Luxury items are more than just a part of a fashion statement. For many people, they also represent a significant investment.
You see, designer items are made from superior materials that cost a lot more than what you’ll find in average brands. Ultimately, luxury products come not only with prestige, but also better quality. This is also the reason why preloved luxury bag consignment has become a thriving business.
If you’re investing in such a fashion piece, you need to make sure you’re getting an authentic product that will live up to their name and your expectations. To do so, you need to learn these nine ways to spot a replica when shopping for luxury items:
1. Know the brand and product well.
Different products and brands have unique characteristics that can prove their authenticity. Although there are general guidelines to spot the difference between a replica and a genuine luxury item, there are specific details that differ from one brand to the next (some of which you’ll encounter as you read on).
That said, you have to make sure that you learn as much as you can about the product and brand you’re looking to buy. This can be particularly handy when you’re eyeing pieces from a store that isn’t a direct vendor as you scrutinize every detail of the designer product to assess its authenticity.
2. Check the stitching.
If you’re not buying directly from the brand’s store or at a reputable establishment like Dubai Festival City Mall, you’ll need to check the details of the product more thoroughly. One particular aspect you have to inspect is the stitching.
Genuine designer goods have cleaner stitching compared to counterfeit ones. Unless the design requires otherwise, threads keeping the product intact will be straight and polished. You’ll also find more stitches per square inch in an authentic luxury item.
Since those making copies of the original try to save on costs to offer the products at lower prices, they are more likely to skimp on materials (i.e., thread). They will also be rushing through the manufacturing process to get more items produced, which explains the imperfect stitching lines.
3. Look closely at the logo.
A close inspection of the brand logo is arguably the easiest way to determine the authenticity of a luxury product. This is because most designers take the time to make this as unique as they can. It serves as their signature, after all.
Logos can come in many different forms. For bags, they can be logo plates, leather engraving, and even custom-shaped bag clasps (like what you’ll find in many Gucci handbags).
But whatever the form they come in, you must remember that authentic designer products will always have perfect-looking logos, so there should be:
- No missing details
- No typographical errors or inaccuracies
- No blurry or faded parts whatsoever
Besides the ones immediately visible, you can also check the logos printed on the label or the inner parts of the luxury item. A closer look can tell you a lot of things.
4. Inspect the fastenings and other details.
Zippers and pulls on designer jackets or bags can also be used to verify the authenticity of designer products.
Counterfeit items have glossy and easily-chipped fastenings, while authentic products tend to have a matte finish that will look the same even after several years of use.
The fastenings also tend to feel heavier, and the zipper pullers easily glide through the teeth or chain for original luxury items.
For bags with crystals or rivets like the Juicy Couture handbags, embellishments should be arranged straight and with symmetrical spacing.
5. Get a feel of the material.
Aside from the attachments, the general material also feels different between fake and authentic designer items. As mentioned earlier, copycats save on manufacturing costs, which explains why their materials have lower quality compared to designer products.
Fabrics used for replicas can come with a splotchy or uneven dye.
Leathers used for counterfeit products will have a plastic-like feel rather than a soft and supple texture of the original. Below are some examples:
- A genuine Hermes Mini Kelly uses Epsom leather, which is much softer than synthetic leather.
- Authentic Chanel Espadrilles are made from lambskin leather with a buttery texture.
6. Be skeptical about too-good-to-be-true prices.
Another dead giveaway that a designer product isn’t authentic is its very low price. Although genuine brands occasionally offer discounts for their items, they would never sell their precious creations at rock-bottom prices.
If the price is too good to be true, it is probably because it’s not an original piece.
Of course, you need to do a bit of research to know the fair price of a product (see tip no. 1).
For example, if a Louis Vuitton bag that usually sells at around $800 is offered to you at, say, $40, you should turn around and walk away. While tempting, the offered price clearly indicates that the item isn’t a genuine Louis Vuitton. Even pre-loved designer handbags won’t be sold at such a price.
7. Check the labels.
Labels can also help you differentiate between a genuine luxury product and a counterfeit.
The country of origin, for instance, should indicate the place the designer or brand originates from, like Italy. If it came from nations known for mass manufacturing like Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan, there is a good chance that that is a replica.
Also, naming the city as its manufacturing source is a red flag, as original brands will state the country of origin, not any specific city.
8. Look closely at authenticity documents.
One thing you’ll love about designer items is that most of them come with authenticity documents.
Sellers who cannot present these papers will most likely claim that they were lost in transit or that they will be mailed upon purchase. If you find yourself hearing either of these two excuses, walk away.
Some might attempt to fake these documents, too, so you need to be critical when checking these papers.
Of course, this will still depend on what brand you’re looking at.
For Chanel, authentication cards never come with plastic covers. For Hermes, you shouldn’t expect any authentication card for any of their products at all, which means if you’re given one, then the item you purchase is most likely a fake.
9. Watch out for even the slightest flaws and damages.
Luxury brands pride themselves on creating flawless products and won’t release any item with signs of damage (even minute ones) in the market – not even for a lower price.
This means that any bag, clothing, shoes, or accessories with scuffs, scratches, small tears, or other seemingly insignificant imperfections are most likely fake.
Know What You’re Getting
Luxury items serve as a good investment as long as you’re buying authentic. Make sure you don’t get duped; follow the tips in spotting the differences as presented in this article.