hen it comes to bags, there are few brands that offer the manufacturing quality and the magnificent appearance of Louis Vuitton. Yes, they cost a pretty penny, but it’s definitely worth it. Unfortunately, us ladies, we can’t always afford to buy straight from the source, so we resort to searching for what we think are better deals. If a place offers a Louis Vuitton bag for a lot less money, the bag is probably a fake, but we often delude ourselves into thinking that we had actually been very lucky to come upon this good Samaritan who isn’t that interested in making a profit so he sells brand products dirt cheap.
However, Louis Vuitton is a brand that takes great care to make sure their products cannot be counterfeited, and yet this doesn’t seem to deter people from trying. And they do come up with products that look nearly identical to an inexperienced eye, but we are about to change that, as we are going to teach you exactly what to look for when you’re trying to determine whether or not a Louis Vuitton bag is an original or a counterfeit.
First of all, you need to know two things: Louis Vuitton bags never go on sale and stolen or damaged products are not resold locally. Now, let’s see the four things that distinguish a proper brand bag from a fake one, courtesy of StyleCraze.
When it comes to materials, Louis Vuitton uses only the best of the best: waterproof, durable, and easy to clean. The classic LV materials are Monogram canvas, Damier Ebene, and Damier Azur, and more recently the company introduced a few new ones, including Louis Vuitton Empreinte leather, monogram Vernis Leather, Electric Leather, and Damier Carbon. When you’re buying the bag, ask what it’s made of. Also, if it looks to you that the quality isn’t very high, trust your instinct. When you’re making an online purchase, it’s tricky to determine whether or not the bag is made of quality material, so avoid paying in full until you can see the product in person.
If the hardware of the bag is made of plastic painted gold, then you’re dealing with a fake. The hardware of Louis Vuitton bags is strong, heavy, and sturdy. It’s also embossed with the brand name, something that’s not easily replicated. Another trait that is distinctive of the original bags is that the D-rings are made to fit the leather interlocks perfectly without allowing too much movement.
Unlike most brands which use serial numbers, Louis Vuitton uses date codes. This practice began in the ’80s, so vintage bags from before that time do not have these codes. Here’s an example date code: FL2079. But what does it mean? FL indicates the United States factory where the bag was made, the first and third numbers are the week when it was manufactured (27th week), and the second and the fourth number are the year (2009).
This format was first introduced in 2007. Before that the first and third number of the date codes indicated the month, and the second and fourth the year. For example, FA1102 would be the code on a bag made in Switzerland in October 2012.
Further back in time, in the early ’80s, numbers came first, then letters. So, 8211CA would designate a bag made in Spain in November 1982.
These date codes can, however, be replicated, so when you’re buying a bag, also check that the condition of the bag, the design, model, series, and hardware are all in sync. For example, if the date code says SA, which stands for a factory in Italy, the tag cannot say Made in France or Spain.
Louis Vuitton stitching is even, regular, and consistent. The bags have an identical number of stitches at the crevices of the handle tabs. So, if the stitches look sloppy, the bag is probably a fake.
Here are a few more details that are typical of an original LV bag:
- The tail of the letter ‘L’ is short;
- The letter ‘O’ is quite rounded.
- The two ‘T’s are so close together they are almost touching;
- The bags are made of pure leather, not of vinyl as rumored;
- LV bags never go on sale;
- All reject LV merchandise is burned;
- There is an LV logo embossed on the inside of the bag: if your bag doesn’t have it, it’s a fake;
- LV bags are made from one continuous piece of leather that wraps from the front to the backside without stitching on the bottom. This leads to the LV logo being upside-down on one side of the bag;
- LV doesn’t attach tags on their bags – they are usually tucked in a pocket inside the bag;
- Louis Vuitton bags are made in France, USA, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and Spain;
- Never trust someone who’s offering to sell you an unreleased collection.
Now you can consider yourself well-versed in detecting whether a Louis Vuitton bag is genuine or counterfeit. And if you’re buying online, make sure to ask for loads of pictures of all the details: the stitches, the embossing, the date code, the hardware. Since you’re willing to invest the money, you’d better make sure you’re getting the real deal.