Initially popular for their revolutionised travel gear, the brand has since come a long way with their different lines of bags and accessories.
With the rise of online shopping and pre-owned marketplaces, one needs to be very wary of not falling prey to someone selling them a fake Louis Vuitton handbag.
At Luxity, we authenticate hundreds of Louis Vuitton handbags every month, so we thought we’d share a few tips on how you can protect yourself from a scammer.
1) Check the stitching on your Louis Vuitton bag
The “newer” Louis Vuitton handbags, like the Alma, Neverfull and Speedy will always have exactly 5 stitches going across the handle tab areas.
LV makes use of a linen thread that is strengthened with beeswax, this assists in ensuring that the thickness and colour of the threads remain consistent.
2) Take a look at the stamping on the handbag
The Louis Vuitton stamp can be a very important indicator of whether a bag is fake or not. There are specific features of an LV stamp that you should be on the lookout for.
An original stamp should display the following:
– The tail on the original LV stamp is always very short.
– The O’s are very round and look bigger than the L.
– The T’s almost touch each other.
– Lettering is thin and crisp.
All the fake Louis Vuitton stamps seen below have apparent mistakes like the size of the O, oval O’s instead of round O’s, the width of the imprint and the space between the T’s.
3) Check the date codes
All Louis Vuitton handbags made after the early 1980s are stamped with a manufacturer code, which includes two letters for the location where it was made, and four numbers to indicate when it was made.
All authentic Louis Vuitton date codes will match the “Made in (country)” heat stamp.
Countries and their date codes:
- made in France- A0, A1, A2, AA, AAS, AH, AN, AR, AS, BA, BJ, BU, DR, DU, CO, CT, ET, FL, LW, MB, MI, NO, RA, RI, SD, SF, SL, SN, SP, SR, TJ, TH, TR, TS, VI, VX
- made in Italy- BC, BO, CE, FO, MA, RC, RE, SA, TD
- made in Spain- CA, GI, LO, LB, LM, LW
- made in U.S.A.- FC, FH, FL, LA, OS, SD
- made in Switzerland- DI, FA
- made in Germany- LP
However, it is important to remember to not judge the authenticity of a Louis Vuitton handbag purely based on the date code. An LV date code does not work the same way as a serial code used to authenticate a Chanel handbag.
Some authentic Louis Vuitton handbags may have date codes that are either illegible or have disappeared over time.
Furthermore, many fake bags possess a date code tab like the Alma seen below. However, the leather and typeface do not match up as authentic.
4) Familiarise yourself with Louis Vuitton styles
It’s always a good idea to check whether the bag you’re about to buy was ever made by Louis Vuitton in the first place. This may sound obvious, but many counterfeiters may try to sell you a Louis Vuitton bag that was never even designed by the brand.
It is quite easy to do a search on Louis Vuitton handbags by colour and material if you may not know or remember the name.
5) Take a look at the handbag’s hardware
There has been little variation in Louis Vuitton’s hardware since its inception.
All Louis Vuitton bags manufactured since 1991 make use of its heritage gold brass hardware with the “LV” logo. No modern Louis Vuitton bag will have a YKK or a branded zipper of another kind.
Furthermore, all Louis Vuitton hardware tarnishes similarly – Verdigris (green pigment) may appear on older bags.
The authentic zipper on the left and counterfeit zipper on the right.
6) Check the Louis Vuitton materials
From Louis Vuitton’s famous Damier to Monogram to Multicolour, all Louis Vuitton canvasses have distinct characteristics to ensure authenticity.
However, there are a few characteristics that remain consistent: Every exterior panel should be symmetrical and centred; for example, the flowers in Monogram should “meet” at the seam and so should the squares on the Damier.
Louis Vuitton makes use of one continuous piece of leather that wraps around from the front to back with a seam on the bottom. That’s why bags like a Speedy and Keepall will have an upside-down LV symbol on the backside.
With the Monogram canvas, the symbols should be light gold-tan – and not a greenish-tan. Fake Louis Vuitton handbags generally have the Monogram colour wrong.
The Damier Ebene and Azur canvas should be matte and not shiny. However, several Damier Graphite styles have a light sheen with a smooth finish.
The Louis Vuitton logos on an authentic Multicolour canvas follow a particular pattern.
Louis Vuitton Black Multicolour Canvas LV logo order:
Row 1: fuchsia, white, green
Row 2: dark yellow, dark pink, dark purple
Row 3: light blue, dark blue, chartreuse (yellow-green)
Louis Vuitton White Multicoloremul Canvas LV logo order:
Row 1: fuchsia, black, green
Row 2: dark purple, dark yellow, dark pink
Row 3: dark blue, chartreuse, light blue
7) Take note of the smell
An authentic Louis Vuitton bag will smell clean and may have a slight leather odour while replica Louis Vuitton’s may smell like chemicals or plastic. Even if an LV bag carries some other smells from use, it’ll never smell like chemicals.
8) Check the price of the Louis Vuitton handbag
Be wary when shopping on places like Gumtree or eBay. If the price seems like it’s too good to be true then it probably is! Always try to do a little research on the market value of the bag you’re after.
An R2,000 Speedy may seem like a great deal, but then it’s also most likely fake, so make sure!
The above tips give a general overview of authenticating Louis Vuitton handbags, but it won’t always be enough to authenticate ALL Louis Vuitton.
When purchasing Louis Vuitton, it’s always best to go with a trusted source. Finding out the retail prices may be difficult without visiting a store so we put together this guide on Louis Vuitton Prices in South Africa.
Not everyone wants to splurge on a brand-new LV or wants to get their hands on a bag that was a limited edition… and that’s where we at Luxity come to the rescue!
All Louis Vuitton items sold by us go through a strict authentication process in-house so you can rest assured that your new beauty is 100% authentic and protected by our authenticity guarantee!
LOUIS VUITTON Monogram Galliera PM
$ 2,044.00Select options
LOUIS VUITTON Monogram Tribal Mask Sliding Chain PM – Limited Edition
$ 4,234.00Select options
LOUIS VUITTON Suede Zip Loafers Black – S: 38 (5)
$ 730.00Select options
LOUIS VUITTON Leather Peep Toe Slingback Pumps Brown – S: 38 (5)
$ 949.00Select options
LOUIS VUITTON Resin Crystal Envy Bracelet Black
$ 2,847.00Select options
LOUIS VUITTON Epi Bowling Montaigne GM Noir
$ 1,679.00Select options
LOUIS VUITTON Nubuck Buckle Shoes Navy – S: 46 (11)
$ 1,022.00Select options
LOUIS VUITTON Monogram Ramages Speedy 30 Grenade – Limited Edition
$ 2,044.00Select options
LOUIS VUITTON Vernis Monte Carlo Loafers White – S: 37.5 (4.5)
$ 803.00Select options