Whether it's a Louis Vuitton, Proenza Schouler or Chanel that your heart desires, it's likely, if you're spending upwards of $1,000 on a purse, you want it to be real.
But there are plenty of people out there -- online and on street corners -- who are looking for people super keen on buying a Birkin to scam. (Can you imagine what it would feel like to think you've bought "the real deal" when all you've snagged is a knock-off? Blah.)
Avoid the feeling of "it" bag buying defeat, by checking out these tips from one of the top coupon code websites on the 'net. Their five tidbits will help you spot a fake online, and will save you from serious sartorial heartbreak.
Spotting replica handbags used to be simple; check the hardware, logos and material. Lightweight metal accents, slightly skewed logos and cheap materials are still the first lines of defence for warding off fakes, but with today’s higher-quality knock-offs, it’s a case of needing steps two through five as well.
When buying a handbag online, make sure it’s from a reputable source. If sites are based in China or Hong Kong, proceed with caution, as the two countries make up 88.8 per cent of the goods seized. Also, check the descriptions and reviews for signs of inauthenticity. If customer reviews say the bags aren’t the real thing, then they likely aren’t.
Just because a bag is sold online, it doesn’t mean it’s fake. Authentic and vintage handbags are often sold on eBay; buyers just need to be smart in researching the seller. If the deal looks too good to be true, it usually is. A Chanel bag will never be $50, so use common sense. Certified resale sites like Portero also offer discounts on authentic bags.
A Burberry or Prada handbag will not have crooked stitching or unfinished edges. High-end brands take ultimate pride in craftsmanship, so no imperfect bag would leave their factory for a legitimate retailer like Nordstrom. The leathers and fabrics of authentic bags will always be perfectly stitched and lined up, never crooked or gapped stitched.
Know the signs to look for in the specific bag. For instance, Marc Jacobs’ zippers are embossed with either RiRi or Lampo and all Louis Vuitton bags made since the early ‘80s have a date stamped somewhere on the interior. Brand fanatics spend time spotting knock-off bags to protect their favourite designers’ integrity, so a quick search before you buy will reveal specific tells for each high-end brand.
Armed with these five tips, spotting imitation designer handbags should be simple. Don’t fall into the impostor trap -- if the real thing is too expensive, buy an authentic, quality handbag of a lesser-known brand.
Here are real Hermes bags on the arms of celebs: