Everyone loves a bargain, but when you’re shopping for handbags it’s easy to be fooled by fakes. Take these steps to protect your money and fend off counterfeiters.
- Step 1: Check out the seller. If you’re buying from a flea market, street vendor, home party, or unauthorized website, the item is most likely a fake.
- TIP: Online auctions are especially difficult to authenticate. For guaranteed discount items, try manufacturer’s outlets or portero.com.
- Step 2: Research your targeted bag at the manufacturer’s boutique or web site, or at authentication websites like mypoupette.com. Learn the design details of the item; any variation from these details can indicate a knockoff.
- Step 3: Consider the price of the item. If an authentic bag originally retailed for hundreds of dollars, you won’t find a real one for 20 bucks.
- Step 4: Check out the bag’s packaging. Genuine items usually come with tissue wrapping, quality dust covers and boxes, product care and company information, and certificates of authentication.
- Step 5: Check the construction of the handbag. Stiff materials, poor dye jobs, and nonfunctioning zippers will give away a knockoff.
- Step 6: Check the stitching for irregularity. Most designer bags are stitched by hand and won't have the perfect uniformity provided by machine stitching.
- Step 7: Check the inside label. Knockoff bags frequently have labels with off-center type, misspellings, and may even say "Made in China."
- Step 8: Ask the seller for a money-back guarantee. If the seller is hesitant to guarantee authentic merchandise, walk away.
- FACT: Trade groups estimate that knockoff products make up almost 10 percent of all goods sold in the world.