Real vs Fake Bags
Questions from our Readers about Real vs Fake Designer Handbags and Purses
Buying a designer bag is definitely a serious investment and should be treated like one.
That's why I love answering reader's questions about their purchases.
Once a week, I receive a frantic email from a designer handbag shopper asking me a Gucci authentication question or the best places to repair a bag.
To help other luxury handbag buyers with similar questions and concerns, read my answers to their questions below. Or if don't see an answer to your designer bag question here, email me at mechele(at) bagvanity.com.
I'd love to help!
Designer Handbag Question from Linda
I have what I believe to be a very old Gucci bag, the red and green stripe.
I was trying to check the serial number but everything I read says they have 2 rows off numbers and mine only has one. The number is .39.02.006 can you tell about or is there a number I can call? Thank you for your help !!!
Thanks for contacting Bag Vanity.
Depending on when the bag was manufactured, some vintage Gucci products do have a serial number stamped into the bag that features one row of numbers.
But without seeing the bag in person, I cannot tell if it is real or fake. I wish you could take it to a store to verify its authenticity, but unfortunately, Gucci does not authenticate their bags in their boutiques or using their toll-free, customer service numbers.
If I were you, I would take the bag to a luxury consignment store in your area. Typically, they have an authenticator on staff or could recommend someone who could tell you if the bag is real.
Take care and Happy Holidays!
Designer Handbag Question 2 from Marília
I sent this message in a comment, but I decided to send it by email also to facilitate...
I’m trying to buy a Fendi 2jours bag, but none of the bags I’ve found so far fully fit the descriptions I see on the internet, for example, the hologram, none of them have a serial number below the hologram …
Of all that I’ve seen,
Only one has an authenticity card however it is blank, there is no written information … I have only the serial numbers that are printed on the back of the inner logo of the bags.
Can I give you these numbers so that you can help me know about the authenticity of these items?
Finally, if you do not mind, I also ask you to confirm the serial number of a Burberry Prorsum Welney (ITCF & 10SCA).
Thanks for your email.
I’m sorry to say that without the appearance of the serial number located directly below the hologram tag, I would not purchase either of these bags.
And if this purse is the Medium Fendi 2Jours, it is a rare purse for resale – because it was extremely popular and for some handbag lovers, a collector’s item.
So, if the 2Jours is available for sale at a reasonable price, it’s a fake. As far as the Burberry goes, I’m having difficulty authenticating this bag for you with just the serial numbers.
Designer Handbag Question 3 from Marília
Is this Gucci handbag a fake? The model is the same as you told me, but the seller sent me some pictures that I would like you to analyze so we can be sure, can it be?
You are helping me immensely, I do not know how to thank you!
This purse looks authentic to me.
Here’s a sold eBay listing to help you verify the style number, bag measurements, and other important details: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Gold-Gucci-Mini-Soho-034-cellarius-034-metallic-gold-beige-chain-handbag-/252824580710?nma=true&si=RTIZR9LDX9sNi8VcM990UoReSG0%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
Designer Handbag Question from Valerie & Bibi
Question from Valerie- Hello. The straw around the piping of this bag is unraveling. Is it possible to repair?
This is not an expensive purse but I love it. It is an Iman lined straw purse with leather piping. The tear is a small area at the top near zipper. Thank you for any assistance or recommendation.
Question from Bibi - I have a vintage straw bag by RAFE NY that is breaking up. I would like to have it repaired. I live in Miami, Florida. Can you suggest where I can have it done? I've already tried the manufacturer but they didn't reply.
Hi Valerie and Bibi,
Thanks for your question. Whether this bag can be saved depends on the type of straw and how it connects to the bag.
I had a straw Coach bag that was unraveling at the seams, and it was BEYOND repair. Without seeing pictures of the bag, it’s hard for me to tell if it can be fixed.
I can tell how much you love the purse, so if I were you…this is what I would do! I would call my favorite local dry cleaners and ask their help to find a quality handbag repair shop in your city.
Typically, dry cleaners, tailors, seamstresses, and handbag fixers refer customers to each other. Once I have a minimum of three names, I would call them and ask to email pictures of the purse to the repair shop.
Or I’d call these people http://www.ragobrothers.com/handbag-repair-restoration/ to see how much it would cost for me to ship the bag to them to fix my purse. Their before and after pictures on their website look impressive.
Response from Bibi -
Thanks for your quick response. I called Rago brothers and will be sending a pic to Hanna but it sounds like this is going to be a lost cause...unless we lived in the Phillipines and Panama! Nonetheless here is a pic of my Rafe vintage bag. I'm in Miami and there's nobody here but if I find someone I will let you know.
