Wallets are a common target for counterfeiters with many bogus wallets being sold. Many of them are advertised as the real deal. These wallets are trying to look like the real thing, so it can be hard to spot one from the outside or from a distance. It can be especially hard to tell one from just a photograph.
Counterfeiters are getting better at their jobs. Their wallets are looking very close to the real thing. They are starting to use better materials. But typically the materials are still not as good as the originals. Their craftsmanship also lets them down, as fakes will only last month’s not years.
It can be demoralizing if you are duped into buying a counterfeit wallet. If you buy on the internet or on the street, you can easily lose your money. Many of these sellers don’t stick around to give you a refund. So to try and avoid the pain and for peace of mind, here are the best ways to tell if a wallet is counterfeit.
#1 Cheaper Materials
Counterfeiters will use shortcuts to keep their costs down. They include:
– Cheap Plastic in the ID Window
Look for clear and cheap looking. After used for a few days the ink can absorb onto the plastic ruining the window
– Cloth Lining
Cloth lining is a cheaper form of lining and is found on many counterfeits. It is used, instead of leather and gives the wallet a weak feel
– Cheap Leather on the Outside
Counterfeits will still use leather, just a cheaper cut. The leather can look more glossy and have a larger reflection when photos are taken with a flash.
– The Stench
Bogus wallets can also smell bad. This is because the wallet has been rushed out of the tanning process. It also easily signifies a cheaper tanning process and artificial materials being used.
#2 Poor Craftsmanship
Many brands have worked their way up from scratch on the back of their quality of craftsmanship. Their name is a symbol of this quality. There are some quick ways you can tell the level of quality. They are:
– The Stitching
The stitching is a big give away. Many brands will use hand stitching so a little variance can be ok. But cheap stitching materials will wear and fray easily under load. Look for the leather pulling away. The stitching on a counterfeit can also be uneven, and messy.
– The Look of the Wallet
A good craftsman isn’t going to let a poor quality, unfinished wallet be sold. This means the leather may not be straight, but crooked. It can also mean that glue and adhesive or other construction materials are visible.
#3 Know the Brand
Brands often have ways of identifying their products. Especially if they know counterfeiters are out trying to take some of their business. There are some easy ways to spot a fake:
– Know Where to Buy From
Brands will have reputable sellers to distribute their wallets. Of course you are better off buying from these sellers. Real products are sold on eBay, but you must be diligent with your research if you want to take the chance.
– Know the Serial Codes
Some brands use holograms, others use serial codes to correctly identify their products. These codes can identify the date and location that the piece was produced. Many counterfeit codes don’t line up with these codes. Serials can be found on the brands website.
– Patterns and Printing
Some wallets have patterns and printing on them. Louis Vuitton is one example of a pattern on a piece. The pattern on fake ones can be quite good but are rarely exactly the same as the original.
Good quality wallets don’t come cheap. The quality that companies have built their brand on can be quite expensive. So:
– If it is Cheap, it’s Probably too Good to be True
Be aware of buying on sites like ebay, people advertising ‘unwanted gift’ and other reasons that don’t add up
Can Anyone Help Identify If My Wallet Is Fake?
Checking your wallet for any serial or identification mark and referencing that against the brands website can also provide answers.
If that doesn’t help, a great place to check is fan forums. Many brands have forums full of fans that can help identify authenticity. These people know their brands and are often generous with their time.
The video above is one example of a fan using youtube to show the difference between two Louis Vuitton wallets. (BWG thanks to breaknpop4u on youtube.)
Thanks for reading. We hope this information helps you. Any comments, stories or tips please use the comment box!