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Spotting Counterfeit Designer Handbags

By Sharon Owens

You may try to save a few bucks by buying a designer handbag replica, but there are several reasons why it makes sense to buy the real thing:

1. Although replicas may look like the real thing, the workmanship and quality can't be compared to the original.

2. Counterfeiters avoid paying taxes since their businesses are generally operated on a cash basis. Citizens like you and I still have to pay.

3. The sale of counterfeit designer goods has been linked to terrorist and gang activity as well as organized crime. Drugs are often smuggled inside counterfeit handbags.

Spotting a fake

There was a time when it was easy to spot a fake: misspelled logos, cheap leather and shoddy hardware. Now, fakes are starting to look rather good and it's hard to tell the difference. Here's how to tell what's real and what's not:

1. Authentic handbags are purchased from authorized registered dealers. Authentic designer handbags are not sold by street vendors, at home parties, at flea markets, in New York's Chinatown, in Los Angeles' Santee Alley, or at mall kiosks.

2. If you're considering a Coach handbag, the company's website provides a list of authorized dealers. Both Coach and Kate Spade give detailed information on spotting replicas of their products.

3. The price. A new Prada handbag will not sell for $50.

4. Country of Origin Labels. The country of origin for Fendi handbags is Italy. If the handbag has a label that says "Made in Taiwan", it is not the real thing.

Buying designer handbags online

If you're shopping online and find a designer handbag at a price that's hard to pass up, there's a way to tell if you're getting an authentic product:

Read the product description carefully. Some online merchants will lure you into their sites by describing their products as original, authentic or genuine. After reading descriptions, you may find such phrases as "inspired by a particular designer. This product isn't authentic and the phrase is used to protect the merchant from trademark infringement.

Want to know for sure it's real?

Buy designer goods from authorized registered dealers only. provides resources for affordable authentic designer handbags and other luxury goods.

About The Author

Sharon Owens is the editor of To obtain resources and tips for purchasing affordable luxury goods, visit

Article must be reprinted in its entirety and must include the entire resource box ("about the author" box).


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