Brands are valuable. After all, they are the positive public perception of a business, meaning that they can be used to sell that business's products and services for higher prices than otherwise possible. Due to this, it should come as no surprise to learn that counterfeit products are widespread, so much so that the counterfeit trade can be measured in the hundreds of billion of dollars. For consumers, this is a bigger issue with certain kinds of products than others. For proof, look no further than the cases of people who have suffered serious medical problems because of the consumption of counterfeit foods and beverages. However, people who are looking through Louis Vuitton products should be careful because it is such a popular brand for counterfeiters. Here are some tips for spotting fake Louis Vuitton belts.
Check the Hardware
For starters, it is a good idea to check the hardware of the belt. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Louis Vuitton uses high-quality materials to turn out high-quality products, meaning that anything that goes against this should be considered cause for suspicion. Granted, most people have a limited understanding of materials as well as manufacturing. As a result, it is difficult for them to detect edge cases. However, the nice thing about fakes is that a lot of them are produced to fool people who are either not suspicious or not on their guard, which is why they can be very obvious in this regard. For example, a fake might have a buckle that looks good in front but is much grittier on either the back or the edges. Similarly, a fake might have a wrong color tone, which can mean everything from a gold that looks too much like brass to a silver that is strangely dull in appearance. Simply put, if something seems off about the hardware, interested individuals should instantly go on guard.
Check the Stitching
Speaking of which, the stitching is another good place to check. Apparently, the stitching on a Louis Vuitton belt should be tight, somewhat slanted, and in a proper alignment with the shape of the belt. Due to this, if someone sees long, straight, misaligned stitches, they should be suspicious. Theoretically, it is possible for a real Louis Vuitton belt to have one or two mistakes because even the best manufacturers can slip up from time to time. However, it doesn't take a lot of them for credulity to stretch past the breaking point, particularly when they are very blatant rather than very subtle in nature.
Check the Stamping
The stamping should be inspected as well. One would think that counterfeiters would put serious effort into making stampings look right. However, that is definitely something that can see significant variation from case to case. Thanks to this, it is possible to come upon fakes that have stampings in which the letters aren't equidistant from one another, aren't as deep as one another, and aren't in fonts that have been used by the manufacturer. On top of that, it is very common to see fakes that get basic information wrong. Sometimes, they spell things wrong, which is a pretty good sign that people are looking at a fake rather than the real thing. Other times, they might list a number of things about the belt that don't actually describe its physical dimensions.
Check the Packaging
If a fake can be visibly fake, it makes sense that the packaging for a fake can be visibly fake as well. As before, interested individuals should check the box to see if there is anything off about either the colors, the font of the letters, or the spacing of the letters. On top of that, if interested individuals see an orange-colored authenticity card, that should be considered a huge warning sign. After all, Louis Vuitton doesn't actually use them, meaning that their inclusion is a sign that whoever put together the package is trying to pass off a fake as being the real thing.
Smartphones make it easy to Google things on the spot. For instance, a real Louis Vuitton belt should have both a model number and a date code. If it is missing either one or both of these two things, it isn't real. In any case, the model number should start out with either a M or a N before following up with four or five numbers. If the model number turns up a different product, it should be clear that the belt is a fake. Similarly, the date code reveals where the belt was made as well as when the belt was made. Conveniently, this means that it can be checked against the stamping to see if their details actually match up. Moreover, if the belt is supposed to have been produced at a specific point of time, it can be useful to see if it actually looks like it matches its supposed history. Finally, it can be useful to bring up a photo of the real thing to see if it matches the belt or not. Fakes can get a lot of details right but still mess up in one or two places, meaning that thoroughness can pay off.
There is the issue of believability as well. If a Louis Vuitton belt is new, it can sell for a high price. Similarly, if a Louis Vuitton belt is old, it can still sell for a high price because Louis Vuitton products tend to be very good at retaining their value in spite of their use. As such, if someone sees a supposed Louis Vuitton belt being sold at a much lower price than what interested individuals would expect, their first reaction should be suspicion rather than happiness. After all, this is one of the oldest tricks out there when it comes to scams. Someone makes something sound extremely good. As a result, the target is too overcome by their enthusiasm to think about why the terms are so pleasing to them. Ultimately, if something sounds too good to be true, chances are very good that it is.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker