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How to tell if your designer purse is authentic or a knock-off - Real or fake?

Updated on April 29, 2016

Designer handbags are expensive. With that said, how frustrating would it be to be told that your purse is actually fake? In some countries, like in Europe, it's against the law not just to sell a fake purse, but to purchase one as well. You'll want to avoid buying a fake either way; you don't want to walk around with your handbag like you're all that just to be snubbed because you have a fake.

How to tell if your bag is fake

  • Check the quality: This seems like a no-brainer. Just check that threads aren't hanging off the sides, that the lining isn't too thin when it shouldn't be, that it feels nice, and so on. Also, fake Prada (Frauda) purses have nameplates that are attached only by two little prongs; they can be easily taken off. Glue is a bad sign, too... you want stitching! Also check for crooked designs.
  • Compare: Inspect the bag you want from a real store and compare with a cheaper version (although the chances are that if it's cheaper, it's not real). Are the colors the same? Size?
  • Do your research: If a Coach bag has a leather strip down the middle, the strip should say "Leatherwear." If it doesn't, it's a fake! Louis Vuitton purse snaps are monogrammed, too.
  • Where it's made: Coach bags are made in China, not the United States, so if it says, "Made in USA," you've got a fake. Know where your bags come from.
  • Look for a card with a style number and name inside the purse.
  • Oftentimes, fakes will be of a certain style, color, or material that the real designer doesn't have!
  • Avoid kiosks, flea markets, certain websites (all if possible, other than the actual designer's website), garment districts, and purse parties (like Tupperware parties, only with handbags). Also, countries or regions where mass production is big, like China and Mexico, are risky places to find and purchase a genuine handbag.


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    • profile image

      realguccioutlet 5 years ago


      l like this bags~

    • profile image

      Anna Kathleen 5 years ago

      We need more hubs like this! Very, very useful. Sometimes the knockoffs out there are so good, it's hard to tell, but now that I have these tips to help I'll be better off. Thanks!

    • profile image

      saledfsfwatch 5 years ago

      It will never go wrong to buy at, because all the come in great quality, wonderful design and affordable

    • profile image

      5 years ago

      Today's bags are made in China, but vintage coach bags were made in the USA.

    • profile image

      Helen 6 years ago

      Need to know if Burberry is real?

    • wengfeng1989 profile image

      wengfeng1989 6 years ago from china

      i buy a coach bags at this store.,can you tell me if they are real or fake?

    • profile image

      John Barton 6 years ago

      Trust me, fake handbags, shoes, shirts, watches, you name it exist at every level of quality. The really good ones are indistinguishable from real ones. Plus you have the added problem that no one but a handful of people on Earth can ever say definitively what models were made in any given "collection". Go to any outlet stores and you will find real brands but models that aren't sold in the real boutiques. So the consumer is pretty much screwed. Basically the rule of thumb to know that you are buying a fake is this, if you aren't paying out the ass for it in a real high end store then it's probably a fake.

      The sad part is that the fakers know this as well and so in some stores they charge nearly as much as real ones. But those places are rare since they fairly glow on the radar of the fashion police.

      I live in China and produce high end cue cases. My stuff is knocked off all the time. Just a part of life, a crappy part but it is what it is. You get what you pay for and at the end of the day when you buy a knockoff then that's what you have and you know it. And if you think it's too good to be true, then it is with rare exceptions.

      It's a really simple concept. If you can't afford to shop at Louis Vuitton then you can't afford to own an LV bag. So don't pretend to be someone you aren't. All those bags are WAY overpriced anyway. Yes, they are nice and well made but the fact is that no purse should be worth $1000's of dollars when it's a mass produced item. And yes, don't be fooled by the "handmade" description, there are plenty of machines being used in the production of all purses out there.

      If you really want to be original then support your local leather worker and design something with them. For $1000 they will make you the best purse you can imagine and no one else on Earth will have one. And guess what, most of them will do this for $300-$500 as well.

