I am appalled every day at the number of fake Gucci watches I see for sale on eBay! I know that some sellers are flat out crooks and others have no idea they inherited a fake watch from Grandma, or what they bought at that estate sale, but they are fakes just the same, so I've decided to try to help shoppers identify the basics when it comes to buying Guccis.
Red Flag #1 - The back side of the watch has nothing but a crest or a crest + the Gucci name on it. This is common and a sure sign of a fake. Some real Guccis have the crest, come don't, you have to know what is supposed to be there, but NONE of them have just a crest and/or GUCCI and nothing else. These crests and Gucci names are generally huge as well - the larger they are, the more likely it is to be a fake Leave these alone!
Red Flag #2 - Photos are fuzzy, seller claims he has no good camera. These days, it's way too easy to go somewhere and have a good photo taken if you don't have your own. Generally, sellers of fakes don't want you to be able to see the photo clearly. Run!
Red Flag#3 - Bracelet is a partial bangle look and partially links. What nonsense! Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I've never seen a real Gucci made like that.
Red Flag #4 - It's a 3600 model with a "G" face. This is probably the most commonly faked model out there. Sometimes I can't even tell from the photos myself. If it has a second hand, it's fake. If it's laying out flat, it's fake - the real ones have a deployment clasp and won't stretch out flat. Ask questions.. does the back attach with screws (it's supposed to) or pop off. Ask for a photo of the back if it's not in the auction and know what the back is supposed to look like. This really holds true for any model, but with this one, the back is may times not shown, and when it is, it can look awfully close to the way it should. If you buy one and receive it, it should be heavy. The fakes are made from a much lighter base metal and will feel almost like a plastic toy in your hand.
Red Flag #5 - It is a 3900 ladies model. Most of these fakes have the crest on the back. The real ones do not. They have writing only.
Red Flag #6 - It's a 9000 model and doesn't have a date window, or the GG logos around the face are not where they should be - they should be at the 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock positions.
Red Flag #7 - It says 1500 on the back but the watch is round. Nope - a real 1500 is a rectangular bangle style. I've seen quite a few of these fakes lately.
Red Flag #8 - It has no model number on the back or it has the model number but it's the wrong one. I've seen several lately that say 9000I. There is no such animal and they don't even appear like they are trying to be a 9000L or 9000M. Just a lame attempt at throwing a number on there to make it look legit to the unsuspecting. Some models, the one with the enameled back and the GG logo do not have the model number on the back, but these are the exception to the rule.
Red Flag #9 - The movement is from Japan. Some of these acutally say this on the dial! Not real. Gucci movements are Swiss.
Red Flag #10 - The seller is using a stock photo. It's actually a trademark infringement to use a stock photo unless you are an authorized dealer. It's very easy to just pull a photo off the web and put it in your auction. Some of these sellers don't even have a watch of any kind in their possession, much less the real thing! Exception to this is of course dealers who have permission to use stock photos and are selling new watches, but you can easily separate them from the fly-by-night scammer seller. Don't buy a watch that you can't see the actual item unless you trust that seller.
Always spend some time looking through listings of sellers who have been around for a while and have a good reputaion for knowing what they are selling. Just to familiarize yourself with what you should look for in the details of the particular model you want to buy if nothing else. Go to internet sites including Gucci's and look at photos. Just know what you are shopping for and know what markings it's supposed to have and make sure you can see that in the auction photos. Read the feedback (very important!) of anyone you are considering buying from.
I do hope that I have helped you make a wise shopping decision.