In this era of “errythang designer” it can be hard to keep up. Not all of us can afford to buy the latest trendy Fendi bag as soon as it’s released. Like, I don’t even think my credit card limit gives me that kind of leeway, tbh. Fortunately, when you do finally purchase yourself a designer bag, they’re usually pretty timeless. As long as you don’t purchase the fashion blogger-level trendy one that’s all over your Insta feed, your designer bag should still be just as cool now as it will be next season. And, with resale sites so easily accessible nowadays, you can get vintage designer bags at reasonable prices. (Of course, reasonable is relative, but I digress.)
As someone who loves designer stuff but also loves the feeling of accomplishment from finding a great deal, I consulted with Penny Karabey of Luxury Next Season to find out how to spot a fake bag on designer consignment sites. Luxury Next Season is a high-fashion hub for hard-to-find fashion accessories, so Penny definitely knows a thing or two about spotting the real ones from the fakes. Here’s five questions I asked Penny to get all the deets on how to spot a fake bag. Because like, no one wants to be that girl flaunting her new fake designer handbag. It’s just, simply stated, not a good look.
1. What Are Some Quick, Easy Giveaways To Spot A Fake Bag?
When it comes to authenticating a bag, the devil is in the details. Fake bags today can be very convincing from afar, so always inspect a bag closely. If buying pre-owned, make sure the bag can be returned if it is deemed fake. Also, be aware of what the bag comes with: does it come with the receipt, dust bag, and/or box?
2. What Are The Details That Separate A Real Bag From A Fake?
Always check the stitching for consistency and uniformity, it should never be sloppy on a designer bag. Some are hand stitched and have tiny differences, but nothing should be obviously visible.
Check the label, does the font look correct? Chanel, Fendi, and Louis Vuitton all have tags inside their products with serial numbers, while Hermes uses embossed stamps in specific locations on each bag. Also, check the dust bag to see if it’s the correct one.
3. Can You Trust Luxury Consigners To Always Have Real Stuff?
While Luxury Next Season doesn’t deal with consignment, I personally suggest you never assume a bag is authentic until you see it and hold it, and if need be, have it authenticated, regardless of who the consignor is. Some well-known bloggers are open about where they buy their bags, whether it be directly from brands, from department stores, from smaller boutiques like Luxury Next Season, or pre-owned.
Ask trusted fashionistas you know where they purchase their designer bags from. They’ll be wise to the good stores.
Ask if you can return it if it’s faulty or fake. Naturally, don’t expect street vendors to agree to this!
Don’t pay via WesternUnion, PayPal Family and Friends, or with other payment methods. Credit Card payment is the most protected way to purchase luxury goods.
4. What Are Some Tips For Authenticating A Bag You’re Buying On A Resale Site, Such As Poshmark?
Most resale sights have their own in-house authentication services. Poshmark authenticates any item over $500 free of charge before the buyer receives it. Other sites have their own authentication teams who inspect every item before it is posted for sale. That being said, If you are unsure of an item’s authenticity, there are plenty of great authentication services out there that will authenticate items for a small fee. However, some very high profile fashion consignment stores have been caught selling fakes, so always do your own research.
5. Which Iconic Bags Or Brands Are Most Often Replicated As A Knockoff?
The most knocked off brands are without a doubt Chanel, Hermes, and Louis Vuitton. Within these brands, their most classic and well-known pieces are often the most counterfeited. For Chanel that would be their “BOY” and “Classic Flap” styles, and for Hermes, that means the “Birkin”, the “Kelly, and the “Constance”. Lastly, the most common bags to be faked from LV are the “Speedy” and “Neverfull” bags. But be aware that even rarer and more trendy seasonal pieces are often counterfeited as well, just in smaller numbers.
Well, there you have it! I mean, I’m definitely not surprised that the Louis Vuitton Neverfull is one of the most replicated knockoff bags. Pretty sure we all know at least one person with a fake, one person with a real one, and one person with a fake one who’s claiming it’s real. (Sadly, that was me in high school.) Either way, at the end of the day, the real ones will naturally separate themselves from the fakes. Like, when the girl who claims her bag is real and then the handle casually falls off, well, the jig is up.
So at the end of the day, now that you can spot a fake bag, my advice to you is to either save up and treat yourself to a fab designer bag from Luxury Next Season, use these tips and tricks to get one from a resale site, or just go get a cute trendy bag from Zara. But please, don’t knowingly (or unknowingly, after reading this article) get a fake bag. You’re better than that.
Images: @evlinee / Unsplash