Is that discount purse a great deal or an illegal steal? Here are some telltale signs to watch:

– Tags: Some high-end designers like Louis Vuitton do not attach tags to their bags with plastic fasteners. Information and price tags usually are taken off by sales associates at the store and placed in an interior pocket. Also be aware if your bag comes with a fabric swatch.

– Codes: A few brands, such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton, include serial numbers that indicate the year that the bag was made. Get to know these codes, and you’ll be able to tell whether the bag you’re being sold is new, refurbished or just plain fake.

– Holograms: They’re often attached to the bag in a way that makes them impossible to rub off. Notice the hologram’s colors – Chanel authenticity cards have a stripe that reflect in rainbow hues. Fakes have been known to shine gold.

– Seams: Corner stitches should be neat and align on high-end bags.

– Zippers: These closures are often custom-designed for the brand or the bag style. Counterfeiters may not notice, but a bag’s zipper might read the brand’s name on one side and have a design on the other.

– Fonts: Check any places on the bag or accompanying tags for the brand’s lettering. Too much or too narrow spacing between letters or words can be a red flag.

– Hardware: Certain styles or designers use one kind of screws or rivets to attach name plates, chains, or clasps. On certain Chanel bags, the screws that secure the turnlock closure should be flatheads.

– Care cards: Designers will include care instructions for some styles or line of accessories, but not all the bags by one brand will come with them. If your bag comes with a card, check the grammar and spelling.

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