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how to spot a fake Prada

Posted by thepurseworld on April 21, 2008

Handbags are a wondrous and beautiful extension of our very personalities. We can make quite the fashion statement with what handbag we choose to use. A handbag can change according to our tastes, our emotions, and our moods. What one person thinks is a good handbag may not be so good for another person. One deciding factor to many people – except those that are the social elite of society – is how much that handbag is going to cost. Not that you want to buy a cheap handbag, you just want to make sure you get what you are paying for. One way you can make sure to get what you pay for is by being able to detect frauds. Do you know how to detect a fake Prada handbag? Most people don’t.

Is It A Real Prada?

Of course, the is no guarantee that the handbag you are getting is a genuine, authentic Prada. However, these following steps will help keep you at the top of your game. These steps will teach you know how to detect a fake Prada handbag. While far from complete, this offers a guideline.

1. Check the hardware. All Prada hardware is antique brass. If you find hardware that is rusted, old, or worn, then it probably is not a Prada. Check the coloration, the size, and the condition. All Prada products – clothes, handbags, and/or coats – offer the same superb and excellent hardware. This includes zippers, clasps, closures, buckles, and any possible chains that may be attached to the handbag.

2. Check the handle/strap. Without fail, all Prada handbags have the best handle/straps available in the industry today. High quality equates to no frayish, strayish threads. People would not spend upwards of $2,000 USD for a handbag just to have a handle/strap that was cheap and didn’t last longer than the handbag.

3. Have you looked at that lining? The lining of all these luxurious handbags is of the finest materials. All Prada handbags have the unique Prada logo embroidered repeatedly into the lining no matter the material. Often, this material is super fine leather, velvet, or the finest cotton. The seams on the inside are all but invisible.

4. Where did you get the handbag? If you get your handbag from a ritzy department store such as Saks or Neiman Marcus, the chances are pretty good you have an original. If you get your handbag from the street corner for $29.99 USD, the chances are it isn’t an authentic Prada. All Prada handbags have a serial number and tag of authenticity located on them. This is a great way to detect the real from the fake.

Obviously when you want to know how to detect a fake Prada handbag, this is only a guideline and not a rule. Use common sense, do your research, and expect to pay a small fortune. Following these simple steps will insure that you get the most bang for your buck.

How to spot a fake

Knockoff designer goods are readily available on the street in such areas such as Los Angeles’ Santee Street and New York’s Canal Street. And the internet is full of online auctions and cybersellers offering “Inspired by” copies and outright fakes. The old method of spotting fakes was simple: flimsy hardware, cheap leather and misspelled logos were a giveaway. Now, fakes are so good (and expensive) that you simply can’t tell the difference. So how do you know what’s real and what’s not?

Some clues:

* The price. A new Louis Vuitton handbag for $100 is not authentic. The real thing often sells for $500 to well over $1000. Same thing for Prada and Gucci.
* Where it’s being sold. Authorized dealers for Chanel, LV, etc. do not sell handbags out of the trunk of a car. Nor do they sell them at online auctions or at home parties.
* Point of origin tag. Designer apparel or leather goods with a “Made in Taiwan” tag are not authentic.

Authenticity cards, product literature and tags and serial numbers

We used to see Prada clothes with fake Saks tags attached to them – how’s that for pathetic? Sadly, the fake Prada clothes are still there – generic, ugly $5 polyester clothes with a fake red Prada tag sewn on the side. Awful “Juicy Couture” knockoff velour, terry sweatsuits -with a Prada tag! Please trust me on this – the fake Prada label on these clothes does *not* make these clothes authentic Prada!

Beware of stolen pictures and item descriptions!

Some items pictured in auctions look real – because they are! Some sellers steal pictures of authentic items sold by legitimate sellers.
The only way you can spot this is to watch auctions vigilantly and make sure that two different sellers don’t have the same pictures.
There’s photos of a Blue Jean Birkin, a Gold Birkin and a Black Birkin that have been making the eBay rounds for months – I’m sick of looking at them! Sometimes it will be obvious when a picture has been stolen – look for oddly cropped views of items, for example. (they look this way because the photo thief has cropped out the original owner’s name or something). “Fake” sellers also use composites of photos from different bags (showing a closeup of an authentic bag’s telltale clasp along with a full shot of a fake bag.) Another telltale sign – one that I have seen often with people selling Hermès “Birkin” bags that are fake or they do not have – a discrepancy between the picture and the item description. For example, Birkin bags of different sizes have different proportions. And each Hermes leather has a very distinctive look.

Can You Spot The Fake?
By: Jim Edwards
Published: October 28, 2002

With a market full of knockoffs, Brandweek hit the streets to expose the fake bags, fragrances and other would-be designer merchandise. Two years ago, Gucci executives discovered that discount retailer Daffy’s had been selling fake copies of its designer Jackie O bags. Gucci immediately sued the store chain, demanding to know its suppliers.

