Most people consider designer bags as the true definition of lavishness. Such luxury is difficult, if not impossible, to imitate. However, every sector has its share of dishonest merchants seeking to profit by hocking copies of genuine products that look almost identical to the real.
And since nobody wishes to spend their money on a product only to discover it’s a knockoff, here’s a guide on how to spot a fake designer bag. We talk generally at first, then what to look out for in specific brands like Chanel, Gucci and many more below.
How To Spot a Fake Designer Bag
Here are several ways to spot a fake designer bag.
Verify the Logo
Identifying fake bags from real ones is simple by authenticating a brand’s logo. Accurately reproducing a company’s logo is quite tricky. Luxurious brands typically have uniform logo plates in color, shape, and quality. Even the printed versions are sharp and accurate.
On the other hand, counterfeit designer bags have many giveaways, including inaccurate, blurry, and inconsistent logo plates. For example, Louis Vuitton’s trademark logo features gold-colored plates, an angled design, and a glossy appearance.
Furthermore, many of them feature a chained design that integrates with the designer bag. Such an intricate logo would be difficult to replicate, making it easy for you to identify counterfeits.
Another common giveaway is spelling errors. For instance, you’ll find Hermes misspelled as Hermis or Dior written as Deor on fake designer bags. Some brands even sew their logo inside the bag. That specific feature usually is absent in counterfeit bags.
Examine the Bag’s Leather and Lining
When shopping for a leather bag, verify it smells like leather. Regardless of how similar the fake material appears to the real thing, it’ll never smell exactly like leather. If the bag has a cheap plastic smell, it’s counterfeit. But you must be familiar with the genuine leather smell to uncover that. Therefore, it’s best to practice before going to the market.
It would be best if you also gave the bag a quick lift because leather bags are heavy. The bag is more likely to be counterfeit if it’s lightweight and brittle. A genuine designer bag’s lining is usually cotton, nylon, or polyester.
For reference purposes, manufacturers stitch the bag’s lining onto the interior of the bag’s exterior shell. One telltale sign of a counterfeit is a loose, lumpy, or sloppy lining.
Likewise, if the pore pattern is way too uniform to be real, there’s a good chance you’re buying a counterfeit leather bag. That’s because genuine leather’s pores and textures tend to be random. Also, it doesn’t undergo any modifications during the production process.
A bag’s edges might also help determine whether it’s original or counterfeit. A fake bag will most likely have silky, uniform, and fine edges, which is not leather’s intrinsic characteristic.
Consider the Price
To get the best deal, you ought to research. The price sometimes indicates fake designer handbags. You’ll rarely see genuine designer bags at a discount, and even when they’re, the discounts are never as steep as those seen on clearance sales.
Craftsmanship and quality are the primary factors contributing to the high cost of luxury handbags. Therefore, it would be illogical to see a vendor selling a Birkin at $2,000. With such a price, it’s hard that they are turning a profit from that. It only points out that they’re selling fake bags.
Examine the Stitching Carefully
No product comes out of the workshop if it doesn’t meet or exceed all industry standards. As for designer bags, the stitching region requires the most skill and workmanship. Worn-out stitching with protruding nodes is a hallmark of counterfeit designer bags.
Sometimes, the dangles are a real hassle to move since they get caught in fasteners like zippers. That’s a resounding warning that the merchandise you’re viewing is low-quality imitations of high-end bags.
Industry leaders depend on cutting-edge technology to count stitches in every bag. For example, some Hermes versions use the nine stitches per inch formula. The stitching is flawless, without a single stray or unnecessary addition. The same is true of Louis Vuitton bags which have hundreds of stitches.
Check the Bag’s Hardware
People get swindled because they fail to pay enough attention to details like clasps, buttons, and zipper pulls. Genuine manufacturer’s hardware lasts longer and wears less quickly. Looking at the hardware, you can tell a real designer bag from the counterfeits.
Whereas most replicas use plastic for their hardware, authentic designer bags always use metal. In contrast to plastic, metal hardware absorbs its surrounding temperature. Check to see if the bag’s hardware becomes hot with exposure to sunlight. You should also be able to feel coldness if it’s been sitting in an air-conditioned room.
Ensure the bag’s hardware doesn’t have metal, color, and polish mixtures except for Chloé bags, which may utilize a variation.
It would help if you verified that the bag’s color is intact, has unrusting tags, and everything functions as it should. For instance, there are high chances you’re buying a counterfeit bag if threads impede zipping. Duplicate designer bags have many easy-to-see hardware flaws.
Moreover, if you’re purchasing the bag from a secondary market, the hardware will likely be in poor condition due to extensive previous use. In such a scenario, pay attention to specifics like the label’s name printed on the tags or the embellishments’ quality and material weight. That knowledge would be sufficient to distinguish a fake designer bag from genuine leather.
Research on the Serial Number
A product’s serial number is an excellent way to spot fake designer handbags. You can call it an authentication symbol since every single item a brand ships out has an exclusive code.
