A woman shared her experience buying a bag at a leather market in Italy. Spoiler alert: she found the same one on Amazon.
TikToker Catlin (@catlintran) issued a public service announcement to those traveling to Italy. “Check on Amazon before you purchase any handbags from those leather markets or the street markets,” she said. Then, she unveiled her lime-green leather crescent handbag. To her dismay, she found the bag while scrolling through Amazon, though she thought it was “handmade” and only available in Italy. To add insult to injury, Catlin bought her souvenir for $60. It was $32 on Amazon (though the link she provided in her bio lists the item as $52.99). “I thought I was getting a good deal,” she said. “Because originally, this was $70.”
Despite the mishap, Catlin said the bag was still her “prized possession.” Nevertheless, she reiterated her warning. “Before you buy any bags in Italy, one: Check with all the vendors there. They’re gonna be different prices. Two: Check on Amazon. If you can get it on Amazon, don’t get it in Italy,” she concluded.
During an interview with The Daily Dot, Catlin revealed that her purchase occurred at Mercato Del Porcellino in Florence, Italy. This was the first time she had been duped while traveling.
“There was no name to the street vendor. His little booth was one of the many at the market. I negotiated for a lower price by telling him I’d pay X amount for the bag and see if he would agree,” she shared via TikTok direct message. “I bought multiple bags from him and asked for a discounted price based on bundling. I only agreed to buy the bags once I felt the price was fair enough compared to the other vendors.”
The content creator said she came across a bag on Amazon that looked exactly like the one she purchased in Italy. Then, she did an Amazon Image Search. Again, she reinforced her advice.
“Never buy anything immediately, always look around to check the prices of bags because most vendors will have similar styles but price them differently,” she said. “Also, use Google Lens or the Amazon Image Search to make sure you aren’t buying a dupe.”
The video racked up over 235,000 views, and several viewers pointed out that both the Italian and Amazon bags were actually dupes of the Toni Mini by Osoi.
@catlintran If yall want the link to the amazon one lmk because someone should buy it and we can compare if theyre really the same #italyleatherbag #italianmarkets #italianmarket #amazondupesfinds #amazondupefind #handbag #handbags #leatherhandbag ♬ original sound – Catlin
“Girl that’s bc you bought a dupe. That’s an Osoi bag,” one viewer wrote.
“These are fakes of the original OSOI Toni bag. Which is made in South Korea,” a second said.
Other viewers offered advice on how Catlin could’ve avoided being misled.
“You gotta buy bags from artisnal leather shops! Usually they’ll have their brand/ name stamped on it and won’t be sold by street vendors,” one viewer recommended.
“The mistake was buying a bag at a street market. I love them too but it’s going to be for really cheap stuff,” a second wrote.
“And this is why u google reverse image search everything,” a third stated.
Additionally, many viewers resonated with Catlin’s experience.
“I was in south of France and got a cute bag from a small boutique in a small village thinking this bag is made in France it was an LA base company,” one commenter shared.
“Mexico too! Went into an ‘artisanal’ store. expensive sun hats but accidentally found one with the original cheap tag they bought it from,” a second recalled.
In an article about common scams tourists should avoid in Italy, Culture Trip advises against buying souvenirs “on the streets where vendors sell fake products at good prices. If you are caught with a ‘knock-off’ bag, you can be charged with a €10.000 fine by police.”