The Truth About Counterfeit Luxury Handbags

Yes, it’s a thing. And it’s a huge problem.

Counterfeit Hermes and Goyard handbags and accessories

How are consumers supposed to know the difference between a real, authentic designer bag and a fake? Why is it illegal? And does it even matter?

How to completely avoid buying counterfeit luxury goods: always purchase from an authentic brand boutique (a Louis Vuitton store) or a licensed retailer (Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys, Net-a-Porter).

Knockoffs vs. Counterfeits

Counterfeit handbags in Indonesia. Photo by Becca Risa Luna.
Counterfeit Gucci, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, and Hermes bags

The REAL Truth About Counterfeit Handbags Has A Counterfeit Problem

The authentic version of this YSL bag would sell for $1350
No mention of the name of the bag, red flags and typos throughout the product description and the authentic version sells for $1450

Fakes on Instagram

Avoid buying a designer bag on Instagram or WatsApp. These accounts usually don’t say very much about the products but will use vague terms like “1:1 Replica Copy” or “High Quality Brand”.

Counterfeit seller profile on Instagram

Instant Red Flags: Ugly photos. Affordable Luxury Designer brand collections. Imported from Europe/Korea/South Africa.

So. Many. Fakes.

How To Spot A Fake

The Designer Authentication Pass/Fail Test

Sometimes the only subtle difference between a counterfeit and a real Chanel bag is a flathead screw.

Pass/Fail Authenticity Checklist

How Can You Protect Yourself From Buying Fakes?

8 Reasons You Should NEVER Buy Counterfeit Luxury Goods

Why Do People STILL Buy Counterfeit Goods, Anyway?

What To Do If You Already Have A Counterfeit Bag

“They’re counterfeits — what else can we do with them? We are required to destroy [counterfeits] by law,” says John Sandweg, the former acting director of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement division.

Fashion writer, luxury resale expert, and personal essayist.

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