Is Luxury Auction Site OohILove Selling Fake Bags?

Louis Vuitton once again topped Millward Brown Optimor’s ranking of the most valuable luxury brands this year. And at the American Express Publishing Summit in Las Vegas this week, Louis Vuitton North America’s President and CEO Daniel Lalonde stressed that one of the reasons for the brand’s success through the recession was because Louis Vuitton never goes on sale. But when I asked Lalonde how Louis Vuitton bags ended up on luxury auction website, he said they must be fakes.

In case you need a refresher, OohILove is an online luxury auction site where users can bid on their favorite products in 99 cent increments. From our earlier review of the site:

The price of each item increases by 0.02 cents each time someone bids, at which time the length of the auction is extended by 10 seconds. It’s set up this way to give other fashionistas a chance to bid back, (and bid up the item)… and it certainly keeps the competition alive.

I called to find out exactly where they’re getting the Louis Vuitton goods, and a spokesperson said:

“All of our items, including those by Louis Vuitton, are sourced directly from the manufacturer or distributor. All items we sell are new, of the designer brand stated, and include authenticity papers and full manufacturer’s warranty. Also we want to emphasize that rather than selling Louis Vuitton products at discounted prices, we are giving users the opportunity to win the product for discounted price.”

It sounds like the bags are real and that OohILove is sneaking through Louis Vuitton’s “No Sales EVER” mandate via a very small loophole — which is to say, by describing the products as so-called “prizes” and not actually as what they are: discounted items. We can’t help but think that Louis Vuitton is going to put the kibosh on this, and fast.

So, fashionistas, proceed with caution and stay tuned… We’ll keep you posted with more to come…

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