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Authentic products

Hi everyone,
I was wondering if anyone knew of any websites where I could buy authentic made in Europe products or apps that would point me to stores where they don't sell knock offs or cheap made in china souvenirs once I'm there (I'm travelling to Italy /Germany & France)?

Thanks!
Matt

Posted by
16729 posts

Matt, are you looking for any particular type of thing?

I like visiting craft stores and craft markets. Practically all those countries have locally-produced ceramics, and at craft-y street markets you'll see locally-made fiber goods, leather items, jewelry, etc., and you'll often be buying from the person who made them.

Posted by
3 posts

I'm looking for products that are from the surrounding regions. Nice dishes/ceramic or nice leather products in Florence. I would like quality items though, not hand-made "etsy" style home made bracelets. My concern is how do you know if it's authentic if it's just a street vendor? If it's from a store, do they typically offer to ship it back for you? I can't picture myself hauling around nice murano glassware or Delft dishware while I travel without it breaking.

Thanks for the help!
Matt

Posted by
16729 posts

Some shops (especially high-end shops targeting tourists) will ship; others probably don't want to be bothered. Shipping costs on heavy or bulky items will probably be a lot higher than you are expecting. However, on expensive items, you may save enough by shopping at a store that doesn't charge VAT on exported goods to offset much or all of the shipping cost.

You need to be careful about buying things you cannot carry away with you. There are occasional reports of fraud, with the object you selected and paid for not being the one shipped. For expensive purchases, it would be worthwhile to Google the name of the store as a precaution.

The Italian postal system used to have quite a bad reputation; things went in and were never seen again. I have no idea whether that situation continues; I hope not. In any case, you should be sure your shipments are insured against loss and theft.

Posted by
872 posts

For ceramics in Florence, I have been VERY pleased with the selection at La Botteghina del Ceramista. I have shopped there at least six times over the last 20 years. They carefully curate the best ceramics chosen from top artists in Deruta, and other area towns. They know the artists and can talk to you about the styles and history of the designs. They will also wrap carefully for you to take with you or will ship. It's a small shop, but the very best in Florence (quality and prices are both better than shops closer to the Uffizi and Ponte Vecchio). Address; via Guelfa, 5r. Simply walk up v. Camillo Cavour from the Duomo, turn left on Guelfa, and it will be soon on your left. You can look at a few pictures and other reviews on tripadvisor.

Posted by
151 posts

I used to work for a French owned company in the US, and at the time, had a French boss. She'd gone back home for a vacation and when she came back, I asked her something about buying a knock off Chanel bag or something of the sort. She advised that fake goods in FR of ANY kind are,of course, banned, but not only is the manufacturer/seller charged,fined, etc., but so is the PURCHASER... so consequently, at least 15 years ago, there were very,very few fake goods in France...

Posted by
2648 posts

There is a leather school in Florence. You can view their wares on their online shop, but they are simple and might fall into your 'etsy' definition (which I find rather offensive. Etsy is just a platform for small volume craftspeople to sell their handmade wares. It doesn't have to mean inferior product. I do not have an Etsy account, so no sour grapes).
You will have to hunt and search for original made in Venice Venetian Glass as there are plenty of suspect providers.
Otherwise lurk on the TripAdvisor destination specific forums for your cities of choice or use their search features for specific items of interest.