A woman found her dream Prada shoes at Goodwill. She realized they were counterfeits after buying them for $300.

A woman found her dream Prada shoes at Goodwill. She realized they were counterfeits after buying them for $300.
A classic pair of Prada loafers.Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images
  • A TikToker thought she found her dream pair of Prada loafers at a Goodwill boutique for $300.
  • But she realized after buying them that the shoes were counterfeits.

Sometimes, the designer items you find at thrift stores really are too good to be true.

Maiya Mindoro, a TikToker, learned that the hard way after purchasing her dream pair of $1,200 Prada shoes at a Goodwill boutique for $300, only to realize later that they were counterfeits.

She first posted about her footwear find on Sunday, showing herself hugging black loafers adorned with the brand's famous triangle logo.

"POV you walk into a Goodwill in Denver + immediately find patent leather Prada loafers that are in perfect condition in your size," she wrote over the clip, referencing the curated secondhand shop Déjà Blue Boutique, which is operated by Goodwill of Colorado.

But when she posted a closer look at the shoes in a second video, many pointed out in the comment section that they appeared to be fake and looked more like knockoffs sold on websites such as DHgate.


@maiyamindoro Replying to @allidewan Deja Blue in Denver’s Cherry Creek North neighborhood It’s a curated @Goodwill Industries Intl. and I left with designer shoes both times I visited! #denverstyle #denveroutfitidea #nuulystyling #denverthrifting #goodwillfinds #denver #denveroutfit ♬ That Gworl - ADVNCE

Mindoro responded to the comments via a third video on Monday, saying she agreed that the shoes were counterfeit.

"Obviously, I knew there was a really high chance of them not being real because I got them from a Goodwill," she said in her video. "This is totally my fault, not the store's fault. They never claimed that they were authentic."

Mindoro added that she "looked past" details such as messy stitching because she was so excited to find a pair of designer shoes she'd long wanted for a discount.

She said she accepted her mistake after comparing the shoes with other Prada items she'd purchased directly from the brand. Specifically, she noticed clear differences in the logo nameplates, which are flat on authentic Prada items but often textured on counterfeit pieces.

"C'est la vie. It's definitely part of the risk of thrifting, and I literally have no one to blame but myself," Mindoro said, adding that she planned to keep the shoes at the time.

@maiyamindoro Replying to @C ♬ original sound - Maiya • Life in Denver

But in a final video on Tuesday, Mindoro said she brought the shoes back to Déjà Blue Boutique and received a full refund.

She also said in a comment to a viewer that store associates assured her the shoes wouldn't be sold again.

"We stand behind our merchandise at Goodwill," Stephanie Bell, a spokesperson for Goodwill of Colorado, told Business Insider. "So if that were to ever happen — where someone is buying an item that might have a designer label on it, and then upon further investigation, it turns out to not be a legitimate piece — of course, we'll take it back."

@maiyamindoro Replying to @Mark  ♬ original sound - Maiya • Life in Denver

Finding valuable items at thrift stores, estate sales, and other secondhand spots is not unheard of.

One woman discovered a coveted Ralph Lauren sweater at an estate sale last year and bought it for $10. Another person spent $2 on a necklace that resembled a Tide Pod at a thrift store that same year, and it turned out to be a rare art piece worth $3,000.


But counterfeit clothes, accessories, and other designer items are also common — something thrift stores have long been battling.

In 2019, it was reported that Goodwill had started using artificial intelligence to discover counterfeit luxury items sold across its online shop.

And because brick-and-mortar Goodwill stores are all operated independently, as Bell pointed out, each has its own process for authenticating goods.

Bell said employees at the Déjà Blue Boutique and other Goodwill of Colorado stores researched potential designer items individually.

"Our staff will do research online, just like the folks who commented on her TikTok," Bell told BI. "That's the kind of effort that our store team is doing as well. In this case, we missed the mark and made a human error, so we rectified it with the customer and made it right. And we hope she continues to shop with us."