Goodwill Is Getting Into the Luxury Authentication Game

If you’re buying luxury accessories secondhand, you want to be sure you’re getting the real deal — and now Goodwill wants to make sure you are, thanks to new authentication tools.

The Orange County, Calif.-based nonprofit, which supports programs like job training and professional certifications for people with disabilities or other barriers to employment, is partnering with the AI-powered authentication solution Entrupy to enable workers in 125 Goodwill agencies across the country to establish luxury donations as genuine on the spot before listing them online.

On Shopgoodwill.com, the pieces are then listed for auction with an Entrupy certificate, which provides a financial guarantee of authenticity for one year from the date of purchase. The program uses microscopic surface images from tens of thousands of styles to analyze materials and verify individual items.

The service works with a select list of designers, including Louis Vuitton, Dior, Balenciaga and Gucci, and only authenticates handbags and small leather goods, but according to a press release, additional product categories are planned for 2019.

“Over the years, Shopgoodwill.com has benefited from our local community’s generous donations of high-end items. At the same time, we’ve witnessed ‘caveat emptor’ firsthand, and that skepticism keeps us from maximizing the full value of that generosity,” Ryan Smith, senior director of online operations at Shopgoodwill.com, said in a statement. “With the Entrupy Certificate of Authenticity, shoppers can feel confident about their transaction and great about themselves, because their purchase benefits the Goodwill mission to change lives through the power of work.”

As counterfeits have improved to the point where many are virtually undetectable to the untrained eye, authentication has become increasingly essential for online marketplaces dealing in luxury goods, whether they’re selling rare, $1,000+ sneakers on consignment or $200 donated Gucci totes.

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