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Most fakes you can spot from a mile away, ’cause they’re cheaply made and often the logos aren’t even close to looking like the real deal. But what if you could buy a fake that was totally passable? At about a tenth of the price, you might be interested, right?  We’re not judging, y’all – we know the price of getting this season’s it bag, and it’s quite startling. So, let’s turn some tips on how to spot a fake into a learning lesson on how to get the best fake possible. Follow these five steps when you’re picking up a new “Chanel,” “Prada,” “Louis Vuitton” or “Balenciaga.”

Step One: Smell it

Your bag should smell like leather. A weird polyurethane smell, or some Canadian Tire-grade rubber smell is going to be a dead giveaway. A designer bag doesn’t smell like anything else but new leather. So, start by taking a big ol’ whiff.

smell

Step Two: Touch it

This probably seems like an obvious thing to say, but really touch it. Feel the leather, and if it is feels like plastic, then everyone is going to know. No matter how much it visibly looks like a brand-new Louis V, once someone touches it, they’re going to utter, “oh, yeah it’s nice I guess.” By running your fingers in and around the bag, you’ll also uncover whether the interior lining is loose or stitched. Real bag lining won’t budge, so if it’s loose, that’s a fake people are going to recognize.

touch

Step Three: Inspect the Hardware

Designer bag hardware isn’t light. It’s solid, because the price tag is high, so the buyer expects some heavy-duty zippers and buckles. So if you’re going to pass off a fake for a real bag, look for hardware that’s pristine – any signs of chipping will call attention to the fact that you bought it off a blanket on a street corner somewhere. And make sure everything is fastened well, because a loose loop here and a shoddy zipper there, will give people the impression that your bag is basically about to die.

hardware

Step Four: Look at the Stitching

If it looks like you could have sewn it, and you yourself are not an experienced seamstress, then it’s probably a fake. You can excuse a weird stitch here or there, but the illusion of precision is key. Avoid an abundance of slanted stitching, though. It’s a designer bag, not a project from a home economics class that your child has made.

stitching

Step Five: Aim For Authenticity

There are some very easy giveaways to spotting fakes. Check the authenticity card, the duster bag it comes with and the inside label. A good fake will have the same font, the same logo and a decent lookalike authenticity card. If all of the fonts are different, then it’s just not worth it. People will know you’re packing faux Chanel faster than you can say “I didn’t know!” So, before you purchase, have a look at the logo and the font (heck, browse the real thing in person), and that’ll go a long way. And this goes without saying, but make sure that nothing is misspelled. Alright, that’s all you need to know. So, now, not only can you spot a fake, you can spot the best darn fake there is. Happy hunting!

authentic