In Lifestyle

How to spot a fake bag

It bags are really irresistible, but also very expensive …

The second hand market offers the possibility of having them at more reasonable prices, but with a great risk of bringing counterfeit goods home.

So how to recognize a fake bag?




Fashion brands try to defend themselves against fakes in various ways.

For example, by assigning a serial number to each individual product: it will be shown on the card that accompanies the bag.



Or using industrial identification marks like a certain number of stitches per cm².

The truth is that when a fake purse is done well it could trick even those who produce and sell the original ones




If you intend to buy a bag from other channels (in a second-hand shop or online), it is always better to go first in boutique.

So you can see the desired bag live (an original one for sure), check all the details (to be able to then make a comparison) and inform  you about the official prices.

But above all, check that the specific model-color combination actually exists in the catalog (or at least it existed in some previous collection).




Touch with your hands: the smell and texture of real leather are irreplaceable.

Metal parts must be heavy, never hollow and ultra light.

In an original bag, the seams never overlap the logo or the padding (think of Chanel’s matelassé).

In principle, in original products the logo is never cut or interrupted by seams and applications.


The lining is perhaps the hardest part to copy, because the counterfeiters often copy from photos, so the colors could be distorted.

The same is true for pockets: internal or external, those provided on an original bag could not be there in a false bag.

And then there are the most gross errors, like mispelling or the use of a different character in the logo or in other internal writings..



Second hand is based on the fact that a used bag (often in excellent condition) is sold for a variety of reasons.

Some examples: “it is a gift i did not liked, never used”; “it is a factory or shop stock, a warehouse surplus”.

The motivations are always the same and this could be suspicious: let’s check if there are more specific informations.



Obviously, recognizing a fake bag on an online shop becomes even more difficult.

Here are the main difficulties:

  • sites have names and presentations that seem professional (but they are not)
  • the quality of the photos is good, therefore it influences the judgment of the buyer
  • often the products even have the tag (fake too, of course)
  • prices are credible, with a realistic “discount” on boutique prices



Before making an important purchase on a site, check:

  • how long they have been working in the sector
  • how many previous buyers are, and if they have left reviews
  • if they talk about product stocks, be wary of too high quantities


Among the safest sites there is undoubtedly Vestiaire Collective, which offers the opportunity to sell and buy second-hand clothing and accessories, ensuring a high degree of control of individual products.

Apart from some more reliable sources, it is only the boutique that can give us absolute certainty that we are not buying a fake bag. Maybe it’s better to put aside a little more, but spend it without fear.

The market for counterfeit goods, on the other hand, has a billionaire turnover, which is growing alarmingly every year. Worrying for us consumers, but also for the economy itself.

Rossella Migliaccio

Italian Image Institute

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