How to Spot Fake Louis Vuitton Bags: 9 Ways to Tell Real Purses

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A pioneer in monogram bags, French luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton has produced countless handcrafted purses that women and men covet.

Even if their artisanal handbags come with hefty price tags, Hollywood celebrities and ordinary folk want to get their hands on one (or several).

You can find some pre-owned authentic Louis Vuitton bags, clothing, jewelry, and shoes at Farfetch.

The classic Louis Vuitton logo embellished on monogrammed leatherThe classic Louis Vuitton logo embellished on monogrammed leather

This is no surprise, thanks to their top-grade Italian leather and precise craftsmanship. Each bag comes with a lot of time, love, and effort.

Louis Vuitton bags are made with high-quality materials, such as leather, canvas, and hardwareLouis Vuitton bags are made with high-quality materials, such as leather, canvas, and hardware

Recently, Louis Vuitton has used Emma Stone, Deepika Padukone, Zhou Dongyu, Naomi Osaka, Hoyeon Jung, Millie Bobby Brown, Michelle Williams, and Alicia Vikander as their main endorsers.

Other under-the-radar LV faces include Jaden Smith, Cate Blanchett, and Jennifer Connelly.

The hardware on a Louis Vuitton bag should be made of high-quality metalThe hardware on a Louis Vuitton bag should be made of high-quality metal

Unfortunately, with the rise of the brand’s popularity also come the counterfeiters. Fake Louis Vuitton bags have dominated the e-commerce industry, resulting in numerous eBay sellers who offer knockoffs at ridiculously low prices.

In November 2019, CNBC reported that the world’s largest online consumer marketplace for luxury items, The RealReal, has been selling fake luxury products.

The same month, officials seized thousands of counterfeit designer bags at Dulles International Airport.

Most real Louis Vuitton bags and purses are made throughout Europe and the United States, and the company does not manufacture handbags in ChinaMost real Louis Vuitton bags and purses are made throughout Europe and the United States, and the company does not manufacture handbags in China (Credit: Sorbis / Shutterstock)

According to FOX 5 DC, the counterfeit cache included 2,601 coin purses, 459 purses, and three backpacks adorned with Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior, Prada, and Hermes designer labels.

Louis Vuitton 2003 pre-owned Monogram Multicolor Eye Love holdallLouis Vuitton 2003 pre-owned Monogram Multicolor Eye Love holdall

Don’t worry – all hope is not lost. We have the know-how to bust those fake Louis Vuittons, saving you the money and hassle of falling prey to counterfeit bag predators.

Without further ado, we bring you nine easy ways to tell whether your LV is the real deal:

1. The workmanship is top-notch artisanal

One of the more common ways to know if a bag is authentic is to check its workmanship. Just like Gucci handbags and other luxury designer bags, an authentic purse will have perfectly aligned stitches that are the same length.

The artisans behind authentic bags are so skilled that the number of stitches on one handle matches the other.

Authentic Louis Vuitton bags will have perfectly aligned stitches that are the same lengthAuthentic Louis Vuitton bags will have perfectly aligned stitches that are the same length

For Louis Vuitton bags, the stitching thread is more of a mustard color than a brighter yellow hue.

The leather pieces that make up the bag are perfectly cut and fitted with each other. You might want to put that bag down if there are creases, bubbles, and misalignment due to bad fitting.

2. Hardware is beautifully crafted from brass

Bag connoisseurs know that the next thing to check for is hardware. Louis Vuitton uses top-grade brass hardware that usually comes in shiny or matte.

Do a reflection test for shiny zippers and locks – the brass should reflect as a mirror would.

 Louis Vuitton uses top grade brass hardware that usually comes in shiny or matte Louis Vuitton uses top-grade brass hardware

The zippers should not snag when you try to unzip the bag. Louis Vuitton also manufactures their own zippers and does not use YKK or other branded zippers.

Hardware should not be covered in plastic. Counterfeit bag makers wrap the hardware in plastic to prevent them from tarnishing right away. Quality hardware will not tarnish and is usually uncovered.

3. The shell pattern should be neat and symmetrical

Another obvious thing to look at in monogram bags is the shell pattern. Louis Vuitton’s classic LV logo should be balanced, and the letter L should always be lower than the V.

The bag is not authentic if the letters are wonky and not perfectly aligned.

Louis Vuitton's classic LV logo should be symmetrical and the letter L should always be lower than the VLouis Vuitton’s classic LV logo should be symmetrical, and the letter L should always be lower than the V

It is also important to note the placement and consistency of the monogram pattern. If you look at the pattern diagonally, the order of one strip should be a fleur-de-lis, a circle, another fleur-de-lis, and then the LV logo. The strip alternating it should contain only the fleur-de-lis symbol.

