The only way be totally certain about the designer bag you buy is to
purchase one from the real sellers. If in doubt about those who say they are
official sellers, then contact the designer named house for verification.
I purchased this Dolce & Gabbana handbag (right) directly from an official London retailer of Dolce & Gabbana goods.
The bag came with the
contralto hologram card of authenticity and care instructions.
Most importantly I know it was bought from a trusted designer goods supplier at the reliable source Browns of South
Molton Street, London.
You must seek a reliable and trusted supplier for your Dolce and Gabbana handbag.
In the UK, buy
from Browns as above, or shop at Harrods, Harvey Nichols or the designer boutiques. Net a Porter, Yoox
(end of line designer items) have online designer brands for purchase. In the USA
reliable on and offline suppliers of women's handbags include Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus,
Bloomingdales or Saks Fifth.
Anyone who has ever had a quality bag before,
will recognise how high end bags literally stand up on their own because the quality of
leather is so good. The bag shown here is not physically collapsing under its own
weight, as many cheaper bags do. Dolce & Gabbana took care when
hiring craftsmen to make the bag and you will
notice that thanks to the high quality leather and construction, even the handles don't collapse.
There is no ugly end tab to the zip, which is sometimes visible on
lesser quality. The inside is finished with exceptionally neat
stitching. The inner zipper has a Dolce & Gabbana engraved surface
and so does the lock. Obviously this is not foolproof, but look for
spelling errors and smudgy font reproduction.
Look for evidence of quality features such as protective
The outer zip on my bag, shown on the left, is
well designed with a leather tab pull, also the design enables it to form and
of the lock closure. Neat. The handles are well designed so they
look just as good when the handle is down as when they are in holding
Look for Shoddy Workmanship - Tell tale signs of fake women's handbags include poor quality
leather, basic YKK zip pulls and shoddy rough ironmongery/hardware.
You should expect the highest quality from a designer bag. Even a bag
from a beauty purchase, such as an Estee Lauder will have a zipper slide pull
with the Estee name.
On fakes, look out for
clumsy overhanging zipper tape ends, crudely contrasting zip colours
and an over abundance of tags to authenticate it. All are warning clues.
Fake Logo Fabrics - With logo fabrics check for obvious misplacement of the letters incorporated
into the seams. Well designed women's bags with logo fabrics never run the lettering into
the seam lines. Design features such as LV lettering are never
obliterated by for example, the image of a cherry. The whole design is
carefully worked out so that fabric placement looks aesthetically pleasing. Observe how the cherries would intertwine in a controlled way with the lettering,
which may be of 30 plus different colours, but certainly not as few as 8
Always check the placement of the hardware and the
distressing on bags. Many designer bags have vintage effect distressing and if the design
is intentionally soft, the bag will slouch in a certain way. If the bag is more formal, it
will probably stand up on its own as my Dolce & Gabbana bag below does or as a
McQueen Novak does, without any
inner stuffing support and without kinking in the straps. The straps
will be even in length and placement.
can also see in this final photo of my Dolce & Gabbana bag that when the straps hang down the design
elements of the handles are as well crafted on the back as on the front.
Look for good design elements. This bag has the Dolce & Gabbana name
engraved into the rings.
Look for Shoddy Workmanship/Materials - On genuine bags, straps don't have kinks, zippers match the skin colour well
and the designer run of bags may only truly come in a very small range of
colours. Very smooth and over shiny highly processed leather is often a sign of a fake.
Tell tale signs on unauthorized copies comprise minor
differences such as the use of cheaper leather or left-over scraps and
inferior, easily abraded hardware. Often the bags are made in colours
and even designs never ever originally a part of a seasonal collection.
Look for Shoddy Workmanship - Poor uneven stitching is a dead give away on a bag that is supposed to be
hand stitched by a craftsman. Bags of high quality made with natural
tannin methods also often have a
wonderful leather smell which softens down naturally with time.
Some people really don't care if a bag is a fake as long as
it looks like the real bag. As in all walks of life, there is no such
thing as a free lunch. Pay too little (thinking you have a
bargain) and you may get a bag in return, but the chances are it will be
lower quality than you would hope for, worse it may not impress your friends.
In fact all you do is waste money. You may spend
£150 at an online auction thinking you have secured the bargain designer bag
of the century, only to discover the bag looks so inferior that you won't
even use it and could instead have put that £150 toward the genuine official
Stamps inside labels on real bags are usually deeply
embedded. Remember that counterfeiters will make fakes of any popular
desirable brand name designer. China is notorious for not enforcing trademark
laws, so factories are inclined to reproduce whatever item they choose.
However, with the Olympic Games of summer 2008, China may
be forced to protect its own official Olympic products and this may all be
the start of a non Confucian attitude toward copying goods.
Made with cheap labour, but sold at authentic prices Super
bags are generally the highest quality mirror bags that are sold by the
handbag underworld. In Hong Kong, grades of replicas vary, so that Super
A means really good whereas A grade is good and counter intuitively, AAA less good.
The upgraded replica
terminology may be employed by many counterfeiters, but few have the quality replicas that fool
Many sellers use the terminology, but don't have the goods to
back it up! The picture you are shown online may well be of an authentic
bag, but online auction forum members regularly state how they have been
duped and do not receive the actual bag in the online photo.
For example. a photograph of an original LV bag might be used
in a scam, but the bag you get would be a poor relative. LV bags have as many as 33 colours used in the
printing of certain styles, but fake bags may have as few as 8 colours.
Good replicas may well have 33 colours, but just as easily they may not.
Buyers have reported that on
receipt there are sometimes important differences such as missing eyes on cherries and overprinting on
initials in some styles. On some LV replica bags bought over the internet, sometimes
the texture of the canvas used doesn't feel quite right to experienced LV
store buyers. The glue on many
fake LV bags is the incorrect colour and too orange toned. It is
thought that this is because LV
glue has cherry wood powder mixed into the base to create a distinctive
There are NO Guarantees
All too often when sellers are asked by a prospective
purchaser if they can guarantee that the bag they will receive is the exact
bag in the picture shown, the enquirer never gets a reply back. This
speaks for itself.
I have also been observing specific sellers on online
auction sites. They make half a dozen sales of innocuous items
like DVDs and books then offer an expensive bag such as an Hermès or Dior.
One I recall with just a few sales and the briefest of feedback sold an
alleged Hermès bag. I noticed the same seller had unregistered within a day
of the sale. One can assume the feedback was self generated enough to make a
quick sale on the bag and then scarper never to be heard of again.
But there are plenty of Sob Stories!
Look out also for online auction 'sob story sellers' who
always have to 'part with the item due to ....' no end of dubious reasons!!
Or they insist the bag was their own personal bag, and now they are saving
for their wedding or holiday so must sell it. Yet somehow they are
managing to sell 15 other similar or identical handbags when you check their online store.
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