How to Spot a Fake Designer Bag

If you’re planning to or buying your first Louis Vuitton, Hermès or Coach, how do you know for sure it’s the real deal? Buying a high-end designer bag is serious business and often it is the smallest and seemingly insignificant details that’s the difference between a genuine product or a smart knock-off. We give you 11 tips to help you spot a fake designer bag:

1) Know the Source

First things first, be sure where you buy from. If you buy from the brand store, you have nothing to worry about. However, if you choose to buy pre-loved women bags, online or in consignment stores, make sure you buy from registered, reputed and professional companies or platforms. If they do not have a return policy and do not appear authentic, chances are their bags aren’t either. What is authentic? Read on.

2) Certificate of Authenticity

Do not be deceived by authenticity certificates, as not all designer brands provide them.. For instance, Chanel is a brand that offers authenticity cards, but Hermès does not. Keep in mind that if a designer bag can be easily replicated, so can an authenticity card! Do some research on whether the brand you’re buying issues authenticity certificates or not.

Authenticity-Card-Chanel-spot-a-fake-designer-bag
Chanel Authenticity Card

3) Be Realistic About the Price on Offer

Designer bags are expensive because they are extremely well crafted with material of impeccable quality. If the price is too good to be true, be wary. For example, the Louis Vuitton bag cost for the monogram Mahina Leather Cirrus is 5,690 AED. However, price alone is not the guarantor of acquiring a genuine designer bag. You must make sure that you pay attention to all the finer details as well.

4) Check the Material

If you are looking to buy women’s clutches or women everyday bags, make sure the material of the bag you have chosen matches the respective style of the brand. For example, famous brands do not use rough leather but use high quality, fine material. The leather trims should not feel slippery, oily or sticky. The material can tell you a lot about the bag’s quality.

5) A Stitch in time saves you Money

Whether you choose to buy Alexander Wang, Michael Kors or a top end Hermès, every designer brand has a signature stitch that is unique to that particular brand. Identifying and analyzing this aspect is a great method of authentication. The stitching should not be slanted, sloppy or uneven. Other indicators that the bag is counterfeit are if the stitching changes in colour, is frayed or knotted, or has any other noticeable visual defects.

6) Ponder over the Print

Inspecting the signature print is another key to knowing if your bag is authentic. Brands like Fendi, Louis Vuitton or Gucci are well known for their monogram designs. Observe the nuances of the print and how it appears on a specific style of bag. For example, the print starts and ends with the same symbol for a LV Speedy. A counterfeit bag is not likely to have this kind of precision. Also, notice the spellings, they should be rightly printed both on the interior and exterior.

7) Lining and Pockets

Like they say the devil is in the details, so do check the lining and pockets. A designer bag will be well lined and any imperfections, distortions are a dead giveaway. The lining of a Prada bag for example, will never be in a contrasting color and will have a perfectly matched lining and exterior. Similarly with pockets, counterfeit bags may miss or add extra pockets. Carefully observe them for tell tale signs when buying your chosen women hobos or any other bags.

8) Tags or Labels

Your coveted Hermès bag was a costly purchase, and you certainly want value for your money. The tags and labels are always a giveaway, so always check them. Notice if the inside tags are hand stitched or stamped into the leather, if the brand name is spelt correctly and also check if the brand includes an authenticity label on the outside of the bag.

9) Hardware

All designer bags, right from 3.1 Philip Lim bags, Asprey Bags to a Hermès Birkin pay special attention to buttons, buckles, zipper pulls, metal clasps, locks and other hardware. The quality is always impeccable and may typically have a number or name engraved on them. This is another sign of authenticity and quality. The hardware should not lose its shine and zipper handles that do not appear sturdy definitely indicate a fake bag.

10) Brand Name

It can happen that we are too busy checking out other things that we may seem to miss the obvious, the brand name or the logo. It usually is a slip-up area for fakes. The counterfeiters print the brand name in a different font, misspell, or in write it in fudgy letters.

11) Serial Number

The serial number is one of the most vital aspects of authenticity. The number along with the label is sealed in a distinctive way, which makes it impossible to remove it without causing damage to the bag. You can distinguish the two in that a fake bag would probably just have a printed serial number somewhere on the inside.

When you buy your dream bag, take the time to research and understand the unique attributes of the brand and specifically the bag. Designer bags are a long-term investment and with these tips, you can confidently flaunt yours in style, knowing it was well worth the cost!

Search, select and own the latest designer labels like Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Piaget, Chanel and more, at up to 70% off. That’s not all, we offer a lifetime authenticity guarantee for all of our items. Go ahead, shop now!

Liked our tips on how to spot a fake designer bag? Let us know in the comments section!

Swati Talwar

Global Content and India Office Head

Seasoned lover of the written word. Travel junkie and Hogwarts alumni. Currently composing notes for the upcoming fashion week. You can also call me Licorne Magique (don't ask me why!).

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