For logo embellishments, check that they are symmetrical and beautifully crafted. The Maison logo usually writes “Louis Vuitton Paris” in two lines.

4. Vachetta leather oxidizes and darkens over time

The leather strips that run across and make up the handles are called Vachetta leather. Vachetta leather is made out of natural, untreated European calf hide that darkens with oxidation over time.

Vachetta leather oxidizes and darkens over timeVachetta leather oxidizes and darkens over time

If the strips stay a pale color over time, it is fake. The leather should darken into a beautiful golden shade as it ages.

5. Handle trim should be a darker shade of red, not bright red

Many great things about Louis Vuitton monogram bags keep us preoccupied. One such detail, often overlooked by the casual observer but cherished by connoisseurs, is the red trim or edge dye that accents the Vachetta leather.

This trim, sometimes called “glazing,” is a testament to the brand’s attention to detail. The subtle red edge provides a sharp contrast to the pale Vachetta leather, enhancing its visual appeal.

Identify fake Louis Vuitton bags by studying the shade of the trimIdentify fake Louis Vuitton bags by studying the shade of the trim

Beyond aesthetics, the glazing serves a practical purpose. It helps to seal the edges of the leather, protecting them from wear and potential damage from moisture or dirt.

Over the years, this red glazing has also become an important marker of authenticity. Replicas or counterfeit bags might get this detail wrong – either by using an incorrect shade of red, applying it messily, or neglecting it altogether.

Just like the Vachetta leather itself, which develops a beautiful patina over time, the red glazing can change slightly as the bag ages, adding to the individual character of each piece.

6. Date code or RFID chip

Louis Vuitton stopped using date codes in their handbags and small leather goods starting March 1, 2021. Instead, they are now using RFID chips.

You will not find a date code if you are looking for a Louis Vuitton bag made after March 1, 2021. Instead, you will find an RFID chip. You can use a special app to scan the RFID chip to verify the bag’s authenticity.

Before March 2021, each bag had a date code and a little leather tag where letters and numbers were embossed to note where and when the bag was made.

The Louis Vuitton logo should be crisp and clearThe Louis Vuitton logo should be crisp and clear

If you are looking for a Louis Vuitton bag made before March 2021, you must check for the date code. The date code can be found on a leather tab inside the bag. If the bag does not have a date code, it is likely a counterfeit.

7. Know your dust bag and box history

Counterfeiters often get lazy when it comes to details. Knowing your history of Louis Vuitton dust bags and boxes is an excellent way to catch fake products.

Dustbags before 2004 are made of beige flannel with the LV logo and brown drawstrings. Some older bags may have blue drawstrings, and some have felt-like material with jagged cut edges.

This brown leather trunk case from Louis Vuitton features a round top handle, a push-lock fastening, an all-over logo print, gold-tone hardware, a hanging key fob, an internal mirror, internal drawers, two removable logo-print bags, and two detachable shoulder strapsThis brown leather trunk case from Louis Vuitton features a round top handle, a push-lock fastening, an all-over logo print, gold-tone hardware, a hanging key fob, an internal mirror, internal drawers, two removable logo-print bags, and two detachable shoulder straps

From 2004 to 2016, the beige dust bag was made of flannel or linen. A perfectly symmetrical and centered LV logo is printed in brown on it. A small white tag saying where the bag was made can be found inside.

In 2016, Louis Vuitton revamped their packaging. All their boxes are orange with navy blue text. The dust bags followed suit, turning into a cream color with navy blue writing.

8. Use your sense of smell

This one takes some time to practice. It’s good to know what authentic leather smells like to differentiate it from synthetic ones.

Also, if the bag reeks of chemicals, you might reconsider purchasing it.

9. Common sense, really

If you have a bag that retails for $1,000 and is being sold to you at $100, there is much reason to be wary. Research the original retail price online before considering a purchase.

This dark brown and beige leather tote from Louis Vuitton features a monogram pattern, gold-tone hardware, round top handles, an internal logo patch, a hanging luggage tag, a drawstring closure, and a removable liningThis dark brown and beige leather tote from Louis Vuitton features a monogram pattern, gold-tone hardware, round top handles, an internal logo patch, a hanging luggage tag, a drawstring closure, and a removable lining

Louis Vuitton also lists the retailers where their bags can be purchased. The brand also limits online resellers, so be careful when purchasing bags online.

Large collection of fake Louis Vuitton handbags and other counterfeit designer pursesLarge collection of fake Louis Vuitton handbags and other counterfeit designer purses sold in Bandung, Indonesia (Credit: Ahmad Faizal / Shutterstock)

Do Louis Vuitton bags have serial numbers?

No, Louis Vuitton bags do not have serial numbers. Louis Vuitton introduced RFID chips in their handbags and small leather goods starting March 1, 2021. The RFID chips are a more secure way to authenticate their products than the date codes, as they are unique to each item and cannot be easily counterfeited.

