How to spot a fake designer bag

Learning how to spot a fake designer bag and knockoffs is a useful skill. It especially comes in handy when you’ve had your eye on a particular designer bag for a long time and have saved up enough money to finally purchase a brand new fashionable item.

 

However, before you go ahead with the purchase, it is important to think of all the retailers that are eager to hand over a very well-made fake copy or a replica of your dream bag to you. You need to be extremely attentive to the smallest of details. Use our following mini-guide to spot a fake designer bag and make sure you only pay for the real thing:

 

Examine the Quality of the Handbag

Stitching

Take a close look at the stitching of the handbag to see if it’s uneven, slanted or sloppy. Such stitching is a sign that the manufacturing of the bag is poor and it is a fake product. Designer bags always have high-quality stitching.

 

Poorly-stitched bags can have a negative impact on the reputation of the designer, which is why they make sure that the quality isn’t compromised in any way. Additionally, check the inside of the handbag as well to see if there is any sloppy work hidden in the lining.

 

Lining and the Leather

If the material of the designer bag is leather, it should smell like it. Leather is also relatively heavier than most handbag materials. A very flimsy and lightweight handbag is probably a copy. A genuine designer handbag is lined, and usually with leather. If the lining of the handbag is poorly stitched or is manufactured using cheap fabrics then the bag is probably fake.

 

Zipper Quality and Functionality

The zippers of the handbag should be of high-quality, feel heavy, and most importantly, they should run very smoothly. If the zipper pull comes off quickly then the handbag is probably not the real thing. In the majority of designer bags, the zipper pull has a logo. That is because many designer bag manufacturers use the same branded zipper manufacturer on their bags.

 

Inspect the Handbag for Serial Numbers, Authenticity Labels and Brand Tags

Most designer handbags have a tag inside them that has the serial number and the brand name printed on it. These inside tags are either stamped or hand-stitched into the leather. Several designers also tend to tag the exterior of the handbag with authenticity labels. While some fake handbags might carry authenticity labels, the text will not be in the same size and font as the genuine one.

 

Examine the Logo Carefully

It is highly possible that the manufacturer of the fake designer bag might spell the brand name a little differently than the genuine one. For instance, Gucci may be spelled Gucci. They can also have different letters on the handbag charm. While the handbag can certainly be a knockoff, these could be signs of that knockoff being a legal one. If you are willing to purchase a legal knockoff for a lower price than the genuine one, you can go ahead. However, make sure you’re not making an unreasonably high payment for it.

 

Metal Hardware with Consistency

Make sure that the finish and color of the hardware are consistent and metal. Buckles, clasps, and other such hardware on specially designed handbags should all be manufactured using the same metal, and they should also have the same finish and color. The hardware should also be of high-quality and should feel smooth and heavy.

 

While fake designer handbags usually have plastic hardware, genuine designer handbags have metal ones. If the hardware material doesn’t turn hot in excessive heat or cold in low temperatures, then it is probably plastic.

 

Compare the Designer Bag to the Pictures Online

Search for an image of an original designer handbag on the website of that particular designer and compare the picture to the actual bag that you’re observing. Look closely for any variations in design or color. If you’ve already bought the handbag, then it’s best to take it to the designer store and determine if it’s real or fake. Simply compare your bag to the ones displayed in the store.

 

Additional Steps to Follow When Purchasing a Designer Handbag

If you are one of those individuals who tend to use the same handbag over and over again, it is best to invest in a product that is going to be worth your while. Buying a designer handbag can often save you more money than purchasing a regular one because the former lasts way longer. Now that you know how to examine the quality of the bag you are about to buy, and also how to spot a fake designer bag, let’s move on to the next section. Here are some additional steps to follow when shopping for a designer bag:

 

Go to a Legitimate Brand-Name Store

A store that sells genuine products will always carry the exact same name as the brand. Additionally, the store will be a boutique store or a well-known department. The staff of such brands is usually knowledgeable about the quality and the pedigree of the designer bag and should be able to answer your questions right away.

 

It’s always best to do your research before you invest bulks of money in a product. Take advice from fashionistas that you trust and ask them where they buy their designer handbags from. They’ll be able to help you gain a lot of knowledge on the topic. Moreover, you can always search online for the best products available and reliable reviews before you make a final decision. You can also ask the store if there is any authenticity tag or certificates accompanying the handbag.

 

Avoid Street Vendors and Flea Markets

Designer brands don’t provide street vendors with the authorization to sell their designer products on the streets. Therefore, all handbags sold by street vendors and in flea markets are fakes and knockoffs. It would be extremely rare for someone to sell their used designer handbags to a street vendor. Also be careful when buying expensive products on online auction sites, thrift stores, and from estate sales.

 

Don’t Be Unrealistic About the Pricing

It is important to be very realistic when it comes to the cost of a genuine designer handbag. They are very expensive, not only because they are status symbols but they are also crafted extremely well. If you find the cost of the bag too good to be true, then it is very likely that the handbag is a copy.

 

Even if you opt for a legal knockoff, don’t pay a lot of money for it. If the bag is almost as expensive as the real branded one, then just shell out a little more and buy the real thing. Make sure that you ask the seller if the handbag is a fake, a copy, or real. Vendors who avoid giving answers to such questions are usually hiding something.

 

Ask for a Refund

There may be circumstances when you’ve bought a bag from an unofficial seller and you found out that your designer bag is actually a fake one. In such a case, there’s not much that you can do, unfortunately. However, if you buy your bag on official online sites such as eBay and Amazon, you can ask for a refund in case your handbag turns out to be a knockoff. Such sites usually respond within 48 hours and also offer full refunds on faulty products.

 

Our Final Thoughts

The process of differentiating a knockoff from a genuine designer bag isn’t as complicated as many people think. Now that you’ve learned how to spot a fake designer bag, we hope you will be able to invest your money in the right product. Use the aforementioned tips to become a savvy buyer and end up with the real thing that you paid for!

 

Some of Our Favorite Authentic Designer Handbags

 

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

 

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About Rachel

Hey, how are you doing?!? I'm Rachel, one of the founders of Bag Vanity. I love classic designer handbags and typically stick to earth tones and basic colored bags. My go-to bag is my trusted hobo purse. Love it!

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