If your interest in designer handbags has sprung up any time in the past ten to 15 years, then you’ve heard the tales of “factory extras.” They’re not fakes, according to the people who would like to convince you to part with your money. No, they’d never sell you fake bags!

Instead, what these sellers claim to have are bags made alongside the real thing, and they are the real thing, but the factory got the math wrong (because math is hard) and now they’ve got all these high-quality, totally-not-fake bags on their hands, and they just don’t know what to do with them, except to sell you one for a great price, because they’re nice people and they just have a friend who has a hookup with the factory manager. So it’s totally on the up-and-up, not sketchy at all! Well, guess what: those bags are actually counterfeit, according to Chinese luxury culture site Jing Daily. We’ll wait while you deal with your shock and horror at this unsettling news.

Trying to avoid fakes is a central concern of anyone who’s ever bought a big-name designer bag in a consignment shop, online auction or website with which they weren’t particularly familiar, and although seasoned consumers know that any deal that seems too good to be true probably is, first-timers (and we’ve all been first-timers) often want to believe that maybe they’ve found a way around the traditional consumer marketplace. As Jing Daily points out, though, people willing to sell you a fake a bag are also probably willing to fake the story behind it, if it means a couple hundred bucks in their pockets, and their smiling faces are not to be trusted.

If you’re searching for a deal, the best thing you can do is do your research, check up on sellers you’re considering both online and off and know what price levels to expect for the bag you want. If you’re feeling a little gun shy, online outlets like THE OUTNET and YOOX are both good places to find a designer bag bargain, as well as curated designer resale sites like The RealReal.

[Photo via Flickr]

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • ReneeO

    I like luxury bags because of the luxurious quality. I love touching it, seeing the absolute perfection in construction. Are these fake bags really that nicely made? Why would you want one? I know sometimes it can be really hard to tell but for the most part I think these bags are not so nice, right?

  • Duim Daley

    I bought one fake long time ago, was worse deal i ever make. After 3 months used OMG all things show up. kkk I learn my lesson..Never got fake Bag its like buy A Fake MEDICATION…

  • Duim Daley


  • Guest

    I found a bag I wanted to purchase on the RealReal for such a bargain price, but before I purchased, I did my research on customer reviews. There were more negative reviews than positive reviews against the website regarding the customer service and the authenticity of the bags. I went on the site thinking it’s legit because you promote it on this blog, but thank God I did my research before I purchased.

    So, BEWARE before purchasing anything on that website. I’m not saying everything is fake or that the shopping experience is going to be bad, but I just didn’t want to shop blindly and hope for the best. I wanted to be sure.

    Also, Purseblog team, you should do a post about websites like this and your experience with it. It might help us shoppers and readers to decide on whether or not to trust these sites if you, the authors of this blog we religiously follow, have had first hand experience with their site.

    • Kate

      The RealReal pays for ads on purseblog

  • KMoya

    My friend’s friend decided to buy a used Birkin from a very highly ranked retailer. However when my friend, a professional authenticator and reseller, authenticated the bag, it was a complete fake!!! There goes nearly $10,000. I just hope she sues the seller for fraud. Lesson is BE CAREFUL PEOPLE!

    • Patricia

      I’ve seen this happen. It’s almost impossible to guarantee bags’ authenticity, specially Chanel and Hermes, because they sell too much and the fakes are too good. Only way is to buy in the store, get a printed receipt and save it in case you need to sell it.

  • I have never bought from The RealReal but I tend to agree with what “Guest” says. I wouldn’t be so sure that all the handbags they sell are real.. I also watched one of their videos on how they do the quality control on handbags to make sure they’re not fake but it was not very convincing…
    On the other hand, YOOX has real bargains for handbags. You have to be patient and look among loads of items but in the end you will find your happiness. I’ve just bought a stunning Celine cherry vertical cabas for 535$. It is the real thing and much cheaper than one in the Celine boutique.
    I work for YOOX so I know where the handbags come from. Believe me when I say I would never buy from a web site I’m not 100% sure and I’ve bought on YOOX many great handbags in the past two years (Fendi, Rochas, Vionnet, Marni, Chloe). :)

  • Patricia

    There is just one way to buy originals, and it is the original store. All other suspicious sources sell fakes, and that’s it.

    • Hi Patricia,
      Most of the items (but not all of them!) you find on YOOX are from last year collections and that’s why the price is so interesting but for many handbags like a Chloe’s Marcie or a Celine cabas or a SMC Falabella it’s not that important to have the current collection. They are carry over items and they are lovely so the main thing is to have one!

  • Eleanor

    I wonder about Portero.

    • Guest

      Shady business as well.

  • Guest

    Do any of you guys have any experience with sites like Fashionphile, Yoogiscloset etc?

  • Lydia

    I would rather buy a real luxury designer brand from the actual retailer than order it online and risk losing so much money. If I can’t physically touch it and see it, it is not worth it to me to purchase blind.

  • Christina Samoylov

    Great article! I agree with a few of the posters below it’s impossible to be an expert in 100+ brands as I have also seen quite a few fakes crop up on resale sites.