Whether you have saved up for months or decided to splash out, one thing us ladies all agree on is the pure joy of buying a designer handbag. Years ago you could be guaranteed the genuine article, but these days fake knock-offs have saturated the market. Some are so good that they are fooling the designers themselves, so what hope do we have of spotting one?
Typically with fake designer handbags it is not just one thing that is wrong. So if you know what to look for you have a better chance of not being forking out a ton of money for a knock-off.
Here are Shoppersbase we have put together a comprehensive list of what to watch out for when buying your dream designer bag:
It’s all in the workmanship
All designer handbags are handmade, and attention to detail is painstaking. Some designers will even have a rule of a certain number of stitches per inch, and even if they don’t, each stitch will be perfect. There will be no loose or baggy threads, and each stitch will be tight against the material. Look at the end of the seam to make sure that it finishes neatly.
In brands that use their letters in a quilting pattern, such as Louis Vuitton, or Chanel who produce the iconic double C, check that these letters are not lost in a seam. No designer brand would divide their letters this way.
Check the colour
Counterfeiters typically do not have the original bag in front of them when they would, so they have to work from a photograph. This means they do not always get the colour right. It is more than likely that you have visited the store and looked at your bag before spending so much money, so you will have a better idea of what the lining and exterior should look like. And it won’t be a near approximation, it should be the exact colour.
Look at the little things
Hardware, such as metal clasps, zippers, buttons, locks, should feel heavy in your hands and not lightweight or hollow. They will look and feel expensive and have a number or brand name stamped on them. This stamp will be also perfect. Pockets are another way of telling if your bag is fake or not, by comparing it to the original. Counterfeiters do not have the opportunity to see into designer bags and will not know if there is an inside pocket, whether it opens with a zipper or magnetic clasp etc.
Probably the easiest way to tell if your bag is fake is to feel the leather. Designer brands use the softest, best quality leather that feel supple and flexible in your hands. Despite the soft leather used, these real bags will always maintain their shape. Some brands, such as Louis Vuitton, use canvas and leather trim for their handbags. The leather trim should feel dry and not sticky or oily.
You can check the authenticity of a bag by looking at its serial number and actually checking with the designer themselves. There they will have the date, location and time it was made and where it ended up to be sold. The serial number should be stamped onto the bag so there is no way of removing it. It should not be stuck on with a label.
Look at the packaging
If your bag arrives in see-through cellophane you have just bought a fake bag. All designer handbags come with the most beautiful packaging. For example, Hermès goods come in their iconic orange boxes, with gorgeous orange tissue and orange bags. The designer bag you have purchased will come packaged as standard and never be offered as an additional extra.
Pat attention to the font
Our eyes can easily trick us into not noticing the glaringly obvious. For example, designers only use one type of font or typeface but sometimes the counterfeiters get it wrong. As most knock-offs are make in Asia, where the language is considerably different and difficult, spelling mistakes are more common than you might think.