Real or Faux? Tips to Help You Spot a Fake Designer Bag


Is It Real or Faux? How to Spot a Fake Designer Bag

Dropping serious cash on a designer bag is a decision not usually taken lightly (unless you're a millionaire, probably). It can't be denied that possessing a luxury or designer purse is a social status symbol – the more exclusive, the more coveted – and for some, getting one's hands on them isn't always as simple.  

While you can visit your luxury boutique of choice in search of your purse, there's no promise that the bag you're looking for would be in stock in that branch, if at all, especially if it's a trendy It Bag of the moment or a limited edition. Authorised dealers are another option for you to take, but for those who are into vintage luxury bags, buying secondhand from previous owners or consignment shops is the way to go.  

If you'll be purchasing a luxury bag, it pays to be mindful and have done your extensive research regardless if it's your nth or first time to buy. To make sure you don't end up bamboozled into buying a fake, take note of these tips before investing in a designer bag.  

Study the Details

Prada Designer Bag

Designer bags are usually made by hand by impeccable artisans using the highest quality of materials. Before taking the plunge and purchasing "The One," you must have researched and read all about it, such as where it's made and the flawless details it possesses. If you're purchasing online, from a consignment shop, or an individual, make sure you ask for as many photos as you want and be on the lookout for any misalignments, inconsistencies, and unevenness in its hardware, stamps, lining, stitching, logo, and serial number and other identificatory number, if it has any.  

If you spot any of these flaws in the bag (unless divulged by the owner, if it's secondhand), it is most likely inauthentic. Manufacturers of fake luxury bags are getting better and better these days due to technology, so if you're after an iconic bag like the quilted Chanel flap bag or the monogrammed Louis Vuitton in canvas, know that these are often duped due to their ubiquitous features and cultural capital.  

Ask for Proof of Authenticity and Purchase

Dior Designer Bag

Not all luxury bags come with proof of authenticity, so do your research to know if the bag you're meaning to purchase has one. Natalie Wyll, an expert at authenticating designer handbags, said in a report by Racked on Jan. 2, 2017, that luxury bags like Louis Vuitton and Hermès don't have authenticity cards. An authenticity card also doesn't always prove that a bag is authentic, since it's easy to fake one.

Nevertheless, if the bag indeed has an authenticity card, such as a Chanel, go ahead and study the card's features, too. A Chanel authenticity card, according to Wyll, has a gold trim. Other things to look out for are the card's font type or size and sticker, which can show if it is authentic or counterfeit.
If you're buying from a personal shopper, you can ask for proof of purchase such as a receipt, apart from an authenticity card and other photos.  

See and Feel the Bag Yourself

Gucci Designer Bag

E-commerce may be well on its way to becoming our default shopping mode and you just can't beat the convenience of transacting online, but when it comes to big purchases such as a designer bag, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Before dropping money on a luxury bag from an online consignment store or a seller you met on social media, make sure you meet up a few times to verify if the bag is indeed authentic. Apart from asking for photos, you can follow the tips above in person and inspect the bag yourself. Better yet, if you know someone who has extensive knowledge about bags or designer goods, such as a collector or a luxury personal shopper, ask them to come with you to help you check out the bag.  

Trust Your Gut

Never ignore your intuition. Sometimes you get a bad feeling in your stomach about something – trust it even if it's not always explicable. This applies to big purchases, such as investing in a designer bag. If you've done all the above and your boxes are ticked, but for some reason your gut still tells you otherwise, don't push through with the purchase. Sleep on it and take your time, ask more questions, get another look at the bag, or search for a different store or seller as a second option.

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