Today I authenticated 3 Louis Vuitton Speedies for customers. All three of them were fake and my customers had no clue. Rather than get an authenticate Louis Vuitton before they bid, they bought the bags (for hundreds of dollars each) and then luckily decided to reach out to me during their 48 hour return window.
While I was quickly able to determine their bags were without a doubt fake, the customers were shocked, angry, relieved – you name it. I can’t blame them though; How would you feel if you were holding a fake bag you just paid $500 for?
7 Most Common Mistakes When Trying to Spot a Fake Louis Vuitton Online
To save you the same emotional roller coaster my customers went through, take a look at the 7 most common mistakes I see people make when buying a pre-owned Louis Vuitton online. Learn how to avoid these mistakes, so you don’t fall victim to being the owner of a several hundred if not several thousand dollar fake Louis Vuitton handbag
1. Being Fooled By “Receipts”
This is one of the dirties tricks that professional sellers of fake Louis Vuitton use. Naturally we see a receipt and feel secure that the goods we are buying are authentic. Wrong. The receipt is a completely separate entity from the bag. A receipt, a hang tag or any “proof of purchase” is easy to fake. Actually much easier to counterfeit than the Louis Vuitton handbag itself. Anybody looking to buy a used Louis Vuitton online needs to be on the lookout for fake bags sold with real receipts. One of my speedy customers was sold a poor Louis Vuitton Speedy 35 knock off with a real receipt. The receipt was authentic but the bag was fake. The buyer assumed that the real receipt was proof that the bag was real, when in fact, the bag was counterfeit.
2. If It’s Too Good To Be True . . .
When authenticating bags for customers they typically tell me where the bag was purchased and the price that it was purchased for (or the price that it’s listed for). 7/10 times the fake bags have prices that are “too good to be true”. As someone who almost lost $30,000 on a Craigslist BMW scam I can say firsthand how blinding a “good deal” can be. Sometimes our own interests can cloud our good judgment. You’re looking at a pochette metis on The Real Real for $1,800 but see one on Poshmark for $1,200 and all the sudden your desire to save $600 takes over and you don’t see things as clearly as an objective third party. You want the deal to be real so badly you start to look for proof that it is real rather than trying to prove it’s not.
3. Being Afraid To Ask For More Images
I would never bid on a buy a pre-owned bag online without asking the seller for some additional image first. Even if they have every shot possible of the bag I’m always going to request at least one more photo. Why? Because I want to see that the image they take on short notice matches the bag in the listing.
Many times when I’m doing an authentication for a customer I’ll need them to get another image. The seller didn’t take any detail shots or the images are too blurry to read the head stamp. Sometimes the seller completely refuses (which is a huge red flag) or they will send back an image of a bag that is subtly different than the one in the listing. The bag they photographed for the listing is an authentic Louis Vuitton but all the sudden the specific image we requested shows that the bag my customer would be getting is actually a knock off.
4. Not Checking For A Return Policy
Never. Ever. Buy a Louis Vuitton you cannot return. Whether the seller is giving a 48 hour return policy or the sales platform has a separate process for authentications, be sure you know exactly what your options are once the bag arrives.
5. Believing That The Seller Really Only Carried It Once Or Twice
Let’s be totally honest with ourselves on this one. How many people fork over $1,000+ on a Louis Vuitton and then just decide to only carry it once or twice? And that same woman, who has such an excess of cash to thrown around on Louis Vuitton bags she doesn’t want to carry. . . Do we really think that’s she’s standing in her beautiful walk in closet taking photos of her bag to sell on eBay? Not likely.
Lightly used pre-owned Louis Vuitton are not that common. Especially at the low price point of a Speedy or Neverfull. If you’re coming across a practically new monogram Speedy for sale online at a great price, I’d bet good money that bag is fake.
6. Thinking That A Date Code Makes A Louis Vuitton Bag Real
Much like the way people assume a “receipt” makes a Louis Vuitton real they also assume a date code makes a Louis Vuitton real as well. It’s one of the most common misconceptions that buyers fall victim too.
I always tell my customers, “A fake Louis Vuitton can have a real date code and a real Louis Vuitton can sometimes have no visible date code. The date code isn’t proof of authenticity, it’s just a piece of the puzzle in determining the bags overall authenticity.”
7. Not Getting An Expert Opinion Before It’s Too Late
The number of people who walk around carrying a Louis Vuitton that that might be fake is astounding. I get close to 20 emails as day with people asking about their date code or something on their bag, all basically trying to authenticate a bag they already own and carry. This type of Louis Vuitton owner is seeking free advice because they can’t bear the idea of paying to find out the truth about their bag. But it’s these types of Louis Vuitton owners, who are much more likely to resell their bags online. They aren’t going to sell them as “possibly authentic” they will list then as authentic because they generally believe that the bags are.
Outside of the people who maliciously sell counterfeit Louis Vuitton for profit, there are a lot of people selling counterfeit Louis Vuitton because they simply don’t know any better. The bag they owned has always been fake but they simply didn’t know. The best way to avoid falling victim to buying fake Louis Vuitton online is having the bag authenticated either before or after you purchase.
The Bottom Line
7 of the last 13 bags I authenticated were fake. Some looked vintage, some looked brand new, some had receipts and some were the best fakes I’ve seen in a long time. All of these customers were able to avoid hundreds and even thousands of dollars of wasted money simply by paying $25 for an authentication. $25 to save them thousands of dollars and save them the disappointment of having to look at a fake Louis Vuitton sitting in their closet or on their arm reminding them of the bad buy.