How to Spot a Fake Louis Vuitton

If you’ve ever worked through or by a flea market or any other street vendor, you will see someone selling a fake Louis Vuitton bag that looks real.  Many replicas are hard to distinguish from authentic bags.  To find out if your Louis Vuitton bag is real or if the person offering the real deal, you must first check some of the most critical detail before determining whether the bag is authentic.

Real Vs Fake Louis Vuitton Bag Attributes

Louis Vuitton bags are considered extremely popular bag.  This makes LV bags more susceptible to replicas in online markets and on the streets.  When purchasing a Louis Vuitton bag from anywhere other than a boutique, claims that you are purchasing the real bag without validation would be a bad call.  We have put together a list of characteristics you should check before handing over your money for a Louis Vuitton bag.

Trim: Louis Vuitton trims are made with leather called Vachetta.  This leather tans naturally as the handbag ages.  Most fakes have a light tan trim, or the trim has been artificially aged and will not change over time.

Quality of Material: Louis Vuitton bags are very expensive; they are usually made with top-quality leathers such as crocodiles, lambskin, boa, camel skin, etc.  Fake Louis Vuitton bags are made with pleather and vinyl making the rough and stiff to the touch.  A real Louis Vuitton bag is smooth and soft.

Monogram Placements: The Monograms are done carefully and consistently.  They are not crooked or cut off and they look the same on every style of bag.  The seam is never in the middle of the bag and the leather is one large piece that continues from one side to the other.

Hardware: The hardware is the quickest indicator of a fake Louis Vuitton bag.  A fake will have gold-painted plastic whereas a real bag has actual gold or brass metal hardware with the LV logo imprinted on it.

Tags: Louis Vuitton bags do not have tags attached to them with pins or plastic. They are found in the dust bag or within the purse.

Dust Bags:  All Louis Vuitton bags come with a soft dust bag.  This bag features the Louis Vuitton logo in the center and is a soft tan color.  The dust bag is either a drawstring or an envelope type.

Extra Accessories

Fake LV bags come with extra accessories.  A real, authentic Louis Vuitton bag does not come with extras.  The Neverfull is the only bag that has the option to add a strip.  Fake bags may have the shoulder strap attached whereas the real one comes with two straps that can be carried over the arm.

Date Codes

All Louis Vuitton bags are equipped with a date code.  An authentic Louis Vuitton bag does not have a serial number but a date code to let collectors and authenticators know when the handbag was made and where. 

Date Codes are not always readily available.  These codes are typically found on the leather label in the bag or within the lining.  Date codes are usually a combination of letters and numbers.

Date code format after 2007

Louis Vuitton date codes are not included on bags before 1980. The date codes in the late 80s was three to four number followed by two letters. The letter represented the year the bag was made, the number represented the month, and the last two letters are the country of origin.

Today's date codes have two letters followed by four numbers. The Letter represents the location the bag was made and the number represents the date.

Popular Replicated Styles and Patterns

Fake Louis Vuitton Speedy bags

Louis Vuitton has many different styles and patterns in its collection. A few of their styles are more commonly replicated than others.  Some of the main Louis Vuitton bags that are replicated are:

Speedy – This is Louis Vuitton's most popular bag.  It has a simple design with two rounded top handles and a full zipper closure.  The padlock is in gold and included in this bag.  The LV Speedy comes in four sizes: 25, 30, 35, and 40 cm.  There are no other sizes for this bag.

Neverfull – The LV Neverfull is considered the most functional bag.  It comes in three styles, MM, PM, and GM.  Each version has its own set of sizes but comes in its original style no matter the size.  LV Neverfull is a tote bag with slim leather handles.  The most reason version has a removable zipper clutch.

Alma – The Alma is a structured-style bag.  It has a double zipper with a padlock closure.  It opens wide and is rounded.  There are two handles made of leather and studs on the bottom of the bag for added protection.  All hardware on the Louis Vuitton Alma is gold.

Signature Monogram – The most commonly replicated is the Signature Monogram Canvas bags.  It features the LV logo pattern on dark brown leather.  The patterns are never reversed, nor does it come in additional colors.

Research your LV Bag before you Buy

Louis Vuitton is a luxury brand that typically appreciates.  If you see a bargain for a bag that is too good, it probably is.  This is not always the case, but you should seek additional information before going all-in on a bag.  

You should always try to purchase your Louis Vuitton bag from a reputable retailer or a Louis Vuitton boutique.  If you prefer to purchase your bag online, you should always validate that the online retailer is selling authentic LV bags.  If you cannot determine if the bag is real on your own, you could also consult a handbag authentication service.  Do not fall prey to a fake Louis Vuitton seller.

Once again, you must do your research to ensure that the company you are consulting is providing legitimate services.

Handbag Authentication Services

  1. Authenticate First – This authenticator handles all brands and has an in-person location located in San Diego California, USA.  They provide online authentication and can provide you with a Certification of Authenticity (COA).
  2. Pro Authenticators – This authenticator handles only Louis Vuitton products.  This company is located in Sunnyvale, California, USA.
  3. Royal Bag Spa – This authenticator handles only Louis Vuitton products.  This company is located in Melbourne Australia.