.
Text on websites will often follow a similar trend - this is from a fake Louboutin website:
"ChristianLouboutinsStores is one of the best online retailer and wholesaler of Christian Louboutin Shoes Store. There are the cheap christian louboutins, such as Christian Louboutin Pumps, Christian Louboutin Boots, Christian Louboutin Sandals, Discount Christian Louboutin Shoes Sale and so on, the best price and quality guarantee. Christian Louboutin Store is a shop dedicated to the best online sale links on christian louboutin shoes sale. Christian Louboutin is a French shoe designer whose signature red-soled shoes have been worn by several celebrities including Angelina Jolie and Britney Spears. While christian louboutin high heels generally retail for approximately $500, diligent shoppers can often find them discounted online."
Surely a masterclass in search engine optimisation.
Look for a poor standard of English
The majority of websites selling fakes are Chinese, and English and Chinese are notoriously incompatible languages so you can expect to find a very poor standard of English on scammers' websites.
As well as the above, here are some genuine examples I found while researching this article:
"Christian louboutin's sales very stylish, very attractive. So when you go to buy a pair of shoes and enjoy shopping now!"
"Do you always see a flower shop in the street of a crossing corner in which always put many blue roses? Do they give a deep impression on you? Do you ever imagine that one day you became the owner of these lovely flowers? Us christian louboutin sale finds a shortcut way to the blue heaven for you."
"French designer Christian Louboutin high heels, high heels and is a well-known brand christian louboutin pumps uk, red-soled shoes are Christian Louboutin's signature logo. No matter how you like women, need to set foot on the red carpet wearing of christian louboutin pumps Kogan shoes."
"Charstian [sic] Louboutin's for more than 3 years of the Luxury Institute Luxury Brand Status Index of the year (LBSI), the brand of the product is listed as 2009, 2010 and 2011, the most prestigious women's shoes."
"Christian Louboutin Online is the most important, not only more comfortable, but also very beautiful, sexy, make a notification. These girls are wearing chlorine [I love that, 'wearing chlorine'...] can experience in a more comfortable, beautiful shoes in the foot."
Pictures will have different backgrounds, be at different angles, and of poor quality
Look on a legitimate website and you can see super-high-quality images of shoes, all from the same angles (generally front-side angle, side and reverse), with the same background.
On scammers' sites, the pictures will be poor quality, often sourced from Google Images, will be inconsistent in style (as they steal from numerous legitimate sites) with different backgrounds, different shadows and shoes at different angles.
- Looks like one of their fakes, picture also doesn't match description
- Picture stolen from Saks (with the grey gradient background)
- Note the reflection under this shoe, not seen on most of the other pics
- Another style with the box behind to imply that it's legitimate (it's not, of course)
- Yet another background with the grey background, this one stolen from Neiman Marcus who use this background
Logos of reputable companies used to convince you everything's legitimate
Just because a website has logos on it, doesn't mean that it is necessarily endorsed by that company. I could say this blog is by appointment to Her Majesty The Queen but it doesn't mean it's true. Legitimate websites don't need to use logos for their couriers, antivirus brands etc and don't. Scammers will.
They will also use library/stock images of Louboutin. Legitimate websites will normally do their own photography, whereas scammers will just raid Google Images. Example below:
Details such as refund policies, shipping costs vary from page-to-page
The faker's website will have inconsistent information on it. On one page shipping will be free, on another page refunds will exclude the cost of shipping (which was apparently free). Check the small print as this will often highlight these inconsistencies.
payment via western union, paypal or tax free scams
Real websites don't use Western Union, Paypal or offer to send shoes as a 'gift' so you don't pay tax
On the scammers' FAQ page they will often claim they take payment via Paypal and Western Union (they're desperate for your money), and also claim that you do not pay tax on their shoes.
No legitimate website takes payment via Paypal or Western Union, nor will they offer to send shoes as a 'gift' in order to avoid paying tax. This practice is illegal, so don't do business with companies who break the law.
Scammers' websites will often not refund full amounts
They might say they will, but they won't. Look for get-out clauses like "we need to deduct 30% for credit card handling charges" or "full refund excluding cost of delivery" which will be an exorbitant charge you thought was free when purchasing the shoes. It is VERY unlikely you will ever see your full amount refunded. Many will even say that they won't refund if you complain your shoes look different from the picture on the site, which is basically a carte blanche to say they won't ever give your money back.