The Secret to Spotting a High-Quality Designer Bag and Purse

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Luxury designer bags are not cheap and for a good reason. They’re made to last. But counterfeiters are stepping up their game, and even some luxury boutiques and authorized dealers need to catch up. If you’re shopping secondhand or online for a luxury bag, read these expert tips to ensure you get the real deal.

The Leather

With designer purses becoming more and more of an everyday necessity, it’s important to know how to tell if you’re getting the real deal or not. After all, fakes are not uncommon to be sold on sites and secondhand stores. You may even be duped into a fake when purchasing a designer bag through a luxury resale site online without first seeing the item in person. Luckily, it’s easy to spot the difference between a real designer purse and one that’s not—take note of these expert tips. When shopping for designer bags & purses for women, paying close attention to the leather quality is important. A genuine designer purse should have supple, smooth leather with no cracks or holes. Moreover, the leather should also feel hefty and not cheap or plasticky. Lastly, it should resist wear and tear and smell natural, unlike plastic or sweat. In addition to focusing on the overall quality of the bag’s leather, it’s also important to look closely at each detail. For example, a genuine designer bag should have tight, evenly-sized, spaced stitching.

In contrast, replica bags have loose workmanship and uneven or crooked stitching. Aside from the stitches, examining the bag’s lining for signs of damage is also a good idea. Designer bags should never have any stains, small tears or scrapes on them—if they do, then the bag is likely a counterfeit.

The Stitching

Authentic designer bags are made by hand and stitched by skilled artisans. They are crafted from durable materials and have strong clasps and buttons. They also have high-quality lining and a sturdy exterior resistant to water and sun damage. Unfortunately, counterfeiting is a serious problem in the fashion industry. It deprives original designers of their intellectual property rights, often resulting in poor-quality products that are inferior to the genuine item. It can also harm the economy by stealing jobs and money from legitimate retailers and manufacturers. The stitching on a bag or purse is one of the easiest ways to tell if it’s fake. Counterfeiters tend to use a low-quality thread and have sloppy workmanship. The stitches on a designer bag should be equidistant and uniform in length. The stitching on a counterfeit bag is usually less even and might be misshapen or even falling off the bag.

You can also look for a logo or brand stamp on the stitching of a bag. A designer bag will have the brand’s name or logo on the stitching, while a fake will not. Finally, look for a stitching color that matches the color of the bag’s leather or other fabrics. Luxury resale website Vestiaire Collective explains that there are several key signs that a designer bag is counterfeit, including a faulty lining (which should be the exact match of the actual color of the bag); stitching that looks uneven or clumpy; misaligned details such as fasteners and gemstones; and an incorrect tag on the interior sticker.

The Hardware

Authentic designer bags are built with high-quality hardware, so knowing the quality when shopping secondhand is important. This is especially true when it comes to designer purses. A fake bag typically uses cheap hardware or, even worse, none. A real designer purse will have metal zippers, clasps, and other hardware that look sturdy and luxurious. A good way to test this is by looking for a logo on the underside of the zipper pull. Many luxury designers, such as Balenciaga, use zippers with the brand name printed to give their bags that extra special touch.

Another thing to look for is whether or not the bag has feet. Some bags have little metal feet on their bottom to protect them from damage. While this isn’t a be-all and end-all tell for if the handbag is authentic, it is a good indicator that it probably is. Finally, please pay attention to how much the handbag costs and where it’s being sold. Authentic designer bags aren’t usually sold at thrift stores or on market stalls and should be priced at a similar rate to the bag itself. A fake designer bag can cost you big money, so it’s always worth researching to avoid getting duped. The best way to test a bag for authenticity is to check it in person, but if you have to buy one online, consider these tips.

The Zipper

A zipper is a seemingly insignificant aspect of clothing or bags that can make or break the entire look. While many manufacturers use cheaper zips that could be smoother, reputable fashion brands will almost always opt for the better-made YKK zipper. YKK (or Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha/Yoshida Industries Limited) is a Japanese company that has made zippers since the 1930s. Their success is due to founder Tadao Yoshida’s philosophy that “no one prospers unless he or she renders benefit to others.”

Among the top zipper manufacturers in the world, YKK has a reputation for quality. They use a special manufacturing process that includes tumbled teeth to eliminate snags, and they also polish and brush each slider body for maximum operability. Many high-end designers use their zippers. 

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