Signs that your Louis Vuitton is fake

You've seen Louis Vuitton rip-offs being sold on the street corners or even in shops — they seem to be everywhere and they're definitely a lot cheaper than the real thing. But real Louis Vuitton bags are so expensive for a reason — these fireproof and waterproof purses are expertly handcrafted, and any counterfeit products will show a lack of craftsmanship and precision (via All Things Luxury). Buying a fake LV bag may save you some dollars but in the end, it's just not worth it.

How can you learn to be an expert fraud spotter? Here are a few things to look out for in a Louis Vuitton fake. 

How to spot a fake Louis Vuitton bag

Diane D'Amato worked with Louis Vuitton for years and learned how to spot an OG just by the touch and look of the bag. She explained to 1st Dibs that the handles and piping of real deal bags are made up of vachetta leather — a natural-toned, light brown cowhide. After some wear and a few weeks, that color changes to a dark brown. "As soon as they're exposed to air, they start to change color. A non-authentic bag is not going to do that in the same way as an authentic bag," she explained. 

Another telltale sign? That famous logo. The logo of LV bags is incredibly precise. This brand doesn't tolerate mistakes so if the logo is smudged, blurred, tilted, or discolored, it's probably a fake. "The colors may be off in counterfeits," D'Amato explained, "because they're not going to get the saturation and the color just perfect."

One more important characteristic to consider is the stitching of a LV bag. The craftspeople at Louis Vuitton are perfectionists, which means all stitches are straight and even. If there is a back and forth zig zag stitch, it's a fake LV purse.

In vintage LV bags, the hardware on the zipper never looks cheap, is never made from plastic, and is almost never defective. These bags are meant to last a lifetime, so the zipper should pull easily and smoothly (via Eluxe Magazine).

Fake Louis Vuittons are common

With counterfeiting being a $600 billion dollar industry as of 2010, it's no surprise that luxury brands like Louis Vuitton are on the underground market. LV has even gone so far as to sue both Google and eBay for selling branded knock-offs (via Forbes). 

Overall, the best tip for shopping for a Louis Vuitton handbag (or any luxury brand bag) is to have common sense. Feel the bag and really examine it. If it feels cheap and looks fake, it probably is. Some people have been known to pay upwards to a $1,000 for a fake LV purse, so before you make an expensive commitment, do your research. And as always, if a price sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There's no such thing as a brand new $300 LV (via Budget Fashionista).