Buying a counterfeit bag is the biggest crime for any fashionista; seriously, any woman who knows her fashion will not be caught dead with a fake designer bag. In the fashion bible, purchasing a counterfeit bag is like a sin. But what if the differences are not noticeable, you ask? Trust us, they are, and any trendsetter will smell it from a mile away. Though it has gotten tougher to spot out the fakes, because of an advancement in technology, those who know their designers will immediately figure it out.
What often happens, is that people want to desperately get their hands on a Chanel or Louis Vuitton, and so, they make their way to the black market to see if a seller is willing to bargain and sell them a bag that is almost identical to a designer luxe handbag. However tempting it may seem, you're only making the situation worse for yourself, as you're dishing out money for something that is not real; it is not genuine leather, the designer name is not genuine, and neither is the look or feel. The caveat of designer handbags is that they're expensive, and we totally understand, but that does not mean you will get away with a knockoff. Now, since the counterfeit market is increasing, as people have become savvier, it is nearly impossible to recognize fake ones for some people. Therefore, we have created this guide to help you find the "real deals" aka. the real designer purses.
20 Do Research
The skill and effort to craft luxury handbags is evidently unmatched to those from the second-hand market, and we do not want you to end up with a fake LV that you thought was real. To avoid fashion fraud, this tip, is simple, just do your research. We know in this day and age, women are pressured to have that Gucci bag, but make sure you know those bags from the inside and out. Get familiar with the bag by constantly checking it out in person in a designer boutique; feeling it and analyzing all the details will help avoid the mastered counterfeits.
19 Pay Attention To The Selling Price
If you're shopping to find your new luxury possession, then be realistic and wary. One way to instantly spot a counterfeit is by its asking price. If you're looking to buy the Chanel Boy, that sells for between $4,000 and $5,000, and someone approaches you with one that they are offering to you for $200, then there is no way it is the real deal. It is probably an identical look-a-like, but the price itself gives away the fact that it is a phony Chanel.
18 Watch Out For Plastic
Besides the enormous fake Cs for Chanel plastered all over the black market replicas, another way we can advise you to spot out the super fakes is by looking out for plastic, like above. This is one cue that will instantly make you spot the counterfeits from the real products. If you find yourself shopping in New York City and come across a LV with plastic covering the handles, then run away. No luxury designer brand covers the handles of their leather crafted handbags with plastic.
17 Check For A Code
There are scores of imitation Guccis, Louis Vuittons, Chanels, and Michael Kors handbags flooding the market. However, Gucci quickly caught on, and in recent years have started putting in their purses a code tag that carries a QR code.
With this code, it is very easy to quickly identify if it is a real Gucci handbag, especially if it is a recent model,
which it most likely would be as counterfeiters are keeping up with the new models and trends. Make sure that QR code is there!
16 Check the Trim
After all, counterfeit bags are a theft; they are stealing a form of art technically. You can't fake fashion, and people who are familiar with their fashion houses will know that taking a glimpse at the trim of the handbag is a telltale sign.
If you have an event with socialites, we suggest leaving your fake purse at home as checking the trim is easy for others to do.
Or even before buying a luxury good, make sure to check for wax casing that is applied to cover the exposed edges of the purse ― if it is sloppy, it ain't real.
15 Check For Hangtags
The artisans at luxury designer brands provide exceptional craftsmanship, and the one thing they don't provide with handbags is a hangtag. These bags are way too opulent to come with a hangtag; no one wants to see a hangtag sticking out when they are shopping at designer boutiques, it isn't aesthetically pleasing.
So, if your boyfriend comes home one day and claims he bought you a Louis Vuitton Speedy and it has a leather swatch hangtag, it is not legit.
For reference, check out the fake one above.
14 Look Carefully At The Shape
It is not only our body shapes that we should inspect, but also the shape of handbags, and if the handbag is the real deal, you'll love the shape of it. A luxury handbag is perfected from inside, to outside and to its stance. Yes, a luxury handbag is kind of like a person that has perfect posture. To tell if your designer goodie is real, or to spot a fake, simply inspect the shape of the bag by looking at it. If the bag is standing tall or pronounced and isn't slouching, it's the real thing.
13 Smell The Handbag
One way to instantly distinguish a real from a fake is by using your sense of smell. Yes, it is not only dogs that could sniff what is good and what is bad. Those who own a designer bag, or are familiar with them, will know very well that the smell of genuine leather does not fade away. Not only that, but it is easy to distinguish the smell of real leather from any other fabric. If you get a whiff of glue or synthetic materials, it is a fake.
12 Check The Writing Inside
Artisans would never let any sloppiness slide; they work on each and every bag like it is their precious child. One obvious sign of a fake could be easily found inside, and if you have a good eye for straight lines, you'll hit this "faux" on the nose. Some counterfeiters get a little lazy and will make obvious mistakes on the inside that any fashion enthusiast can easily point out. Pay attention, if the writing is crooked and not in a straight line, it is a replica.
11 Inspect The Stitching
It is daunting to navigate the luxury handbag market now because of all the fakes but inspecting the stitching will right away validate its authenticity. For one, an artisan will certainly not leave the finishing on the bag, so if you see that, close your eyes, it is a fashion sin.
