…But I just spent half my day trying to figure out if my new Burberry handbag is authentic or fake.
God, I know. It sounds horrible. Because why does it matter? It doesn’t. It totally doesn’t matter. Yet I’ve become rather obsessed with finding out the truth. Which I can handle.
Let’s back up a bit. I’m a person who loves purses. Loves to the point of lurves. Any shape, size, color, texture, whatever. I love purses. The more I have, the better. But I’m definitely not a designer purse kind of purse. I’ve never felt a desire to shell out $500 for a purse that I’ll probably get bored with after a month and want to change out. And as I see it, if I want a lot of purses, I have to put a price cap on them. I tend not to spend over $30 for a purse. And you’d be surprised at how much you can find for under $30 in the purse department.
$10 from Target
I find most of my purses at Target, TJ Maxx/Marshalls (they’re the same place, right?) and thrift stores. And none of them are designer brand. Now, when I say “designer brand”, I’m referring to Coach, Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, Prada, etc. The ones that start at $300 and up. In the past I have purchased a Fossil bag for around $60 (with birthday money) and a LeSportsac bag for $80 from Hawaii, which I bought as my only souvenir from the trip. But according to my mother-in-law, Fossil and LeSportsac aren’t really “designer brands” per se. So whatever.
Anyway, that’s what you need to know about me and my purse-buying habits. I’m pretty thrifty. One of my favorite bags I own is a $12 Franco Sarto bag I got from Arc’s Value Thrift Store because the colors are awesome and it holds everything. And the most expensive bag I own is a black leather purse from Ann Taylor which retailed at $228 but I got for $35 because I worked there and totally used my discount.
$12 Franco Sarto from thrift store
Enter yesterday. I spent part of my Mother’s Day with my mom at a huge thrift store seeing if we could find any aweome deals, mostly on clothes for my daughter. Side note: If you have something against thrift stores, you’re just silly. You can find some really great things for super cheap and not feel an ounce of guilt over them. So there.
So yesterday I was looking at the purses (of course) and I spotted one that clearly looked like a Burberry handbag. If you’re not familiar with Burberry, go here. They’re very classy and very British, and if I had millions of dollars I’d probably buy all my bags and coats and scarves from them.
Anyway, I grabbed the bag and noticed right away how thick and sturdy the bag was. Not in a cardboardy way, but in a “wow, this feels like really good quality and really well-made” sort of way. I checked the hardware and tags on the purse (not that I knew anything about the hardware, but whatever) and thought that whoever made this bag did a pretty damn good job of doing it.
The bag was listed for $40 which, by thrift store standards, is a pretty high price tag. But name aside, I really like the bag. It was the perfect size (meaning it held my iPad, current 500-page book I’m reading, wallet, phone, iPod, and tube of lotion), it was in really good condition, and it…um…kind of made me feel like Emma Watson (because she does the ads for Burberry. Shut up.)
Now, if my mom hadn’t offered to buy it for me, I probably would have passed. There were other things I should get instead of a $40 knock-off purse. But since she offered, I couldn’t say no. I would have thought about that damn purse all night long. So five seconds later, it was mine.
Leaving the store, I was pretty confident that the purse was a knock-off. Because why would a $600 purse be in a thrift store to begin with? And I really didn’t care. I have a knock-off Kate Spade purse that my mom got at a purse party that’s totally adorable, and I couldn’t care less that I can take the black “Kate Spade” tag off the front because it’s just glued on.
Half-peeled Kate Spade
But the more I started to study my new “Burberry” purse, the more I got to thinking. What if this really was an authentic Burberry bag? What if someone really didn’t want it and decide to just give it away, not caring that they were giving away hundreds of dollars? What if I totally scored the DEAL OF THE CENTURY???
So I started doing research on the interwebs. I Googled such things as “How do I know if my Burberry bag is real?” and “How to spot a fake Burberry bag”. And let me tell you, I sort of feel like an expert at the Burberry brand right now.
According to the site on Ebay that educates the buyer on real vs. fake, Burberry bags will have even lines that meet up exactly (or pretty damn close to exactly) at the seams. The hardware will look the same throughout the whole bag, interior and exterior. The interior label will say “BURBERRY LONDON” on the front and most – MOST – will say “MADE IN ITALY” on the bag.
Now, my label says “BURBERRY LONDON” on the front, but nothing on the back. It doesn’t say made in China like many fakes do, it’s just blank. Now, is it blank because it’s a fake, or does it fall into the “most” category of the authentic ones?
Then there’s the zipper situation, which is one thing I’m worried about. And, okay, I’m not really worried. Seriously. I don’t care if this is authentic or not. I just kind of want to know for my own knowledge. And DEAL OF THE CENTURY bragging rights. But on the authentic Burberry bags they use a particular kind of zipper that will have the zipper brand on the back. The zipper pulls will say “BURBERRY” on both sides, which mine do, but the actual back of the zipper thing is blank. Does that mean it’s a fake?
Also, the interior lining. Authentic Burberry bags have three different types of lining: black canvas, beige pigskin suede, or Burberry signature fabric, which is a jacquard type fabric with “BURBERRY” woven through out. Well, I don’t have that, and I don’t have beige pigskin suede. I have black lining with a Burberry pattern on it. Does that mean it’s a fake?
And do the seams line up? While not perfect, they’re not horrible either. So that one could go either way, I guess.
The stitching overall seems really good, except for maybe at the end of the exterior zipper. I guess if I had to find a flaw, it would be this. The stitching here could probably be a little better. But what do I know?
So in this research that I’ve done, I haven’t really figured out if the bag is real or fake. I guess you could say that I’m about 99% sure that it’s a fake. I’ll leave the remaining 1% for “well, you never know!” And even if it’s fake, like I said, I don’t care. I love the purse. It’s the perfect purse for me, and whether or not that “BURBERRY” is real or not makes no difference to me.
Though it would be the DEAL OF THE CENTURY, am I right?