These days, everyone is trying to save money. And people who love Louis Vuitton handbags are certainly no exception. One great way to save money is to buy pre-owned (AKA “pre-loved”) handbags on eBay, Bonazle, eCrater, or what have you. And with so many people out there trying to unload their luxury items for some quick cash, there are many great deals to be had. But is that Louis Vuitton handbag authentic? For the unwary shopper, these internet market places can be quite dangerous. So how can you avoid buying a fake? There are some things you can do to help lower your chances of getting stuck with a knock-off. Below you will find some tips on buying pre-owned Louis Vuitton handbags online.
Tip #1: Know your seller!
Always, always check out a seller’s feedback. Also, do they have a history of selling Louis Vuitton? Quality is just important as quantity. Positive feedback regarding previously sold Louis Vuitton items should carry more weight than positive feedback alone. This isn’t to say that a first time seller doesn’t have an authentic item, it just means that this is something you should definitely take into consideration.
Tip #2: Know your item!
Go to your nearest Louis Vuitton boutique and check out the style you are interested in. Get to know EVERY little detail. If you don’t have the opportunity to see the bag you want in person, then examine close up photos from a trusted online source. Pay very close attention to the alignment of patterns since this is consistent among all bags of the same style. Also look at the number of stitches on different parts of the bag. All classic monogram Speedy handbags, for example, have exactly 5 stitches across the top on the handle mount tab (see picture below). Also pay attention to what sort of lining the handbag should have. The Multicolore Speedy 30 in black, for example, has a mushroom gray alcantara lining.
Tip #3: Beware of fake tags and dust covers!
Sometimes a fake can easily be spotted simply by identifying a fake tag or dust cover. If the handbag in question has a white or yellow “Louis Vuitton” tag dangling from a string, then run in the opposite direction as fast as you can! An authentic tag is plain white with only a bar code, style number, and the name of the item printed on it. Tags come loose, they are never attached to the outside of the handbag. Also pay attention to dust covers. The ones that have “Malletiera Paris” written beneath the words “Louis Vuitton” are fake.
Tip #4: Familiarize yourself with date codes!
Looking for a discontinued style? Make sure that the date code matches the time frame in which the style was produced. Between 1990 and 2006, all date codes consisted of 2 letters followed by 4 numbers. The letters coded for the country of origin, while the numbers represented the production date. The first and third numbers indicated the month, while the second and fourth numbers indicated the year. This would mean that the handbag belonging to this date code (see picture below) was made in September of 2006. Beginning in January 2007, however, the date code format was changed. The first and third numbers now represent the week (out of 52) in which the handbag was produced.
Tip #5: Ask for help!
The girls over at the Bag Forum are always happy to help as much as they can. So don’t be afraid to post pictures of a handbag you are interested in buying. You can post your authentication questions here: Louis Vuitton Handbag: Please authenticate this purse