Ah, the joy of shopping! It’s no secret I love to collect bags. For some reason, bags make me happy. For the sake of variety and to ward off boredom, I often gravitate towards different shapes, sizes, brands, and colors. There’s nothing like a bargain. So, when I recently stumbled upon the same exact Louis Vuitton yoga bag, in a beautiful shade of pink, being sold at an online store for half the price, I jumped at the chance!
Little did I know that I was in for a lesson in how to distinguish real from fake bags—not just for replica bags but for any kind of shopping. Had I been wiser, this is a lesson I could have avoided.
The online store had a money back guarantee, but their policy of returning the product only after a certain number of days had already passed. Obviously, I was already suspicious at that moment. I took a few precautions, like checking the seller’s credentials, the product’s quality, and the reviews. But still, I was fooled. When the bag arrived at my doorstep, it looked nothing like it does in the pictures. The leather was rough and the brand label looked cheap and fake. I felt so let down.
This incident made me more conscious of what I purchase. I now know the importance of research and taking a second opinion when buying products online. Also, I have started to use the resources available online to make sure the products I buy are not counterfeit.
For example, when it comes to designer bags, it is important to note the brand, the material, and the craftsmanship. I now always look for the brand’s official website to check the details of the original product. Moreover, if I am visiting brick-and-mortar stores, I check the product for any defects or mistakes that counterfeits are more likely to have.
I’ve also noticed that some stores, even if they are legitimate, sell under-par products. For example, many online stores stock “okay-ish” bags, which are made with synthetic material, flimsy zippers, and are poorly stitched. It is important to read reviews and compare the prices before making the purchase so as not to be fooled.
My experience has also taught me that there are certain giveaways when it comes to spotting fakes. Many replicas have a more glossy or a brighter hue of the same color. The quality of the material used might be different. And most replica bags will also have some kind of flaw. It’s worth checking the brand’s tags and labels too, as well as the stitches and zippers.
I’ve realized that determining the authenticity of a product is a skill that comes with experience. It’s an ongoing process and I’m still learning. For reasons such as brand loyalty and uncompromising quality, I now prefer to shop from the original stores, or the authorized sellers. I’ve also noticed that certain stickers are proof of authentication, like the hologram sticker, and the genuineness card provided by the company in the original bags.
Although shopping for bags can be exciting, it could also be a potential landmine. That being said, it is not impossible to tell the real from the fake bags. All it takes is a few precautions, a bit of research, and staying aware. It is never too late to learn a new skill.