How to Spot A Fake Designer Bag

The consignment stores where you find the treasures for a fraction of their prices are often also full of high-fashion knock-offs, made to offset the store’s own costs. Linda Lightman, CEO of Linda’s Stuff, has a rather well-researched list of ways to spot a fake and authenticate the real designer handbags.

How to Spot A Fake Designer Bag

You have been diligently watching all the fashion shows. You have seen all the new designer bags that are actually real and you covet them. You have also been watching the street fashion trends and noticed that perhaps some of the bags may not be the actual designer’s but a knock-off, albeit a great one that costs a lot.

I have one like that, a pretty little Prada purse that cost me upwards of $200, but wherein the real version may have set me back around $1000. Sometimes we want the brand name and even the quality, but cannot afford to pay such steep prices and opt for the perfect fakes.

However, sometimes those perfect fakes are sold to us in the guise of a true designer handbag and we are left feeling duped the moment we realize what has gone wrong. We cannot tell if they are real or fake most of the time when the duplicity is perfectly executed.

With these easy tips, you’ll finally know how to spot a fake designer handbag and spend your money on the authentic one!

Prada Bags

So, what exactly should you be looking for when you are buying Prada handbags?

1. Is the plaque firmly attached and the stitching all around evenly done? If not, you may have a fake.

2. Are the zippers embossed on the back side? They should include “YKK” or “RiRi” or “Lampo” or “Opti” or “Ipi”.

3. Does the “R” have a curved leg? If not, it is a fake.

4. Did you notice that the internal plaque matches the interior fabric of the bag, or perhaps the leather patch has four rivets? That is something important.

5. Can you find the company logo on every piece of hardware included? If not, it is not a very good fake either.

6. Did you find a white tag with numbers in an interior pocket? That should be there if it is the real deal.

Balenciaga Bags

What should you be looking for when you are buying Balenciaga handbags?

1. Is the interior label either embossed leather or engraved metal, with the style number on the front or back side of the flap?

2. You will also find the tail end stating Paris on the stamped logo of the flap. Does it have a period or underscore in between? If not, you may be looking at a fake.

3. Do the rivets at the back of the handles have notches? That should generally be the case, while the hardware should be nice and secure.

4. Is there a “Lampo” stamp at the back of the zipper? There should be and the zipper should also be soldered closed, a trick of the trade that the Balenciaga house utilizes.

Chanel Bags

What should we be looking for when buying Chanel handbags?

1. Are there brand markings on the turn locks? If you cannot find them, it signifies a knock-off, and a bad one at that for missing such an obvious sign.

2. Can you tell the age of the bag with the type of zipper it has? It should be consistent; as it appears, each year the zippers have a different look.

3. Does the quilting appear to be perfect, with pocket stitches matching seamlessly with the body? If not, you’ve been duped. Chanel loves its quilting and would never do a sloppy job there.

4. Is there a foil interior label that matches the hardware color? It should always be there and be centered with even spacing, as the fakes will be missing this aspect of the bag altogether if they are badly done, or will not often be matching if they are good.

5. Can you find the hologram that is located inside every single Chanel bag? It is an awesome way to make sure that your Chanel bag is truly authentic. A knock-off might follow all the other codes but fail in this space.

How to Spot A Fake Designer Bag

Louis Vuitton Bags

What to look for when buying Louis Vuitton handbags:

1. Can you find the date codes around the bag? There may be a problem is you cannot.

2. Is the company logo on every part of the hardware the bag comes with? This ensures that no part of the bag has been interchanged.

3. Have you noticed anything unsymmetrical about the monogram? If so, it is not a real one for the designer loves symmetry and we love those perfectly done up lines.

4. Do you have time to count the stitching? You should have the same number appearing in similar locations of the bag, while it should all be very even and symmetrical.

5. Does your bag show signs of aging? That means it is real leather and not the synthetic used by knock-offs to prevent that from happening around the handles.

Gucci Bags

This is what you should look for when buying Gucci bags:

1. Is there a “Made in Italy” statement printed underneath the Gucci label? Is it cleanly done? Chances are that the piece will not be from anywhere else, so this is a good way to prove its authenticity.

2. Have you noticed prints on the leather? The Guccissima leather should only be embossed on, so you might have a fake in your hands. Also make sure that the stitching is perfect and the leather trim shows quality.

3. Does the “G” on the logo canvas appear to be uneven? It should never be so, instead offering clean curves and lines to ensure it is real.

4. Does the “2” in the top number identifying the number of the bag have curly cues on top? Is it 6 digits long? If not, ask for a refund soon enough, before your time to do so expires.

5. Can you find the company logo somewhere on every piece of hardware? While it may appear annoying, this is one of the best ways to ensure that every part of that bag is truly authentic.

Hermes Bags

How to know if your Hermes bag is authentic:

1. Have they used only fine leather, stated on the bag itself? Fake version will use coarser materials and that is something you can feel automatically when you touch for proof.

2. Is the hardware gold plated? It can also be palladium, but chances are they won’t use anything else on the real.

3. Is there a problem with the spindle closure? The real pieces are smooth and won’t cause a hassle.

4. Does it appear as if the nails have been done by hand and can you find the logo on every piece of hardware? When it comes to nailing things down, Hermes does it by hand and not machine. You should be able to tell the difference rather quickly.

5. Does the metallic foil the logo stamp is printed on match the hardware coloring? This is a major indicator in of itself as that metal foil might not exist at all, or it would be an entirely different coloring.

6. Can you find the blind stamp that should be at the back of the belting? Fakes often miss on this huge little detail.

Coach Bags

What to look for to make sure your Coach bag is real:

1. Are the C letters of the logo evenly lined an all sides? If there is even a bit of crookedness, you are looking at a fake. The logo should also appear on every piece of hardware.

2. Where is the bag made? Usually it should state that it is in Italy, but you may also find China or another country, so this may not be the best indicator to look at.

3. Is there a serial number embossed on the inside, on a square patch of leather that has been sewn into the lining? There should be a number or number & leather combination, wherein the last four or five digits indicate the style number. You can easily check through that online.

4. Does it appear as if there is a break in transition when there is a pocket involved? If so, you might want to get that checked again. The stitching should also be very even throughout the piece.

Marc Jacobs Bags

You may also want to buy a Marc Jacobs handbag. If you do, ask these questions while checking to make sure it is real:

1. Is there a “RiRi” or “Lampo” embossed on the backside of the zipper? Can you find the Marc Jacobs logo on there as well? These are very important and no piece is without them.

2. Is the metal nameplate directly attached to the bag? When they are fake, a piece of leather is used underneath to make sure it sticks properly.

3. Does it say “Made in Italy” anywhere on the place or within the inner pocket? Chances are that the pieces are not made anywhere else so this is a very good indicator of real versus fake bags.

4. Do all the outer pockets have a suede lining? This is a favourite by Marc Jacobs so it makes for a very good indicator as well.

Photos courtesy of The Blonde Salad, Negin Mirsalehi

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