DON'T FALL FOR A FAKE.
Louis Vuitton handbags are an iconic fashion accessory that have adorned the shoulders of the rich and famous since the late 1800s - and for a good reason. They are the definition of luxury. Each one is handmade, carefully crafted for a week, using only the finest materials.
With billions of dollars of sales and unmatched popularity, it’s not surprising that Louis Vuitton handbags are the most counterfeited in the world. Hoping to piggyback on the success of the brand, manufacturers reproduce fakes and flood the market, taking advantage of unsuspecting shoppers.
If you’re shopping for a Louis Vuitton, bookmark this guide. It’s going to be your essential resource to ensure that the handbag you’re buying is the real deal.
BEFORE YOU SHOP
There are a few red flags that you can use to spot a shady Louis Vuitton seller before you even start browsing their selection of Louis Vuitton handbags.
- Shops that claim to have brand new Louis Vuitton handbags. Real Louis Vuitton handbags only sold in Louis Vuitton boutiques, on the Louis Vuitton website, and in a handful of select department stores. The exception is a resale site selling a Louis Vuitton that was never used and being sold NWT.
- There’s no such thing as a Louis Vuitton Outlet.
- Louis Vuitton handbags cannot be purchased wholesale, so avoid buying from shops that claim to offer discount prices.
- Louis Vuitton handbags do not come with authentication cards.
If you don’t plan to purchase a Louis Vuitton directly from a Louis Vuitton boutique or their website, your best bet is to only shop reputable Louis Vuitton resale sites - like LuxeDH - that offer authenticity guarantee.
HOW TO SPOT THE REAL DEAL.
Counterfeiters can create a pretty convincing replica, but with these five identifiers, you'll be able to spot the real from the fake.
You will never, ever see any of the below on an authentic Louis Vuitton:
Remember that every Louis Vuitton handbag is carefully crafted and handmade. Therefore, you can expect the stitching on a real Louis Vuitton to be exceptional. Any fraying or loose ends indicates a fake. Louis Vuitton uses linen thread that is strengthened with beeswax to prevent these imperfections.
If you have an eye for detail, the heat stamp on a Louis Vuitton bag can be a very effective way to distinguish a real from a fake.
Here’s what to look for:
The initial L and the O will appear to almost overlap. The “L” will have a very short tail, and the O will be very round.
The “S” at the end of Louis will appear slightly different from the “S” at the end of Paris, which will have a shorter bottom loop than its top loop.
The stamp should be incredibly crisp, clear, and easy to read.
Louis Vuitton uses high-quality materials in every part of their handbag right down to the clasps and zippers.
The hardware on an authentic Louis Vuitton are made of brass and will not discolor. Fake handbags often use low-quality metal or plastic that has been painted gold, which begins to discolor over time.
Zippers are stamped with the LV logo and buttons are stamped with ‘Louis Vuitton.’ These stamps should be clear and crisp.
5. DATE CODES
Any Louis Vuitton made after 1980 will have a date/location stamp located on the inside of the bag on either a small tab inside an interior pocket, inside where the handles attach, or underneath a small interior flap.
Below is a guide on how to read the date code formats that have been used throughout the years.
Codes consist of three or four numbers with the first two numbers representing the year and last number(s) representing the month. For example, "832" would mean the bag was made in February 1983.
Mid to late 1980's
Louis Vuitton changed their coding format to add the manufacturing country to the end of the numeric string described above. The first two numbers still represented the year, with the last one or two numbers indicating the month, and the last two letters indicated the country. The Date Code '864VI' is read as April 1986 from France.
Louis Vuitton once again changed their Date Code format. The factory location code was moved to the beginning, and the first and third numbers now represented the month, with the second and forth numbers representing the manufacture year. The Date Code 'BA0915”' is read as January 1995 from France. This coding format lasted through 2006.
Below is a list of the common country codes:
|France||A0, A1, A2, AA, AAS (Special Order Item), AN, AR, AS, BA, BJ, BU, DU, CO, CT, ET, FL, LW, MB, MI, NO, RA, RI, SD, SL, SN, SP, SR, TH, TR, VI, VX|
|Italy||BC, BO, CE, FO, MA, RC, RE, SA, TD|
|Spain||CA, LO, LB, LM, LW|
|USA||FC, FH, LA, OS, SD, FL|
Some things to keep in mind about date codes:
Some counterfeiters will add date codes to make their bags look more authentic, so a bag with a date code doesn’t mean it’s real. In this case, knowing the country codes can be helpful. If a bag is stamped “Made In France,” but it’s date code shows it was made in Italy, you can be sure it’s fake.
On the flip-side, lack of a date code doesn’t mean the bag is fake. Some codes stamped into the Alacantara lining fade over time with regular use or cleaning. This is when you’ll want to pay close attention to the craftsmanship and materials.
Date codes aren’t serial numbers. Therefore, they are not unique. You may come across two items with the same date codes.
THE IMPORTANCE OF AN AUTHENTICITY GAURENTEE
Now that you know how to spot the imposters, you’re ready to go out and find the (real) Louis Vuitton handbag of your dreams.
If you don’t plan to buy a handbag directly from Louis Vuitton, there are literally hundreds of places to shop resale handbags. However, you take a huge risk by choosing to buy from a site that does not offer an authenticity guarantee.
A seller who is confident in the authenticity of their handbags will offer a guarantee, and you will rest easy knowing you got the real deal.
WHY SHOP LUXEHD
If you’re ready to treat yourself to that Louis Vuitton handbag you’ve had your eye on, you can shop worry-free with LuxeDH. Every handbag we sell is inspected from top to bottom by an authenticity expert to confirm it’s authenticity before placing it on our site for sale.
You can find our available collection of Louis Vuitton handbags here.
We’re a team of fashion lovers with a passion for designer handbags, and we’re always happy to “talk shop.” If you have any questions or looking for a specific handbag, send us a message. We’d love to help.