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Fake Handbags Getting More Sophisticated, Harder To Spot (VIDEO)

The Huffington Post  
First Posted: 06/30/2011 5:22 pm Updated: 08/30/2011 5:12 am

Fancy yourself a Chanel 2.55? An Hermes Birkin? Or perhaps a pretty little leather YSL satchel?

Just make sure you're not buying a fake. The Wall Street Journal investigated the latest in luxury handbag counterfeiting and found this not-so-good news: counterfeiters are getting much more sophisticated and it's harder than ever to spot a knockoff.

WSJ reporter Elizabeth Holmes talks to Elizabeth Bernstein, Accessories Director for secondhand retailer Portero, about how the fake bags are looking more and more real.

For one, many fakes are now actually made with leather as opposed to the typical plastic, which used to be an easy giveaway. Those that are still made with plastic are often embossed with a veiny pattern to mimic that calfskin veins on leather bags.

But, says Bernstein, there are still ways to tell if you're being duped. From the heaviness of the metal hardware (light hardware = fake bag) to the too-perfect stitching (a real Hermes bag, for example, is all stitched by hand), there are clues that give it away.

The most entertaining tip? For Chanel bags, Bernstein instructs skeptical buyers to rub the chain straps together and listen to the sound -- the gold plated metal of the authentic Chanel chains rustle differently than the plastic-sounding fake chain.

Looks like you learn something new everyday.

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