The RFID chips are also linked to a blockchain, which is a secure and transparent digital ledger. The blockchain stores information about the item’s history, such as its manufacture date, materials used, and the original buyer. This information can be used to verify the item’s authenticity and track its history.

RFID chips and blockchain constitute a significant step forward in the fight against counterfeiting. It is a more secure and reliable way to authenticate luxury goods; other luxury brands will likely follow suit.

Why are LV bags so expensive?

One reason is the high manufacturing cost. The luxury brand produces handbags in workshops in France, Spain, and the United States and does not outsource manufacturing to cheaper locations like India and China.

Some leather products are produced in other European countries, such as Switzerland and Germany. Louis Vuitton shoes are primarily made in Italy.

In 2019, Louis Vuitton opened a 100,000-square-foot factory in Johnson County in Texas, its third factory in the United States. Purses and bags made in the United States are stamped with “Made in the USA” tags.

Since Louis Vuitton bags are not made in China, handbags and purses with “Made in China” tags are fake.

Cynthia Bailey shows off her large Louis Vuitton toteCynthia Bailey shows off her large Louis Vuitton tote at LAX on March 5, 2020 (Credit: WENN)

In addition, the company spends billions of dollars every year on marketing. According to Reuters, Louis Vuitton spent 5.6 billion euros ($6.3 billion) on marketing in 2018, reaching 12% of group revenues.

Does Louis Vuitton have a sale?

No, Louis Vuitton does not have sales. They never discount their products, not even during the holiday season.

This is because Louis Vuitton wants to maintain its image as a luxury brand. They want their products to be seen as exclusive and desirable, and discounting them would go against that image.

Why does Louis Vuitton burn unsold bags?

Louis Vuitton wants to create the perception that its bags are in high demand and are not easily available. By destroying unsold bags, they are making it more difficult for people to get their hands on them, which drives up demand.

By destroying unsold bags, they are also making it more difficult for counterfeiters to get their hands on the materials they need to make fake bags.

Louis Vuitton wants to protect its brand image from being associated with cheap, low-quality products. By destroying unsold bags, they ensure that only the highest quality bags are available.

Some have criticized the practice of destroying unsold bags as being wasteful and environmentally unfriendly. Others argue that it is a form of price discrimination, as it only benefits the wealthy who can afford to buy Louis Vuitton bags.

Some myths:

1. “The leather will never cut off at the LV logo.”

Some have claimed that pieces of leather will usually not cut off at the LV logo, but that is not necessarily true. For smaller bags, the logos are cut off at the edge.

One thing that you can check for, however, is if all the logos are cut off at the same point. This means that the pattern is symmetrical.

2. “Louis Vuitton does not invert their logo.”

Again, this is not true. For models that use a single continuous leather piece, such as the Keepall, one side will have inverted logos on it.

Louis Vuitton is continuously coming up with designs outside of the classic ones, so it’s good to know their bags well. A great way to familiarize yourself is to study their photos online.

If you’re in doubt about your purchase, you can call Louis Vuitton for help authenticating your product.

Celebrity Fans of Louis Vuitton Bags

Some celebrities who go gaga over Louis Vuitton include Selena Gomez, Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, and Miranda Kerr.

Check out more celebrities who love their LVs below:

Miranda Kerr, Selena Gomez and Rihanna love their Louis Vuitton pursesMiranda Kerr, Selena Gomez, and Rihanna love their Louis Vuitton purses (Credit: WENN)

Hilary Duff gleefully strolls through the Los Angeles Airport (LAX) with her two-piece Louis Vuitton luggageHilary Duff gleefully strolls through the Los Angeles Airport (LAX) with her two-piece Louis Vuitton luggage (Credit: WENN)

Cherries, pinks, and furry things: Kim Kardashian, Reese Witherspoon and Kelly Osbourne prefer their Louis Vuitton with a dash of cutenessCherries, pinks, and furry things: Kim Kardashian, Reese Witherspoon, and Kelly Osbourne prefer their Louis Vuitton with a dash of cuteness (Credit: WENN)

Taylor Swift dresses up her casual outfit with a Louis Vuitton x Christian Louboutin "Shopping Bag"Taylor Swift dresses up her casual outfit with a Louis Vuitton x Christian Louboutin “Shopping Bag” (Credit: WENN)

Alicia Vikander, Dita Von Teese and Christina Milian pick out variations of the infamous LV monogramAlicia Vikander, Dita Von Teese, and Christina Milian pick out variations of the infamous LV monogram (Credit: WENN)

For more tips on busting the fake LV’s, watch the video below to see how a counterfeit $169 bag compares to an authentic $1,850 handbag:

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