How to Spot a Fake Louis Vuitton Handbag
Tips for determining authenticity for a Monogram Louis Vuitton
There are many ways to distinguish an authentic Louis Vuitton from a replica.
If you feel the urge to purchase an item from a website such as an online auction, do your research. Do not be fooled, they are getting more skilled at cheating people out of their money. You must be careful when purchasing from any websites that are not approved by Louis Vuitton. The ONLY authorized site by Louis Vuitton is eLUXURY.com. Do not be fooled by people claiming they have permission or a wholesale list chances are they do not.
Authentic Louis Vuitton products are sold exclusively in Louis Vuitton stores, by calling 1.866.VUITTON and through the website eLUXURY.com
When shopping online and you see a bag with a cheap looking tag, then it is an obvious fake. They do not tag their bags with a strand of string with a circular piece of plastic marked in brown LV, nor do they tag their items with a cut out portion of the logo.
Most dust bags just have the standard “LV” or “Louis Vuitton” logo. Also the dust bags are not made out of cheap material and most do not have rounded edges.
Difference between real and fake Louis Vuittons
Depending on the collection, Louis Vuitton uses a variety of textiles to line their bags: canvas lining in red or honey, fine micro monogram textile, cross-grain leather, tone on tone polyester, or microfiber suede. Con-artists pay little to no attention on the interior. Most commonly they would line the interior with plastic or cheap tan or brown suede.
Louis Vuitton uses oxidizing natural cowhide leather that turns a dark golden honey color over time. Plastic is not used!
If the look of the bag is something that appears to not look like anything that Louis Vuitton has ever designed, chances are it is a fake. Louis Vuitton is well-known for their high quality luxury goods. If the piece is of horrible quality or a nonexisting style then it is a replica. Remember, just because it has “LV” logo doesn’t mean that it is.
Pay attention to detail. Louis Vuitton uses brass and gold metal hardware, not gold painted plastic. The zippers should also have the letters “LV” neatly imprinted. If you are given pictures from a seller, then go onto a trusted Louis Vuitton website and compare the styles. Minor details such as this could save from buying a knockoff.
The LV on Louis Vuitton bags are always lined up. The pattern should never be tilted or not proportionate to the other side.
Here are some random pictures from dealers who claim that they are selling the real thing compared to an authentic Louis Vuitton.
Other minor flaws
Easy way to determine authenticity could be done visually. Make sure that the LV’s are lined up and the material is not tilted. Monograms should be clearly printed gold letters with brown lines though the LV’s, not cutout, solid colored, smudged, or have a greenish tint. The threading should look neat, thin and done with accuracy. If the LV’s are upright on both sides, it may be a fake. Many Louis Vuitton handbags have the logo’s upside down on the other side.
Additional tips for purchasing
Ask for additional pictures. They may be using stolen pictures from the Louis Vuitton website.
There is such thing as a good deal. However, do your research to make sure you are getting the true thing. Be cautions of anyone claiming to be selling an authentic handbag for considerably below retail. You see ebay, yahoo, overstock and other auction sites cluttered with replicas selling for below $100. for a bag that retails in the hundreds.
Read up on Louis Vuitton and the new collection. If someone is selling a bag from a collection that isn’t even in stores yet, or there is a waiting list, then don’t buy. If the collection is new in the stores and the seller claims to have them in stock, they are definite fakes.
There is no such thing as a Louis Vuitton “wholesale list” or “closeout liquidation”. That’s just another way for scam artists to get your money in return for a list of disconnected/ out of service numbers.
If debating to bid in an auction, do your research the seller. Usually they have a feedback section where people who have purchased from them can leave their opinion. I would be suspicious of any seller who’s feedback negatively reflects their ability to be a seller.
Don’t bid on anything from a seller who has negative to zero feedback, or has been a member for less than 30 days. Most people who sell fakes are covering their tracks well. I know for instance that ebay does not require accurate information.
Date stamp does not guaranteed authenticity. Whether your handbag has the stamp or not, does not prove that it is genuine. Louis Vuitton started to use date codes to mark their items in the early 1980′s. Counterfeiters are even copying these, so I would not recommend basing authenticity singularly on this. You may need to search for the date stamp, they are occasionally hidden and may be difficult to find in some models.
Some date codes used
FRANCE: AO, A1, A2, AN, AR, AS, BA, BJ, CT, DU, FL, LW, MB, MI, NO, RA, RI, SD (also USA), SL, SN, SP, SR, TH, VI
USA: FH, OS, SD (also France)
SPAIN: CA, LO, LB, LM
If you purchase a handbag from a seller who excepts returns only if a written letter signed by a sales representitive is obtained, be aware. It is extremely rare for a Louis Vuitton representitive to give a written authenticity statement. They will offer to mail it in to one of their experts. Don’t worry, they will not confinscate it if it turns out to be a fake. That way you could try to recover your loses.
Also be aware that sellers are even forging receipt. There are people online who actually sell Louis Vuitton gift boxes, bouitque shopping bags, authenticity card, or even a care booklet.
Louis Vuitton does not sell handbags on street corners, nor do they give permisson for street vendors to carry their items. Don’t buy one in China Town!
It is illegal to sell or distribute trademark counterfeit goods. Although it is not illegal to purchase these counterfeit items, I wouldn’t recommend doing so.
allows designers such as Guess to copy the triangular Prada label. Such as replacing the word “prada” with “guess”
Guess also copies Coach’s signature “C” design by replacing it with their “G” logo, of coarse this is allowed through creative expression.
More info on Counterfeits
Smugglers get the counterfeit items into the U.S. by importing the items without labels. Customs will not seize items without the designer labels because then there is no proof. The tags are added to the goods before sale.
Have you ever walked past a street vendor who claims to be selling authentic Louis Vuitton’s for only $30. 00? Do you ever wonder how that’s legal, or why they don’t get arrested? Commonly, when the uninformed shopper purchases the items, the seller cheaply glues on a fake label. Buying counterfeit merchandise feeds the ongoing criminal activity.
It contributes to keep sweatshops and child labor in third world countries open.
There is evidence that selling counterfeit goods contributes to organized crime. Government sources have evidence that the bombing of the World Trade Center in ’93 was funded by the sale of counterfeit apparel.
Selling counterfeit items is a tax-free, cash only business. Law-abiding citizens get stuck with paying taxes, while counterfeiters sneak around it. In the United States alone, counterfeiting gets away with not paying somewhere in the area of $200 billion a year. If you get caught with selling counterfeit items you could face up to 5 years in jail and/or fines up to $250,000.
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