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My Quest to Distinguish Real From Fake: Lessons From Buying a Bag.​

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.​

Free photo colorful kitted bags by the windowThe 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.​