When a retailer is caught selling knockoff goods, it can normally expect to be banned from carrying the brand in addition to paying heavy fines. In this case, however, Daffy’s raised a curious defense: The store executives believed the bags were real.

Over the next two years, the suit devolved from a simple request for an injunction into a scorched-earth battle over differences in leather, buckles, hasps, straps, sizes and reptile skin?in pink, black and what the judge called “lurid purple.” Tellingly, neither side chose to publicize the war.

To make its case, Gucci brought to court a genuine Jackie O and a fake, and had its head of quality control, a 31-year employee, testify that he had “never seen” a real bag that looked like a Daffy’s fake.

The judge was unimpressed. He noted that when both bags were compared even Gucci could provide no proof as to which was fake and which was real. “The handbags were counterfeit,” the judge agreed, “albeit a high-quality product capable of fooling even the most discriminating buyers.”

In fact, Daffy’s managers had gone to lengths to ascertain the origin of the bags. First, they took a Jackie O to a Gucci store where the staff pronounced it real. Then they sent a broken bag to Gucci to be repaired under warranty; it came back fixed, without comment. Further, Daffy’s noted, the bags had come from a reputable supplier and had been as expensive as the real thing.

In September, the judge ordered Daffy’s to stop selling the bags, but ruled against Gucci on all other counts, allowing Daffy’s to continue selling Gucci product.

Undeniably, the market is awash in counterfeit products. Barbara Kolson, svp and general counsel at Kate Spade, says that for every genuine bag the New York designer sells, there is at least one fake sold illegally. “Our problem is obviously of the magnitude of Chanel’s, Prada and others,” she said. The lost revenue is about $70 million yearly, she estimated.

To assess the quality of the fake goods trade, Brandweek took a stroll along Canal Street in New York, a strip famed for its black market. We invited two experts from Boston-based brand security consultancy GenuOne, famous brands manager David Margolis and chief marketing officer Andy Barron.

All the bags we saw were pronounced fake by the pair. Bogus Gucci and pseudo-Kate Spade were particularly popular. “The labels aren’t embroidered on, they’re stuck on,” noted Barron. “The lining is either generic or it’s misbranded. They don’t think people are going to look inside.” He also found metal Prada logos missing their corner rivets and crudely embossed leather. But overall, Margolis said, “some of it looks very close to the real stuff.”

Fragrances were a different story. Barron was particularly taken with a Burberry bottle hawked from a wheeled cart outside a pizza parlor. “They had the right details?the right darkness of wood, the whole packaging. It’s got the right drawstring bag, even the label on the bottom,” he noted.

Margolis reckoned the Burberry was genuine, but had come from the “gray market,” genuine product that has putatively fallen off the back of a truck. In an effort to boost profits, designers in recent years have cut costs by outsourcing their manufacturing to factories in Asia. The factories then make more product than the designer orders and send the surplus to street dealers in Europe and the U.S.

GenuOne recommends any number of high-tech gizmos to guard against fraud, including embossed holograms, invisible ink, X-ray detection, digital watermarking, intaglio printing (which textures paper like a banknote) and dyes that change color with the angle of the sun.

Clients are slowly coming around, but part of the problem is the designers themselves. In their rush to deliver year-on-year growth, many have reduced retail prices. And, whereas designer apparel was once only available in Paris, it is now on sale at the local mall, reminded Pamela Danziger, president of the luxury consultancy Unity Marketing and author of Why People Buy Things They Don’t Need.

Marketers have thus trained their consumers to be, well, cheap. In a study sponsored by House & Garden, Danziger found that women made most purchases at a discount in all luxury categories except for makeup. “This has serious implications for luxury marketers,” she said. When faced with an expensive Jackie O and a cheap counterfeit, Gucci will lose every time. “If you can’t really tell the difference and you’re getting it for 10% of the cost, why not?”

The consumer needs re-educating, argued Kate Spade’s Kolson. “The real problem is a strange perception among middle-class women and their daughters that it’s OK to buy knockoffs,” she said. “Some of them just don’t care. They think it’s cute.” Each fake damages the brand and, judging from the tone of her voice, hurts Kolson personally. She recently received a letter from the chief counsel of a Senate subcommittee, whose father had been caught selling “cheesy” counterfeits in his gas station in California.

“He has the ear of President Bush! I told him I’m letting your father off, but I’m keeping your name and number to torture you,” Kolson said.

Until recently, designers refused to talk about their fake problem. (Neither Gucci nor LVMH returned calls for this story.) Now they have formed trade associations like the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition to campaign against fakes.

But it’s an uphill battle. Consider this: During the Gucci lawsuit, the genuine Gucci bag was stolen from the court clerk’s office before it got to the judge. “The court could only offer its apologies [for] this embarrassing event,” the judge wrote. The bag was not recovered



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