LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Shopping for a bargain this holiday season? You may be looking for a deal when it comes to buying luxury. But that major discount on Prada or a Rolex can pose a very real danger of ending up with a fake. But one local business is helping you avoid a Christmas con.
Annabella Giorgione knows better than most. Counterfeits are out there.
"It's happened a couple of times where we got ripped off," says Annabella.
That's why now, she only buys her pre-owned luxury handbags and sunglasses from Max Pawn on Sahara Avenue and Jones Boulevard. The day we stopped by, we found Annabella doing some Christmas shopping.
"I came and got my daughter a Fendi handbag... I got this one for a good price," says Annabella.
Annabella says she prefers Max Pawn for one major reason.
"Everything we sell in here from jewelry to a fine handbag, come with an authentication guarantee," says Michael Mack, principal at Max Pawn.
Michael says they use an on-demand authentication process called Entrupy.
"It takes a microscopic finger print of a handbag, sends it to the database and it's about 99 percent accurate," says Michael.
Best of all, the service is free. Even if you bought a handbag at a different pawn shop or online, Max Pawn will still check it out. It's a service, Michael knows is definitely needed.
"The fake ones are great, and they're getting better," says Michael.
Take these two Louis Vuitton bags for example. To the naked eye they look the same.
"Right now it's asking for outer material. As you can see it's zoomed in on a microscopic level," says a Max Pawn employee.
But the Entrupy process helps to identify the fake bag in just minutes.
"Come over here to our fake one, and you might be able to see the difference," says the employee.
Max Pawn can also authenticate fine jewelry and watches. But that's not all. They offer one other great service to help protect you from counterfeits.
Max Pawn is actually the only Craigslist Free Trading Zone in the valley. That means if you're buying something off of Craigslist, you can meet the seller inside Max Pawn.
"You're not going to get hit over the head after you give the guy your money, and you can come into a safe environment and make sure it's authentic at the same time," says Michael.
Luxury items aren't cheap, even when they're sold at a discount. So no matter where you shop, don't be afraid to ask if they offer any type of guarantee.