How to spot a fake from the real thing?

Last year, there were an estimated 30,000 fake items in circulation on the UK’s high street. The good news is that with a little bit of caution, you can spot a fake before parting with your hard-earned cash. The best method is to be informed — and that’s why we’ve put together this list of the most commonly faked goods as seen by pawnbrokers.

Fake Louis Vuitton

The logo provides a good example. Founded more than a century ago to fend off counterfeits, Louis Vuitton has always taken great care in presenting its products. Logo tilts are not evident, nor are there smudges, blurs, or greenish tints. Counterfeits will likely have inconsistent colours as they won't be able to get the saturation and colour exactly right.

Certain styles, however, such as the Speedy, are made from one continuous piece of canvas and have their logos one-side upside-down. Nevertheless, this type of stitching will never be seen on bags since they are constructed from two pieces of canvas sewn together at the base

Historically, Louis Vuitton has lined Monogram Canvas and Damier Ebiene Canvas bags in red microfiber, although they may use different linings for different collections. You should do your research before deciding on a particular bag. Take the time to analyze details that counterfeiters often overlook, such as finding out whether a particular lining was used when a bag was produced. 

You can learn Louis Vuitton's stamping style by studying its font. -The perfectly rounded, wide O is perhaps the most noteworthy element. Note also that the L in Louis Vuitton has an especially short tail and the two Ts in Vuitton almost touch each other. While counterfeiters have advanced in re-creating the font, it still is commonly awry - and if you know how to look for the mistake, you can easily identify it. Moreover, do not be put off by a bag that is not made in France. Among the countries where Louis Vuitton manufactures are Spain, Germany, Italy and even the United States.

Finally, counterfeiters seem to believe that Louis Vuitton bags look best when they have brown or tan suede interiors. Usually, fake Louis Vuitton bags have brown or tan suede interiors. The good news is that you'll never see suede lining in a real Vuitton bag since that material has never been used by the company itself. Identifying a fake is incredibly easy.

Fake Gucci 

Make sure you examine the Gucci bag logo closely. In addition to the double G logo on the bag's inner zipper, the bag's authenticity certificate should also have the double G logo. Be sure to examine the bag's logo carefully as well. It is important to remember that the logo of the original Gucci bag consists of two interlocking "G"s, while Gucci replicas feature two interlocking "E"s.

It is impossible to find a loose end in a Gucci bag. The difference between an authentic and counterfeit Gucci bag is that a genuine Gucci bag has smooth stitching, solid material, and no crooked or glued down elements.

Gucci bags are identified by their serial numbers, which range from four to six digits. Then you need to match it with the Gucci bag's authenticity certificate. When you find that they are both identical, you can be sure it is an authentic Gucci bag. Should this not be the case, you have the right to question its authenticity.

Fake Watches

Make sure you check the official website of the watch brand you're interested in purchasing to get further clarification and find out which brands they're licensed to sell. When purchasing a watch, it might be worth it to spend more on something from an authorized dealer, rather than something from social media platforms or online selling sites. It is not only guaranteed to be genuine, but you'll also typically get a warranty, and if it's a second-hand watch, there is a good chance it has been serviced frequently. 

Try looking through a loupe at the dial to see if any letters are mispositioned or details are missing. There is no mistake when it comes to counterfeit Audemars Piguet watches or any luxury watch if the logo of your watch is misaligned.

Dial printing is very difficult for fake watches to achieve given the prices they sell at, and the fonts are typically proprietary to the brand, so a replica is likely to be inconsistent. Before you spend your money, look for a genuine image of the dial and compare all its details.

Often, engravings are also a tell-tale sign. Check the lettering for consistency and smooth lines - the lettering should be perfectly smooth and without any flaws. If it is a fake, it will often have jagged lines or a rough texture, so be cautious.

The last point to remember is that a picture is worth a thousand words, and most of these words are lies. If you're buying something off a second-hand site or an online auction, the seller may be trying to hide something if the photograph is lacking detail. Don't trust photographs that are blurry or have not been shot from every angle. It is also possible to determine the legitimacy of a watch if it does not come with its original box and papers. Ideally, you want every detail - flaw or not - and a description that provides information about when the watch was purchased, how often it was worn, and if there are any potential downsides such as scratches, dings, or repairs.

Final Thoughts

Replicas and fake luxury items have become ubiquitous due to mass production. WIthout trained eyes, it is difficult to catch the finest details distinguishing a fake from a mere copy. The best thing to do is to visit official stores or websites. You may even go to pawn shops where trained professionals are present to guide you through. Lastly, if you are planning to pawn luxury items in the future for whatever reason, purchasing a fake one would not be helpful at all. If you are unsure of what to do, consult one of our experts to find out more