I wrote this blog about a year ago and have waited to post it. To be honest, I was too embarrassed to divulge that Gina Mama received a counterfeit pair of Birkenstocks from a seller on Poshmark. However, I now realize that the information that I have to share is very important to my readers. I have nothing to be ashamed of since it was not my fault. I hope this blog will help you better distinguish authentic vs counterfeit Birkenstocks.
Last year, I had spent months scouring the internet to find a pair of Miramars to give as a gift to a friend. She desperately wanted a pair, but Birkenstock had sold out of her size. If you are a fan of Birkenstocks, you know that the black and cognac oiled leather Miramars sold out fast last year. And Birkenstock has since retired that style in those colors. So, when I found them on Poshmark, in her size, I snatched them. No second guessing on this purchase, they would be the perfect gift for my buddy.
I was so excited when they arrived. I rushed to the door to grab the box. As I leaned down to pick up the delivery, something was odd. The box reeked like toxic rubber. I wondered what the seller used to package the shipment. It smelled so bad that I did not even open the box inside, I took it straight to the backyard.
Upon opening the package, I spotted something that did not measure up to the listing. The blue Birkenstock box was smashed and the sticker on the box indicated that the Miramars were narrows. I did not order a narrow Miramar, I was fairly positive that I purchased regular width. I needed more data, so I continued my investigation.…
The Miramars were wrapped in stinky plastic. Birkenstock has never shipped me a pair of shoes in plastic wrap. Something was not adding up. Authentic Birkenstocks are always wrapped beautifully in custom Birkenstock tissue paper. Perhaps the seller lost the tissue paper and used plastic to prevent the buckles from scratching the leather during transit?
Then, as I unwrapped the sandals from the plastic, I quickly put two and two together. It was not the plastic wrap that created the odor, it was the “Miramars” that reeked!!! In fact, the plastic wrap smelled like roses and sunshine, compared to odor of the sandals. The seller shipped me FAKE BIRKENSTOCKS. The straps were rubber!!!
The straps were not only rubber, they were foul-smelling and thin. A non Birkenstock connoisseur could have been easily misled by these fakes because these were “good” fakes. Meaning they looked like a pair of Miramars….IF you have never seen an authentic pair of Birkenstocks in person!!
For a regular Birkenstock wearer, once you had these phony Miramars in your hand, you would know that there was nothing genuine about them!! Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. 100% fake!!! For those of us who wear Birkenstocks regularly, we know that Birkenstock straps are thick, durable, and made of the highest quality materials, not rubber. (Unless, of course, you order a pair Birkenstock EVA Essential sandals).
You might be asking yourself, Gina Mama, how did you know that they were knock offs? Well, the signs were as easy as pie to identify. Let’s take a gander at the fraudulent Birkenstocks and compare them to an authentic pair that I own.
1. They STINK!!!
2. The box has a fake sticker. The label says that the sandals are regular fit, but the picture shows a filled in foot, which, in the Birkenstock world, indicates a narrow footbed.
3. On the knock-off Miramars, the positioning of the foot symbol, the size, and the width are incorrect. Plus, the font, the color of the lettering, and the spacing are wrong as well. To top it off, the imprint of the wording is misaligned on the footbed. You can compare the differences here:
4. The EVA soles on the fake Birkenstocks look similar to my authentic pair, but the “Birk” imprint on the knock-off pair is larger in size compared to the authentic sole.
5. The forged big buckles look very much like the big buckles on the real pair of Miramars. But, the counterfeit buckle is too shiny and feels light and plasticy. The real giveaway here is the poor quality of the staples. The genuine pair of Birkenstocks uses high quality staples, the fake pair uses very flimsy and sharp metal, in the wrong color (the staple should match the buckle) to secure the buckle to the shoe.
6. I wish you could feel the fake Miramars. By touching these, one can easily determine that they are rubber vs touching the authentic pair that is made of thick, highly durable leather. Here are a few pictures, using a ruler, to illustrate the difference in the strap thickness. There is about 1mm difference in the thickness between the two pairs.
7. The counterfeit Miramars are very flimsy. The footbed of Birkenstocks are made with cork and should be sturdy. The footbed of an authentic Birkenstock should bend only a little bit. If you can bend the shoe from toe to heel, then it is a counterfeit. (This rule, of course, does not apply to Birkenstock EVA Essentital sandals).
8. The phony pair of Birkenstocks arrived with a plastic loop securing the Birkenstock card. Any Birkenstock wearer knows that Birkenstock never uses plastic to secure its tags to its shoes. Birkenstock is all about being environmentally friendly.
9. The weight of the authentic pair of Birkenstocks is less than the weight of the counterfeit pair. Just for fun, I used my scale to weigh each pair. The knock-off weighed an entire ounce more!
10. The logo on the sides of the knock-off pair is the wrong font, with incorrect spacing, and not evenly embedded on the shoe.
11. The most glaring piece of evidence that demonstrates that this is a counterfeit Miramar is the sizing translation. A Birkenstock size Euro 41 equates to a ladies 10 (L10) or a mens 8 (M8). The knock-off footbed simply reads L10.5. This screams “BOGUS BIRKS"!!!!
There are probably a few other tell tale signs that the Miramars from Poshmark are knock-offs. Can you find a few that I missed? I think that the eleven aforementioned points provide plenty of clues for you to better understand the difference between genuine and phony Birkenstocks.
Before I sent my complaint to Poshmark about receiving counterfeit Birkenstocks, I checked the seller’s listing. Do you think that the shoes pictured in the original listing were the same as the ones shipped to me? Negative. The seller must have used someone else’s photos for their listing and then mailed me the fakes.
I immediately requested a refund from Poshmark for the counterfeit Miramars. In fact, I requested a refund on the double!! But, in true Posh style, they took their sweet time reviewing my complaint. It took Posh nearly two weeks to review my complaint. In the end, they agreed that the Miramars were bogus and I was refunded my money.
Thank you Posh for the refund. However, I wish you had a speedier way to handle such situations, or even an 800 number for users to call to receive immediate assistance. The nice thing about eBay is that they have telephone assistance and their agents are actually really helpful (hint, hint).
I have not used Posh to buy or sell Birkenstocks since this experience. I did log on to Poshmark just the other day and noticed that there are tons of fake Birkenstocks on the app now. It is sad that the number of knock-offs has been growing steadily over the last few months. Buyers really need to be cautious and know what to look for when buying Birkenstocks secondhand.
If you need more tips and tricks for spotting bogus Birkenstocks, then I invite you to read my other blogs on this topic: