Fashion Advice: Is My Louis Vuitton Fake?

Dear Budget Fashionista,
I have always wanted to purchase a Louis Vuitton hand bag. I have seen them on ebay, yahoo, and other online auction sites for very low prices. How do I tell a real Louis Vuitton from a fake one?

A: Louis Vuitton is probably the most (illegally) copied designer in the world, due to its famous initials and the implied status of carrying the bag. Unfortunately you can’t get a real, legally traded, Louis Vuitton bag for less than $300 bucks.

Here are some basic rules for determining whether or not a LV bag is real:

1. If it claims to be “brand new” and costs less than $300, most likely it is fake.
2. If the bag is not lined, it probably is fake.
3. If it is “brand new” and being sold on ebay there is a good chance it is fake.
4. If the piping is not leather, most likely it is fake

5. If the seams are uneven, frayed, the monogram is off or the bag is poorly sewn, it is definitely fake.
6. If no date code (a.ka. date number)is provided or the seller states that the bag is “brand new”, it is fake.
7. If a date number is provided, check with Louis Vuitton (
to see if it is fake. You can also call their headquarters at (212) 758-8877.

My Poupette, a site dedicated to the promotion of real LV bags, is another great resource for information on how to authenticate a LV bag. According to her site, Yahoo and eBay auctions are the biggest offenders.