How To Tell If A Bag Is A Knockoff.

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Recently when I went thrifting I happened upon a deal that could possibly be the best thrift find I've ever had. I bought a Chanel purse at a church rummage sale for only $1! Now, this could be my best thrift find if the bag is actually real. How do you tell a real bag from a fake? I was curious to find out if my bag is real or not so I looked up some information on the topic. Hopefully this post might help any of you who are stumped on trying to find out if your bags are real or not!



If buying a bag it should...


  • Come with care instructions and a historical information booklet.
  • Come with an ID card that has a specific serial number. That same serial number should match with one on the inside label of the bag.
  • Come in a box that clearly has the brand's name on it.
  • Come with a dust bag, which is a thin bag that slips over the purse when it is not being used so it does not get dirty.

Signs it's a a knockoff...


  • The stitching will often be uneven,puckered, frayed at the ends, or just plain sloppy. The reason designer bags cost so much is because of the fine craftsmanship and time that went into creating the bag. Knockoffs are mass produced and easily made, so they will not be as finely crafted.

  • The bag must feel, smell, and look like leather. Real leather is heavy, so if the purse is light, it's probably a knockoff. Also, after a few weeks of using, a real designer bag's handles should wear down and start to darken. This is a good thing, for it shows the bag is made from real leather and not a cheap plastic material that doesn't weaken.

  • If the material on the inside of the bag makes a sound like paper rubbing together, it's a sure sign the bag is a knockoff!

  • Another important point on the stitching is that the color of the thread should match the color of the material of the bag.

  • The tag on the inside of a bag is huge sign in whether a bag is a fake or not. All designer bags should have a leather label stamped on the inside that usually tells where it is made, the brand, and serial number. Often, fakes will have the name of the brand misspelled or will have words on the label jumbled together and won't make sense. For example, a knockoff bag may have the name "Cate Spade" instead of "Kate Spade" on the inside. Or, knockoffs might add an extra S to the end of a brand name, like "Burberrys." Also, if the bag does not have a serial number on the inside, most times it is considered a fake.

  • Knockoff purses will often be bent/shaped oddly or be stiff, as well as, not sitting up without falling over.

  • Usually the price range for a fake bag will range from $20-$80 U.S. dollars. Seriously, do you think Gucci would be allowing their real bags to sell for this much...?

  • Just because on the inside of the purse it has a "Made in China" tag, it does not necessarily mean the bag is a knockoff. Some designer bags, like Coach, are actually made in China.

  • Look at the zippers, clasps, and hardware for individual details that a designer would have included in his or her real bag, such as initials or brand name.

  • Also, on knockoff purses the hardware may be abnormally large or over sized.

  • No designer handbag will have the handles of the bag wrapped in tissue paper or plastic when the bag is first purchased.

Most common ripped off bag brands...

  • Louis Vuitton
  • Dior
  • Prada
  • Gucci
  • Burberry
  • Coach
  • Chanel

Individual Bag Tips...


  • Knockoff Chanel bags will often have interlocking O's instead of C's.

  • Knockoff Louis Vuitton bags switch the "LV" to "VL."

  • Real Louis Vuitton bags have the snaps monogrammed.

  • For Prada bags, the label must say, "Made in Italy."

  • A real Gucci hand bag will have the designer's initials on the zipper.

  • For Burberry bags, it is important that the R in the name has a rat tail, or is curved up at the end.

In the end, who really cares if your beloved bag is a fake or real? If it's cute, it's cute! :)

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5 lovely little notes:

sofi moukidou said...

nice post! really usefull!!!

Carys said...

These are such great tips!! I agree, that if you love it it doesn't matter whether it's real or not, but it's really useful to know when selling something (and so you can feel clever and show off to people about your bargain hunting skills!). Congratulations on your thrift, can't wait to see some pictures, and thanks for the brilliant advice!!
From Carys of La Ville Inconnue

Beth said...

Good post. My poor mother is a sucker for purses. She has no idea how to spot a real one so she will buy one off the street from anyone. I will have to share your tips.

phil230 said...

Knockoff Handbags are world renowned for their high quality materials. In addition, they feature classic timeless looks without giving up functionality. Let’s face it - not all of us have the money power to have a closet full of designer hand bags. We may have our coveted one - the one that we had been saving for and eying for a while, but at the end of the end it is not that one purse that we can carry with all our outfits. We need more than one handbag and we can't have all of them in designer labels.

Anonymous said...

Just to advise that the company name was Burberrys prior to 1999 :)

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