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You finally scored the designer bag you’ve been pining after for the past 6 months, and it’s gorgeous. The leather is stitched to perfection, the hardware is polished and gleaming, and its striking red color is just the right accent to mix up your wardrobe; not to mention, it’s the perfect size for a night out with the girls. There’s just one problem—one of the labels is sewn on slightly crooked, and your stomach sinks at the thought of it being a fake.
Being able to spot a fake bag can not only save you heartbreak, it can save you from wasting valuable time and money. And, unless you’re a seasoned pro or have gone through the heartbreak yourself, there are probably lots of signs of imitation and deception that go unnoticed at first glance. Here’s what you can do to prevent being caught in this all-too familiar scheme, and how to detect if you’ve been scammed.
1. Do Your Research
First, take note of the price of the bag. Do some research about the original price of the bag and familiarize yourself with the reasonable ballpark amount you should be paying. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Checking online forums and consulting with an expert in the industry can also give you a better idea of the validity of the bag.
2. Buy From a Trusted Seller
Second, it’s always a good idea to buy from a trusted and credible seller. CashInMyBag.com offers a secure and guaranteed authentication process that safeguards you against the threat of being scammed. Each bag is carefully assessed by a team of experts who can accurately determine the worth and validity of the bag. A good rule of thumb is that boutiques and quality department stores are likely to be legitimate, while street vendors or flea market stands can be a risk. The staff should be knowledgeable about their bags and be willing to provide proof of authenticity. Always ask about the return policy and don’t be afraid to leave empty-handed if you’ve gotten a bad vibe.
3. Check For Quality
The most obvious way to make sure you’re not getting stuck with a fake is to examine the bag inside and out. Get familiar with what to expect from the designer and the manufacturer and use your best judgement. If the quality of the bag seems poor, the stitching is crooked, or the tags look slightly “off,” it’s not a genuine bag. Other things to check for are weak or cheap-feeling hardware, such as zippers that don’t zip smoothly, leather that feels oddly stiff or odorless, or a muted color that doesn’t live up to the vibrancy of the real deal.
4. It's Chanel, Not Channel!
Check to see if the designer’s name is misspelled, spaced improperly, or accompanied by a fake label. If the label is stamped into the leather when it shouldn’t be, or is attached with the wrong pattern of stitching, that’s a red flag. Each bag also comes with a special serial number that acts as the bag’s own unique fingerprint. The serial number identifies the exact bag and can be traced back to the manufacturer to confirm its legitimacy.
5. Lining Is Everything
The lining of the bag should also be consistent throughout. It should feel and sound smooth and quiet, and if there is a repeating logo on the pattern inside, it should be the right color. Often, fake bags will ditch the logo altogether, and instead sport a solid color on the interior. You’ll also want to be sure the stitching on the lining is of similar quality to the rest of the bag—real designers pour their heart and soul into making sure each bag is made with the highest care possible, which is displayed most obviously in the stitching.
6. Wait It Out
If it’s not immediately obvious, you can sometimes tell a bag is a fake by the way it wears over time and with continued use. Daily wear and tear should be somewhat noticeable on a real designer handbag, especially if the straps are made from genuine leather. Slight fraying around its edges is also expected from day-to-day use, though if a zipper handle breaks shortly after purchasing, it may be a fake.
Being aware of all of these red flags will not only prevent you from getting burned by a fake bag, but it’ll help you to become a more informed buyer—making the bag-hunting process easier in the future as you continue to grow your collection. Luckily, the experts at CashInMyBag.com take the guesswork out of the process, and give you peace of mind that you’re getting nothing but the real deal. If you’re interested in learning more, check out Cash In My Bag’s authenticity guarantee.