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Balenciaga How to Spot a Fake

Real vs. Fake

As you can probably tell by my feedback, I am a handbag addict! Recently, I purchased my very first Balenciaga handbag. I loved it so much, I just had to buy another. While searching for the "perfect" bag, I was appalled by the number of fake bags currently listed (and being sold) on ebay. During my search, I learned several ways to tell a fake bag from a real one, and I've decided to share some of that information with other ebay users. I'm not an "expert", and I'm sure I don't know everything there is to know, but if you pay attention to some of the details I mention here, it just might end up saving you hundreds, even thousands of dollars!.

One of the reasons Balenciaga handbags are so popular is because they are made from some of the softest, thinnest, and most lightweight leather available. Once you've touched a Balenciaga handbag, you will be instantly "hooked"! The leather is very thin, but extremely durable. The type of leather used by Balenciaga is a very distressed looking type of leather. Every bag has a unique appearance. You'll find lines, wrinkles, folds and smooth spots all over the bag's body. No two Balenciaga bags look identical.

Most of the fake bags are made from a very inexpensive leather which has a shiny and stiff appearance to it. The leather on the fake bags looks more "cracked" than distressed. The tassels that are connected to all of the zippers should be just as soft as the bag's leather. They should hang loosely, and feel like velvet in your hands. The tassels on most fake bags are stiff and hard, and do not hang loosely. Below are a couple of pics of a fake Twiggy bag. Look closely at the bag's appearance. See how shiny it is? An authentic Balenciaga bag doesn't have this much shine to the bag. You'll also notice that the bag's material appears more "cracked" rather than distressed. Almost as if those lines were intentionally put there:

Now here is that same fake Twiggy bag compared side by side with an authentic Classique. If you look closely, you will see some of the differences. The hardware on the fake bag is too silver & shiny. The hardware on an authentic bag is either brass or "dirty" silver. See the tonal differences in the authentic bag? The folds of the leather and the changes in color? The leather on the fake bag is too even and structured. It looks the same all over the bag. An authentic Balenciaga will usually "collapse" when empty. This is because the leather is so thin and soft, whereas the fake bags tend to hold their shape even when they're not stuffed.

Here is a close up comparing the leather of an authentic bag to the "leather" of a fake bag. When you look at it this way, the differences in the apearance & texture of the leather, become much more apparent. You can actually see the stiffness & cracked appearance in the fake bag versus the soft and distressed look of the authentic:

Here are a few more comparisons. The first is a photo of an authentic Twiggy Bag above a fake Twiggy. Once you compare the bags side by side like this, the differences become much more obvious. The fake bag isn't even the right size - see how it's shorter than the authentic one? There's also a difference in the placement of the hardware. But the most obvious difference - between all the fake bags - is the leather. It's so soft that there's no way the bag will stand upright unless it is very tightly stuffed. As I mentioned above, the bags tend to collapse when you set them down, even when the bags have many things inside. It doesn't take much inside of a fake bag in order for it to retain its shape. The second photo is a comparison of the backside of an authentic Black City Classique and a fake Black Twiggy Bag. Again, note the difference in the appearance of the leather - see how the authentic appears to be distressed, while the fake looks more "cracked". There are other differences also, if you look closely. See the hardware that connects the handles to the bag? On an authentic bag this hardware is rounder and wider, while the hardware on the fake bag is much more narrow and longer. Also, the studs on the bag. The studs on the fake bag have a very flat appearance to them and look as if they pertrude from the bag. On an authentic bag, the hardware is three-dimensional and appears to "blend" with the bag. Also, the hardware on a fake bag is single-toned, meaning that it is only a single shade of silver (or brass). The hardware on an authentic bag is multi-tonal, and looks like different colors in different light.

As I'm sure most of you know, authentic Balenciaga bags are made with Lampo zippers. The thing that most people don't know is that Lampo makes two different types of zippers. An authentic Balenciaga should have the type of Lampo zipper that is written in italics with a line underneath which extends from the bottom of the "L" and the TM symbol in the upper right corner. The other type of Lampo zipper, which is printed in uneven, capital letters is NOT the type of the zipper that should be found on an authentic Balenciaga bag. The word "Lampo" should be embossed on the zipper (printed in raised letters), whereas most of the fake bags have the word "Lampo" engraved into the zipper. Please be aware, however, that there are many fake bags with authentic Lampo zippers. YOU CANNOT TELL IF A BAG IS AUTHENTIC BY LOOKING AT THE ZIPPER ALONE!!



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