Frequently asked questions: (updated September 2020)

ARE YOUR ITEMS AUTHENTIC & CORRECTLY IDENTIFIED?

Yes.

Updated August 2020.

At DOWNTOWN UPTOWN, our staff have seven 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! 😉

– Unlike other 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 online over 1’000chf (for clothes and shoes on request).

– We don’t use gadgets such as Entrupy. They use 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. Counterfeiters are becoming more sophisticated, use the same materials as luxury houses and it takes a human eye and knowledge to authenticate an item. 

– 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 good 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.

SHIPPING, DELIVERY & TAXES

SHIPPING

*Please also see the COVID FAQ below.

All items include standard delivery, where low-value items are sent by Swiss Post (with a tracking number) and delivered by the post in your country. High value items are shipped & insured with DHL (see below).

Estimated delivery times:
Switzerland: 1-2 working days. (* add 1-2 days during COVID-19)
Germany, France, 2-3 working days. (* add 2-3 days during COVID-19)
Rest of the EU: 4-5 working days. (* add several days during COVID-19)
Canada: 4-6 working days. (* add several during COVID-19)
USA, China: 5-8 working days.(* add several days, possibly weeks, during COVID-19)
Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia: 6-12 working days. (* dd several days, possibly weeks, during COVID-19)

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We recommend selection of DHL at check-out for better piece of mind. It costs a little more, but it includes insurance, signature upon delivery and a reliable carrier door-to-door.

Estimated DHL delivery times: (* add 1-3 days during COVID-19)
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, DHL 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.

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TAXES

All prices shown on the website include 7.7% 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 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 pickup or before pickup of your item at your country’s postal depot or to DHL.

More detailed information is in our terms and conditions.

PAYMENTS

We accept :

– credit cards via Stripe (Visa, Mastercard or AMEX);

– PostFinance card (Switzerland only);

– 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).

– Apple pay or Google pay (on your mobile device).

(We do NOT use Paypal anymore due to too many incidents of fraud and buyer’s remorse – sorry!).

REFUNDS, RETURNS AND EXCHANGES

Unfortunately there are no returns, refunds nor exchanges, as we sell on behalf of clients, whom are paid once the item is bought.

WHAT CONDITION IS IT IN?

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.

WHAT SIZE IS IT?

We provide detailed information and photos about each item to ensure that you are satisfied and the fit is correct. See here.

ARE THERE RISKS BUYING AT DOWNTOWN UPTOWN?

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!

WHO SETS YOUR PRICING?

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).

WHAT IS ERP?

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.

CAN I SELL WITH YOU?

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.

WHAT ABOUT COVID19?

COVID19 Update 11 May 2020

BOUTIQUE

We are now open as usual! Our opening hours and directions are here. Limit of number of people in the boutique. Disinfectant available, please wear your own mask.

You can also order online and standard postal delivery is already included. 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 are now taking consignment appointments. See more information here.

BUYING ONLINE

There are NO risks to buying online. We do not use plastic in shipping. All our items have been cleaned. Whilst there may be some delays with postal and mail delivery services, services will no longer require a signature for delivery or collection. 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 :

https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/fr/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/empfehlungen-fuer-die-arbeitswelt.html

https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/fr/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/massnahmen-des-bundes.html

https://www.ge.ch/covid-19-entreprises-commerces-chantiers/directives-aux-entreprises-autorisees-rester-ouvertes

Post offices have announced that there is no risk of Coronavirus from deliveries. As of 23 March 2020, Swisspost – which we use for standard delivery – announced that “our mail carriers’ health is of the utmost importance. Please maintain a distance of 2 metres from others in your branch and from the delivery staff, make cashless payments and allow delivery staff to sign for registered consignments. That way we’ll all protect each other.” Swisspost is not accepting shipments to China until further notice.

If you select delivery by DHL at checkout when placing your order, please note this from DHL: ” the virus does not spread via parcels, but the courier is extra alert to all hygiene measures. For the time being, s/he signs for shipments that require a signature. Our courier does this in front of the recipient. We also keep an appropriate distance (guideline 1.5 meters) and avoid physical contact.”

DHL further announced 23 March 2020 that “After each shipment collected or delivered, they disinfect their hands and scanners. They also wear gloves and masks when ordered by local authorities.”

Stay sane everyone! 🙂