Louis Vuitton might be one of the most legendary brands in the world, but it's also one of the most counterfeited. Some people are fine with the situation. After all, Louis Vuitton is expensive. If there's an opportunity to trade on the status symbol element of the brand for a fraction of the normal price, some people will be only too happy to take it. The fact they're getting an inferior product that's funding a criminal market and doing major damage to the brand's reputation is beside the point. But for the rest of us, that's exactly the point. If you want to make sure your Louis Vuitton bag is the real deal, there's plenty of ways to verify its authenticity. Here's how to tell a Louis Vuitton bag is real.
Check the Quality
As yournextshoes.com writes, one of the best ways to verify the authenticity of a Louis Vuitton bag is to check its workmanship. Louis Vuitton bags are expensive for a reason. The bag should clearly be the product of an artisan. The leather or canvas pieces that make up the bag should be cut perfectly and seamlessly joined together. There should be no creases, no bubbles, and definitely no misalignment. The materials should look and feel flawless. Stitches should be perfectly aligned. There should be no flaws, faults, or imperfections of any kind. Take any indication of poor workmanship or inferior materials as red flags.
Examine the Stitches
As codogirl.com says, just like everything else on a Louis Vuitton bag, the stitching should be flawless. Genuine Louis Vuitton bags will be hand-stitched. Each stitch should be perfectly even, with no fraying or signs of asymmetry. The stitches should be slightly angled - if they're perfectly straight, take it as a sign that the bag has been machine stitched in a place that's most definitely not a Louis Vuitton factory.
While you're checking the quality of the stitches, check their color at the same time. Louis Vuitton coats its thread in a special type of resin that adds durability, water resistance, and a distinctly mustard yellow color that's a world away from the bright, synthetic yellows and oranges that are often used on counterfeits. While we're on the topic of stitching, be sure to check how many stitches run along the tab that attaches the handles of the bag to the body. Depending on the model, there should either be three or five. Any more or any less is a giveaway of a fake.
Research the Seller
Before you inspect the bag, inspect the seller. Often, this is the quickest and easiest way of detecting a fraudster, especially if you're buying online. Check the feedback to gauge how past customers have rated their experience. The more positive feedback there is, the better. That said, be cautious if all the feedback sounds suspiciously similar - if someone's prepared to fake a bag, they won't hesitate about faking some positive comments. Avoid any sellers that opt to keep their feedback private, who have zero feedback, or who have a concerning amount of negative feedback. Be cautious of any seller that has a no-return policy or who's advertising the latest collection before it's been released. As Louis Vuitton never offers discounts on original merchandise, be wary if the seller is offering sale items at reduced prices, unless they're either pre-owned or from an older series.
Inspect the Hardware
Sometimes, counterfeiters forget to pay attention to the details. The hardware of a bag is one of the places they drop the ball most often. Check the zippers and other pieces of hardware to check for authenticity. They should be strong, heavy, sturdy, and made from premium materials. If they're plastic or gold plated, talk with your feet. Check that the brand name is embossed on any hardware- counterfeiters rarely have the technology to emboss with the same precision as Louis Vuitton, so will usually drop the detail from their products.
Check the Stamps
As WikiHow recommends, always check the stamps on your bag. Authentic Louis Vuitton bags should have a stamp that says “Louis Vuitton” and “made in (country of origin)” below it. The stamp should be pressed directly onto the leather. Look for details including a short tail on the bottom of the Ls, round Os that are larger than the Ls, closely-fitting Ts, and thin, crisp lettering.
While you're checking the stamps, check that the bag's date code matches the “made in” stamp. The date code can be found along the top edge on the inside of the bag’s opening. An authentic date code will consist of 2 letters and a 4 digit number. The letters indicate the country in which the bag was made. The first 2 numbers of the 4 digit number represent the week of the year of production while the last 2 numbers represent the year. If the letters don't match the country indicated on the "made in" stamp, you're probably dealing with a fake. Just be aware that bags made prior to 1980 won't include a date code, so don't be surprised if you don't find one on a vintage bag. It's also worth noting that Louis Vuitton will often indicate the region of the country of make on the date code rather than the country itself. A bag made in France, for example, may include "MI," "SD," "TH," and "VI" to indicate the different regions.
Check the Pattern
A genuine Louis Vuitton bag should have an even pattern all the way around. The front should perfectly mirror the back. So, for example, if a design pattern is cut off on one side, it should also be cut off at the same point on the other side. The pattern should be perfectly straight, rather than angled or crooked.
Check the County of Make
Louis Vuitton bags are made in France, USA, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and Spain. If you see a bag that advertises a different country of origin, it's probably a fake.
Check the Logo Placement
A Louis Vuitton bag will never feature a logo that's hidden or cut off mid-point. As the brand uses a continuous strip of leather to make its bags, the logo should appear right side up on the front of the bag and upside down on the back. If the logos on both sides of the bag are right side up, take it as a warning sign.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker