Don't Be Fooled! 3 Steps To Spotting Fake Louis Vuitton Handbags.
It's no secret Louis Vuitton handbags are the most popular desired bags. As a result many counterfeiters are busy mass producing replicas. The market is literally flooded with knock offs. With so many popular celebrities, youtubers, instagramers, and influencers wearing Louis Vuitton the demand for knock offs is hot! Over the years the counterfeit business has grown to become a multi billion dollar industry.
Many women desire to own a Louis Vuitton handbag but simply cannot bring themselves to pay retail prices. Secondary markets such as eBay, Craigslist, Close 5, Amazon, do offer used Louis Vuitton handbags but then the question arises
How Do I Know It's Real?
With a good eye and attention detail you can quickly distinguish between a real and fake used Louis Vuitton handbags.
Step 1 - Research
First and foremost research the bag you are interested in buying. This is important! Decide what bag you wanna buy, and get familiar with it.
Typically Louis Vuitton bags come in different patterns and sizes.
Monogram, Damier Ebene, Damier Azur, Multi Color Black, Multi Color White.
Sizes vary on the bag your buying as a starting point its either PM (small) MM (medium) GM (large)
Or if you are buying a Speedy bag sizes will be 25, 30, 35, or 40
Familiarize yourself with the bag and study the pattern. Louis Vuitton bags are symmetrical. Whether you look at the pattern vertically or horizontally it should be symmetrical all across.
The lining in the interior is typically textile or suede. The textile should have a quality feel to it.
LOUIS VUITTON - COUNTRY CODES
A0, A1, A2, AAS, AA, AH, AN, AR, AS, BA, BJ, BU, DR, DU, DT, CO, CT, CX, ET, FL, LW, MB, MI, NO, RA, RI, SD, SF, SL, SN, SP, SR, TJ, TH, TR, TS, VI, VX
BC, BO, CE, FO, MA, OB, RC, RE, SA, TD
CA, LO, LB, LM, LW, GI
FC, FH, LA, OS, SD, FL
Step 2 - Date Code & Country Code
Every LV bag will include a date code either heat-stamped on a piece of leather or embossed on the suede. The date codes are bit tricky to find especially on suede. They are typically located inside an open pocket.
Since the 90's the the date code is as follows:
Two Letters and Four Numbers
The two letters represent the country where the bag was made and the four letters represent the week and year. In 2006 Louis Vuitton made a subtly change in the order of the numbers. The first and third digit represent the week and the second and fourth digit represents the year that bag was made.
This is Important. If the date code has letters and dashes or has more than four digits it's a fake.
This is where attention to detail matters. Carefully examine the date code. If the bag is made in France make sure it has a France date code. Also look at the quality of the heat stamp. Make sure the heat stamp is evenly stamped across Neatly. Louis Vuitton has strict quality control. Meaning they don't sell bags that are irregular, or have outlets, or offer discounts. Every bag is carefully inspected for superb quality and craftsmanship.
Which brings us to our next step...
Step 3 - Stitching & Quality
Lastly look at the quality and craftsmanship. Each bag is hand stitched therefore the stitching should be slightly angled with thick threading. Depending on the condition there shouldn't be any loose threads. Most fakes use vinyl so make sure the bag indeed is leather and the handles are leather too. Replicas are mass produced quickly therefore they don't care too much about the quality.
Look at the quality of the rolled leather handles and the dyed edges. Most replicas are cheaply made with vinyl and the color remains the same. Genuine Louis Vuitton leather through time will patina and turn into a honey like leather.
In conclusion the three main things to look for are:
Pattern is Symmetrical
Date Code is Correct and Neatly Stamped
The Quality of Stitching and Leather Trim
Think of it as a puzzle, all the pieces must be present for it to be complete. If one of the above is missing more than likely it's a fake. Keep in mind Louis Vuitton does not have authentication cards.
Authentic Vs Replica - Photo Comparison
In the following photos we compare the differences between an Authentic and a Replica. The pictures of the replicas are actual listings for sale on Close5. The worst part is the majority of the sellers are advertising these used Louis Vuitton handbags as authentic.