If you’re getting ready to put your hard-earned money on that luxurious designer handbag, we recommend you buy from the brand’s brick-and-mortar store directly, to tread on the side of caution. With the number of fakes doing the rounds in the handbags market, your chances of ending up with a cheap dupe grow exponentially when shopping online. But, then, what about all those great deals and sale alerts only online aggregators give you? Well, add to cart that vintage Gucci handbag once you’ve read this guide on how you can safeguard yourself:
- First up, it’s best to only buy from trusted websites who have verified retailers, aggregators, and brands on their list.
- Also, read the returns, shipping, delivery, exchange, and details of liability clearly. It’s important to read the fine print—especially when you’re spending this much money.
- Look at customer reviews on the site. Their experiences are very telling and may help seal the deal.
- Lastly, once the package arrives and before the delivery boy is even out of your sight, there are some things you need to make note of to verify the authenticity of your brand new LV, Dior, or Chanel handbag. (Psst… the same rules apply if you’re buying from a brick-and-mortar multi-brand retailer of luxury handbags.)
When it comes to cosmetic features, some of them should be fairly evident whilst others can be disguised easily.
- The Name: If the Prada bag you’ve got your eye on quite clearly says PRADO, that’s a clear indication of a (terrible) fake designer bag.
What about the other ‘less obvious’ differences?
- The Lining: Counterfeiters rarely have precise knowledge of what the inside of the bag actually looks like as they usually copy from photographs. If you’ve seen the inside of the bag from the official boutique, the lining of your bag should colour-match exactly. Close enough will not do; it should be identical. If you know the lining should be a fiery orange and yours is more of a burnt copper, this is a sure fire give-away it’s a fake. Also, take for example, Michael Kors bags are lined with the brand name splashed all across the insides (look for such details). Established brands, especially luxury labels that charge a hefty price, maintain the same standard (this includes quality, colour, texture, design, measurement precision, materials used), across the globe. It may only vary if you’re investing in a limited edition series, or a ‘country special’ release.
- The Hardware: Logos and metal attachments should be dense and heavy (certainly not hollow, it’s a sign of low-grade hardware). Also, always check if they’re in in the correct place (the label plate, the monogrammed buckle, the logo zipper, the clasp).
- The Stitch: Designer handbags are made with impeccable precision. Any visible stitching should be finished properly, be straight and never overlapping. Also, it always lines up at the seams. If you spot loose or cheap threads, or unusual space between the stitches, send that bag packing!
Nuevo amiguito que ha llegado hoy de #aliexpress Store no.432863 lo compre con un 15% de descuento pero el vendedor ahora no lo tiene a la venta.Costo 14,79€ Es precioso,pero el asa es muy corta (pero le he hecho un apaño) y huele a plastico #chanelfake #aliexpressmearruina #aliexpress_fotosreales #aliexpressfotosreales #aliexpress_españa
The Paperwork & Packaging
- Certificate: Many luxury labels provide a certification of authentication or some other token of verification, so get to know the brand you want and learn how they operate.
- Packaging: An authentic designer handbag will always come with a branded dust bag, just like the branding on the actual handbag. The logo should have the correct spelling, and be the same font. The size of the logo may vary based on the size of the dust bag but, most times, that’s the same too.
Once you have gone through the cosmetics and paperwork, it’s time to use your common sense. The simple rule is: If it doesn’t look like an authentic retailer and the price appears too good to be true, it is! Luxury brands don’t appease with price points. They expect you to pay top dollar for quality so if that Hermès bag is dirt cheap, it’s most definitely a fake!
Lesser-Known Facts About The Fake Handbags Market
Of course, luxury brands aren’t the only ones that get copied, you can find counterfeits of even a basic Guess or CK bag; you’d be surprised at the lengths some of these counterfeiters will go! It’s not even just the fashion industry that gets hit with fakers—your electronics, your shampoo, even down to the very candles you burn, could’ve been subjected to a rip-off.
Considering that over half the LVs in the world are fakes, it might not surprise you to learn that Louis Vuitton, along with Chanel, are rumored to be in the practice of burning their unsold handbags and deadstock each year. This is an attempt to minimize counterfeits in the market.
Whilst the thought of all that merch going up in flames makes us want to scream, “NOOOOOOOO”, it’s also been said that the reason for the sacrificial burning has more to do with the brands not wanting their products to end up on a marked down shelf, because it lowers the value and prestige of the label.
Here’s a minute-long video we found on YouTube to quickly snapshot what you just learnt: