Expensive designer handbags are highly coveted. In some cases, women even have to place their names on waiting lists to procure one of these precious purses. Because of the monetary value and desirable nature of these must-have handbags, there is a major market for knock-off goods. In some cases, these knock-offs are easy to spot and avoid, but in others even the most skilled consumer could be tricked by the highly skilled reproduction offered. If you want to ensure that the handbag you want is an original, use your detective skills and give the prospective purchase a careful inspection before you part with your cash.
Observe the packaging. Avoid any handbags that have plastic packaging, including plastic bags around tags or the bag itself, as these are common among knock-offs. Look for packaging that features cloth or tissue paper. Many expensive purses also come with a book outlining the company’s history. These packaging elements usually indicate that a purse is authentic.
Look for supple leather. Designer handbags feature soft, tender leather. Firm or rigid leather may indicate that the purse is not the brand it is billed to be.
Give it a sniff. Fashion website Wet Paint suggests that consumers give their new purchase a smell. If the bag smells of chemicals or exhaust, it is likely a knock-off.
Examine the stitching. Designer handbags feature impeccable stitching. If the stitching on your bag is uneven or seems crudely completed, the bag is likely a knock-off.
Give the tag a grammar check. The “Seattle Post-Intelligencer” website recommends that consumers read the tag on their purchase carefully. Many knock-off tags include grammatical or spelling errors. Also, if the tag has letters that are not evenly spaced it may indicate inferior craftsmanship.
Compare it with a product you know is real. If you or a friend has a bag that you know is authentic, set the two side by side. Even good reproductions are usually not completely indistinguishable from the authentic product. Look both over with a quizzical eye, noting any differences between the two.
Review the authenticity card–carefully. Many consumers falsely assume that if the product has an authenticity card, it means that it is real. In truth, as the “Seattle Post-Intelligencer” website reports, many big business reproduction companies have authenticity cards printed to pair with their knock-offs. When viewing this card, don’t give too much credence to its existence.
Become a skeptical consumer. If a deal seems too good to be true, it likely is. Don’t pay a quarter of the price and expect to get an authentic bag.
- woman with leather handbag image by Valentin Mosichev from Fotolia.com