How to Determine Real Versus Fake Handbags and Shoes?

One of the biggest problems being faced by modern-day shoppers is that they are not able to get the original products. Many people claim to sell original products but they are just a copy. However, these copies and counterfeits are so precisely designed that determining which one is real and which one is fake becomes very difficult. Nonetheless, there are still a few things you can look for when buying a handbag or shoe to see if it is original or fake.

How to Determine Real Versus Fake Handbags and Shoes?

Fake handbags and shoes are quite similar to the real ones which is why people fall for the scam. However, fake products have several elements that are not real apart from the design. 

Product Serial Number

One of the most prominent ways to evaluate the authenticity of a particular product is via the serial number. People who sell fake handbags or shoes would generally be able to imitate the design and even place the logo of the brand on top of the product. However, they will not be able to identify a serial number associated with that particular item. Only an original item will have a serial item. Mostly, handbags do, and shoes don’t but sometimes both of them have a distinctive number. 

Many brands allow that this product’s serial number can be traced back online as well to check its authenticity. For bags, this number is usually inside of the bag on the top. Keep in mind that someone may have a fake serial number but that would be sewn outside of the bag on the side which makes it a fake. Similarly, a shoebox will also have the complete product details on the backside including a barcode, the product model, number, and size, etc. For shoes, these details are usually found on the backside of the shoe box. 

Barcode and other details on a white paper. 

Focus on Minor Details

A big reason why counterfeit products cannot be returned or exchanged is that you bought them with a full conscience. The handbag may have a slightly different logo on it which you wouldn’t have noticed when purchasing the bag. Alternatively, the shoe you are buying may be from a different brand whose name resembles the actual brand. Buying in a hurry results in not focusing on these details and a person ends up buying fake products. 

When buying a handbag or a shoe, always look for minor details such as brand logo, brand tagline, color scheme, and other such details. There are high chances that a replica brand of “Chanel” comes up as “Chenal” and one who is not focused on looking for the brand name carefully might fall as the victim of this classic trick. 

Besides, a real designer bag will be different in terms of hardware as compared to a fake one. A real bag usually has hard metal or steel hardware on it with the brand name or logo imprinted. Gucci has its brand name printed on the hardware such as zippers while the brand name is also written inside the bag. A fake bag will have plastic or aluminum hardware which will get scratches over time. This is one of the main ways in which you can determine real versus fake handbags. 

Chanel outlet. 

The Smell of the Product

Be it a handbag or a shoe, the smell can really tell you whether the product has been a real one or a fake. In case a shoe smells, even if it is a minor smell, know that there are high chances that this is a non-original one. Why? Because new and branded shoes don’t have that smell. They are designed with perfection to give the buyers a new feel. On the other hand, replica sneakers may come up with a skunky smell. 

Shoe smell can help you evaluate whether the product is original or not. 

Proof of Purchase

This is a very simple experiment that you can conduct at any marketplace and it helps you determine whether the handbags or shoes are original or counterfeit. For instance, you go to a shoe shop and find the best Nike sneakers. The shopkeeper claims that this is an original product. Ask the shopkeeper if they give a hard receipt against these shoes and whether or not they are confident about mentioning / stamping the receipt that the product is an original one. Many shopkeepers avoid doing that because they know that they can be sued for selling a counterfeit product by claiming it to be original. 

The same can be done at any handbag shop. Anyone who resists giving proof of purchase, or gets uncomfortable mentioning that the product is guaranteed to be original is most likely selling you a fake product. On the other hand, one who does sell an actual product would generally have a full-page receipt and they will have absolutely no problem in undersigning the fact that the product is real and not a fake. 

Some people even come up with the tactic of giving a receipt with the original product guarantee mentioned on it. However, in reality, this product is fake. Later, if you claim or sue them, the shop owners can simply say that this is not the pair of shoes or handbag that was purchased from their shop. To avoid this from happening, always make sure that the receipt also has your product serial number, model, and other minor numerical details associated with the item. In this way, the product can be tracked. 

A receipt and a calculator. 

The “Made in” Tag

The “Made In” tag is an easy way to find out if the shoe or handbag is real or not. Before buying a product, try to check its source as to where it has been made. For example, original Gucci handbags are usually made in Italy and the small tag on the bag says the same. Similarly, a Charlotte Russe shoe would have the “Made in USA” tag on the shoebox.

A fake bag would either not have this tag at all or even if it does, it will not say “made in Italy”. This is because such bags are usually made in outer countries which makes it difficult for the actual brand to go ahead and take action against them. Most likely, if you are able to find a tag on a fake bag, it will be saying “made in China” or any other country but not Italy. The same case goes for shoes as it is clearly mentioned on the box as to where the shoe has been made. 

Fake products are usually “Made in China”

Refund Policy

If a product is original, the seller wouldn’t mind refunding it. As a matter of fact, if you haven’t used a Gucci product, it can be easily returned back, no matter if it is a shoe or a handbag. Someone selling counterfeit products will not give you any kind of refund option. Some of them might offer you an exchange option but what’s the point of getting a fake handbag or a shoe in exchange for another fake one. 

Most designers offer you a refund policy of 3 to 7 days which is perfect. Within these 3 days, you can check the shoe or the handbag in every possible way to check if it is real or not. High-end brands like Jeffrey Campbell offer a 30-day refund policy.

A pink handbag. 

Price Point

One main reason why people fall for counterfeit bags and shoes is that they are cheap. Sellers claim that the product is original but has come from a “factory outlet” which is why it is cheap. Just keep in mind that all such claims are absurd and these are totally fake products. A designer bag or shoe costs you several hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars while a fake one merely costs you a 50. The best way to make sure you always get the original product and not the fake one is to go to a brand store rather than shopping from flea markets or street vendors.

50 Euros beneath a magnifying glass. 


There has been an increase in the number of sellers selling counterfeit handbags and shoe products. This has led to a problem for the buyers who are unable to determine whether they are buying a real product or not. However, if you follow the tips mentioned above, you will find yourself an expert on product testing. Just make sure that you don’t make any seller feel suspicious about it otherwise they will come up with new tricks and tactics to manipulate you. To always go original, always go to the brand store or high-end commercial markets.