Aside from owning luxury watches, one expensive hobbies that many Singaporeans partake in is collecting designer bags. Times have changed and fake designer bags are becoming harder to spot.
Consider these warning signs before purchasing a new bag:
DOES THE HISTORY CHECK OUT?
The first step to filtering out a counterfeit bag from a real one is to do your research. Familiarize yourself with the brand and the specific product that you want to purchase. If possible, inspect the overall craftsmanship of the product in person. Look at the hardware, material, shape, logo, and stitching. Go to the online forums to learn more about the specific history of a product.
For instance, Chanel stopped gold plating their hardware beyond 2009. This information is crucial. If you are interested to purchase a 2007 flap bag with gold hardware then, it should be plated.
IS IT MADE OF PREMIUM LEATHER?
No matter how much you try…you cannot fake leather! Leather items have a distinct smell and texture. If it smells like chemicals or glue, skip it. Premium leather should feel like it is soft yet dry.
How about for leather straps or handles? After a few weeks of wearing the bag, you may notice a slight discoloration of the straps or handles. This is normal. Fake leather handles will remain unchanged and shiny!
Do not forget to study the cut of the leather too. Gucci bags will have the same cut of leather, especially around the interior zippered pocket.
DOES THE STITCHING SEEM UNEVEN OR SLANTED?
Sloppy stitching has no place in the luxury book. Notice how your new bag is stitched. Uneven, frayed, or slanted stitching is a sign of a poorly made item. It can potentially be a counterfeit!
You see, brands are known for owning specific stitching codes. These codes are key indicators of the product’s authenticity. For instance, Hermès’ famous stitches are handmade by craftsmen (or piqures sellier).
IS IT TOO LIGHT?
Notice the weight of the product. Quality hardware are typically made of metals such as gold and brass, which will not tarnish over a period of time. These metals are heavier than the metals found in the fake items. Furthermore, they do not show any imperfections.
It is important to note that counterfeit products are getting more sophisticated nowadays. Since some of them are using real metals, weight should not be your only determining factor.
If you are not comfortable with distinguishing a real bag from a fake one then, you may seek help from professional sources. Interestingly, there are companies that offer authentication services through a photograph that you will send.