Buying A Designer Handbag Online Is Possible, As Long As You Follow These 5 Tips That'll Help You Spot A Cheap Fake

If you're on the hunt for a new designer handbag but want a bit of a discount, it's always worth it to check online first. If you don't mind it being previously owned, you can often buy designer bags online at sites like eBay for a fraction of the original price. Although most will be out of season, there will be some amazing NWT (that's "new with tags") or vintage finds. But how do you know if they're fake or not? Fake handbags are becoming harder and harder to spot. Sure, we know not to trust the sketchy street vendors peddling those $40 "Michael Kors" bags, but when you're buying online, it's a little harder to tell the genuine from the artificial.

Purchasing designer handbags online means that you can't hold the product first. You can't touch the leather to make sure it feels as soft as it should. You can't test zippers and snaps to make sure they all work properly and smoothly. You can't go back day after day to see how it looks against all your favorite outfits. Oh, you don't do that anyway? I totally don't either... But if you do give up the in-person search for an online one, there are still ways to make sure you're getting exactly what you want. Because the best way to avoid counterfeit purses, and avoid wasting your hard-earned money, is to be confident you're getting the real deal. And that confidence? It comes from knowing and wielding these tips. Here's what to know before you start browsing for your next satchel.

1. Know Exactly How The Product Should Look

Timur Emek/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

This means down to the little details. Know how the logo is really supposed to look. Know what colors and styles the designer actually sells. And check the stitching to make sure it's uniform— no designer company would ever output a product with wonky threads.

2. Know What The Product Should Cost

Timur Emek/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

If a designer bag is selling for a very small fraction of the regular retail value, this is an immediate red flag. If the item is authentic, the seller should know its worth and would not normally part with it for significantly less.

3. Read Seller Reviews

Timur Emek/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

If a seller doesn't have an adequate number of reviews, a high rating, or enough people talking about the product(s) they received, beware. You should also be wary if too many people are claiming to have purchased the same or similar product as the one you are purchasing. If a person is selling a genuine designer bag for a discounted price, it isn't realistic that they have multiples of the exact same product.

4. Don't Trust Stock Photos

Vanni Bassetti/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Make sure there is an ample amount of photos provided. You should be able to see the bag from every possible angle including the tag. If you can't, contact the seller and ask them to provide more photos. Any reputable seller will be able to provide you with any additional information and photos that you request.

5. Ask Questions

Caroline McCredie/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

In addition to requesting more photos if you so desire, ask about from where the item was originally purchased. Ask to see the dust bag and verify its appearance. (Does it look the way it should? Is it the correct one for this particular handbag?) Inquire where it was manufactured and what the serial number is. Ask any and every question you want to feel totally confident you're getting the real thing. A serious seller of a genuine product should be able to easily answer your questions without becoming annoyed.

Images: Getty Images (5)