It’s challenging for counterfeit designer bag vendors to erase, affix, and recreate these codes without making mistakes. For instance, they may omit a digit, screw up the typeface, or print something incorrectly.
Ensure you research the standard procedure for the specific brand you’re reviewing. For example, Chanel utilizes thick cards bearing credit cards feel but without any holographic embellishments. They’re common in counterfeits that try to pass as real.
The 9-digit serial number on Chanel’s cards should correspond to a serial sticker inside the bag. Contrastingly, Gucci utilizes controlled cards featuring ten single-spaced digits.
Observe the Dust Bag Carefully
Many counterfeit bags do indeed have a dust bag, but it’s usually of poorer quality than the bag itself. Pay close attention to the labeling on the dust bag if the bag you wish to buy comes with one.
Ask yourself the following questions while examining the dust bag:
- Is the printing sloppy?
- Are there smudges or fading in some regions of the ink?
- Do the proportions seem faulty?
- Do the letters appear too thin or too large?
However, remember that not all genuine dust bags from a brand have the same appearance. For example, Hermès alternates between printing numerous circles and only one around its logo.
The discoloration is commonly associated with high-end replica bags. However, that’s not always the case. Depigmentation occurs even in the highest quality leather goods due to environmental elements such as temperature, dirt, abrasion, grit, grease, and light rays.
Discoloration results in a dulling of the surface as the substance loses its natural hue. But that’s expected and natural for genuine leather, so don’t be deceived.
Concentrate on Minor Details
Whether you’re talking about the most well-known names in the industry or lesser-known but genuine labels, you can rest assured that they all adhere to the same industry standards. Before release, they pass every product through several tests. The tests could last weeks or even months, guaranteeing that no flawed products enter the market.
Thus, while acquiring a designer bag, check to see that everything is working. Second hand bags may have wear and tear marks but no flaws. Don’t believe the vendor if they try to shift the blame to the producers. There’s a possibility that they’re hawking counterfeit designer bags.
Seller’s Location and the Number of Bags Sold
Another genuineness test is where you buy your bags. You can’t purchase a real one at a free market or from a random stranger on the street. Designers produce only a set number of each model and even limit the quantity of bags any given customer can buy within a given time. If a vendor has a dozen of the same bag, they’re likely selling fakes.
Trust Your Instincts
While the above guidelines are crucial, you should follow your instincts. Say no if anything about the bag doesn’t sit right with you. It’s the best course of action because your instincts are mostly correct.
Perhaps the vendor or the bag’s appearance is the problem. Whatever it’s, if you’re feeling uneasy about the bag, it won’t magically vanish once you buy it. The feeling may even influence how frequently you carry the bag and whether or not you experience any anxiety when doing so. There’s a huge supply of bags available. So, don’t take any chances if you have any doubts.
How To Spot Fake Chanel Bag
You can tell if a Chanel bag is authentic or counterfeit by looking for certain telltale details. Verify that it has a logo with interlocking Cs, as most fakes use a logo with interlocking O’s cut after manufacturing to resemble a C. The bag’s stitching ought to be symmetric.
Furthermore, Chanel doesn’t affix any tags or wrapping to its bags. Therefore, it’s reasonable to presume that any bag with such is fake. Chanel paneling is legendary. A bag with less than eight stitches on each panel signifies a replica.
All Chanel bags feature a certificate of authenticity bearing a unique six-to-eight-digit serial number. Invalid sequences include those with fewer than six or more than eight digits. You can only remove Chanel’s back plate screws using the brand’s special gear and not a standard screwdriver.
Typically, you’ll find vintage Chanel bags in a white felt bag with a black emblem, whereas the newer ones come in a black dust bag with the brand name inscribed in black. On the bag’s interior, you should find the Chanel logo and the words “Made in France” either directly below or to the side of the Chanel logo.
Some sellers usually duplicate Chanel authenticity cards. Thus, if a bag arrives with one, it’s not necessarily a guarantee that it’s genuine.
How To Spot a Fake Louis Vuitton Handbag
Always remember that the O’s in Louis Vuitton should have a flawlessly round shape. Many replicas employ oval-shaped O’s. Louis Vuitton’s emblem is set with great care and perfectly smooth on all sides.
The LV emblem appears upside down on the rear of some versions like the Speedy. That’s because the brand uses a single, continuous piece of coated canvas wrapping around the bag from back to front.
If the bag’s label reads “Made in the USA,” don’t dismiss it as a replica immediately just because the brand is associated with France. Moreover, verify that the Louis Vuitton bag you want to purchase is still in production. It may sound trivial, yet there are many types of fake Vuitton bags bearing colors and designs that the company has never produced.
The brand doesn’t label its products with serial numbers. However, hidden date stamps exist in items made after the 1980s. A date stamp’s primary function is to notify the buyer of the piece’s origin and creation date, not to emphasize its authenticity. You may find the serial number imprinted just behind the Louis Vuitton seam inside the bag.
