Why You Shouldn't Buy a Fake Designer Handbag and How to Spot One

Many times you may covet a designer handbag that is out of your price range, but don't run off to the flea market to get a replica. Instead, save your pennies and look for an authentic bag on sale from a reputable retailer. Let's take a look at some of the reasons that you shouldn't buy a fake designer handbag and how to spot a knock off.

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Legality

Young girl holding leather bag at train platform
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Selling fake designer handbags is illegal. Counterfeit bags infringe on the copyright and trademarks of the designer and brand. By purchasing these bags, you are supporting these illegal acts. Instead, put away some money each month into your handbag fund and buy yourself the real thing for Christmas.
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Child Labor

Most designer replicas are produced by organized crime and illegal enterprises. They are made by young children in very poor working conditions. By supporting organized crime, you aren't just supporting and contributing to child labor, but also to their other crimes including human trafficking, child abuse and prostitution.

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Appearance

Most fake bags look cheap. They are made from low quality leather. The colors and dyes are oftentimes uneven. The stitching and general construction are poor. Authentic designers take pride in their workmanship. Sweatshops don't. Who wants to look like a poser anyway? If you can't afford the real thing, don't buy it.

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Designers

By purchasing fake bags, you are hurting the designers and the manufacturers. The time, effort and creativity put into producing a bag is extensive, from the initial sketches through the time it goes on the shelves. Additionally, if designers and brands are constantly having to spend money in court protecting their designs, the cost of their bags will rise too.

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How to Spot a Fake Bag

Think you got ripped off or are concerned that your bag isn't real?  Here are some things to look for.  Sadly, it is getting increasingly more difficult to tell a fake from the real thing so proceed with caution. 

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Material

Not all designer bags are made of leather, which seems odd.  However, did you know that Louis Vuitton is coated canvas with leather trim. If the trim is supposed to be leather, it should feel dry and not not oily, slippery or sticky. The hardware should be heavy — not hollow. If it’s imprinted with the designer’s name, make sure it should be there.  This is why knowing your designer bags and what to look for is crucial. 

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Lining

Often handbag lining is a dead giveaway.  Counterfeiters often work from photographs, not the real thing, making it hard to know what the lining is made of.  A quality handbag company will not use cheap lining.  Before purchasing a handbag make sure you know the bag inside and out.  A handbag company will never use a close approximation. 

Some people choose to carry a fake handbag to impress their friends. It's sad but true, making the lining of a knock off handbag the best way for a counterfeiter to scrimp on costs. 

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Workmanship

If you have never had your hands on a high quality bag, it's hard to know just how exceptional the craftsmanship is.  Familiarize yourself with high quality handbags to know that these bags will never have shoddy or uneven or back and forth stitching or loose threads.  The zippers will also be of the highest quality.  If a handbag has a printed logo on it, the company will never divide up the logo in a seamed area. 

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Pockets and other details

Know the bag you want to buy intimately.  Because counterfeiters often work off photographs, it's likely that they will omit things like pockets or other details on the bag because they don't have a reference of the real thing.  You should also look at interior pockets in the bag as well as this is an area that most counterfeiters don't see and can easily mistake. 

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Country of origin

Even if the bag isn't made in France, counterfeiters will routinely put this label in bags that are usually made there.  However, in the case of Louis Vuitton, one of their bag lines was actually made in Spain, not France.  These are the small details you can follow to help spot a fake.

Fake bags are incredibly hard to spot

Despite all the ways to spot a fake, it's getting harder and hard to actually tell the difference and there aren't. Just don't do it, don't support the counterfeit industry by purchasing fake bags and be sure to purchase your authentic handbags at reputable locations.