Could Balenciaga Sue BeyondtheRack.com For Selling Unauthorized Merchandise?

It's hard to keep track of the seemingly countless sample sale sites that promise designer labels and luxury brands at deep discounts. But can you trust them? After hearing that La Lohan (red flag!) had purchased a "beautiful" Balenciaga bag at BeyondTheRack.com, reader Madeleine asked Balenciaga if the site was authorized to sell the luxury brand's merch.
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Leah Chernikoff
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It's hard to keep track of the seemingly countless sample sale sites that promise designer labels and luxury brands at deep discounts. But can you trust them? After hearing that La Lohan (red flag!) had purchased a "beautiful" Balenciaga bag at BeyondTheRack.com, reader Madeleine asked Balenciaga if the site was authorized to sell the luxury brand's merch.
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It's hard to keep track of the seemingly countless

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BeyondTheRack.com countered with a tweet: "Even if not officially 'authorized', all we sell is authentic."

Suspicious, no?

Blogger Vicky Sullivan had a similar experience wrangling with site Sassy City Chicks for selling what what she believed to be fake Fendi bags. "I didn't actually buy the Fendi because I knew that there was no way it was real...it was fake immediately because it was too shiny and rough to the touch," says Sullivan. Luckily, Haute Life PR, the company who runs Sassy City Chicks, has been responsive. President Isela Blair emailed Sullivan to say that her vendors "have never been accused of having fake merchandise," and that she "takes this information very seriously," and is looking into the allegations.

And as this morning's settlement between Fendi and Filene's illustrates, even established discount retailers like Filene's Basement can't always be trusted to sell authentic luxury brands--at least not directly from the retailer. Fendi settled with Filene's Basement for $2.5 million over allegations that the retailer sold counterfeit Fendi, reports the AP.

Earlier this year, the luxury brand was awarded $4.7 million from Burlington Coat Factory and co-defendant Cohoes Fashion Inc. for violating an injunction which prohibited Burlington from selling Fendi without permission, according to WWD.

So what's your take? Do you trust these lesser known sites?

We've reached out to Balenciaga and Haute Life PR and will update with any responses throughout the day.

UPDATE: Isela Blair, President of Haute Life PR wrote in with the following statement: "Sassy City Chicks acted swiftly and contacted the exhibitor that Ms. Sullivan alleges sold fake merchandise...The exhibitor has been very willing to provide purchase slips proving the authenticity of her merchandise and vehemently denies that any of her products are fake."