Although fake bags without a date stamp are easy to spot, high-quality counterfeits may forge an authentic-looking one. Newer Louis Vuitton bags come with a microchip that’s invisible to the naked eye. The brand’s logo is on every piece of hardware they produce. Fake bags rarely look like this.
In addition, the brand doesn’t publish statements regarding the authenticity of its product. If a bag comes with an authenticity certificate, it’s fake.
How To Spot a Fake Hermès Handbag
Hermès has put in a lot of work to combat counterfeits, so it’s fairly simple to identify a counterfeit bag. You’ll never find a Hermes bag bearing paper tags. The Birkin and Kelly versions come with an etched lock and key set. Hermès features the lock’s bottom, with a corresponding number on the lock and the key.
Another giveaway that a bag is not authentic Hermès is the presence of a metal nameplate. Genuine Hermès products don’t have such a feature. Furthermore, anything like the Vintage Birkin doesn’t exist since the Birkin came into production in 1984.
Hermes bags don’t come with authenticity cards, so any bag bearing such is a replica. Because Hermes bags are handcrafted, their stitching is impeccable. Uneven or crooked stitching on a bag indicates that it’s a counterfeit. A Hermès zipper will not come undone at either end or fall at the side.
How To Spot a Fake Gucci Handbag
It would be best to examine the pockets to establish a Gucci bag’s authenticity. Pay close attention to how the leather is cut, particularly in the area surrounding the zipped inside pocket if the bag’s model you wish to buy comes with one. The cut ought to be identical around the pocket in every direction.
You must see a 4 to 6 serial number inscribed into the leather near the Gucci and “Made in Italy” interior label.
Gucci has two dust bag versions. One version is crafted from a dark brown satin and adorned with the brand’s signature GG logo, with the second “G” printed upside down. The other version is a solid light brown color with the word Gucci inscribed across the front in gold lettering.
Like Chanel’s, Gucci’s authenticity cards are frequently counterfeits. The Gucci Controllato Card must have a dark gray backdrop with the word GUCCI inscribed in capital letters.
The word “controllato” and the numbers “1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0” should appear on a white background below that. The card’s backside contains no information.
How To Spot a Fake Prada Handbag
Authenticating a Prada bag begins with inspecting the brand plaque inside the bag. Newer models will feature plaques that read “Prada” and “Made in Italy” on two lines, and the inscription should complement the bag’s internal fabric.
The brand only employs Ipi, Opti, Riri, Ykk, and Lampo zippers. You can see the names inscribed on the zipper’s rear side. If a bag doesn’t have those brands, it’s not an authentic Prada bag.
The brand’s logo is on each product’s decorative hardware, metal feet, buckles, and zippers. Counterfeit Prada bags usually bear blank hardware. All genuine bags also have a small white tag with a random number.
How To Spot a Fake Goyard Handbag
Unlike most imitations that feature low-quality cotton and vinyl, the manufacturer creates genuine Goyard handbags from special resin-coated linen. The bags come with a cotton and linen blend fabric lining, rendering them exceptionally light.
The bags arrive in a plain dust bag placed within a plain, unmarked brown box. The handles aren’t made of plastic and contain no leather tags. Goyard bags are exclusively available in a select few retail locations, listed on the company’s website for easy reference.
If you wish to buy a secondhand bag, demand the original receipt or the place of purchase to verify whether it matches the list of authorized sellers on the company’s website.
Safe Shopping for a Designer Bag
You’ll undoubtedly land an authentic designer bag if you shop in high-end stores. The personnel should know the history and quality of the bag and be able to answer any queries you may have. Although the stores’ bags are pricier, their durability ensures that your investment is worthwhile.
If you’re worried about your purchase’s safety, inquire whether or not the bag comes with an authenticity certificate. If you intend to resell it at some point, that will demonstrate to potential customers that you’re not a fraud.
There isn’t much you can do to get a refund from the seller if you buy a counterfeit designer bag online or through an unregistered retailer. Nevertheless, if you purchase via a secondary market that offers some form of fraud protection, you might be able to get your money back. You should contact the vendor first, and if they decline, report them to the website.
Do All Designer Bags Have Serial Numbers?
Yes, most designer bags feature serial numbers. It’s the simplest method to determine whether your designer bag is fake. The serial number must be unique but can feature the same ID number.
Do Fake Designer Bags Have Codes?
Yes, you will find date codes in fake designer bags. To guarantee your designer bag isn’t fake, check to see if the codes are correctly stamped.
What if My Gucci Bag Doesn’t Have a Serial Number?
First, check to determine if your bag is an old or new model. If it’s the newest model and doesn’t feature a serial number, that’s a fake designer bag. You can also check your bag’s authenticity using the QR codes from the company’s website.
How To Spot A Fake Designer Bag, Closing Thoughts
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to authenticate handbags since counterfeiters are increasingly adept at duplicating original designs to the finest of details. However, there are a few signs that might help you determine whether or not a bag is genuine.
It will help if you stick to reputable retailers and resellers while searching for the perfect bag. We hope you enjoyed reading our guide on how to spot a fake designer bag.