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What Goes Into Luxury Product Authentication

What Goes Into Luxury Product Authentication?

You’ve saved up your money, looked at loads of gorgeous bags, and found the perfect luxury purse for you. You’re ready to hit “add to cart” when you stop to wonder–how do I know this bag is authentic?

You’ve probably heard stories about people selling counterfeit luxury products, and it’s good to be aware of the possibility of getting duped. However, it is also important to know that many genuine, pre-owned designer bags for sale are legit and well worth the prices listed.

Learning how luxury product authentication actually works can help you determine which resellers to trust. Let’s break down what goes into the authentication process, particularly for purses and handbags, so you know what to look for on your next big purchase.

Serial Numbers

One of the first things a luxury handbag authenticator will look for is a serial number. Both Chanel and Louis Vuitton switched over from a printed code to a more hidden microchip. So knowing not just which brands have an authenticity/date code but how they vary from year to year is crucial. Pre-owned Chanel bags and Hermes items will have one, as well as many other designer brands. Even some of the fakes will try to recreate the number system, so while finding the serial number is not an automatic guarantee that the bag is authentic, it is a great first step. From there it’s ensuring the font, series number, and technique all line up with brand, model, and year.

Authenticity Certificates

If the bag was purchased new just before it reached the reseller, it may come with certification documents from the designer. While these papers can be counterfeited, they are helpful when paired with an inspection of the bag itself to confirm legitimacy.

Note: Used Hermes bags for sale come with serial numbers but will not have an authenticity certificate from the brand. If someone tries to sell a Hermes bag with papers from the fashion house, steer clear; it is likely not real.

Bag Construction

Luxury handbags cost more for a reason. The highest quality materials and craftsmanship go into the construction of each and every luxury designer purse. With a properly trained eye, the construction of a handbag may help prove the product's legitimacy. Here is what authenticators look for in new and vintage designer handbags:


Most luxury handbags are made with the finest-grade leather and other construction materials. The texture of a leather bag can tell a lot about the bag and can help with the authentication process. With authentic second-hand branded bags, every piece of material on the interior and exterior of the bag will be precise, with no excess fabric hanging or tucked in visible areas.

Canvas bags or other fabric constructions should feel good to the touch. Any fraying and wear to the fabric that isn’t caused by the age of the bag should be considered with caution. A counterfeit bag won’t be made with the same high-quality materials, and a cheaper construction can lend to blemishes and decay in the material.

Any authenticator worth their salt will tell you the authenticity process is a fine mix of art and science. Being able to verify the texture, smell, and overall feel of the item contributes to why The Purse Ladies’ in-house staffed authenticators have a superior authenticity process and guarantee.


Many designer fashion houses have specific stitches that they use in each area of their bags—keeping an eye out for these hallmark stitches aids in identifying the bag and its brand. Additionally, as we said earlier, the craftsmanship of an authentic luxury bag is impeccable. The stitchwork should be precise, with straight lines that do not veer off their intended path. There shouldn’t be any loose ends, fraying, or wonky stitchwork.

Color and Pattern

Designers will often use classic colors and patterns that are unique and recognizable. Many of these patterns are even copyrighted. It can be challenging for counterfeit designers to match these exact colors and styles. If patterns don’t line up at seams, inner linings don’t match outer shells or thread colors don’t blend with the bag's primary color scheme, alarm bells should go off in your head. Like anything, there are rules and exceptions to the rules. Every brand’s authenticity markers will vary based on model and year. But keeping these notes in mind is a good start.

Authenticators also know what fashion houses have in their ready-made bag stock and the options that are available for custom purses. If a bag has colors or patterns that aren’t available for a specific designer brand or can’t be found in their archives, it is likely a dupe and not genuine.

Logos and Branding

You may have seen counterfeit designer logos that look nearly identical to the real thing but may have a different spelling or font. This isn't a mistake. Changes that look like typos protect counterfeiters from copyright infringement and help luxury product authenticators easily spot a fraud.


The clasps, zippers, and chains on designer bags are made with the highest-quality metals available. Plastic fixtures or ultra lightweight metals that tarnish easily can be tell-tale signs of a forged bag. Some brands use certain zipper brands exclusively so a good trick can be checking the interior stamp of the zipper pull to check for brand consistency.

Don’t risk your hard-earned money on a designer bag you aren’t sure is genuine. If you’re wondering where can I buy second hand designer bags that have been authenticated by experts, at The Purse Ladies every item we sell is put through a double verification process by our own in-house authenticators. Our life-time authenticity guarantee is second to none.

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