Frequently asked questions: (updated January 2024)
Yes. All the time. By hand. By registered experts.
At DOWNTOWN UPTOWN, our staff have many years of personal practical expertise selling luxury items and in authentication of all luxury brands. See who we are here.
Authentication comes from practical and long-term experience, not by using gadgets or internet/youtube guides! 😉 Authentication can only be done by experience and by eye and hand. We are renowned for our skill, such that Sotheby’s contracted us for their luxury bags in 2020-2021.
– We do not use gadgets such as “Entrupy”. This business uses AI to analyse the material (which doesn’t even get that right 100% of the time). It does not analyse whether an ITEM is fake or not. Nor if it is stolen. Counterfeiters are becoming more sophisticated, use the same materials as luxury houses and it takes a human eye, hand, knowledge, and knowing the provenance of an item, to 100% authenticate an item.
– Unlike most online platforms, all items are IN our boutique! Thus, DOWNTOWN UPTOWN experts individually see and physically authenticate EVERY item before it goes on sale online or in our store (see the end of this section).
– All our bags are verified by our staff with experience working at luxury brand stores, including Hermès, Gucci and Burberry, and the creation of Hermès bags – everything from material to stitching.
– All our clients undergo a personal vetting process in store and we know the origins of our items. It is required by Swiss law to take a copy of the identity and the address of the seller of the item. No stolen items are allowed.
– We reject any fake or suspicious items and they never go on sale. We have already rejected “super-fake” bags. Obvious counterfeit is reported to the police.
– We provide a DOWNTOWN UPTOWN certificate of authenticity for all bags, jewellery and accessories and automatically for all items sold over 1’000chf (for clothes and shoes on request).
Finally, we are registered with the Swiss Registry of Commerce under article I 2 09.01 for re-sale of second-hand items. This is required by law.
Counterfeiting supports organised crime and we work to combat this and to educate people about it. (See the Interpol efforts here – Ms Gya has cooperated with UN agencies, governments and Interpol on counter-trafficking policy and operations. So we know what we are talking about !)
Many online stores say they ‘guarantee’ authenticity, or have a picture that says “100% authentic”. This means nothing. They are merely stating that IF they discover that fake or counterfeit or replica copies are sold on their platform, they take steps to remove them.You CANNOT authenticate from a photo or with a machine. So if the item is not physically inspected by the selling platform, beware! Some platforms now allow you to buy direct from the seller, which means that NO verification process is undertaken. ‘Signing’ the <Charter for the Fight against Counterfeiting on the Internet> also does not guarantee authenticity, as it is simply a voluntary MoU for businesses and others to pledge.
As most online platforms are populated by external sellers, the products are only verified AFTER sale by the host platform. We have seen counterfeit products on other online platforms. (Of course there are no guarantees in social media online selling groups either, even if a ‘receipt’ is provided, as these can also be faked).
So, don’t risk it. Be reassured! Buy from DOWNTOWN UPTOWN.
You can select “click and collect” to pick up your item in the boutique, if you put a delivery address in Switzerland. If you are visiting Switzerland, you can put either the address of your hotel or the address of the boutique (32 rue de Monthoux, 1201 Geneve, Switzerland). Once you have a Swiss delivery address, the “click and collect” option will appear at the checkout. You can then choose a pickup time in the order confirmation email that you will receive.
Please note – if you are trying to avoid customs charges, this is illegal! and you will still pay Swiss tax. For delivery outside Switzerland, the customer may be subject to import or customs duties & taxes upon arrival of the item. The customer bears all additional charges of customs clearance. See full terms and conditions here: https://www.downtownuptowngeneve.com/terms-and-conditions/
No. Our prices are fixed.
At DOWNTOWN UPTOWN, our staff have many years of personal practical expertise in the second-hand market, in Switzerland, Europe and internationally.
Unlike platforms, we meet and vet all our clients that consign with us.
Our experts (you can see who they are on the About page), also process and inspect every item and check the international market every day for price valuation.
Thus at DOWNTOWN UPTOWN, you receive the highest quality pieces in excellent condition, that comparatively in the second-hand market, are extremely competitively priced. This INCLUDES the cost and value of our expertise.
As we work on a consignment model, we have already determined the best value market price for the buyer and seller equally.
We ship worldwide!
We guarantee delivery with full insurance and signature required, to save you from stolen goods! Thus we cannot ship to PO Boxes.
WE CANNOT MIS-DECLARE THE VALUE OF THE ITEM! THIS IS IN VIOLATION OF LAW AND ALSO VOIDS ANY INSURANCE.
Delivery costs are added to the item once you fill in your address details at checkout. Swiss delivery is with Swisspost (with a tracking number) . International delivery is with FedEx (see below).
PLEASE NOTE that international deliveries of a value of more that 1’000chf would be refused by Swisspost/TNT, as they will not be responsible for loss/damage. Therefore we use FedEx for all international deliveries.
