Recognizing a fake Louis Vuitton bag in a world full of counterfeits has become increasingly difficult. But with the recent growth of the luxury resale market, there are now so many great, accessible ways to identify what’s real and what’s not. Not only can you seek authentication services from luxury brand experts, but you can also access resources such as authentication guides so you can have a bit of an advantage as a luxury resale consumer before you make your purchase.
It’s estimated that there are more fake Louis Vuittons in the world than authentic. Crazy to think about, right? Most of us are familiar with what a real Louis Vuitton looks like, but are you able to recognize the warning signs that a Louis Vuitton might be fake?
7 Early Warning Signs that a Louis Vuitton Might be Fake
1. It’s a Reall Good Deal
First, steer clear of any Louis Vuitton item that is priced way below market value. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. For instance, a used Neverfull typically starts at around $900+.
A well-used or vintage Speedy bag might go for $300-$500, while a relatively newer Speedy bag in good condition can range from $500-$1000. But of course this all depends on the age, wear, and the specific style. It’s a good idea to compare prices in the resale market for the item you are looking at to get an idea of what a reasonable price is.
2. Authenticity Cards That Should Not Be Included
Be cautious of the paperwork and accessories that are included with the item as these things are sometimes overlooked. Louis Vuitton does not and has not ever used authenticity cards. This yellow card below is an example of what should not be included in authentic Louis Vuitton purchases. The dust bag in the same photo is fake as well. Take a closer look at the “LOUIS VUITTON” marking and you’ll see the font is incorrect. Additionally, the stitching surrounding the dust bag is not consistent with Louis Vuitton.
Check other forms of paperwork included. If there’s a receipt, be sure the purchase date on the receipt looks right, the style and price shown match the item, and that the store location is valid.
3. Older Bags With No Patina
The Vachetta leather should age into warm honey tones, and deepen into brown. A major red-flag is if you see pasty pale leather on a fairly used Louis Vuitton.
Examples of improper leather seen on fake Louis Vuitton bags (also notice the incorrect stitching and stampings):
4. Hardware is Not Correct For the Style or Production Cycle
Pay attention to the quality of the hardware used. The hardware shown in both images below are incorrect. Not only are the shapes wrong, but the LV logo fonts are incorrect, and there is visible bubbling and streak marks throughout the finishing.
5. Poor Quality Louis Vuitton Stampings
Louis Vuitton stampings are one of the trickiest details in authenticating an item. It usually requires a well-trained eye with plenty of experience in this area to identify a good fake. But notice below the photos of two replica stampings. While they might look pretty close to the real thing, pay very close attention to the inconsistent spacing and fonts that are used.
6. Correct Date Codes Sequences That Are Incorrectly Stamped
Check out this date code below. This date code carries an additional number with a factory code that isn’t valid. In other words, this isn’t a real date code, and doesn’t tell us where or when the item was made:
Here is an example of a date code that makes sense sequentially, meaning it corresponds to a real factory code and time frame, but uses the wrong font and spacing:
7. Thread and Stitching Quality
Here’s the thing about the stitching: it’s a common misbelief that Louis Vuitton, as well as many other luxury brands should be “flawless” in production. The truth is, Louis Vuitton items should be close to perfection, but since they’re made with human guidance, there will be some room for error. You might see some slight imperfections, but the overall stitching should be used with the correct threading, spacing and direction. Generally, the stitches should be small and tight, rather than long and spaced out.
Examples of fake Louis Vuitton bags with uneven stitching all throughout (also notice the incorrect stamping on the left photo!):
The Bottom Line
Were you able to recognize the inconsistencies in all the examples provided? While these are just a few of the early warning signs, there are many other details that must be reviewed to truly confirm an item’s authenticity. If you’re ever unsure, you can request an authentication by our Louis Vuitton experts.