Frequently asked questions: (updated 13 January 2021)
Updated December 2020.
At DOWNTOWN UPTOWN, our staff have many years of personal practical expertise 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 has partnered with us for their luxury bags since 2020.
– 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. It is not used by serious authenticators, but only by amateur re-sellers. Counterfeiters are becoming more sophisticated, use the same materials as luxury houses and it takes a human eye, hand and knowledge to authenticate an item.
– Unlike most online platforms, 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 Hermès bags are verified by our staff with experience working at Hermès and the creation of Hermès bags – everything from material to stitching.
– All our Chanel bags are verified by an in-house bag authenticator.
– 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 nice little 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.
*Please also see the COVID FAQ below.
We guarantee delivery with full insurance and signature required, to save you from stolen goods! Thus we cannot ship to PO Boxes.
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: 1-2 working days. (* add 1-2 days during COVID-19)
Estimated delivery times: (* add 1-7 days during COVID)
Switzerland, EU: same/next day if ordered Monday-Thursday.
Canada, USA: 2 working days if ordered Monday-Thursday.
Eastern Europe, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, China, Russia, New Zealand, Australia: 2-3 working days if ordered Monday-Thursday.
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: 3-5 working days.
All prices shown on the website include 7.7% Swiss tax. (f 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 7.7% will be removed. Thus the recipient will have to pay customs (tax), depending on your country’s regulations. 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.
We accept :
– credit cards via Stripe (Visa, Mastercard, UnionPay or AMEX);
– Apple pay or Google pay (on your mobile device).
– International bank transfer (you will receive an email after placing your order with transfer instructions. Please note that the order will be automatically cancelled if we do not receive the payment in 2 working days).
– Splitit installment plans over 2 or 3 months with your credit card (Visa, MasterCard).
(We do NOT use Paypal anymore due to too many incidents of fraud and buyer’s remorse – sorry!).
Unfortunately there are no returns, refunds nor exchanges, as we sell on behalf of clients, whom are paid once the item is bought.
Please see also our Terms and conditions 6. Sales and returns policy:
All items are sold “as is”.
We do not allow returns or exchanges on items and no provisions are made for buyer’s remorse or fraudulent use of your credit card. As items belong to individual sellers, the EU regulation does not apply (it applies only to traders that sell already bought items). Please note that Switzerland is outside the EU, thus only Swiss law applies. 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 (7.7%) 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.
Selling is easy and risk-free. You bring items to us to sell and once sold, we take a commission and you receive cash. 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.
COVID Update 13 January 2021
Sad news 🙁 We are forced to close again from Monday 18 January 2021 until further notice. So, buy online!
Please remember, that as a small business, the livelihood of our family and employees depend upon us making sales – so please support us – SHOP ONLINE NOW!
SELL YOUR ITEMS
We take consignment by appointment only. We can still do by appointment during COVID closures. We can also pickup from your house. See more information here.
There are NO risks to buying online. All our items have been cleaned. In all cases, whether a driver or delivery person delivers to the door or a customer goes in to their local Post Office to collect a parcel, the employee should ask and record the customer’s name and sign on their behalf.
SHIPPING & DELIVERY
We strictly respect the rules decreed by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), in order to protect the population and our staff. The principle of contactless delivery is systematically applied. Useful links :