Extensive vetting, training, and monitoring of our boutique partners ensures you’re buying the best, from the best

At italist, a quality shopping experience and authenticity of the products we sell are core to our mission of bringing you over 200,000 up-to-the-minute luxury fashions, shoes, and accessories—with fast delivery, at great prices. To help ensure you have a high-quality shopping experience that you can trust time and again, we have a comprehensive program in place to vet, rigorously train (plus retrain multiple times a year), and continuously monitor our boutique partners. 

When shopping for luxury fashion online, it’s tough to know whom you can trust for authentic designer goods. However, there are key indicators to help you decide whether to trust online retailers like italist that partner with independent, high-end boutiques. In addition to ensuring that the boutique partners follow through on their promise of authenticity, here are a few other tips to keep in mind when trying to figure out whether a retailer like italist is legitimate:

How are boutique partners selected?

Every retailer of boutique-sourced designer fashion and accessories has its own method of selecting shops with which to partner. Before shopping on such a platform, it’s important to make sure it has a way to ensure that its partner boutiques only sell authentic designer goods. For example, italist has curated more than 200 Italian boutique partners through our invitation-only program that culls from a database of designer brands’ authorized retailers. New boutiques are brought onboard with an on-site and video training program, and launch with us in trial mode until a good track record is established. We repeat training every quarter, and more often if necessary.

What steps are taken to ensure only authentic designer goods are sold?

When shopping via platforms that partner with boutiques rather than sourcing directly from designers, it’s important to make sure they have an authentication process in place. One of the key ways to do this is by visiting locations to inspect their products, and to review their purchasing process. 

“italist always performs an on-site inspection of potential new partners. We use a 50-point checklist to ensure the boutique is up to italist’s high standard of quality and service, and can maintain that standard over time,” says italist CEO Diego Abba. “We require each boutique partner to sign a contract that affirms merchandise sent to customers will be new, authentic, and in new condition.” We also subject partners to disciplinary action or removal from the platform if shipped items do not meet these requirements. 

In addition to running frequent checks to ensure that our partners haven’t had any issues with authenticity or quality, we regularly inspect our boutiques’ contracts with designer labels to verify that the retailers remain in good standing with manufacturers according to our contract requirements. Additionally, italist performs frequent stealth orders, acting as regular online shoppers, to confirm that boutiques adhere to our strict quality standards. 

Does the platform provide original, high-quality images and product descriptions?

Image quality can also be a key indicator of a legitimate seller of authentic luxury fashion. When shopping on a trustworthy platform, you’ll usually find original, high-quality images that show multiple angles and feature detailed product descriptions. At italist, we require our boutique partners to do just that for the more than 200,000 luxury designer products offered on the platform. We even provide our partners with on-site training around product images, descriptions and quality verifications. This training is designed to help them not only learn how to present their products on our platform, but also so they understand our rigorous requirements for ongoing quality control. 

Does the platform share its customer reviews?

A legitimate platform will always share its customer reviews. This not only helps other customers know what to expect, but also helps the e-tailer know where there are opportunities for improvement. italist both displays customer reviews on our site, and monitors them to ensure that boutique partners are maintaining our quality and authenticity standards. When we see a customer complaint, we research the issue and work with the boutique to resolve it. Boutiques that don’t comply with our quality requirements are fined for the first offense, and subsequently removed from our platform if these issues continue.  We’ll also retrain partners if we see problems in their performance. 

Is italist legitimate?

Yes! We go to great lengths to make sure our boutiques deliver authentic luxury fashions at the highest level of service, directly to you. We not only choose our boutique partners carefully, based on a rigorous review and training; we also continuously monitor our partners to make sure they maintain our high standards.

At italist, we are committed to providing a unique shopping experience that includes access to more than 1,000 brands and 200,000 authentic designer styles, from runway to ready-to-wear. Are you ready to say hello to smarter shopping?

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Shop italist for up to 30% off on over 150,000 up-to-the-minute luxury fashions for women, men, and kids from leading brands like Golden Goose, Fendi, Gucci, Miu Miu, and many more—direct from Italy’s finest boutiques to your door.

By: Nafeesa Saboor

Nafeesa is the founder and editor of Shoes N Booze, a blog that pairs shoes with cocktails and provides shoe and cocktail-related tips, trend information and reviews. Her writing has also been published in The Source Magazine, xoJane, Sisters from AARP and other publications.

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