Estimated delivery times:
Switzerland: 2-3 working days.
Estimated delivery times:
Switzerland: 1-2 working days if ordered Monday-Thursday or Sunday evening. Up to 3 days in December.
EU: within 2-4 days if ordered Monday-Thursday or Sunday evening. Up to 5 days in December.
Canada, USA: 4-10 working days if ordered Monday-Thursday or Sunday evening. Up to 15 days in December.
Eastern Europe, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, China, Russia, New Zealand, Australia: 6-10 working days if ordered Monday-Thursday or Sunday evening. Up to 20 days in December.
For all the above, the courier doesn’t pick up Saturday afternoon nor Sunday in Geneva, thus your item will be sent on Monday.
For other Asia, Africa, Middle East, South & Latin America, Pacific: 10-20 working days.
All prices shown on the website include 8.1 % Swiss tax. If you live near the border in France and you select “local pickup” to collect the item in the boutique, you still have to pay Swiss tax 😉
If you are outside of Switzerland and your item is delivered outside of Switzerland, the Swiss tax of 8.1% will be removed. Thus the recipient will have to pay customs (tax), depending on your country’s regulations. You acknowledge your obligation to pay customs duties/tax by checking the obligatory box at the checkout referring you to these terms and conditions BEFORE you make a purchase. This amount is based on the value of the item, minus bank fees and shipping costs, as declared upon sending the item.
Please check via the customs website of your country for the percentage and fees that you are required to pay.
A list of VAT/GST per country is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_tax_rates
(DOWNTOWN UPTOWN SARL assumes no responsibility for correctness of information from external websites).
Please be aware that you may need to pay customs on delivery or before pickup of your item.
More detailed information is in our terms and conditions.
In the boutique we accept:
– credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, UnionPay);
– Apple pay or Google pay (on your mobile device).
Online we accept :
– credit cards via Stripe (Visa, Mastercard, UnionPay or AMEX);
– Apple pay or Google pay (on your mobile device).
(We do NOT use Paypal).
Can I return an item?
No. Sorry! All purchases on our website (anywhere in the world) are governed by Swiss law. Switzerland is outside the EU! There is no right to return. There are no refunds and no exchanges. All sales are final.
I chose the wrong size. Can I have a refund?
No. Should you have any doubts, and need more information, click here to contact us before purchase!
If it does not fit, you can re-sell your item for free on our website (we do not take commission and the buyer pays tax, fees and delivery).
The item condition is incorrect! Can I have a refund?
No. All items are photographed and described as accurately as possible. Should you have any doubts, and need more information, click here to contact us before purchase!
The colour is not the same! Can I have a refund?
No. Mobile and computer screen resolutions can show different tones of colours. Should you have any doubts, and need more information, click here to contact us before purchase!
I didn’t mean to buy this item! Can I cancel or have a refund?
No. There are several steps in our purchase process to ensure that you are sure that you understand that you are buying the item. By clicking the box on the checkout page – which is obligatory before you can make a purchase – it states clearly, that you have agreed and acknowledged to our terms and conditions and there are no refunds nor returns.
Please see also our full legal Terms and conditions under paragraph 6 here: https://www.downtownuptowngeneve.com/terms-and-conditions/
6. Sales and returns policy
All items are sold “as is”. As all items are unique and second-hand, should you have any questions about the item, the colour, the size, the condition or other, it is your responsibility to contact us with questions before purchase.
We do not allow refunds, returns nor exchanges on items and no provisions are made for choosing the wrong size, buyer’s remorse or fraudulent use of your credit card. As items belong to individual sellers, the EU regulation does not apply. Please note that Switzerland is outside the EU, thus only Swiss law applies.
You automatically and electronically acknowledge our policy of no returns and no refunds when purchasing online, through the obligatory checking of the box that you have read our terms and conditions here. https://www.downtownuptowngeneve.com/terms-and-conditions/ There are no returns, refunds nor exchanges, as we sell on behalf of clients, whom are paid once the item is bought.
Under Swiss law, there is no right of return. Thus any purchase made on our website outside of Switzerland also has no right of return.
All sales are final.
We inspect every item twice. Once when we receive it and it undergoes authentication and second when we prepare the item for photos.
To explain the condition of the item, we rank them as New /Mint /Near mint /Excellent /Very Good or Good and (occasionally) Fair. We do not accept items that are badly worn, scratched, marked or over-used. An exception might be a rare vintage piece. We explain the condition at the bottom of each information section under the item photos.
We rank the condition as follows:
New with tags (10/10): Store fresh! Never used/worn. Tags still attached or all original packaging just as it came from the original brand shop.
Mint (10/10): Not used. No tags or packaging.
New (9.5 – 10/10): Never used/worn. Some new pieces may have a fault from storage, or have a manufacturing fault, which typically disappears with use – we will indicate this.
Near mint (9.75-9.9/10): No marks or signs of wear, but the item may have been tried on at home or worn briefly (an hour or so, or for a model-shooting) once, thus not “worn” in the usual sense. For shoes, they may have been worn briefly on carpet at home. Absolutely impossible to detect!
