Nordstrom sends me a fake or wrong Fendi bag

First off, I don’t want any judgment or pity with this post.  Read this for entertainment value and maybe help me figure out what the hell happened.

Update – the store just called me saying they are going to credit me back for my purchase and they’ll look into what happened at the warehouse.  While I’m relieved of the outcome, I’m still puzzled as to what happened.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

I had bought this Fendi bag for my wife (pictured on the left above) from Nordstrom.com about a week ago or so.  When it came in, my wife didn’t like it, so I took it back to the store to return it.  Quick note – the bag comes in a cloth Fendi bag and in a shrinkwrapped polybag with a UPC bar code on the polybag.  Sorry, I don’t have pictures.

 

At the Nordstrom store

I went to a local store store on Sunday to return the item.  The checkout girl looks at the bag and then tells me to hold while she takes it to the back.  After about ~10 minutes, she comes out with a manager who tells me they can’t accept the return because the bag isn’t authentic.  “WHAAAAAT!?!  THAT’S THE BAG YOU MAILED ME!” was my response.  He explained that the bag didn’t match the receipt and the authenticity card in the bag.  He said that the bag should be bigger.  Well it turns out the bag that was sent to me was similar in size to the bag on the right (picture above) but with the cute eyes.  I was STUNNED.  I essentially had to prove to the manager that I wasn’t scamming him by returning a fake bag.  I didn’t have the polybag with me at the time, so I asked him if I went go get it from the car, if that would help.  He told me maybe, and so I went to the car to grab it.

 

Back with the polybag

I come back to the store with the polybag and he scans the polybag and it matches the receipt.  However, the polybag’s UPC code is for the larger bag (on left) which mine wasn’t.  So let’s recap – the receipt is for the larger bag, the polybag’s UPC code is for the larger bag, the authenticity slip is for the larger bag, the physical bag I have is for the smaller bag.  I then pulled up the Nordstrom site to see what I ordered.  I went on the Fendi site as well.  Every site had the bigger bag.  Apparently there is no smaller version in existence that I could find.  I could see from his point of view that I was returning a bag that didn’t exist.

The manager then tries to call the Fendi rep, but it’s a Sunday so can’t get a hold of him.  He offers to overnight the bag back to the warehouse and let a specialist deal with it.  I take him up on the offer, but at this point, I’m still confused as to what happened.  I asked him if there was a serial number in the bag itself that could match any of the receipts.  There IS a serial, but it’s not printed on any receipt.  The original clerk finally comes over and points out the model number PRINTED INSIDE the bag was different than what I had ordered.  The bigger bag has a model number that ended in xxxx36 whereas the model number in the bag ended with xxxx35.  The authenticity card was model number xxxxx36.   This confused me even more now!

 

“If the bag don’t fit, you must acquit!”

At this point, it was a he-said-she-said situation and I knew I wasn’t going to get anywhere.  Let me say that the tone of the manager wasn’t on the friendly side; he was sticking to his guns saying he can’t take it back due to the purse not being in the system.  Finally, it dawned on me.  The store sells a similar design to the larger bag that I noticed on the shelf.  I asked the clerk if that’s the same size as the one I should have gotten and she said YES.  I then ask them, “Okay, this is the polybag you sent me which has your barcodes and such.  Will that big bag fit in here?”  They both could see that the bag wouldn’t fit, but they still couldn’t do anything.  I felt like screaming, “If the bag don’t fit, you must acquit!”  My contention was – if Nordstrom did send me the big bag, how would it fit into the small polybag?   On the drive home, I figured their counterpoint to that would be that I removed the UPC codes on the bigger bag and slapped them on my own fake smaller polybag, which would be genius but that’s some next level scamming, right?

 

Recap

The question now is – how did this even happen?  Did a Nordstrom warehouse worker swap the bags?  I don’t think this could happen because the polybags are sealed.  The warehouse worker would have had to take the authenticity slip from a big bag and put it into a fake bag and then seal it up, which I don’t think is easily possible.  I think what happened here is that Fendi themselves shipped Nordstrom the smaller bag with the authenticity slip of the bigger  bag as well as a polybag of the UPC bar code of the bigger bag.  But yet, how would the bigger bag fit into that small polybag right?!?   The only way to verify this is to just call Fendi and verify the authenticity of the bag.  However, the bag is now en route back to the warehouse and let’s see what happens.

I think to fix problems like this in the future is that Nordstrom just needs to input the serial number on the receipt, just like how Best Buy receipts show the serial numbers of computers and tablets.

