title pic Replicas vs. Fakes

Posted by Jennifer Winthrop on January 31, 2009

A lot of people have asked me what’s the difference between a quality replica and a designer knockoff.

Designer Knockoffs
First of all, fake handbags are illegal in the US and should be avoided. They are sold under the false assumption of being authentic, and they should be purchased. Morally I have a problem with supporting an industry that puts small children to work in sweatshops in developing nations in order to sell me a purse for 40% off. I would buy a lightly used original for the same prices if not lower.

Quality Replicas
These are lawful items that are not sold as authentic but substitutes that have some difference that makes them unique to the original – possibly minute.

How can you tell the difference
Look for these giveaways when you are shopping for a deal. They don’t work all of the time, but they have helped me spot clear knockoffs / replicas that were being sold as originals.

  • The Material – It might look cheap, crocked or a unrecognizable pattern variation.
  • The Stitching and Lining – It is glued, unevenly spaced, or awkward threading.
  • The Price – If the bag is brand new, in the first season, and not on sale, it should not be priced well under retail value.
  • The Tags – There are no tags, registration cards, or product information
  • The Location – If it is in chinatown, kiosk, flea market, purse party, no-name website or back of a car.

I hope these tips will help you spot a deal and not get ripped off and left carrying a fake.