We’re frequently asked the question “Do you use Entrupy?” - we don’t.
Below we have outlined a few of the reasons why we recommend you don’t either - or trust a seller/authenticator who relies on Entrupy, or another form of AI authentication. In particular sellers/authenticators who display common red flags; such as a business name/username that cannot be traced to a registered business, no contact phone number, a founder/owner who’s identity cannot be verified, no verifiable sales/feedback history and a ‘no returns’ policy (all sales are final).
For those not familiar with Entrupy, it’s a technology based authentication system for luxury handbags. It promises to authenticate in real time by the use of photos uploaded by the user, with the AI (Artificial Intelligence) algorithm analysing the images to determine authenticity.
➽ Sounds great, right? Read on....
- Entrupy has been reported to have passed fake bags across a variety of brands, from Coach, to Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Hermès. It has also been reported to have passed as genuine, known fake serial numbers and prefixes and failed genuine bags as a result of some of the points discussed below.
- Entrupy state that their algorithm is based on images “from diverse sources from around the world” and their certificates include a disclaimer stating that the database of images is not based upon data provided by any of the designers listed on Entrupy's site. They offer no confirmation as to where their database images have come from, though reports suggest from a selection of retailers of pre-loved designer. Without the cooperation of the manufacturers, who also change identifying details fairly often to deter counterfeiters, the Technology is reported to be relying on second-hand, unverified information.
- Images uploaded by a user do not take into account details that are frequently defining when it comes to distinguishing between genuine and replica, particularly when it comes to top level replica models; details like weight, feel, smell, how the hardware operates and how the leather falls. Some items are critical to view in person.
- Entrupy relies on looking at the small details, such as stitch length, while having been reported to pass replica for genuine, by missing the big picture - such as whether the colour of the lining matches the resin that was used in that particular year of manufacture, or whether the style number of the bag matches the style of the bag.
- Given the handcrafted nature of designer, even the same model from the same season by the same artisan, will display minute differences. Take into account the number of artisans per design house, the number of design houses, the number of seasons, the number of styles and the number of years each design house has been in operation… it becomes clear that a database reliant on small details that change rapidly and constantly across the whole of the industry, has inherent reliability issues built in.
- Quality vs Authenticity issues - due to the handcrafted nature, it is not at all uncommon to see small (and not so small) imperfections in designer, whether looking at stitching, heat stamping, engraving or Monogram placement - details that genuine bags have been reported to fail on via Entrupy as they do not live up to the common standard. Not to mention when bags have been refurbished.
- The ‘Rule Breakers’ - the authentic items that are exceptions to the ‘always/ never’ rules when it comes to designer, that Entrupy has been reported to have missed, simply by virtue of the fact that the item inspected by the AI, did not follow the common rule for that brand.
➽ So what do we recommend?
- Look beyond any paperwork (this includes receipts - they too can be copied, or matched from a genuine item to a replica) or enticing marketing and advertising by a seller.
- Do as much research as possible, both on the bag you are looking to purchase, as well as the seller advertising it.
- Ensure you are dealing with a reputable seller - look for verifiable feedback.
- Check through social media accounts - and remember it is easy to buy followers and/or build up a lengthy record by posting frequently and/or delete negative comments - scroll through to the starting posts to see how long they have been active.
- Read through any Q&A you can find on social media posts or sales listings to see how the seller interacts with questions posed to them.
- Ask questions and raise any concerns you might have. A genuine seller will understand - and will take the time, and be able, to deal in detail with any queries you might have, including those concerning authenticity.
- Enlist the assistance of a reputable authenticator if required. If you do not have one, we can assist and you can read more about our services here.
- Ensure the seller you are purchasing from can be traced back if any issues arise post-purchase. For example, payment into a local bank account (and always ask for the bank account holder's name - not just the bank account number) or via credit card, or for example Paypal, is preferable over a cash payment. Likewise, if you can do so safely, collection from a home or work address is preferable over meeting in a public place.
➽ A last note for those who decide they do wish to proceed with Entrupy:
- In the scenario of you as a buyer, being provided a Certificate by a seller: bear in mind (and this is particularly something to be mindful of for bags without unique identifying serial numbers) that there is no way to match the Entrupy Certificate to the bag you are considering purchasing, other than one small image included in the Entrupy Certificate. This means the Certificate you are viewing, may not have been issued for the bag you are considering purchasing. In the case of unique serial number bags, Entrupy has also issued certificates where only part of the serial number is detailed, with remaining numbers noted with asterisk marks. As the serial number is not notated down in its entirety, it means, again, that the serial number for the bag you are considering purchasing, may not match that for which the Certificate was issued. Also note that Entrupy's Financial Guarantee is non-transferable. This means that if it turns out there is an issue with the validity of the Entrupy Certificate, only the original owner of the certificate can raise a claim with Entrupy.
- In the scenario of you as a buyer or owner arranging your own Certificate: Entrupy offer a Financial Guarantee, which is often cited as being what makes Entrupy so safe to use - however, do read in detail here what this actually entails. Be aware of the limiting parameters and loopholes, such as the fact that the Guarantee is non-transferable, is only valid for one year (after which time a claim can no longer be made), Entrupy may choose to pay you out at less than 100% if they decide to accept your claim, the process of which can be lengthy and costly - or they may decline your claim altogether and charge you for any costs incurred by them, such as any charges for third party experts Entrupy opts to engage. Their decision on any claim is final. They also state that they reserve the right to invalidate their original authentication, in which case the Guarantee is not applicable.
➽ While we are no longer on Instagram, see below an example we posted where we showcased a real life example of a bag brought in to us for authentication, where we discussed why the bag did not pass our authentication inspection, despite being accompanied by an Entrupy certificate: