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How to spot a fake designer bag

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Avoid knockoffs

When you are shopping for a designer handbag, be sure that you are getting an authentic one. Counterfeit bags are everywhere and you don't want to invest in something that isn't the real thing. Here are some simple ways you can spot a fake bag.

Fake handbags

Familiarize yourself

The best way to spot a fake handbag is to know your bags. Take a look at the real deal at the department store or designer's website and take note of the logo placement, materials, hardware and other details.

Shop at reputable retailers

Authentic designer handbags are not normally sold at flea markets or street stands, and they certainly aren't sold out of the trunk of the car (unless they are stolen). Visit the designer's website to find out exactly where you can purchase their goods. The price should be a tell-tale sign as well -- you can't get authentic handbags for pennies on the dollar compared to the regular retail price.

Inspect the bag before you buy

It's all about the details. Take a look at the stitching and the quality of leather. Be sure the logos, monograms and insignias are aligned properly and not odd-shaped. Take a good look at the label -- you might find a serial number stitched, embossed or stamped there. Keep in mind that generally when you buy a real designer handbag documentation is included, such as a certificate of authenticity.

Why you shouldn't buy fake bags

Copyright infringement - Fake bags infringe on the copyright of the designer in terms of the design itself and the trademarks of the brand. If designers have to spend money in court protecting their original designs, the price of their bags will eventually rise too.

Child labor - Many counterfeit bags are produced by young kids in sweatshops. Organized crime and other illegal enterprises often back the production and distribution of these bags.

Poor quality - Fake bags look cheap and tacky. The leather is low quality or not leather at all. The stitching, dyes and hardware are often shoddy, and overall construction is poor. A knockoff bag won't last long. If you can't afford an authentic designer bag right now, shop from more affordable brands.

More about handbags

The right handbag for your body type
The new mini handbag
5 Fabulous fall handbags under $100

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