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Goodwill robots will now confirm if that secondhand Gucci bag is real

Goodwill robots will now confirm if that secondhand Gucci bag is real
[Photo: pawel szvmanski/Unsplash]

The second season of Donald Glover’s Atlanta featured a memorable middle-school flashback episode revolving around a possibly fake Fubu shirt. Now, Goodwill is enlisting artificial intelligence to try to make sure that every luxury item sold in its online stores is authentic.

Goodwill is implementing Entrupy’s artificial intelligence-based solution to guarantee the authenticity of luxury accessories sold through the nonprofit’s auction site, shopgoodwill.com. Entrupy’s program uses machine learning algorithms and computer-vision technology to verify items with a 99.1% accuracy rate.

According to a press release, the company’s ever-growing database includes millions of data points from real and fake goods for 100 years of styles from brands including Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Celine, Chanel, Chloe, Coach, Dior, Fendi, Goyard, Gucci, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and YSL/Saint Laurent. They hope to add more product categories for authentication in Q1 2019.

When they see a luxury item of questionable origin–say, a Burberry plaid “Bottega Veneta” handbag–Goodwill employees will use a proprietary scanner and mobile app to verify the item. If it passes the AI’s authentication process, it will get listed on the site and earn some much-needed revenue for Goodwill’s good deeds. Each verified item will receive an Entrupy Certificate of Authenticity and financial guarantee, making it easier for shoppers to trust that the Fubu or Gucci or Louis Vuitton that they are buying on shopgoodwill.com is not just a piece of plastic printed with interlocking LVs.

It’s all in the hopes of returning trust to the secondhand luxury marketplace, which is not known for consumer confidence (and for good reason). Feel free to spend your free time trolling shopgoodwill.com to see if some billionaire has donated an Hermès Kelly bag—or some guaranteed real Fubu—to the nonprofit.

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