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How to Tell a Designer Bag is Fake
Fashion & Style

How to Tell a Designer Bag is Fake

Yemisi Oshodi

A new designer bag is a joy; discovering it’s a fake is not. If you’re in the market for a designer bag, these tips will help you spot replicas, fakes, and genuine designer bags.

1.Understand the difference between an imitation and an original bag. Knowing the difference enables you to make an informed choice about the purchase of any bag.

A genuine designer bag is made by the original well-known designer; it can also be made by a less-known designer but the main focus is on high-end designers. The bag’s logo, charms, attachments, etc., are all part of the original design down to the exact positioning and number of such features. Tags, signatures or marks stating the designer’s name form an integral part of the bag’s overall design and authenticity. Price is determined by what the consumer is prepared to pay for a designer label.

How to Tell a Designer Bag is Fake

  • A legal imitation is “designer-inspired” but not a direct copy, provided such a bag does not claim to be the original designer’s bag and does not attempt to use the trademarked symbols, logos or features. In most cases, it can legally imitate the style and colours of an authentic designer bag,while spotting any features that could deviate in evident ways in order to avoid fakes. Although it may suggest the bag’s similarities to the brand that it’s inspired by, it won’t claim to be an actual designer bag, without close inspection, the additions can be easily mistaken for the real thing, sometimes causing you to spend too much on it in the belief it is the original design. However, if you know what to look for you should be able to spot the differences.

How to Tell a Designer Bag is Fake

  • Illegal, fake bags put themselves across as being the genuine designer’s bag right down to the very last logo,tag,charms, etc. Fakes copy everything about the designer bag and pass themselves off as the original brand with no attempt to distinguish themselves as look-alikes. Prices for fakes can vary considerably from cheap to trying to sell the bag for high amounts. It is illegal to make fake merchandise, and while buying it, doing so supports illegal activity

How to Tell a Designer Bag is Fake

  • Be aware that designer-inspired bags can carry the blessing of the original high-end designer where adequate compensation has been paid and contracts exchanged allowing for lower-end imitations in chain retailers, etc. Usually the store will proudly say something along the lines of “as licensed by X brand for our store”.

How to Tell a Designer Bag is Fake

2. Be store wise.

The best place to purchase a designer bag is to go to a renowned store  for designer bags. Suitable stores include stores that carry the same name as the brand and quality department or boutique stores. The staff should be knowledgeable when questioned about the pedigree, quality, and guarantees concerning the bag. Assume that any designer bag being sold at a second hand market or street vendor is suspect. Designer labels do not authorise street vendors to sell designer bags or purses. It would be a rare to have a cheap designer bag being thrown out at a second hand market; it’s possible but improbable.

Know all you can about designer bags if you’re purchasing from online auction sites. Apply the following steps to any purchases of designer bags made at such places.
Ask trusted fashionistas you know where they purchase their designer bags from. They’ll be wise to the good stores.

How to Tell a Designer Bag is Fake

 3. Be realistic about the price.

Designer bags cost a lot of money because they are well crafted and they’re status symbols. If the price is too good to be true, then it is, and the bag’s a fake

If you do buy legal imitations, be sure you don’t pay much and double check the quality!

How to Tell a Designer Bag is Fake

4. Ask the vendor if the bag is real or a fake.

Judge for yourself the ring of authenticity from the answer you get from the vendor, keep your emotions in check and your common sense at the forefront. Sellers who avoid answering questions or are evasive have something to hide. Ask if you can return it if it’s faulty or fake. Naturally, don’t expect street vendors to agree to this!

Ask if there are any certificates of authenticity accompanying the bag.

How to Tell a Designer Bag is Fake

5. Know the signs of a fake bag.

There are numerous signs that can point to a bag’s lack of authenticity: The stitching, Look closely at the stitching of the bag. Sloppy, slanted, and uneven stitching is a sign of a poorly made, and therefore, a fake bag. Designer bags will always have quality stitching because it is part of the designer’s reputation to produce a quality item.

How to Tell a Designer Bag is Fake

  • Check the tags or labels. Check the inside tags, are they stamped into leather or hand-stitched? An obvious fake will have no name on the inside tag. Check outside tags as well because many designers include authenticity labels on the outside of the bag.

How to Tell a Designer Bag is Fake

  • Check the material. If it’s leather, it should smell like leather. If it’s supposed to be durable canvas, it should be strong and well stitched. The material can tell you a lot about the bag’s quality. If the real bag normally has a pattern inside then the fake bags with mainly have just one colour throughout the inside.

How to Tell a Designer Bag is Fake

ORIGINAL.

How to Tell a Designer Bag is Fake

  • Check the logo. Logos are often a slip-up area for fakes. They may have spelled the name slightly differently, such as Carter instead of Cartier. And the more popular the fake bag, the greater the need to be careful because it’s easy to be taken advantage of. When you look at the stitching on the sides and you see the “LV” it should be continued onto the other side of the bag and this also goes for the other symbols on the bag. And most fake Chanel bags have interlocking Os instead of Cs, which actually makes it legal to sell but is of course a fake. They snip it to make it look real when it comes out of a dust bag.

How to Tell a Designer Bag is Fake
How to Tell a Designer Bag is Fake

  • Look for a serial number. This is a stamp inside that says the brand, it may not be in all bags. Often times the serial number is still fake, but will look different and be a different font.

How to Tell a Designer Bag is Fake

  • Check the lining. If the interior sounds like paper rubbing together, then it’s not the real thing. A real designer bag will be lined, and often with leather. Again, check the stitching of the lining if relevant, and observe if it is double stitching not always the case.

How to Tell a Designer Bag is Fake
How to Tell a Designer Bag is Fake

  • Look for colour variations. Although some variations will be blatant, others may be very subtle. Be sure to have a close inspection.

How to Tell a Designer Bag is Fake
How to Tell a Designer Bag is Fake

  • Notice wear break-in. Although this is post-purchase, how your bag wears in can be a sign of its authenticity. For example, the leather on the handle, after a few weeks, should look like a good worn leather jacket does. It should have an “aged look”. Stitching should stay intact and not begin to fray. Zipper handles that fall off early on indicate a fake.

How to Tell a Designer Bag is Fake

6. Check the hardware:
If it does not look like authentic hardware, feels light, has rough edges, etc. it may be a fake.

How to Tell a Designer Bag is Fake
How to Tell a Designer Bag is Fake

7. Check the zipper manufacturer:
Usually the underside of the zipper will have a logo. Many handbag manufacturers use the same high quality zipper manufacturer on all of their bags.

How to Tell a Designer Bag is Fake

8. Don’t confuse a designer bag with making a purchase of value.
With a designer bag, you’re buying the label as much as the bag and it may not be to your budget’s benefit unless money is not an issue. Always check the bag, designer or ordinary brand, for its quality before its style. That way, you’ll soon learn that even some designer ranges make compromises that aren’t acceptable for the price asked. It hardly makes sense to spend 15,000 naira on a plastic bag with a designer label over a well-made ordinary label leather bag at 6,000 naira. Investigate and keep your head in charge of your wallet, not your fashion-hijacked heart.

How to Tell a Designer Bag is Fake


Look for young, up-and-coming designers whose designs show incredible promise but aren’t yet fetching huge prices. They may be selling online through a site such as konga, gift store or in a local boutique etc. Learn how to spot quality and style and support a new designer.

Let’s hope you don’t ever again, get in the sad situation of paying good money for a knock off.