Here are our top 10 tips on how to avoid buying a fake designer handbag. Where there are wait lists at the official shops, people tend to look for alternatives especially in the resellers' market. In this scenario, how do you know if you have purchased an official or authentic designer handbag?
It is unfortunate that, you can never be 100% certain that a handbag you bought in the resellers' market is 100% genuine and authentic. However, here is a guide to help you in your next purchase.
Tip 1 Purchase from the designer's shop directly. For items that you can purchase from the designer directly, it is advisable to do so. You do not only experience the brand at the designer shop, it is highly probable and quite 100% certain that your goods purchased would be authentic. Afterall, definitely worth the trip to the designer store; as you can shop for other accessories too! This also applies to only shopping at official designer websites; do not fall into the trap of shopping at a non-official website.
Tip 2 Price. How much are you paying for it? This is not caveat at all as many other rules apply when purchasing an authentic designer bag. For example; generally you'd pay at least $3,000 for a small crocodile leather clutch as opposed to paying only $300 for a small 'crocodile leather' clutch. Other examples include buying a brand new Hermes Birkin bag for less than $5,000 when they retail for $12,000 (size 30). Luxury bags are not the cheapest because they are priced for the materials used, and its craftsmanship quality. Knowing how much the bags cost in retail at the official designers' shop/ website can help you gauge how much you should pay for in the resellers' market (also depending on its wear and tear) - also remembering that the resellers will take commission of the sale too.
Tip 3 Inspect closely. If you're purchasing from a non-official designer's shop/ website - always ask for detailed photos of the bag. If a reseller is not willing to provide additional photos then this should raise alarm bells. You want clear and bright photos of the bag from different angles which show the front, side, bottom, inside, top, closure, zips if any, stitches of the bags. Knowing the materials the designer uses an also help guide you. For example, L I N 8 uses riri zips in their bags and accessories. Ask for videos if you have to!
Tip 4 Interior of the bag. Inspect the interior of the bag, study the lining of the bag and compare it with the lining at the official designers' shop/ official designers' website. Counterfeiters sometimes care less about the interior and use inferior materials. Also have a look at the interior labels whether if its craftsmanship is almost perfect or not. Knowing how the logo looks will also help in guiding your decision.
Tip 5 Authenticity card. Is there one? Again, knowing how the authentic designers' logo will help guide you, including the authenticity card. If you are purchasing from a reseller and if it's a relatively new bag; visiting your local designer shop can help. Normally a counterfeiters' 'authenticity' card will look very different from the authentic one. Note also that different designers have different ways to prove its own authenticity; whether if it's different number of digits on its serial card; its thickness; its printing; type of cards printed on etc. L I N 8's authenticity card is printed on metal cards for example.
Tip 6 Bag finishing. Finishing is extremely important in designer bags. They take pride in producing the best craftsmanship. L I N 8 accessories are finished like European fashion houses and we do not leave our leathers exposed without proper edging throughout. Remember that counterfeiters sometimes get lazy in finishing their bags properly; always check the interior of the bags too.
Tip 7 Fittings of the bag. Inspect the fittings of the bags closely. Are they light or heavy? Normally authentic or designer bags' fittings are heavy by feel. This because, they use well-made brass to make their fittings. If the fittings feel light and/ or 'plasticky' then it is more likely than not it is not an authentic designer bag. At L I N 8 we use Italian-made fittings; they are normally brass and feel heavier compared to poorly made fittings. Riri zips are also the best, we use Riri zips at L I N 8 and so does Hermes, and sometimes Prada. Knowing the materials of what designers use on their bags can also help guide you.
Tip 8 Reseller. Know your reseller. Cross-reference the reseller; ask your reseller questions about the bags and himself/ herself. How much information are they willing to give you? Ask others who have bought from the reseller before. Check the resellers' rating and/ or review.
Tip 9 Style of the bag. If you're thinking of purchasing something that is seasonal, it does add a lot more difficulty in trying to prove if something's authentic or not. Usually classics can be found in official shops/ official websites though you can't find them if they are seasonal. Again, you look at its quality and if in doubt, there are independent authenticators out there. Again, know the authenticators, check their reviews and cross-reference.
Tip 10 How you feel. More often than not, trust your gut feeling. If you feel uncomfortable purchasing from a reseller, then don't.
If in doubt, always purchase directly from the designers' official website or shop. If you are after a relatively new piece (made within the last 2 years) or classic piece, it helps to go into the designers' official shop/ website and compare photos of the authentic bag versus the bag in question. This is one of the main reasons why a L I N 8 crafted-piece is timeless. We do not craft seasonal accessories because our accessories are not only worn for fashion, our accessories are made timeless to last for a long-time and to be handed down to the next generation.
L I N 8 accessories are created with a legacy in mind.
Purchasing an investment piece sometimes requires some homework of your own. Shopping for genuine crocodile leather articles can sometimes be daunting because you're spending a few thousand dollars on a bag.
Here are some tips on how to spot the difference between genuine and fake crocodile leather.