Authentic or Replica Designer Handbag? What You Need to Know Before Making That Online Purchase

Lyle Ellerbee

During this time of economic turmoil, it’s easy for consumers to justify purchasing a replica designer handbag at a fraction of the cost of the original.  Most of us can’t fit the high cost of an original designer handbag into our budget, but would still love to carry that beautiful bag we saw in our favorite fashion magazine.  That’s why many people have turned to purchasing bags online through auction sites or other retail outlets.

It can be a challenge for buyers looking to purchase designer handbags online, but the rewards are great if you find an authentic bag at a drastically reduced price.  Be sure to do your homework before making that online purchase.  Look at the seller’s credentials.  How long has this person been selling?  What is their feedback rating?  Carefully read through any comments their customers have left – both positive and negative.  If a seller is using stock photos of the handbag in their auction listing, don’t assume the images truly represent what they are selling – instead, make sure to ask for current photos of the bag.  Even after asking all of the right questions, it is sometimes nearly impossible to tell the difference between a counterfeit and an authentic handbag.  Counterfeit handbags are often cleverly packaged with dust bags, care cards, retail tags, or even fake serial numbers.  

If you are contemplating the purchase of a replica handbag, you really should think about who will ultimately profit from your decision.  Counterfeiting is a worldwide, multi-billion dollar industry and it ultimately benefits organized criminals, terrorists, and other unscrupulous groups.  Law enforcement does a great job battling counterfeiters, but the problem is growing and it’s impossible to prosecute all offenders.  It is our duty as law abiding citizens to make sure we are not contributing to the success of organizations that compromise intellectual property rights. 

As a tourist visiting a foreign country, it’s common to see street vendors openly display fake designer bags.  It may be tempting to purchase a handbag from a vendor, but keep in mind that if you are caught trying to re-enter the United States with a counterfeit bag, customs officials may seize and destroy it.

If you sell designer goods, consider yourself a distributor.  If your products are found to be counterfeit, you are subject to state and federal criminal penalties, including fines and prison terms.  “Not knowing” is not an excuse.  If you are unsure, have it authenticated.  It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Unfortunately, today’s online marketplace has become saturated with counterfeit bags.  It is imperative that buyers have a reliable place to authenticate the designer handbags they intend to buy or sell.  That’s why we at Coal Creek Auctions have decided to begin offering authentication services.

Spending hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars on a designer handbag that you believe to be authentic – only to find out later that it’s counterfeit – can be devastating.  For your own piece of mind, it’s worth the small investment to obtain qualified proof of authenticity.

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