Purchasing an investment piece and luxury leather goods 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.
Notice the size and shape of the tiles/ scales of the leather. Genuine crocodile leather articles have scales/ tiles that gradually transition from larger and squarer tiles (belly) to smaller and rounder tiles (sides). Normally, embossed article will show no signs of this transition or if the specific tile is repeated multiple times - it is a good indication that it is most likely fake.
Normally, genuine crocodile leather articles like bags will start at the thousands mark. For a small clutch, you'd be paying at least AUD 1,200 at a lower end. Also note that the most valuable crocodile leathers are Nile and the Saltwater crocodile leathers; followed by alligator and the least valuable crocodilian leather is caiman (many dots/ pores on each tile); of which you'd only be paying maybe AUD $500 for a small clutch. Normally genuine crocodile leather small clutches can sell from $1,200 to $18,000 depending on the makes. For example, you'd be paying $18,000 if you were shopping at Hermes.
Genuine crocodile leather articles will demonstrate some iregularities; with tiles/ scales of different shapes and sizes. If the tiles look consistent and uniform, then it is an indication that it is a fake or it has been stamped/ embossed on.
It is a tricky one especially if you're purchasing online. Great tip: is to always purchase it from the design house's official website and determine that they are legitimate business registered, look for Incorporation Number, Australian Business Number, Australian Company Number. At L I N 8, we only provide exclusive in-person consults of our products and we are available upon interests and applications.
If you're fortunate to inspect the article in person, run your hand over the bag and feel its genuinety. Normally stamped/ embossed leather are much firmer, rigid and compact - it feels almost like plastic. Genuine crocodile leather articles are soft to touch, smooth and supple; notice the feel over the tiles/ grains/ scales.
Articles that say 'genuine leather' is not sufficient indication to tell you what type of leather it is. In commercial and retail practice, many businesses use the term genuine leather, when they are in fact the lowest quality leathers. Some may say full grain leather; however this is still not an indication to tell you what type of leather it is - this just says that the grain of the leather is not made of scraps or it is not bonded leather.
At L I N 8; we do not work with embossed leather and our leathers are all natural full grain; this is normally stated on your tax invoice especially if you are shopping locally in Australia. Yes - we manually create your tax invoices because we now include the permit numbers on our tax invoices; so you have peace of mind that you are shopping with a legitimate Australian business that carries appropriate government certified permits.
If you're purchasing from the design houses' official stores and websites; you will receive official tax invoices that state that you have purchased genuine crocodile leather articles. Normally, they welcome any questions and queries you have. If the seller refuses to answer your questions/ queries, this should raise some alarm bells.