Picture this: you’re at a cute resale shop downtown, and you see a beautiful cherry red Chanel Boy Bag at a massive discount, nearly half the price you’d pay for it in stores. And it looks authentic, too!
But how can you be sure?
When you’re not buying from an authorized seller, it can be really hard to identify whether or not you’re getting something genuine, never mind if you’re buying from an online seller that doesn’t verify its goods.
Despite the counterfeit industry getting trickier each year, you can usually spot a fake bag pretty quickly if you know what to look for. Take a look for these signs before you buy a bag, and you’ll spare yourself the headache of buying a knock off.
If you’re buying in a store, look out for:
1. Plastic covering the handles
You know the thin plastic coverings that some manufactured products come with to protect the handles? Designer bags are never sold with these on them.
2. Hang tags
A trend among cheap imitations is shield shaped tags that hang from the handles. Unless this is a feature of your real bag, these tags can be a tip off that a bag is a fake.
3. Rough edges
No designer bag will have edges that are roughly cut or uneven, and a real bag will usually have wax-capped edges that are smooth to the touch. Take a close look at the edges of your bag and ensure that they’re perfect.
4. Sloppy insides
Because many fakers have gotten better at counterfeiting the exterior of a bag, it can be hard to spot fakes from the outside. Take a hard look at the interior of your bag, because this is often where a counterfeiter will slip up. Look closely at the brand, model number, and stitching of the bag.
- Are any stitch lines uneven, even a little bit?
- Does the thread ever change color?
- Is the identification number sewn on straight?
- Is there an identification number at all?
- These are critical things to look at on the interior.
If you’re buying online, look out for:
1. Stock photos
If you’re on a site that clearly cost someone all of fifteen bucks to set up, and they have beautiful, brightly lit shots of their bags, chances are good that you’re looking at a stock photo of a real bag and will be shipped a knockoff.
2. Suspiciously low price
If you find a bag online that’s much cheaper than what that bag is going for other places, then be suspicious. A real designer bag, used or not, is almost never going to be dirty cheap, and no one with half a brain would price a real bag for less than it could fetch if they were selling it someplace legitimate.
3. Strange sources
Sometimes, if it feels wrong, it is wrong. If you’re on a site that doesn’t look and feel like someone put time and effort into a legitimate business venture, then it’s probably not the real deal.
Check out the company that’s selling it and see what kind of guarantees they offer, if they have a support line, and what kind of press they’ve received. Do your research.