Where To Find The Knock Offs
Unfortunately, fake handbags are everywhere. You can find them in flea markets, thrift stores, in the trunk of a street vendor’s car, and even on Ebay. Some vendors even advertise their merchandise as replicas and people will still purchase them. After all, fake fashion is a multi billion dollar business because everyone is looking for a deal. Women are especially susceptible to being lured into the purchase of a fake handbag because, in the majority of cases, they just don’t know what to look for. A tip: If you are seeing a large quantity of the same type of designer handbags being offered for sale at one location, then chances are good that they are fakes. Additionally, it would be wise to avoid looking for designer handbags in Asian markets as they are notorious for selling knock offs.
The Straps And Handles
Fake purse manufacturers are making it increasingly difficult to be able tell the difference between a knock off and the real thing. However, there are certain tell-tale signs that every handbag consumer can be on the lookout for. For example, I located a Louis Vuitton canvass bag for $30 at my local thrift store and it was the first time that I had ever laid eyes on one. When I examined the bag, the first thing I noticed was how cheaply the shoulder straps were made. This is a brand that runs into the thousands, so I was expecting more of a higher quality than what I was looking at. The sides of the straps looked like they were painted over in a reddish color and the stitching was uneven as well. Most likely, I was looking at a fake. I decided to ask the employee at the counter if she thought the purse was the real deal and she replied that she didn’t know for sure, which is quite often the case in these instances. So, if you notice that the straps or handles are of low quality, then it’s probably a fake.
The Authenticity (Serial) Numbers And Tags
Whether it is a Louis Vuitton or a Coach, you can better be assured that each handbag will have an authenticity number located on the inside of the bag. But be aware that replicas may also have them. The Louis Vuitton bag that I found also had an authenticity number, which read M51980. When I returned home, I got the idea to look up the authenticity number via Google. That search pulled up a ton of replica Louis Vuitton handbags just exactly like the one I located in the thrift store. My first lesson was that real Louis Vuitton handbags only come with date codes (unless they were made prior to 1980) indicating when the bag was made, but definitely no model numbers. Date codes, which contain both numbers and letters, should also be six characters long on a real Louis Vuitton. Coach handbags, for example, should have a ‘No’ stamped on the tag and followed by eight characters with a dash in between. The word ‘Coach’ on a Coach tag should also be raised rather than just an imprint. Be sure to scrutinize the bag heavily for details and make sure that letters, wording, and stitching are even and precise.
The Material And Zippers
Take a look at the exterior of the handbag, feel it, is it rough and not very pliable? If so, chances are it is a knock off. Authentic Louis Vuitton handbags are known for their high quality, luxurious cowhide leather. Always make sure that all the LV’s are lined up on the bag as well. Additionally, authentic Louis Vuitton handbags are never tagged with a string of plastic or a little piece of the logo. Many consumers don’t notice the pattern on a Coach handbag and can often mistake a ‘G’ or an ‘O’ for what should always be the signature ‘C’. There should always be two double C’s side by side or opposing one another. On a final note, if any metal zipper pieces are wrapped in paper, then that is another indicator that the bag is a knock-off as authentic handbags are not sold that way in reputable stores.
Where to find the Real Deal
Your best bet is to purchase a bag with a reputable store. However, if you are dead set on purchasing a handbag from an individual seller, then please do your due diligence in research prior to purchasing. There is a plethora of information on the web, including pictures, which can help you determine whether or not a bag is a fake. Extensive research will help you avoid becoming the fashion casualty of a knock off.