If the stitching is in any way uneven, faded, sloppy or slanted, an artisan did not craft this designer bag.
The stitching is always perfectly even, so do not be fooled.
10 Check The Zipper
When it comes to verifying if a bag is from the black market, it is all the minor details that count to spot one out, like zippers. A zipper could be an instant cue to differentiate the real luxury handbags from the fake.
As we've previously mentioned, it is artisans that are preciously crafting each designee handbag separately, and since they are skilled professionals, there are no errors.
Therefore, performing a zipper test could be a red flag; if the zipper pulls smoothly across the bag without any bumps or unequal tension, it is real.
9 Feel The Leather
Besides knowing the smell of leather, knowing the feel and look of leather is also a plus in being able to properly identify a real from a fake. Whether you're looking into getting your hands on a luxurious handbag or to spot out if someone has a replica Gucci is easy when knowing and understanding the quality of leather. First off, leather cannot be faked; real leather has a soft but dry feel to it, and those counterfeit bags will look and feel sticky and oily. It does not take an expert to figure that one out.
8 All Hardware Should Be Verified
If you're paying over $1,000 for a designer handbag, then the hardware should be as heavy as the money you're using to purchase it, and it is. You may not necessarily go up to a woman and feel if the hardware on her designer bag is heavy or not, but before buying one, you can easily test that out.
Clasps and closures on a real designer bag are the most evident factors.
It may be alluring to go for a bargain, but if the hardware on the designer bag is not the same colour and finish, it ain't much of a bargain after all.
7 Be Wary When Shopping Online
For years now, Gucci has been helplessly trying to take down as many Gucci counterfeit handbags as possible, and though they have, some savvy counterfeiters keep popping up. That being said, it is vital to be cautious and use common logic when shopping online.
Hint: Most fashion houses have their own outlets for previous collections that did not sell.
Therefore, if you come across a website that is selling many units of the same designer bag, it is theft of art.
6 How To Spot A Fake Chanel
When it comes to the pristine French fashion house Chanel, the C logo could be an instant giveaway between a real Chanel and a terrible "faux pas." Every fashionista knows that the Cs are interlocked, but, in the vintage and the new Chanels, one thing has remained true: the right facing C should cross over the left facing C at the top, and under the left facing C on the bottom. The Cs should also be screwed to the flap with flathead screws or six-sided star screws. Besides the Chanel Cs, the quilting should be perfectly symmetric, if not it's a knockoff.
5 How To Distinguish A Real Gucci From A Fake
There is nothing more powerful than holding a Gucci purse. The Italian fashion house crafts their handbags with many specifics that could easily make one distinguish a real from a replica. And one telltale sign is the pockets; by carefully gazing at the pockets by studying the cut of the leather you will instantly know. The interior zippered pocket, if the model has one, should be cut the exact same way all around the pocket. In here, you can find the inside tag with the label that says GUCCI followed by 'Made in Italy' and a 4- or 6-digit serial number stamped on the leather tag.
4 How To Spot A Real Hermès Birkin
The Hermès Birkin right now, is the most powerful fashion statement you can make; these handbags are the ultimate opulence, with the only caveat being its price tag. And you know what that means? A higher demand in the black market. To verify if the Hermès bag you are checking out is real, glimpse at the hardware, and it should be either gold or palladium, and they should be nailed on the 4 corners. And since each handbag is crafted by one artisan, his or her name should be faintly stamped on the back of the belting.
3 Verify The Serial Number
Sounds easy to fake a serial number, right? Certainly, but designers are one step ahead of the savvy counterfeiters. After all, it is the serial number that is the main validation mark on an entire purse.
And because Gucci is on the hunt for all counterfeiters, they now offer a service where you can instantly verify the serial number of a handbag to know if it is authentic or not.
Since these luxury brands employ skilled artisans, they make sure to seal and attach the number in a very specific way that makes it impossible to remove without damaging the purse.
2 Check Out The Louis Vuitton Letters
The monogram of the Louis Vuitton handbags makes it until this day the most counterfeited, replicated and most found handbag in the black market. The worst of all, is that many women walk around with an LV bag that does not even exist. Counterfeiters made up their own styles and colours of Vuitton purses, so be sure to verify that your purse is an existing one. One thing the French fashion house is extremely particular about is the Os in Louis Vuitton; the Os should be perfectly round in shape, without the slightest resemblance to an oval — if it's not a perfect O, it ain't an LV.
1 How To Spot A Fake From A Real Prada
One designer brand that is on top of their game in wiping the counterfeiters out is Prada. Why? Prada uses quality hardware and the name is plastered all over it, to make those fake Pradas be gone. By quickly investigating the zippers, you can figure out right away if what you have in your hands is real or is a complete knockoff.
Prada uses specific zipper brands, and if the name Lampo, Ykk, Riri, Opti and Ipi is not carved in on the back side of the zipper, either inform the person with the fake Prada or toss it away.
It's a small little detail, but it makes a Prada a, well, Prada.