Can you spot a fake Birkin above with just a glance? Natalie Wyll and Alexa Ridolfi, the sisters who run A Second Chance Resale, do that for a living, thanks to a $600 billion counterfeit industry. Along with their mother, who founded the Upper East Side store before expanding to Soho’s West Broadway, they’ve become experts at authenticating and valuing designer handbags outlet—especially for the Big Three brands.
“When you purchase a luxury product, you get a lifetime guarantee. Chanel, Hermès, Louis Vuitton—they stand behind their products.” Wyll explained to Racked. “They are investment pieces. and the prices have grown exponentially. When you invest in a knockoff, you’re not investing in anything. You can’t resell it, [and when] it starts wearing or falling apart…you’re kind of at a loss.”
Wyll and Ridolfi gave us side-by-side comparisons of authentic and counterfeit cheap bags online from these brands, pointing out the subtlest of differences that can determine whether they’ll spend upwards of tens of thousands of dollars to purchase a bag from a consignor. Check out their tips below—because even if you can’t afford a Chanel Boy Bag, you can pick up a neat little party trick (that might also upset people).
The Boy Bag, pictured here, is one of Chanel’s most popular purses, a modern take on a classic style. “It’s one of the most expensive Designer bags online they sell, and they’re really hard to get in stores,” which makes it a hot commodity on the resale market—and the counterfeit market, too. Just by looking at the pictures above and below, can you tell which bag is real?
Reminder: Just because a bag comes with an authenticity card doesn’t actually make it authentic—counterfeiters fake those, too In fact, you should always be wary of authenticity cards when buying outside of a brand’s official store: Louis Vuitton and Hermès replica handbags don’t have them, Wyll explained, but fakers will lure unassuming customers with them anyway.
In this case, Wyll could spot the fake bag on the bottom based on her brand knowledge. “I can see that this has a hologram to it,” while authentic authenticity cards just have a gold trim. Other inconsistencies include the font size, the type used for the bag number, and the fake-looking symbol sticker on the upper right corner.
A big indicator is whether the bag has a proper identification stamp. The letters are code for the country in which the bag was made, while the numbers indicate when it was made. The second and fourth numbers stand for the year (so 2008, in this case), while the first and third numbers are for the week in that year (here, the eleventh week).
“First, Louis Vuitton was doing the month and the year” in the stamp number, Wyll said. “Then the counterfeiters caught on, so now they do the week of Designer replica handbags uk the year—a number out of 52 instead of a number out of 12—to throw them off. Also, they started assigning different letters to different regions. CA is not the only two-letter [combination] that is associated with Spain, for example. You could have CA and, like, five other different letter combinations mean Spain.
“It makes our job difficult, too,” she added. “You perfect something, and then they change it because the counterfeiters are on top of it, too.” That’s why a lot of the stamps on fake Designer bags replica are the same as the real ones—so if the stamp looks correct, hunt for other inconsistencies.
First, check out the label stamp on the top of the bag. “You can’t see too much of a difference here, but the stamp…is pretty high and close to the stitching” on the authentic Birkin (left), Ridolfi said. “If you see it in the middle” between the stitching and the lock, that’s a dead giveaway replica handbags. Note how the stamp on the fake bag also appears to sit on top of the leather, while the authentic stamp is really a part of the fabric.
“You also want to make sure [the stamp] is straight,” Wyll added—remember, this detail was a giveaway on the Chanel label. “These are little details, but they make a difference bags outlet.”