How to Choose a Used Designer Bag: Fake Vs Authentic

Choosing a used designer bag over a brand new one has its pros and its cons. In one hand, you will definitely save some bucks that can be better spent in a plethora of varied purses to fit all of your outfits. However, with used goods, there’s always a risk of getting a fake product instead. That’s why understanding how to choose a used designer bag is EXTREMELY important.

So, is there’s something you can do about it? We have good news for you. In the following article, we will help you with some pointers on how to choose a used designer bag, and how to spot a fake one vs an authentic purse. Believe it or not, there are real differences between the two, you just need to pay attention to certain details and you’re ready to go!

Are you ready to get started? Read on the following tips, and you’ll never get fool while thrift-shopping for fashion goodies:

1. Keep an eye on the price

In fashion, you get what you pay for. If a bag’s price looks too good to be true, that’s definitely a huge red flag.

However, there’s an exception to this rule. When a secondhand goodie has gone through a lot of wear, you’ll always find the price to bit somewhat lower to what you were actually expecting, especially if the soon-to-be-yours bag has some scratches and minor tears. If that’s the case, it is possible to find a huge discounted yet completely authentic designer handbag

2. Use your senses

How do the bag’s materials smell and feel? Keep in mind that most designer bags nowadays are made of genuine leather, with the exceptions of some important brands such as Stella McCartney, which use materials like faux leather for eco-friendly reasons. Use your senses to determine the authenticity of your handbag!

If you’re not sure how real leather feels, here are some pointers:

  1. Real leather is always smooth, flexible, dry and a little bit warm to the touch.
  2. Synthetics leather tends to be rigid, and feels cold and lifeless (it’s a fake, after all!)
  3. Real leather has a rich, deep aroma, with a subtle yet pleasant animal odor.
  4. Fake leather has a plasticky scent, which suggests that your handbag is made from cheap, artificial leather.

3. Inspect the construction of the bag

Check your handbag’s hardware. These are huge telling factors. For example, zippers should always open and close easily, without getting stuck. Hardware on a real designer bag should always have weight, unlike fakes, which in all cases feel hollow.

Another thing to have in mind is that all the details should have the same color and finish. Also, the stitching should be tight, with neat and straight lines, and always of the same color. In fact, some luxury brands even possess a certain exact number of stitches! As a pro tip, you should know that very rarely are designer bags glued.

Likewise, always check the bag’s logo. Logos are often the most noticeable part of a cheap copy. In some cases, they might have the brand’s name incorrectly spelled, or use different fonts, sizes, and colors.

4. Verify the bag’s documentation

Just because a bag is used, doesn’t mean it will be devoid of proper documentation. Look through the cards to spot any misspelling or grammatical errors in the brand’s name. However, brands like Hermes and Louis Vuitton don’t provide certification cards, so if you spot one of these in a bag, walk away quickly.

Serial numbers can also be forged, so keep in mind that fact before committing yourself to get a used designer bag. These serial numbers can be found in a stamp inside the bag. There are many serial numbers that are repeatedly used through fake designer bags, so when in doubt, just check them online!

5. Know the difference between a legal knock-off and a direct copy

A legal knock-off is always “designer inspired”, yet not a direct, blatant copy of the real high-end bag. A good way to spot a legal knock-off from a cheap copy is that the former never attempts to steal or use the trademarked symbols, logos, or features from the original one. In most cases, they tend to imitate or emulate the colors of authentic designer bags.

Why is this so important? Well, to begin, legal knock-offs don’t claim to be original designer bags, in fact, most of the times designer-inspired bags can carry the blessing of the original designer via compensation and contracts, with tags along the lines of “as licensed by X brand for our store”.

Unlike these legal knock-offs, illegal fakes put themselves across as being real designer’s bags, by copying logos, tags, charms, and even stitches!

6. Be store wise

The best place to purchase a designer bag (used or not), is never a flea market or a street vendor. Ok, there might be a possibility of a cheap designer bag being thrown into a flea market, but that’s just too difficult. If you’re unsure, ask trusted fashionistas on where to get used designer bags.

7. Just ask the vendor

Here’s a simple way to spot a fake designer bag. Just ask the vendor. As simple as that. Sellers who avoid answering questions or are evasive always have something to hide, so keep an eye on their reactions when asking for details! Here are some good questions for you to pick up:

  1. Ask the vendor if you can return the bag if it’s a fault or a fake. However, be aware that most street vendors will never agree to this, so don’t be surprised if you get a negative answer.
  2. Ask the seller if there are any certificates or cards of authenticity that accompany the bag.

To wrap up

There are many good things about choosing a used designer bag. Just use common sense and maintain an eye for the details, and we can assure you won’t get fooled by a cheap fake.


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