We all know how expensive designer handbags are, so I wanted to share some of the best tips on identifying a fake designer handbag so you’re never left with a bogus bag. These days, you can easily find legit-looking designer bags online or at yard sales at great prices, but unfortunately some sellers aren’t as honest when it comes to designer-inspired pieces. So, you’ve got to be an informed shopper. There are definitely some telltale signs to look out for when you’re shopping for a designer handbag. Be sure to take note of some of these tips on identifying a designer knockoff so you get the real deal!
1. Check the Seller
One of the tips on identifying a fake designer handbag that I must share with you is to check out the seller and store. If someone just walks up to you and says they have a bunch of Gucci bags for sale in a nearby alley, you should be suspicious. As much as we would like to believe that nice people out there want to give us a good deal, it’s almost always not the case. Most times, authentic designer purses aren’t sold at flea markets or yard sales so your best bet is to go directly to a department store so you can return or exchange it. If you’re buying online, the seller should have several pictures of the bag showing details of the bag. If they don’t and aren’t willing to provide them, move on.
2. Get to Know the Bags
Another lesson in how to spot a fake designer bag is to get to know the designer handbag you want. Seemingly little things like labels, stitching, hardware, tags, material or charms can help you identify a designer knockoff so it’s a good idea to “study” these things before you go out and buy it. Authentic designer handbags won’t have tarnished hardware or misaligned logos. Go to the designer’s store and see these details for yourself or look at them online at the designer’s website.
3. Inspect the Bag
Once you know what details to look for, thoroughly inspect the bag in question. While most designer knockoffs can be pretty obvious, there are some out there that look very similar to the real thing. Be sure you handle the bag yourself. Many fakes are lightweight and have a funny smell to them. Look inside and check the lining. Is there a designer label inside? Does it have a serial number? Do the monograms or insignias line up?
4. Read Reviews
If you’re thinking of purchasing a bag online, do your research. Read other buyer reviews and read both negative and positive ratings. One word of caution from Huffington Post is to see if the seller or site is based in China or Hong Kong and if so, proceed cautiously. This is not to say that all handbags from sellers or sites based in China or Hong Kong are fake, but those two places make up over 85% of the goods seized.
5. Check Packaging
If you’re buying a bag from a flea market or other reseller, you might not always get to see the original packaging, but if you do, inspect it well. Most designer handbags come in high quality packaging with tissue, a dust bag and a certificate or other type of documentation. If your bag comes as is with just the bag, don’t automatically assume it’s fake. Instead, ask if it comes with a certificate of authentication or, on some bags, you can check the serial number.
6. Look for Flaws
I can’t stress enough the importance of thoroughly checking the bag before you buy. Look for flaws like misspellings, bent hardware, poor quality material, poor stitching, a weird smell and if the price is just too good to be true, it probably is. I’ve heard that this odd, cheap smell from fake handbags comes from a leather scented spray that’s sprayed on bags to make them seem more authentic. So don’t be afraid to sniff handles and the bag itself!
7. What’s Wrong with Buying Fakes?
Let’s say you’re offered a pretty decent looking bag with a decent price tag, but it’s a knockoff. Should you get it anyway? I know some ladies can’t or don’t want to pay the high prices that designer handbags cost, but there are some reasons to walk away from fakes, even if you’re aware of it. Fake designer bags are usually created by children in sweatshops and who wants to support that? In addition, fake designer bags rarely look good or last very long. Why not save your money to buy a real, lower-priced brand instead?
Those are my tips on how to spot a fake designer bag. I know it might seem easier said than done, but once you know what to look for, it gets easier and easier to spot a knockoff. Do you have any tips on spotting fake designer bags that you want to share?