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Is Your Designer Handbag Real or Fake?

Queen Bee of Beverly Hills - Designer Luxury H...
Queen Bee of Beverly Hills - Designer Luxury Handbags (Photo credit: queenbeeofbeverlyhills)

Over the years I have learned a lot about the differences between authentic and replica handbags. Luxury designer handbags can be expensive; but they are well worth the price. There are, however, reputable sources to purchase these luxury bags at a discount. Before you invest, make sure you know the basics of how to tell an authentic designer handbag from a cheap replica. A well made, luxurious designer handbag can be hundreds, even thousands of dollars. The reason you spend so much money (even at discount) is for the incredible craftsmanship, luxurious materials and signature pieces that signify style,class, glamour and so much more.
One of the best ways to ensure your new handbag is authentic is to look at the bag itself. Designer handbags are popular and they are expensive because first and for-most they are made from quality materials. Here are some tips on assuring your designer handbag is the real thing.

  • Stitching: Take a good look at the stitching. There should be no loose or missing stitches. The color of the thread should match the main color of the bag and the stitches should be evenly spaced.
  • Material:Inspect the materials on the bag. What are the lining, hardware and accents are made of? Many handbags are made of different types of leather, from Lambskin, Calfskin, Goatskin and Patent Leather, but it is easy to distinguish if the leather is of a good quality or not. Designers almost always use leather accents, not plastic. Some purses have straps that are specially coated and seem to be artificial. However, a quick look at the edge of the strap (usually near a stitched joint) should reveal a leather core. If the handbag is leather, the logo should be engraved, not just printed on the leather. Also the leather should not have any scratches, cuts or discoloration. The lining is usually made of a satin material that has a nice shine to it and most designer handbags have the name brandname or logo on the lining.
  • Hardware: All of the hardware should match in color and sheen. The hardware should also be free of scratches. Many manufactures, including Gucci, Fendi and Prada, protect their hardware with a removable plastic cover that is to be removed only after it has been purchased. The brand name or logo should be engraved, not embossed or printed on the hardware. For example, Gucci, Fendi, Prada, and Chanel engrave the name of the logo on the strap hardware.
  • Serial Numbers: Check for a serial number. Not all manufacturers use serial numbers, but many do. The serial number for Fendi purses can be found on the inside pocket. Simply turn the pocket inside out and there will be a printed number on the fabric or possibly on the leather tag. Gucci includes a small leather tag on the zipper seam of the handbag.
  • Contact Information: When buying online, many sites can look as professional as the next. Look to see if they provide sufficient contact information (i.e. more than just an email address). Is their contact information legitimate? Do they have generous return and exchange policies? Where are they located? Are they able to answer questions about the merchandise and provide additional pictures of the product?

Whether you’re looking for your first designer bag or you’re looking for a piece to complement your collection, you should always know how to recognize quality before you purchase. Visit Queen Bee of Beverly Hills or call us at (213) 985-2597.

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