Real Louis Vuitton Purses vs Fakes: 9 Authenticity Check Tips

Spotting a fake Louis Vuitton handbag is hard work.

real louis vuitton purse

Counterfeiters are now incorporating signature details into fake Louis Vuitton bags that are difficult for the untrained eye to see.

With the brand’s imitated logo plastered on 99% of all LV bags in the marketplace, there’s a big chance that web retailers are selling fake Louis Vuitton purses beyond New York’s infamous Canal Street.

Despite the sales of fake handbags linked to organized crime, illegal sweatshops and child labor, designer handbag lovers are still looking for that elusive authentic Louis Vuitton purse at the end of the web rainbow.

If you’re still willing to take a chance on an online deal sight unseen, here are the internet’s best fashion tips to spot a fake Louis Vuitton bag and where to buy real ones.

real louis vuitton purse vs fake

Shop Directly at

Only shopping directly at Louis Vuitton guarantees 100% authenticity.

There’s only one way to avoid buying a fake Louis Vuitton bag; purchase it from the source. Genuine LV products are sold via the exclusive distribution network of Louis Vuitton stores.

Know Your Louis Vuitton Handbag Collections

If you can’t tell a Speedy from a Pouchette or Epi Leather from Murakami, you’re in trouble.

Counterfeiters are notorious for mix-matching styles from each collection and creating a hodge-podge handbag disaster.

Visit has a list of fake bag sellers on eBay that you should avoid if you want a real Louis Vuitton purse and not a fake one.

Established in 1999 as the world’s largest and oldest designer authentication company, My Poupette has a list of online eBay sites that sell fake designer Louis Vuitton handbags. Memorize this list and double-check these authentication lists before purchasing.

Check Out for Fakes

Bag Bliss’s list of Fake Louis Vuitton handbags is thoroughly begging for a bookmark. has a detailed resource of how to spot a fake Louis Vuitton bag. Their website has comparison pictures of fake Louis Vuitton bags alongside the real ones.

Harper’s Bazaar will Help You Spot a Replica

At Harper’s Bazaar’s site, you can find tips on how to avoid buying a fake designer bag and learn what you can do to help spread the message that fakes are never in fashion.

Here are the best of  Harper’s Bazaar’s list of tips to avoid buying a fake Louis Vuitton bag.

  • Check the inner label of the bag for any design inconsistencies. The logo should be centered, and you will find a serial number or hologram inside the bag. And, if there is a serial number, it will be in the correct sequence.
  • Study the inside pockets. Does the purse you’re eyeing have the correct number of pockets in the right placement for that particular bag model?
  • Examine the stitching. The seams along the outside of the purse is another key area to pay careful attention to when spotting a fake – bad craftsmanship is often a key replica giveaway. For example, the Louis Vuitton Alma bag has double-reinforced stitching on the outside of the purse. Fakes usually don’t. Lastly, slanted, uneven or sloppy back-and-forth stitching on the outside of the bag is a sign of a poorly made purse.
  • Look for a cheap handbag lining. Run your fingers across the inside of the bag to feel the quality of the fabric and to carefully inspect the color consistency. Some counterfeiters create replicas from photos, which can distort the tone of coloring, leading to the replica creator installing the wrong shade of lining in the bag.
  • Review the purse’s handle tabs. Tabs on the real LV bag are made in one piece; fakes may have a seam down the middle.
  • Feel the hardware.  Vuitton’s hardware is high-quality — on the fakes, hardware coating is often uneven.
fake louis vuitton purse vs real
Here is an example of a fake Louis Vuitton via

Smell the Bag Looking for a Leather Smell

Newsflash: Fake Louis Vuitton handbags, although some contain a significant portion of vinyl, do not smell like leather.

Whether the Louis Vuitton bag is a vintage Speedy or the latest handbag confection from the brilliant mind of Marc Jacobs, a part of the purse will smell like leather if it is real. Also, if the piping is not leather, it is definitely fake.

If you’re thinking of purchasing a vintage bag and it does not keep its leather smell — drop that purse. It’s a fake!

Look for a Louis Vuitton Date Code


According to, LV date codes are always found on a small, square piece of leather on the inside of the bag, or on the side of the purse near an inside seam. Unless the date code has been rubbed down due to wear — or the bag is ancient,  you should always find a date code inside an authentic Louis Vuitton.

Countries & Date Codes for Real Louis Vuitton Bags

  • Manufactured in Spain: CA, GI, LO, LB, LM, LW
  • Manufactured in Italy: BC, BO, CE, FO, MA, RC, RE, SA, TD
  • Manufactured in the United States: FC, FH, FL, LA, OS, SD
  • Manufactured in Switzerland: DI, FA
  • Manufactured in France: A0, A1, A2, AA, AAS, AH, AN, AR, AS, BA, BJ, BU, DR, DU, CO, CT, ET, FL, LW, MB, MI, NO, RA, RI, SD, SF, SL, SN, SP, SR, TJ, TH, TR, TS, VI, VX
  • Manufactured in Germany: LP

Details to Find Out Before Buying a Louis Vuitton Bag Online

  1. What color is the bag’s interior for my particular Louis Vuitton handbag?
  2. What is the proper placement of the date code?
  3. Is the Louis Vuitton handbag properly priced? A bag that retails for $1300 will not be sold for $500.
  4. Can I trust the seller? Is there any positive seller feedback from many buyers?
  5. What type of packaging will accompany the bag? Louis Vuitton has a very strict presentation and packaging standards for their luxury items.
  6. Does the Louis Vuitton handbag come with a dust bag? And if so, is the dust bag authentic?
  7. Is this a limited edition Louis Vuitton handbag?
  8. What hardware is included with the Louis Vuitton purse? Are the bag missing locks, keys, and metalware?
  9. Can you verify that the sales receipt is authentic? Buyers beware. There are counterfeit sale receipts floating around the internet.

Do extensive handbag homework before purchasing any luxury items outside authorized retailers. If it looks like a fake, seems like a fake, and is considerably below retail, it probably is counterfeit.

Consider treating yourself to an authentic Louis Vuitton handbag. After all the time you’ve spent becoming a real vs fake Louis Vuitton bag expert, you deserve to splurge on the real thing.

How to Tell a Real Louis Vuitton Bag from a Fake

Here’s a list of websites with more information and resources to help you determine if a designer purse is real or fake:

About The Author

Scroll to Top