If you're a collector of designer purses, you know that it's extremely important to know how to spot counterfeit handbags. Fakes abound, particularly online, but there are ways to tell if that super-hot new Kate Spade bag you picked up online last week is indeed real. The key is to research and understand what a real designer handbag looks like. Read on for more information on how to spot counterfeit designer bags in a flash, so you'll avoid shelling out big money for less-than-desirable merchandise.
- Know the differences. Spotting a designer knock-off handbag isn't always easy. Some counterfeit bags will appear virtually identical to the real thing at first glance. Look closer, though, and you may begin to see some subtle differences that can tip you off. The International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC) says counterfeit handbags may have misspelled labels and/or sloppy packaging, among other things. In addition, check the stitching carefully for imperfections that could indicate a fake. If possible, compare the suspect bag to an authentic bag by the same designer. Detailed photos of authentic designer handbags are available online that may help.
Learn to spot fakes online. Purchasing a designer handbag online presents a problem: you can't do a physical inspection of the bag to determine if it's authentic before you buy. Fakes are everywhere online, including on popular, legitimate sites. This is where price comes into play. Designer handbags are not cheap, but counterfeits and knock-offs may be. If you buy a Louis Vuitton handbag online for $150, and it retails regularly for $1,250, be suspicious.
- Consider the source. Very few retailers offer authentic designer handbags online, but you may be able to get the "real thing" from retailers like Nordstrom and Macy's. You will not find brand new Coach designer handbags for sale by street vendors. Only authorized retailers are allowed to sell designer handbags, and they're not likely to set up shop on a street corner or in the back room of a shop in Chinatown.