Every year the U.S. seizes billions of dollars worth of counterfeit goods, and a substantial portion of the haul includes fake designer purses. As you likely know, buying a counterfeit bag is rife with moral issues, from violating intellectual property and contributing to the loss of over 750,000 American jobs, to financially supporting crime syndicates that run human-trafficking rings. As counterfeiters become savvier, it can be easy to be fooled into accidentally buying a knockoff. Accordingly, we figured it was high time to become a bit more knowledgeable about how to spot a fake. Enter: The RealReal’s Senior Director of Authentication, Graham Wetzbarger. Wetzbarger has personally examined thousands of designer purses, and he shares his top tips for identifying counterfeit goods below.
Scroll down to safeguard yourself from ever buying a knockoff purse.
“The source can tell you a lot about the probability of an item being counterfeit, so it’s important check out their FAQs, about us section, and press pages. And make sure they offer an authenticity guarantee. If the shop or website doesn’t look and feel high-end, chances are it’s not—and chances are neither are the products.” –Graham Wetzbarger, Senior Director of Authentication at The Real Real
“Don’t buy an item against a stock image. Make sure to request photos of the actual piece with the ability to view it up close and in detail.” –Graham Wetzbarger, Senior Director of Authentication at The Real Real
“Price compare the item against other sources. If the one you’re considering buying is priced considerably lower than similar items on other sites, that is a red flag.” –Graham Wetzbarger, Senior Director of Authentication at The Real Real
“Feel the lining. Crunchy, papery synthetics or pock-marked suede are huge red flags.” –Graham Wetzbarger, Senior Director of Authentication at The Real Real
“Does it smell like a shower curtain liner? This is a telltale sign of synthetic materials, excessive use of glue, or heavily chemically treated materials.” –Graham Wetzbarger, Senior Director of Authentication at The Real Real
Do you think buying a fake designer bag is wrong? Let us know your thoughts on the topic below!