Buying a second hand purse
I have to say - I love buying second hand purses! Don't you? Be honest... I'm sure you are aware of all the pros, and the biggest one being, you will be able to buy more bags this way, as this will stretch your budget ... and actually leave you some extra money for other things you might have your eye on. Right? Hmmmm the bag and the shoes you wanted for the price of the bag alone... I can see the smile on the corner of your mouth and your mind spinning :) #WORTHILICIOUS
Who admits that they actually buy second hand purses? Not many! Why? Because no one would want to get caught with a ... FAKE! Yes, I am sure some of you have had your eye on a bag, thinking it is the real deal only to realize it's a fake a few hundreds, if not even thousands, of dollars down the road.
Well fear not, I am here to help - tell the real from the fake. Believe me, it is not an easy task, also not something you learn at school and can get a degree at. This is knowledge that you cannot buy, or study at school, it is knowledge that you can only get from experience. What experience you ask? And why me? Well, it is knowledge gathered after years of following collections, seeing them, touching them, owning them, breathing and smelling them - literally. My knowledge is based on years of shopping (yes, lots of shopping), following fashion shows, collections, colors, materials, seasons, designers, taking notes and cataloguing my knowledge (Yes, I have my little black book :). On top of that seeing the items, touching them, using them and selling them. You cannot question an item you have never seen nor touched, you cannot rely on yourself if you never had it nor seen it.
This is why I am here for you. I will give you the tools to do a preliminary authentication yourself, look at it like a short check list. You can do it! After that, if you are still not sure, or want another opinion, I can authenticate your bag for you. Just check out our authentication services, its cheap and easy!
If you ever have a question or you would like me too authenticate your purse you can always email me [email protected]. I will always help you find the answers you are looking for and guide you thru the sea of fakes to your awaited destination, the REAL deal purse.
On a side note, many will say that they do not want to list all this facts in one article as the manufacturers of fakes read this too, and, goodness gracious! This will help them improve their fake bags! Well, for those, just FYI, manufacturers of fakes, actually buy the real thing to copy from, they don't need any of us. Unfortunately, it's a millions of dollars industry and they have all the resources needed to keep on copying bags.
Now enough small talk and let's get to business.
Things to pay attention to on your own
Here are some tips and advice that can help you, on your own, to try and determine if you are dealing with the Real deal or just a good fake. Go thru the list and make sure you cover all your bases.
Price. If the price is too good to be true, then you know the answer. Real bags are never ever cheap! Yes, used items are cheaper than new ones but if it's a 90% percent discount that should raise some flags. Use your judgement.There are good deals out there, make sure you choose the right ones!
Buy only from reputable sellers. Sellers that have zero or close to zero feedbacks on any selling platform are suspicious and you should stay away from them. The majority of the times sellers that sell fake items keep on creating new accounts under new names, as their accounts keep on getting suspended. Check return policies. Reputable sellers will offer money back guaranteed! This way if you end up authenticating the item, and it turns to be a fake, you are guaranteed your money back!
Logos, writing and stamping. Familiarize yourself with the font and logos, the font should be clear and easy to read. Firmly pressed. Check spacing and stitching. They are always symmetrical and aligned on 4 sides. On image below: On the right - the correct spacing, font and stamping, on the Left - wrong font, embossing and uneven stitching.
Hardware - All hardware should be stamped, embossed or pressed. No plastic parts. All hardware parts are metals, work properly, and are embossed with the company name or logo. They might discolor, but they do not peel. Authentic new hardware shown on photo.
Glue on leather pieces. The color of glue that seals the leather pieces should be a dark red wine color, with a brown hue - not red with an orange hue. Also this glue should not peel as a strip of elastic-plastic or break. The glue on the leather should look like the images below.
Authenticity card, tags and leather swatches. Lv bags do not come with any of those, if the item has a tag dangling from it, a color swatch, or even a plastic authenticity card, then you know your answer. The tags below are a huge indicator that it is a fake bag, stay away.
Stitching should be fine, delicate, in straight clean lines, at a 45 degree angle, even, small and close to the edge.The number of stitches should be the same on both sides, with no back and forth stitching.
Louis Vuitton logos "LV" are always aligned, and never tilted or not proportionate to the other side. Patterns are always symmetrical. Louis Vuitton logos LV would never be used as a background. Myth: Logos would never be cut out, well they actually will on some cases. The image on the top is the fake bag, the one on the bottom is the real deal. Aligned, symmetrical.
Canvas monogram. This is very hard to explain. But the color should not be yellow and brown nor green or solid. It is an antique gold color with brown lines through it. For experts it is easy to tell the difference in the color and the special coating. Avoid solid color letters. Below there is an image of the real thing.
Material. One of the Louis Vuitton trade marks is the cowhide Vachetta leather that the handles and contours are made of. This leather develops patina over time - darkens to a honey color, the older the bag the darker the shade. This leather stains easily. When this leather gets old it does not peel to a fabric material, nor rips, it does not get lighter. Make sure this pieces are leather nor plastic.
Lining. Familiarize yourself with the style, then check if the lining should be microfiber suede, canvas or leather. Make sure the piece you are buying is consistent with your findings.
Serial number - I can go on forever with all the theories about serial numbers, year codes, etc. A great start would be, if all the above checks right to you, then make sure it has a serial number containing 2 letters and 4 numbers. it is always hidden and sometimes you might need help finding it.
Finally trust your gut! Does it feel like a high end, high quality item? Make sure it looks right and feels right to you.
Turn to an authenticator
Now, ask yourself, are you satisfied with your conclusion? You know yourself, trust your gut. If you are still not sure, and you still can't get that purse out of your head, then it is time to bring in the "Big Guns", ME! Lorena Shiff, the authenticator, I am here to help and put this debate to rest!
Next step contact an expert, like myself, to authenticate the serial number as well. Contact me @ [email protected] and I will help you!
There are some variants that are hard to pass on, like smell, Logos, stamps, buckles, stitches, all those should be strategically placed, centered an aligned, something that might look right to you, might just not be consistent with the brand.
I hope this can help put you in the right direction when trying to make a decision on a second hand purse purchase. Remember, you are never alone! I am always here to help.
And if you are ready to shop, we have some bags and #Worthilicious prices for you!
You can thank me later!