There's been lots of talk in the past few months about flash sales sites shilling fake or grey market merchandise. However, we never expected HauteLook, one of the most respectable--and successful--sites around, to be caught up in this mess.
Cartier, which is owned by luxury conglomerate Richemont, is suing the Los Angeles-based company for over $2 million, first reported this morning on SheFinds. According to court documents obtained by Fashionista--some of which you can review below--the Cartier watches sold by HauteLook are secondhand. One of Hautelook's selling points is that they work directly with the brands, and that they sell new--not used--merchandise, so Cartier feels that HauteLook has made false claims when it comes to the brand.
To be clear, Cartier has not accused HauteLook of selling out-n-out fake products.
Could this be a case of a big company picking on a little company? Surely. But false claims are serious. We don't feel so bad for Cartier, but we feel bad for HauteLook's customers.
We reached out to HauteLook--for now, they have no comment. If we hear more from them, we'll let you know.