Louis Vuitton is considered to be the most counterfeited brand of all luxury brands - reportedly 90% of LV purses sold on eBay are fakes. In 2008 the French court ordered the online marketplace to pay $61 million to LVMH, the luxury group that owns Louis Vuitton. Even up to today, counterfeiting is still a global problem.
But how to identify a real vs Louis Vuitton bag? In order to save yourself from buying a fake Louis Vuitton handbag, we made a detailed list with tips that will help you spot a fake!
Sometimes spotting a fake bag is easy, when the seller does not even claim the bag to be real, such as in the market stalls, hanging on the ropes in bazaars or laying on the carpets of street vendors. Using common sense, it is understandable that luxury items can’t be sold in such environments. Some of those bags might just have a similar colour palette that can mislead people who do not know that much about the details of a Louis Vuitton authentic bag.
However, it is harder to spot a fake purse when the seller is purposely deceiving a customer, selling “well-crafted replicas”. These days manufacturers are getting more and more savvy. So when such replicas seem real or are presented as such, you should always pay attention to every small detail.
1. Check the Logo and Monogram
Louis Vuitton is very proud of its logo, this is why a real item never has any parts of it covered by a handle, a stitch or a piece of leather to hold the handles. Even if the item is coming from a special designers’ collaboration, pay attention on how a logo looks like.
The classic monogram on a Louis Vuitton bag are interlocking letters LV, where V is slightly above L. The logo also includes a four-petal fleur-de-lys, as well as a fleur-de-lys inside a square and a four-petal flower inside a circle. No crooked letters, stars, other flowers or geometric figures are authentic Louis Vuitton logos.
On authentic bags the logo continuity plays a great part. Once a line from the stitch starts with a fleur-de-lys, it will finish with the fleur-de-lys. Once the pattern starts from the half-circle, it must finish with a half-circle. Fun fact: classic Speedy bag are made of one piece of leather, this is why the logo on one side of the handbag would be upside down from another side of the bag.
If the purse is made of Damier Ebene canvas, the logo “Louis Vuitton Paris” in a square should be in the same line on one side of the bag as it is on another. Pay attention to those details.
2. Inspect the Stitching
On classic brown Louis Vuitton bags, the color of the stitching should be of mustard yellow, not of a bright yellow color. It should be perfectly consistent in the size of the stitch, as well as its distance and quality. Any hanging threads are a red flag.
The number of stitches on one side of the handle should match the number of stitches on another. On a Speedy bag, the top line of stitches on a handle used to account for five. Nowadays in order to mislead counterfeiters, the number might change from collection to collection.
There should be no stitches on the bottom of a classic Speedy bag, unless it is a special edition or variation.
3. Look for the Inside Stamps
Louis Vuitton does not come with any authenticity cards. In order to tell if the bag is real, manufacturer places a unique stamp with a place and date code on the inside of the purse. Nowadays LV bags are not only produced in France, but also in the USA, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Spain. Every country has its unique code.
Since 1983, Louis Vuitton has used a six-character date code stamp for its handbags. The first two characters are letters (a code for the place) and the rest of the four-characters are numbers (the month and the year of production). However, the company keeps updating their coding to the extent that since 2007 the digit code has signified the number of the week in the year when the item was produced. Authentic stamps look like this:
Also, pay attention to the fonts of the inside stamps; the company has been using the same font for years and the first and easiest letter to observe is “O” in Vuitton. It must be perfectly round as a circle, not oval-shape like 0. “TT” in Vuitton almost touches each other and L has a longer first vertical line than the horizontal. Furthermore, it is perfectly centred on a square of leather, usually stitched with a mustard colored thread to the inside pocket.
4. Examine the Hardware
The hardware on an authentic Louis Vuitton bag is of the highest quality. It is quite heavy as it is made of metal brass and not plastic, painted in gold.
The shapes of the hardware that connects an item together, like handles or zippers must be smooth. While in fake bags connecting pieces and ring hooks might be rounded, the original LV bag has a D-ring. If it is a square piece, the edges of it are extremely smooth and not sharp at all.
Zippers should slide like butter, very smooth and easy. If you feel like it’s stopping along the way or requires some “oil”, that’s a red flag.
Every metallic piece on an authentic purse must have a Louis Vuitton engraving. It must be crisp, precise and well crafted. The logo that fully says “Louis Vuitton” on round rivets must be perfectly circled.
5. Pay Attention to the Packaging
If you are buying a purse from an online vendor (besides @ Lux Second Chance), pay attention to the packaging and presentation. There must be no price tag or brand tag hanging from the handles.
Speaking of handles - an original LV bag NEVER comes with plastic wrappers around its handles. Never!
In addition, once you start using your LV, the tanned beige handles will turn darker brown as it’s made of cowhide leather that oxydizes. If with time, the handles don’t change colour that should warn you. Also, if you are buying a pre-loved vintage bag with such handles, they should be dark as well.
The dust bag should only say LOUIS VUITTON or have a monogram, no additional information. Often times fake manufacturers put too much information and thus compromise themselves.
Trust your inner feelings and know the seller.
Brand new Louis Vuitton bags never go on sale or sold at any kind of discount stores, wholesales or outlets. The company does not authorize other stores to sell their new products. If a price seems too good (read “cheap”) to be true, probably best to stay away. If you are looking for value, go to a trusted consignment site like Lux Second Chance where there is a large selection of authenticated Louis Vuitton’s bags for you to compare prices.
Hope this helps!!!