Excellent (9-9.5/10): Used or worn once or a few times. No obvious signs of wear. May have a small mark or flaw, or light wear on shoe soles, which isn’t detectable when worn.
Very Good (8-8.9/10): Pre-loved, but looked after! May have light wear (eg corners for bags) or a small fault (beading missing, small mark on clothes), or wear on soles (shoes) but which is not obvious when worn.
Good (7-7.9/10): Some signs of wear, particularly for older/vintage pieces. Marks or scuffs on bags, wear in material for clothes, very worn soles for shoes.
Fair (6-6.9/10): obvious wear/love! Has marks, scratches, maybe some holes or some repairs done. Only very few (10 or so) of our items have this ranking. Mainly as they are interesting collector vintage pieces.
We provide detailed information and photos about each item to ensure that you are satisfied and the fit is correct. See here.
There are no risks at DOWNTOWN UPTOWN! We are an established company registered in Switzerland. All are items are authenticated, physically in our boutique and our payment system is secure. Delivery is made by registered post or delivery company and insured.
– We are dedicated to our business with many years of experience in the luxury fashion industry. We are not on-the-side re-sellers. Our business is our livelihood and integrity, thus we provide you exemplary knowledge, service and products, backed by a physical store.
– If you buy online through individuals that are not registered and sell on social media platforms, or anyone who has set up a hobby-store webpage, you risk buying counterfeit, copy or stolen items. Plus, you are not dealing with professionals.
– We are registered with the Swiss Registry of Commerce under article I 2 09.01 for re-sale of second-hand items, as well as with the Canton of Geneva police. This is required by law! Beware of hobbyists or amateur re-sellers that do not follow the law, and are not registered with the state and the police.
– All our clients undergo a personal vetting process in store and we know the origins of our items.
– It is also required by law to pay taxes, and record the identity of people who sell and re-sell items. This protects the buyer and stops a black market growing. We do so.
DOWNTOWN UPTOWN staff set the prices of the items. Please note that tax has to be paid by DOWNTOWN UPTOWN (8.1%) and is added to the overall price.
To NOTE: We are registered with the Swiss Registry of Commerce under article I 2 09.01 for re-sale of second-hand items. We are also registered to the Geneva authorities against “travail noir” (PCTN) that ensures taxes are paid and workers are protected. If someone sells an item second-hand for someone else, they are required to report revenue AND pay taxes. These two processes are required by law. Beware of hobbyists, instagrammers or amateur re-sellers or even shops that do not follow the law, and are not registered with the state and the police. They might offer you more money or appear to be “cheaper”, but will pay penalties for not following the law nor paying taxes.
There are no set rules on second-hand pricing. Variations means that it takes an expert to set a price that is appropriate.
Unlike individual sellers on social-media, or other large online shop sites for second hand, we set the pricing from our years of expertise (not by the seller or a computer generated algorithm).
We ensure that the price reflects the value and condition of the item as well as market demand.
On occasion, we reserve the right to have items on the website on sale for our online customers. (The items may not be on sale in the boutique).
ERP = Estimated Retail Price. That is, the price if you bought the same or similar the item, new from the brand store or affiliated retailer.
Buyers need to understand that new luxury goods, especially bags, can be at different prices worldwide, dependant on import/export, taxes and customs duties and other factors. Hence, a new bag of a certain model can retail at different prices in different countries. Furthermore, if comparing prices globally, you must take into account differing currency exchange rates & customs duties….
We aim to make it easier for you. The ERP on our site is calculated through several factors. Price new in the year it was issued, often adjusted with inflation, to reflect today’s market prices. This is particularly the case for items over a few years old.
For vintage items, the “ERP” reflects the value of the item also. Thus, if it is a collector piece, both the ERP and the selling price, will reflect its value and collectability value as well.
Some of the larger online second hand stores now provide a “price calculator”. This is done through a calculated algorithm of past buyers and sellers pricing. Computers do not have the human knowledge factor. Our difference is that we calculate based on physical knowledge of the product AND its condition & value (as all are items are physically in store).
Rest assured, we find the best value for both the buyer and seller.
Yes! We can sell your luxury secondhand fashion for you. Selling is easy and risk-free. You bring items to us to sell and once a sold is confirmed, we take a commission and you receive your payment. WE do all the hard work of photographing, displaying and advertising the item, serving the customer, answering questions and shipping the item. You just sit back and relax! See our consign page for how to do it and our detailed terms and conditions.
When you purchase online and the item is delivered outside of Switzerland, the Swiss tax is removed (8.1%) and you will pay VAT tax of the country of import to the broker/deliverer.
In the boutique we do not do tax refund. Tax in Switzerland is only 8.1%. You can however take your receipts to the airport for a tax refund, find the tax refund counter and fill in a form with them. The item purchased must be over 300 chf,