      I am all for being able to charge what you want. So go Hermes for charging $15,000 for a bag. Fine. But consumers can also choose and before you drop $300 on a Hemrmes knockoff when you drive a $12,000 car, spend that money with someone local who can make you something rocking that is original.

      And if you want a great cue case then come see me (also my wife makes pretty slick handbags when she feels like it)

    • mysisters profile image

      mysisters 6 years ago

      Nice Hub. This is some very useful information. Nowadays you really can't tell whether a handbag is authentic or a fake. Here are some great steps to follow to determine whether its authentic or fake.

    • iriegirl profile image

      iriegirl 7 years ago from Jamaica

      This information is good to know. The fakes sometimes look real, so if you do not know what to look for then you can be fooled. The price will be an indication too.

    • Str8up Hookups profile image

      Str8up Hookups 7 years ago

      It's getting more difficult to spot fakes but if you know what to look for it's easy.

      Quality is key,the materials should be quality also zippers,snaps,quality of lock and key of LV is very easy to spot.You'll even find quality in the storage bag.

      Gucci is about quality,seams and stitching are impeccable and the pattern in material will always be spot on.

      With any high-end bag should be registration info,they want to make sure you're in their data base for future purchases and it will have ID# of bag on registration card.

      Online companies from China are hard to call because you can not really check the quality.Some bags are made in China for these companies,same inventory,same material may even have vendors pics on website.You receive your purchase but a cheaper quality product from the storage bag to registration info.

      Knowledge is power so arm yourself well.

      Great hub,Thanx for sharing!

    • profile image

      AnnieMary 7 years ago from UK

      Nice hub, thankfully there is a huge initiative now by the couture houses to clamp down on the replica bag production

    • profile image

      hubpageswriter 7 years ago

      This is a good hub topic. I'm sure ladies will have a good time reading this. I think there are more fake branded goods of ladies products than men out there. Hub up.

    • profile image

      MissB 7 years ago

      I agree, it's so hard to find out if you have a fake or a genuine bag, but I know a few tips and tricks and they have been invaluable, have a look at it's been a great source for finding the fake from the genuine.

    • profile image

      Authentic-Handbag 7 years ago

      Valuable thoughts and advices. I read this topic in great interest. I thank you for posting such awesome hub.

    • Johnyboy profile image

      Johnyboy 7 years ago

      For some designers is easier than others to find out all the counterfeits today. But some fakers get experienced at this kind of job and they are harder to spot.

    • nikki1 profile image

      nikki1 8 years ago

      great hub/love handbags

    • profile image

      Josephine 8 years ago

      Great tips and reminder!

    • profile image

      Michelle L 8 years ago

      interesting hub:)

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 8 years ago from Northern California

      Thanks for the websites, everyone! I recently encountered this when I went to Italy and saw fake handbags everywhere... at tempting prices!

    • silver93350 profile image

      silver93350 8 years ago from Kansas City

      This is a good post, I have recently seen fake websites that promise to sell you authentic luxury shoes, but in reality they are fake companies.

    • profile image

      Mandy M. 8 years ago

      I found great handbags and accessories at! I love the Italian designers!:)

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 9 years ago from California Gold Country

      Since I don't carry a purse, I don't worry about this. One less complication in modern life for me. I guess it's good to know if you are concerned.

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 9 years ago from Northern California

      Thanks guys! I got a lot of it from Tyra Banks :) Not directly, of course...

    • nostralight profile image

      nostralight 9 years ago

      I loved this hub GlassVisage...and I think your tips on spotting which is real or fake is highly accurate as I am pretty familiar with high-end apparel and accessories :)

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      You are right! It does pay to know this stuff. Helps you from buying the wrong thing. :)

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      This is absolutely valuable information and now I feel comfortable in knowing what to look for in regards to a designer hand bag. Fantastic Article!!

    • Crystalgemt profile image

      Crystalgemt 9 years ago

      Nowadays, it is really difficult to tell a difference between a real bag and a fake one. Great info! Thanks!