How to Spot a Knockoff Designer Bag (Or What to Look For if You're on the Hunt For a Really, Really Good Counterfeit)
We all knew that girl in middle school who told everyone that even though she bought her "Louis Vuitton" bag on Fifth Avenue — like, literally on the sidewalk, not in the Fifth Avenue store — it was "probably real, because sometimes they're just stolen." If only you'd known this back then to prove that snooty girl otherwise. Racked got the deets on how to tell if a designer bag is fake, and there are some pretty good points in here.
The site caught up with Natalie Wyll and Alexa Ridolfi, the ladies behind A Second Chance Resale, to give us all some insider knowledge on what to look for when it comes to potentially faux bags. Breaking it down into the three luxury bag brands (Chanel, Hermès, and Louis Vuitton), here's what the sisters had to say about what's the real deal and what's not worth your hard-earned cash. After all, it makes sense they'd be so tough to recreate, because would a Birkin really be a Birkin if it were easy for anyone to make (or if it didn't cost more than my life is worth)?
1. Don't rely on what the outside of the bag looks like
Coutnerfeiters are scary good at recreating the external appearances of the world's priciest handbags. It's on the inside, though, that you'll often be able to tell whether the piece is quality or crap.
2. Chanel bags have authenticity cards, but watch for fake versions
Real Chanel authenticity cards have a gold trim on them, while the fakes may not — plus, the real ones won't have a Chanel sticker in the corner, like the one pictured on Racked.
3. Make sure the stamp is straight
On a bag's inside label (or on the outside, in Hermès' case) the stamp should look well-done and even, not lopsided at all — the luxury house's quality inspectors would catch that immediately, according to Racked.
4. Check the stitching
A shoddy stitch job is a surefire way to tell a fake from a real designer bag, especially on the inside label. If it looks cheap or uneven, you'll know it's a knockoff. "If you start looking at finer details—edges and corners—you'll notice around here the stitching gets sloppy," said Wyll. "Those are inconsistencies that you won't find in an authentic bag. It's going to be neat and consistent throughout."
5. Take a close look at the hardware
If it's plastic, it's a dead giveaway. "There's always going to be one place where it's just not consistent with the quality of the brand, and a lot of times it'll be in the hardware," Wyll told the site. How can you tell? "It doesn't get cold, and it feels lighter."