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How To Spot A Counterfeit Bag

Here at Monty’s we have been dealing in luxury handbags and designer goods for decades. As a result, we have come to see our fair share of copies come through the door. Counterfeit luxury handbags have become a massive problem in the fashion industry, and in particular the second-hand market where most people are unaware that they have purchased a copy and only find out when it comes time to sell their bag.

This isn’t helped by some of the common myths surrounding designer handbags. We often hear things such as, if it has a date code then it must be real. But that just isn’t the case. The truth is while some copies are instantly recognisable, there are also some very high-quality counterfeit bags being made that do an excellent job of replicating the original bag.

So, you’re probably wondering how can I tell if a luxury handbag is real? Here are a few tips on what you can look for, and how to be sure you are buying a genuine handbag.

Monty’s 5 Tips On How To Spot A Counterfeit Bag:

1: Quality

Luxury handbags aren’t just a status symbol, they are made from very high-quality materials with incredible attention to detail. Quality is what separates a luxury brand from regular fashion labels, so it’s something they take seriously. Start by looking at the stitching. It should be straight and unevenly spaced. Logos should be embossed clearly, centred and straight. A crooked logo is a tell-tale sign that an item is not be genuine. If the material has a pattern make sure the pattern lines up with itself at any of the joins. This is a detail that is hard to get right, so most copies can’t pull it off.

Next look at the quality of the material that the bag or wallet is made from. The leather or canvas should feel like high quality. It is common practice to have a logo on the main hardware of the bag, although this is a design feature so not always present. Always trust your instincts. If something seems off to you, it’s best to avoid making the purchase.

2: Compare

With the bag in front of you, head to the makers website. Designer bags and wallets have style codes, usually stitched or stamped into the bag. If it is still a current item you can check their photos online and compare it to the item you are looking to purchase. It should be an exact match, as they produce items with great consistency.

3: Condition

If it was made in the last few years, then it should be in condition. Luxury handbags are designed to be used regularly and last a long time. If it is beginning to fall apart, material is fraying or the plating on the hardware is starting to wear away it might be an indication that the bag is a lower quality counterfeit.

4: Serial Numbers

Most designer brands include a serial number or date code, which indicates when an item was produced. Sometimes this will be hot stamped or sewn inside the bag. There are some great databases online where you search serial numbers or date codes to make sure the numbers add up. These will give you an indication as to whether the number has the right format. It’s not a guarantee, but another thing you can look for.
Recently brands have started adding NFC chips instead of serial numbers. These chips contain the serial number and other information that can be read by a special device. You can download an app for your phone that acts as a NFC card reader. You won’t be able to read the information on the chip, but it should be able to tell you if the chip is there.

5: Research The Seller

We recommend shopping with a seller that has a strong track record. It might be tempting to purchase from a random seller through a marketplace, but it comes with a lot of risks. Shopping with a business or someone with a track record of positive reviews is a great way to protect yourself and ensure you buy a genuine item. They have reputations to uphold, and should look after you if anything goes wrong. Remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

We hope you found these tips helpful. Ultimately there is only one way to ensure your pre-loved designer handbag or wallet is genuine, and that is with a Certificate of Authenticity.

Here at Monty’s we use industry leading, AI software to authenticate luxury designer handbags from all of the leading brands such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Chanel, Hermes and many more. The process takes microscopic photos of the material, hardware, logo’s and finer details to compare with a database of 1000’s of genuine items. Once a match is confirmed, your bag is Authenticated and we can issue you with a Certificate of Authenticity backed by a guarantee.

All of our luxury designer goods (where possible) come complete with a Certificate of Authenticity (or the original purchase receipt/Original Authenticity Card) for your piece of mind. It’s even stored online so you can reference it when needed.

Visit us today to have your items authenticated, or read more about this service here.

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