Knowing the difference between a knock-off and a genuine bag enables you to make an informed choice about the purchase of any bag.Fake bags are usually created from a photograph, and as anyone who’s ever tried to take a selfie in a club knows, cameras capture colour differently depending on lighting. The inside of a bag is also usually hidden in a photo, so this is a quick and easy way to tell a real from a fake.
Things you NEED to be looking out for:
- The stitching: Look closely at the stitching of the bag. Sloppy, slanted, and uneven stitching is a sign of a poorly made, and therefore, a fake bag. Designer bags will always have quality stitching because it is part of the designer’s reputation to produce a quality item.
- Check the tags or labels. Check the inside tags – are they stamped into leather or hand-stitched? An obvious fake will have no name on the inside tag. Check outside tags as well because many designers include authenticity labels on the outside of the bag.
- Check the material. If it’s leather, it should smell like leather. If it’s supposed to be durable canvas, it should be strong and well stitched. The material can tell you a lot about the bag’s quality. If the real bag normally has a pattern inside then the fake bags with mainly have just one colour throughout the inside.
- Check the logo. Logos are often a slip-up area for copies. They may have spelled the name slightly differently, such as Carter instead of Cartier. And, the more popular the “knocked off” bag, the greater the need to be careful because it’s easy to be taken advantage of. When you look at the stitching on the sides and you see the “LV” it should be continued onto the other side of the bag and this also goes for the other symbols on the bag. And most knockoff Chanel bags have interlocking Os instead of Cs, which actually makes it legal to sell but is, of course, a fake. They snip it to make it look real when it comes out of a dust bag.
- Look for a serial number. This is a stamp inside that says the brand (it may not be in all bags). Often times the serial number is still fake, but will look different and be a different font.
- Check the lining. If the interior sounds like paper rubbing together, then it’s not the real thing. A real designer bag will be lined, and often with leather. Again, check the stitching of the lining if relevant, and observe if it is double stitching ( not always the case).
- Look for color variations. Although some variations will be blatant, others may be very subtle. Be sure to have a close inspection.
- Notice wear break-in. Although this is post-purchase, how your bag wears in can be a sign of its authenticity. For example, the leather on the handle, after a few weeks, should look like a good worn leather jacket does. It should have an “aged look”. Stitching should stay intact and not begin to fray. Zipper handles that fall off early on indicate a fake.
- Check the zipper manufacturer, usually the underside of the zipper will have a logo. Many handbag manufacturers use the same high quality zipper manufacturer on all of their bags.
- Check the hardware, if it does not look like authentic hardware, feels light, has rough edges, ect. it may be a fake.
Prices for fakes can vary considerably from cheap to trying to sell the bag for high amounts. Be aware that designer-inspired bags can carry the blessing of the original high-end designer where adequate compensation has been paid and contracts exchanged allowing for lower-end knock-offs in chain retailers, etc. Usually the store will proudly say something along the lines of “as licensed by X brand for our store”.
The best place to purchase a designer bag is to go to a renowned store to for designer bags. Suitable stores include stores that carry the same name as the brand and quality department or boutique stores. The staff should be knowledgeable when questioned about the pedigree, quality, and guarantees concerning the bag. Designer bags cost a lot of money because they are well crafted and they’re status symbols. If the price is too good to be true, then it is, and the bag’s a fake.