There are many fakes floating around eBay and other websites, and Craigslist even has hundreds of replica designer bags and are truthfully listed as such. Since I am an avid Louis Vuitton collector, this designer will be my choice when comparing an authentic high end designer handbag to a replica. This comparison can also be applied to Chanel, Gucci, and many other high end designer handbags.
Many claim to be authentic Louis Vuitton purses, but most are not. Research the brand and become familiar with what makes a Louis Vuitton so special. If you cannot afford to buy one of these handbags at an LV store or high end department store but must have one, be armed with this information before you make your purchase online! An authentic Louis Vuitton bag has the following characteristics:
Louis Vuitton bags are expensive. They are made out of costly materials such as top-quality leather, boa, crocodile, lambskin and camel skin. Fakes are made from pleather or vinly and may feel rough and stiff. A real Louis Vuitton is smooth and feels soft. The trim is done in Vachetta leather which will tan naturally as the bag ages. Most fakes are done in a light tan trim or a fake aged trim that will not change with age. The really bad (and very obvious) replicas have stiff, plastic or vinyl trims. Since authentic bags are so expensive, if the price seems very low then the handbag probably is not real. If you see an LV bag selling for under $100.00, there is a very good chance it is a fake! Louis Vuitton handbags range in price from $400 to well above $1000.00!
Louis Vuitton stitching is done perfectly. You will not see loose threads or ends on an authentic Louis Vuitton bag.
Monogram placement is done carefully and is consistent on pieces. It will not be crooked or cut off. It will look the same on each style of bag.
Louis Vuitton does not discount, have outlets, sell wholesale or have their products in open air markets.
Tags are never attached to a Louis Vuitton bag. They may come with tags, but they are simply placed in the purse or dust bag. If the bag comes with a yellow card imprinted with Louis Vuitton, stay away!
The hardware used on the bag is also an indicator. Fake bags will often have painted gold plastic whereas an authentic will have gold or brass metal hardware.
Finally, most people assume that if there is a Date Code consisting of 2 letters and 4 numbers then the handbag is authentic. Don't be fooled by this! The counterfeiters are adding date codes too!