I have a question! When do Louis Vuitton handbags get annoying? Answer… when you can’t afford them! Hehe. Well, I can actually, but I can’t afford to buy a lot of them, or at least as much as I want to. And ever since I bought one for my fiancee, I have never looked at handbags the same way again. Luxury branded items were never really my thing because they were so insanely expensive, but for some reason, I have started to slowly understand and appreciate why women love them.
I also never really ever noticed what kind of handbags women carry around with them. A bag is a bag, right? Obviously, not. As oblivious as I was back then (back then being fairly recently, around early this year), now I can’t help but instinctively look at what kind of bag a girl carries around every time I’m at the mall, or anywhere else for that matter. And in terms of handbags, Louis Vuitton is definitely one of the most popular brands here in the Philippines, and seemingly everywhere else in the world. And yeah, they really ARE that nice.
Because of that, I kind of noticed that almost everyone who goes to the mall totes an LV bag! So I started asking myself how that’s possible considering these handbags literally cost an arm and a leg to own. And these girls I see who own them really don’t seem to quite have the means to have one, if you know what I mean.
But since there is this place called Greenhills, the proliferation of these fake LV bags has boomed. So now anyone can own a “genuine-looking” Louis Vuitton handbag at a fraction of the actual price! Meaning if the real thing costs around Php 60,000 (or $1,200), you can get a fake one for a mere Php 4,000 (or $85!). And the greatest thing about it is that very few people can tell that it’s a fake! So for a sourgraper like me, who worked his ass off to be able to buy a REAL one for his fiancee, I want to spread the word on how YOU can TELL if the person you see in the mall is carrying a real one or not, and how YOU can TELL if the handbag you’re buying is the real McCoy! Here are four ways:
1. THE PRICE IS WRONG
Louis Vuitton monogram canvas bags run from $350 and up, with most selling for $1000. So if you’re buying one that costs less than $300, you’re NOT getting a deal… you’re getting a FAKE. Louis Vuitton does NOT discount. The first time I bought one, I was stupid enough to ask if there was one, shame on me! There is no such thing as a Louis Vuitton SALE in Greenhills or any tiangge, either. They just don’t do it, EVER!
2. IT’S IN THE DESIGN
The LV monogram handbags are made of canvas, but the handles and piping are natural cow-hide leather. The color of the leather should be a light tan with the edge dyed red and the stitching in yellow. After a few weeks of handling your bag, the leather handle will oxidize and fade to a darker brown. So if your leather handle doesn’t change color, then it’s a FAKE.
Also, the actual LV monogram is usually (with the exception of some vintage pieces) symmetrical from side to side in all monogram styles (traditional, Multicolore, Cerises, Mini mono, Vernis etc.) Louis Vuitton is also very careful with it’s stitching. Stitching should be even and regular. The same number of stitches will be found in similar locations on similar bags. For example, the leather tab that the handle attaches to any size monogram Speedy bag will always have 5 regular, even stitches across the top.
In terms of the LV tag, when you buy a Louis Vuitton handbag, it will come with a tag, but they are NEVER attached to the bag. LV tags are usually tucked into a pocket or included in an envelope that comes with your receipt. So if you see any dangling attached tag, it isn’t real.
Know the date code. Louis Vuitton uses a production code in its bags for its own internal purposes. It’s not unique so you might be able to find an identical number in a different handbags produced at the same place and time. Since the early 1990′s, this code has been represented by two letters followed by four numbers, eg. MI0060. Currently, with the latest authentic ones, it’s still two letters but the four numbers are now between them, eg. M5933J.
Louis Vuitton doesn’t have any street resellers, so if you bought yours from one, most likely it’s not the genuine article. Also be careful if you are buying your LV handbags online, sure you can find authentic ones, but there are a ton of fakes. One website that is authorized to sell authentic LV bags is www.eluxury.com.
Ebay also sells LV handbags, but the question of authenticity is always raised even if the site has made it a point to ensure that the ones being offered are genuine. How the heck would you be able to check anyway, right? It’s either you trust all the user feedback on that seller, or you do away with buying from Ebay and just use eluxury above. Better yet, buy from an authetic LV store in your country, there really should be just one flagship store.
4. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS
If you feel funny about where or how much you’re paying, walk away. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and always expect an answer. If you don’t get one, move on. If you have a bad feeling about things, keep moving on. If the seller is evasive and anything but straight-forward, consider that your answer.
But seriously, in a world where fakes look practically real, you’ll just go crazy trying to figure out if someone out there is toting a real one. So the best you can do is ensure that when you DO buy your own, and I assume you want to buy a real one, just save yourself the trouble and go to the official LV store in your country and buy the Louis Vuitton handbag that you want from there. God knows, it’s going to be expensive, but at least, somehow it’s going to be worth it (choke!)
Just one last bit. Thanks to Tina for sharing the wonderfully expensive world of Louis Vuitton to me And to Rupert, for making fun of the people who were toting fake handbags in Shangrila last Saturday. That inspired me to write this blog that I hope made some sense!