Designer Handbag Question from Lale
I have purchased a number of bags on eBay and I am a bit concerned with the Gucci bag purchase I made today. I have not received the bag.
I did some poking around *after* I paid for the Gucci bag and I noticed a fake bag site with this bag. I feel the authentic bag has NO feet while this one does?
Thoughts? Thank you so much!
ITEM I BOUGHT
Typically, I don’t authenticate bags via email anymore. But, you live in my hometown (Los Angeles) and paid $1200, so it is my pleasure to help you in any way that I can. I did some digging online, and here’s what I found:
I couldn’t tell if the bag your bought was a medium or large, but I think this is the Gucci purse you wanted:
The style and serial numbers on an authentic bag should match the letters and numbers found on Gucci.com: Style 408825 A7M0G
And yes, the REAL/Authentic Gucci bag does not have feet. I attached two pictures of the bag from Net-a-Porter so you can see the bottom of an authentic bag.
So, it looks like you purchased a fake.
Here’s what I would do:
- Call eBay, and tell them you’ve suspected that you purchased a fake. Call them ASAP. You only have a certain window of time to file a claim against the seller.
- Ask PayPal what authentication information you need to provide to back up your claims.
- If PayPal needs written proof, email these two companies: My Poupette: http://www.mypoupette.com/writtenauthentication.php
and Authenticate First. http://authenticatefirst.com/services.html . They can help you verify the authenticity of this bag via email. You can use their verification services to dispute the fake bag and get your money back.
I hope this helps! Keep me posted on your progress.
Designer Handbag Question from Elle
Hi Michele, Does the Fendi bag, By the way, have a hologram as well. I purchased one from eBay but it doesn’t seem to have one. The seller is insisting that it is genuine. Thank you.
Hi Elle, Thanks for your question.
Without seeing images of the purse and the year and model of the bag, it will be difficult for me to determine if the Fendi is real or fake.
Depending on the year of the bag it should have a hologram as referenced in these articles here: https://realstyle.therealreal.com/how-to-tell-if-your-fendi-handbag-is-the-real-thing/, and http://mypoupette.com/media.php
You can authenticate your item here: at the Purse Blog Forum https://forum.purseblog.com/threads/authenticate-this-fendi-please-read-the-rules-use-the-format-in-post-1.590716/
If you think you’ve purchased a fake Fendi off eBay, here’s what I would do:
Here’s what I would do:
1. Call eBay, and tell them you’ve suspected that you purchased a fake. Call them ASAP. You only have a certain window of time to file a claim against the seller.
2. Ask PayPal what authentication information you need to provide to back up your claims.
3. If PayPal needs written proof to dispute the claim, email these two companies: My Poupette: http://www.mypoupette.com/writtenauthentication.php and Authenticate First. http://authenticatefirst.com/services.html. They can help you verify the authenticity of this bag via email. You can use their verification services to dispute the fake bag and get your money back.I hope this helps!
Keep me posted on your progress.
Designer Handbag Question from Gina
I just bought a Gucci Marmont bag from a friend and everything looks good until I saw your post about made in Italy. It was a white mark.
Thanks for your question. Without seeing the bag in person, or any images of it, I can’t help you authenticate it. But here is a link to a Poshmark listing of a real Gucci Marmont bag to help you with your purchase. https://poshmark.com/listing/Gucci-Marmont-SuperMini-5c6db4f1194dad89d9ea9537
Or you can visit Gucci.com's Marmont page here: https://www.gucci.com/us/en/st/capsule/gg-marmont-collection
Gina, I have a few questions to see if I can help you authenticate the purse.
Is that gold lettering stamped into the leather tag? From the images, it looks like it is stamped. Is the lining of the bag microfiber or suede? Also, what are the numbers on the back of the tag? (There should be two rows of numbers stamped on the back of the tag.
And what type of Gucci Marmont is it? Is it a mini, a How much did you pay for it?
The tag should look like these images: https://www.fashionphile.com/includes/images/thumb/BW181859/gucci-calfskin-matelasse-small-gg-marmont-shoulder-bag-pink-00005.jpg
Designer Handbag Question 8 from Sandi
Hi! Sound glad I stumbled to your site. I’m looking for a vintage Gucci parfume clutch. I found one on Poshmark but the seller said these did not has serial numbers. It looks good but now concerned.
I greatly appreciate your input.
Thanks for your question. First, ask the Poshmark seller to upload a picture of the front and back of the inside tag of the clutch. If you cannot see the inside tag, then I would pass on the purchase. From what I’ve researched online, the vintage parfums clutches have a leather tag with the words GUCCI PARFUMS and a serial number behind the tag.
Here is an online listing of bags to show you what an authentic parfums clutch purse should look like: