Authentic luxury bags are subject to counterfeiting, just like any other valuable asset. It can be devastating to learn that you have invested hard-earned money in a product that was not genuine. Luckily, we see a lot of designer handbags here at Qollateral and know exactly what to look for when distinguishing between genuine bags and fakes. This guide will teach you everything you need to look out for to help you shop the secondary market with complete and total confidence. Ready to sell or find a luxury handbag loan?

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Why Does Luxury Bag Authentication Matter?

Counterfeit items, in general, are becoming increasingly sophisticated. It’s important to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible when investing in one to ensure you get the most out of your hard-earned money, particularly if you plan to sell your assets one day or use them as collateral for a short-term loan. Imagine taking the leap and investing $7,500 in a pre-owned Chanel bag only to find out later that it was counterfeit and ineligible for a short-term loan. It would be a significant financial loss for the average consumer.

Furthermore, even unknowingly investing in fake handbags tarnishes the brand’s reputation by encouraging more poorly made knockoffs. The allure of brand recognition is understandable, so we’ve gathered everything you need to know about luxury bag authentication in this comprehensive guide.

How to Spot Fake Designer Bags

Purchasing a designer bag directly from the brand or an authorized retailer is the best way to ensure that it is genuine, but that isn’t always the most practical option. For example, a bag might be discontinued or so popular it requires joining a long waitlist. In that case, the secondary market might be the only avenue. Keeping an eye out for important tell-tale signs of forgery can prevent you from unknowingly buying a fake designer bag, which we have outlined below. You can also consult with an expert or purchase from a reputable reseller with a legitimate authentication process if you are still unsure.

Hardware: Many counterfeit bags don’t have quality hardware. Often, it will be immediately evident just from holding the bag and operating the zippers and other clasps and closures that the bag is fake because the hardware won’t feel as solid or work as smoothly as on a genuine bag. If the hardware is plastic, cheap-looking, or has poorly executed engravings, it is also likely fake.

Stitching: Another detail that is easy to spot simply by looking at the bag is the stitching. Counterfeit purses often have sloppy or uneven stitching and sometimes even loose threads. To best even the most sophisticated fakes, some brands have a set number of stitches allowed per inch, although that might take a skilled appraiser with a sharp eye for authentication to spot.

Company Logos: Monograms and logos are some of the most distinguishing design elements on many luxury handbags. They can also be an excellent indicator of a fake bag if you know what to look for. For example, repeating patterns on fake bags are sometimes spaced unevenly or poorly applied. Additionally, embossed logos might appear incomplete or will be printed onto the bag instead of embossed altogether.

Material: The imitation or low-quality leather on many fake handbags will sometimes feel more ridged or even oily to the touch and might not be as smooth as the high-quality leather found on high-end authentic luxury bags.

Serial Number/Date Code: Another detail to look for is a fake date code or serial number - a number unique to each purse that includes information about the bag, such as its production date. If it is printed on the inside lining, it probably isn’t a genuine luxury bag.

Other General Mistakes to Look For: Typos, incorrect country of origin, incorrect lining pattern or color, missing or extra pockets, or pockets in the wrong place.

How To Authenticate A Handbag

In most cases, you can feel the quality of a real bag the moment you pick it up. They will feel more supple and might even have a more substantial heft because brands use only the highest quality materials and manufacturing techniques to produce them. Fine details will be crisp, intentional, and precise.

Hardware: The hardware on an authentic handbag will be perfectly polished with clean, even edges. Additionally, engravings will be sharp, with no blurred lines or inconsistent spacing.

Company Logos: The first step is to make sure that the bag should be decorated with logos or monograms in the first place. Printed monograms on a real luxury purse will have an even and rich application. Furthermore, embossed logos will be deliberately stamped with fine, clean lines.

Material: First, ensure the material is correct, whether canvas, suede, leather, etc. If it is leather, the easiest way to distinguish real leather from fake or poor-quality leather is to feel it. Does it feel dry, soft, and flexible, and does it have clean, even edges? These are indicators of quality leather.

Serial Number/Date Code: Depending on the brand, the date code or serial number will be printed somewhere other than the lining, such as a leather tag. Additionally, the code will follow a very specific arrangement that is relatively easy to confirm by doing research first online.

Stitching: Real designer handbags are manufactured by skilled workers and, as a result, will have even and expertly executed stitching with clean edges and no signs of loose threads. The time and care put into small details like the seams and decorative stitching will be obvious on an authentic handbag.

Designer Handbags Qollateral Accepts

We see a lot of high-end luxury bags and other valuable assets here at Qollateral. Below are a few of the most common. Contact us if you do not see your brand on the list below to determine if it qualifies for a high-offer loan.



Louis Vuitton

& More


Ultimately, our goal is to help consumers invest in authentic, valuable assets. With the help of this guide, you’ve determined that your luxury handbag is authentic. Now what? Learn more about Qollateral and how to borrow against your luxury bag.

Contact us to book an appointment with a skilled appraiser.

Call or text: 212-287-5257

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