How to Authenticate Louis Vuitton Bags When Shopping Online Luxury Consignment
One of the biggest fears that most people face when purchasing luxury consignment items is purchasing something that isn’t truly authentic. Although it is smart to shop with a retailer that guarantees authenticity, it is still smart to be aware of the signs of a counterfeit, especially if you haven’t found a retailer that you trust yet. Until then, it is always smart to keep your eyes open for a knock-off just in case. Trust is something to be earned, especially when you are looking to spend around $1,000 or more of your own hard-earned money.
The best way to authenticate a Louis Vuitton bag is to look at their date code. A date code is something that only Louis Vuitton does. It does not matter what bag you buy, there will always be a date code. Educating yourself on what these codes mean can sometimes help you tell the difference between a real and fake Louis Vuitton bags. Each date code consists of two letters followed by four numbers. The letters indicate where the bag was made and the numbers indicate the date that it was produced. One should not just authenticate a bag by the date code alone, but it can certainly tell you if it is a counterfeit right away.
When reading the numbers of a date code on a Louis Vuitton bag, the first number and the third number represent the week it was made and the second number and the fourth number represent what year it was made. If the date code is SD2145, then it was made on the 24th week of 2015, but if the date code is SD3451, then it can’t be a real bag because the date code would suggest that it was made in the 35th week of 2041, which isn’t possible because the year obviously hasn’t happened yet.
Louis Vuitton bags are also very specific with the monogrammed logo that appear on many of their bags. The ‘LV’ on their bags have the V slightly above the L. There are also some bags, such as the Speedy Bag and the Keepball Bag that have an upside-down LV on one side of the bag. Making sure that the signature LV is just as it should be can help make sure that you are buying authentic products.
It is also a good idea to stay educated on any product that you are looking to buy in general to make sure everything is how it should be. For instance, the Capucines Bags never comes with the signature Louis Vuitton canvas pattern since is it supposed to be a more simplistic bag, and Speedy bags will never have feet like the alma bag. It is small things that can expose a fake Louis Vuitton bag for what it really is.
When looking at the overall make and quality of any Louis Vuitton bag can also help you figure out the authenticity of it. For any luxury bag, the craftsmanship will be very neat and clean. While people who make counterfeit bags are getting better and better at making these bags look good, a lot of times they aren’t going to spend too much time on the bag like someone would on the real thing. It is very common for counterfeit bags will have messy stitching, which can be a huge giveaway that a bag is fake. Always take the time to inspect the stitching on each bag to make sure that it is clean and consistent.
Stitching is not the only area that most counterfeiters won’t spend too much time and money on. Counterfeiters will almost never use the quality materials that Louis Vuitton uses to make the decorative hardware of their bags. The decorative locks and zippers that are on Louis Vuitton’s bags will be made with real gold brass hardware. Counterfeits won’t have quality metals and therefore they will fade and discolor over time. Some counterfeit hardware will just be plastic with gold or silver coloring over it.
Counterfeiters also tend to get lazy with the brand stamping on the bag, probably because they think buyers won’t pay attention to it. Louis Vuitton bags should have crisp and clean heat stamps. You can easily search the internet for real versus fake heat stamps to get an idea of what to look for when trying to authenticate a heat stamp and authenticate the bag overall.
Like brand stamping, stitching, and/or hardware, dust bags are yet another aspect of these fake bags that usually won’t look as they should if it were a real Louis Vuitton bag. One may not think that a dust bag can determine whether a bag is fake or not, but often times it can be the biggest indicator that a luxury bag is a sloppy knock-off.
The look of a Louis Vuitton dust bag can differ depending on what bag you may purchase and when that bag was made. So like heat stamping, the best thing you can do is to do your research and make sure that the dust bag you receive matches a real one. Getting a visual of what the real thing should look like will help you more than anything when spotting a fake Louis Vuitton.
More than anything else, you should always trust your instinct. If something feels off, then most likely it is. As mentioned previously, there are many consignment stores, both online and brick-in-mortar, that guarantee authenticity, but it’s still good to know for yourself what makes a bag real or fake. Once you find a trusted retailer that has given you their trust, then stick with that retailer if at all possible.
If you don’t completely trust your judgement, then you can always use a professional to help you out. Personally, I don’t think that hiring someone to help you out is necessary. I have come to learn that people making and selling these bags are not very smart and again pretty lazy, so it isn’t always too hard to spot a fake bag. If you just take the time to teach yourself the facts and use common sense then you should be good to go when shopping for your luxury goods.