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  • Mark Ostermann

    Women and their purses :)…..my wife is obsessed. At least she only has Coach and Michael Kors tastes though haha

    Crazy that this would happen but I would guess someone took back a fraudulent bag and they just reshipped it. I am glad they refunded it because it would be really hard to prove you weren’t doing something shady.

  • acc264

    this is actually quite common with luxury retailers, and the scam Nancy mentioned is actually hard to catch without significant training of the warehouse/distribution center staff. i used to work in luxury retail and we would see fake products get returned or get shipped out to customers and it would only get caught when a customer got a “wrong” or “fake” product. the job of the workers at the DC is to simply scan the item back in – if the SKU/numbers on the tags and the box are the same, and the product generally looks like the same – thats the extent of the scrutiny. they wouldn’t know if this was a real size or not, or even if its the right color or just clearly a fake. most of the time how we find out is that we email the vendor, and they say they’ve never made that product/size/color before. unfortunately these scammers are often able to get away with stealing thousands of dollars worth of product before getting flagged in the system.

    • Miles per Day

      Thanks for the insight. My concern now is – why is Nordstroms selling returns as new? I guess with profit pressure, they assume that if the customer marked ‘changed mind; item new’ or whatever, that means they can just fulfill it again. You’d think that the warehouse would notice a different item sitting on the shelf though when either putting it back or pulling it for me.

      • acc264

        Yes, for the most part if its a return and the employee doesn’t notice any damage it goes back into inventory. Honestly more often than not damage or wear/tear isn’t noticed – i once got a burberry dress shirt that was 1) fake and 2) wrong size and 3) clearly worn, as it had clear deodorant stains on the armpits. Additionally, most e-com warehouses are run by robots (kiva robots to be precise) so a lot of times its not as simple as the warehouse worker carrying it to a shelf and noticing that its suddenly different – kiva systems have a specific and seemingly illogical (to humans) system of stocking units, and most likely a robot re-stocked the particular bag, leading to less human eyes who could’ve noticed that something was wrong.

        • Miles per Day

          Damn the robots!

  • Nancy

    I think what’s strange is that the smaller bag with the eyes doesn’t exist (or you couldn’t find it online). It almost sounds like someone had previously returned a fake to Nordstrom and it got sent to you…That is really sketchy that you could be buying fake items (unknowingly) from Nordstrom. I’m also active on the Purse Forum. Last year there was a story of a woman doing just that – buying real items, returning a fake, and keeping the real one to resell. I’m glad you’re getting a refund though.

    • Miles per Day

      A FB friend brought up that possibility too. You would think that they would double and triple check returns on high value items, right? Or maybe the lady returned a fake one in store that then went back to the warehouse and then shipped to me. Even so, when they stock it at the warehouse, wouldn’t they look at the items and notice one item looks DIFFERENT from the rest. A part of me wants to buy another one and see what gets shipped. If it’s a big one, then my initial purchase was an isolated incident. If the same small one comes, then Fendi is doing something…

      • roxy

        All it takes is one warehouse person who isn’t thorough. If they don’t check serials or they only scan the bag and visually match the item, things like this get through. I think Nancy is right as to what happened here. Although, how they got a smaller poly bag is a mystery. Probably peeled the sticker off the bigger bag and attached it. Glad you got your refund!

        • Miles per Day

          Yeah they prob did remove the poly bag UPC code, but if ur gonna run this scam, wouldn’t you return a bag of the same size? And where can you get a professional polybag sealer is also another question I’m curious about and not make the polybag look ghetto cuz this polybag was pretty legit (couldn’t see an obvious seal.) The more disturbing thing is that Nordstroms is re-selling returns as new too.

  • Ken

    What a pain. But at least you received something. ToysRus can’t count, and that’s why I was banned form them. 2 orders they sent 1 item when the packing slip said 1. They refunded for both, but then they banned me. This was like 3 years ago, and nothing I do can shake it.

    Kohl’s is also known for this. They either leave out items or ship breakable items in poly bags that arrive smashed to pieces. To rectify they can only refund the amount of the item that they didn’t ship, and that means minus KC and it also invalidates any portal cashback for the entire order. Such a pain.

    And BTW, that is one funny looking bag lol. Something my wife would want.

    • Miles per Day

      What do you think happened with this purse Ken?

      • Ken

        I have no idea, and you probably will never know what really happened. These things tend to get swept under the rug or lost in a sea of bureaucracy.