Confession…in 2005 I unknowingly purchased a fake Gucci bag off of one of those bidding sites. The giveaway for me was when the black GG canvas started turning reddish pink. Looking back, there were many missed signs and I’m pretty horrified because I worked at a “Devil Wears Prada” PR agency in the Flatiron District with so many twenty-something trustfunders who carried real Birkins, they must’ve laughed behind my back every day.
One thing I’ve learned since that big “OOPS” is there’s a reason why the sayings “too good to be true” and “you’re not going to get something for nothing” exist. In fact, those words may be more accurate now than ever before. With the rise in e-commerce and the globalization of trade, it has never been easier for shady people to make a quick buck at the expense of an aspirational shopper.
This has always been a sad reality in the world of fashion, especially when it comes to Gucci handbags. We all want to have that name-brand, authentic designer handbag, but we’d like to avoid paying retail price. So, in our quest to save a little cash, we open ourselves up to getting duped by counterfeiters, and can ultimately end up with something that isn’t even worth the supposed “discounted” amount we just paid.
Stop asking if your Gucci bag is authentic and start investigating! Luckily, there are ways you can educate yourself on how to recognize the real deal. Knowledge is power so if you know what to look for, you’ll easily be able to tell an authentic Gucci handbag from a cheap fake. Today we're going to tell you how to authenticate a Gucci handbag!
A truly authentic Gucci bag literally comes with a calling card, or as Gucci calls them, “Controllato Cards,” which are added to each new bag to show that they have been inspected for quality.
An absence of one of these cards will most likely indicate a forgery, but don’t assume that having a card means you’ve got the real deal. If the counterfeiter can make a fake bag, they can most certainly make a fake paper card.
If the Gucci logo is centered, the word “controllato” is in all lowercase, and the numbers “1234567890” are at the bottom, then it may be legit. If the card isn’t even there or doesn’t have the aforementioned qualities, drop it like it’s hot.
Inside the bag you'll find a leather tag that features the "Gucci", "made in Italy" and the registered trademark. Pay attention to the font, spacing, spelling and positioning. If you're not sure, do a quick search online.
The serial number is another telltale sign of a fake versus a real. Located on the inside of the bag and on the back side of the leather Gucci tag, the serial number is heat-stamped into the leather and consists of two rows of around 10 to 13 numbers. It’s broken down like this…the top number is the style number and the bottom is the supplier code. This means you can search for the number to make sure it corresponds to the item you purchased. If you purchased a shoulder bag and the number pulled up a belt, you’ve got a problem! And obviously if the stamp is crooked, messy or difficult to read, beware.
Counterfeiters are trying to make quick cash, and sometimes they’ll push out a product way too quickly. In doing so, they’ll miss key details. This is especially telling with Gucci bags, as Gucci is specifically known for its attention to small details.
Check the stitching. If it seems sloppy or inconsistent, you can be sure it did not come from a true Gucci manufacturer. Give the serial numbers and leather tags a look. Do the numbers and letters appear uneven or jumbled? If so, you got yourself a fake. Do you see any glue lines along the bag? You most likely are looking at an inauthentic bag. Gucci manufactures their bags in such a way that the glue shouldn’t be seen. And though it may seem obvious, check the spelling. You would be surprised how many counterfeiters don’t even take the time to proofread their work.
The metal used to make Gucci tags, chains, and zippers is higher quality than your average counterfeiter would care to use. Does the bag you’re looking at have flaky or rusted looking metal? If so, then steer clear.
And be sure to check all the hardware. Often, counterfeiters will go the extra mile to make the most visible metal seem legit, but the zippers on the other side or snaps that are tucked away might not get the same attention to detail.
These are only a few examples, so you may want to do your own research. Counterfeiters are always changing up their game and methods to stay ahead, making it harder to spot a fake. But you could just leave all that to us. At LePrix, we give each pre-owned handbag a thorough inspection to ensure they are the real deal, so you don’t have to. Visit our site today and you’ll see that peace of mind is always in the bag here at LePrix.
And while you’re at it, check out some of the fabulous Gucci bags we have in store (and online) for you! We've highlighted some of our favorites.