When you ask someone to name dream designer bags Louis Vuitton is always on the list. These iconic bags have been the envy of women across the globe for decades.
Unfortunately, with this fame have come fakes. Thousands of them in fact which continue to plague women’s wardrobes and bank balances to match.
Have you always wanted to buy a genuine Louis Vuitton bag online but don’t know where to start?
Don’t worry, there’s a solution. I’ve put together 10 easy to follow tips for spotting a fake Louis Vuitton bag. Follow these steps and you’ll know how to tell if a Louis Vuitton bag is fake.
1 – Do your research
If you plan to buy a particular Louis Vuitton bag then the first thing you should do is visit the official Louis Vuitton store or website first. Scrutinise the types of bags and trunks they are selling and compare them to the online listings or eBay auctions that you have found.
Make a note of the name, model, color, pattern, logo placement and any other specification details that the official Louis Vuitton bag gives you. There are so many fakes sold online so knowing these details will help you to quickly weed out the true gems from the cheap knock-offs.
2 – Don’t trust the price tag
Many buyers think that if a Louis Vuitton bag is expensive then that particular listing must be for a genuine bag. After all, why would it be so expensive if it wasn’t genuine?
Many online sellers and independent sellers raise the price of fake bag listings in order to lure buyers into a false sense of security.
Don’t fall victim to this trick. Instead, if you’re wondering how much does a Louis Vuitton bag cost then visit the official store and compare the online listing you have found with the original product. Compare all the little details, not just the price tag, and you’ll be able to spot a fake.
3 – Investigate the seller
One simple Google search will show you that there a literally thousands of e-commerce sites, auction sites and independent sellers who are only too eager to sell you a ‘REAL GENUINE LOUIS VUITTON BAG’.
But how can you tell the trustworthy sites from the bogus ones?
Much like researching the bag itself, you should be just as discerning with the seller. Read their returns policies, terms and conditions, FAQ section and customer feedback posts as well as checking what payment methods they accept. If you spot anything you don’t like then simply close your tab and find another seller!
4 – Check the receipt
You’ve found a bag listed online – new with tags and they even have the receipt!
Hold on a minute before you hit bid. If you can forge a bag then a receipt is child’s play.
Similar to researching the bag itself, you can search ‘fake Louis Vuitton receipts’ and find thousands of images comparing real and fake receipts. Analyse these images and compare them to the listing you have found.
The top things you should look out for are the letterhead size, the placement of the logo, any differences in font, size or color, how the address is printed and how the terms and conditions are printed. Spelling errors or pen erasures on the ‘real receipt’ are also warning signs that it is a fake.
5 – Know your materials
You don’t have to know where are Louis Vuitton bags made to spot a fake (But if it helps all of their leather goods are made in France, Spain and the United States).
However, you do need to know what they’re made of.
The signature Louis Vuitton materials are Monogram Canvas, Damier Ebene and Damier Azur. In recent years Louis Vuitton have also introduced Empreinte leather, Monogram Vernis Leather, Electric Leather and Damier Carbon to their arsenal.
Double check that the bags you’ve seen listed online are made from these materials and you’re one step closer to owning a genuine Louis Vuitton bag.
6 – Check date codes
A unique feature of Louis Vuitton products are their date codes. Found on the inside of the bag, these date codes are different from the serial number and are visible on all Louis Vuitton bags made from the 1980s onwards.
The newest Louis Vuitton bags have a date code which is two letters followed by four numbers. The letters stand for the factory it was manufactured in, the first and third numbers show the week it was made and the second and fourth numbers show the year it was manufactured.
For example – FL1078 was made in the United States in the 17th week of 2008.
Before 2007 the date codes of Louis Vuitton merchandise followed a pattern of two letters with four numbers showing the month of manufacturing and year. The first and third numbers showed the month while the second and fourth numbers showed the year.
For instance – FA0065 was made in a factory in Switzerland in June 2005.
In the 1980s the main difference is that the numbers came before the letters. There were either three or four numbers followed by two letters. The first two numbers represented the year while the last two numbers represented the month.
Take for instance 8309CA – it was made in September 1983 in Spain.
Now all of this may seem a bit complex but knowing your date codes will help you spot a fake Louis Vuitton bag. If the date codes don’t match up with a particular season of bags, or if there if no date code whatsoever, then you know you are dealing with a fake bag.
7 – Know the logo
Louis Vuitton bags are iconic but think about it – what does the logo actually look like?
Having trouble, right? Don’t worry, I did too!
That’s why it’s always advisable to research the logo before you buy. The Louis Vuitton logo has four features that haven’t changed since 1959;
- The italicized interlocking ‘LV’
- The fleur de lis
- The inverted fleur de lis
- The quatrefoil
The logo will always follow this order;
LV – fleur de lis – inverted fleur de lis – quatrefoil – LV
If any of these steps are missed out or ordered incorrectly then you are dealing with a fake bag.
Top tip: Always ask to see the interior logo. It should be centred on the leather patch, embossed and easy to read. If it isn’t there or looks shoddy then the bag is bogus.
8 – Assess the hardware
Louis Vuitton bags are always embellished with impeccable D-rings, zippers or padlocks. This hardware should feel heavy not hollow because they are always made from either solid brass or a plated base metal.
This hardware is often embossed with the Louis Vuitton name or logo so double check the official Louis Vuitton boutique to make sure that the hardware detailing matches.
Also, the cut of the D rings, zippers and padlocks should sit perfectly on the leather interlocks. There should be little room for movement between the leather and the hardware. And the stitching should be seamless.
If any of these hardware details look suspicious then you should shop elsewhere!
9 – Don’t overlook the finishing touches
Louis Vuitton are known across the globe for their impeccable craftsmanship. As such, all stitches on Louis Vuitton bags are even, regular, and consistent.
Look at the crevices of the handle tabs and along both sides of the handles themselves. There should be no crooked, loose or double-stitching and absolutely no visible glue patches!
Top tip: Always double check the extras. Genuine Louis Vuitton bags often come with a leather strap and a dust bag with the logo on it.
Fake Louis Vuitton vendors will often add too much detailing to the dust bag or throw in plenty of extras in an attempt to distract buyers or make them feel as if they are getting the ‘Louis Vuitton experience’.
If the dust bag has anything else written on it other than ‘Louis Vuitton’ or the logo then you are dealing with a fake!
10 – Ask for more pictures
If you are going to spend hundreds of dollars on a bag then you need to be certain about what you’re buying. So if you have any doubt about the material, zippers, date codes or anything else then you should ask the seller to send you more pictures.
As a rule I always ask for close-ups of the logos, seams, corners, date code and interior if they have not been displayed clearly online. A reputable seller will have photos of the bag that they have taken themselves. A vendor selling fake bags will often pull stock images from the Louis Vuitton website so they will come up with excuses why they can’t send you specific images.
Trust your instincts – if a seller cannot provide these close-up images or if these pictures highlight something you’re unsure of then it’s always better to shop somewhere else.
Yes this make take some time but it’s far quicker in the long run than buying a fake bag and trying to return it!