I contacted Castira for authentication of a Gucci handbag that I purchased on Ebay because I was not sure if it was real or not. After paying $6 for the service, Castira emails me that the item is not authentic. I asked her how she came to this determination and I never heard from her again!!! How professional???
Any moron can give an opinion whether they think something is authentic or not, it's the reasons that led them to their decision that determines whether they can be trusted and believed and can be considered an authority on the subject.
Although this "service" only cost $6.00, I received absolutely nothing that I could use. She provided no reasoning for her decision. What am I supposed to tell the seller? Your bag is fake because Castira said so? If this person collects $6.00 from one thousand people, that's $6000.00 she's "earned" for doing absolutely nothing. She collects this fee through PayPal who offers NO PROTECTION for services not received!!! That's right, if you pay for any service through PayPal and don't receive the service, they will do nothing. So, once you've paid, she is not obligated to give you anything and you have no recourse!
This service is a scam operation because this person is claiming to be able to tell if something is authentic by viewing a picture of it and never physically seeing or handling the item. Sure, this may be possible with some things, but not with everything. How often is she wrong??? I'm assuming plenty, judging by this disclaimer on the website: "Although everything possible is done to ensure the opinions rendered are accurate, there is always a small possibility of error. We cannot be held responsible for any loss resulting from the opinion rendered".
She feels QUALIFIED to make these determinations based on "over 15 years of studying, collecting, buying, and selling Gucci". Well, I have been buying Gucci handbags for the past 22 years and have quite a collection, does this make me an authority???
Many people swear by her and she comes highly recommended from the purse forum. But in my experience, she was unprofessional, unresponsive, vague and not concerned with providing at least mediocre customer service. To make sure that I was not over analyzing the situation, I sent a request for another authentication and she responded to that immediately.
In the future, I definitely would not use this service again, nor will I recommend it to anyone and will simply not purchase any items from any auction that are high-risk to counterfeiting. This has been my experience and I am making it available so that others can be informed and can decide for themselves whether this service would be of any value to them or not.