The art of authenticating a luxury handbag - Part 7

The Gucci Guessing Olympics! 

Following the Louis Vuitton thread we released last week, some of our  members asked us to tackle the Gucci Gang! Your wish is our command... Gucci makes some phenomenal pieces and it would be painful to know you have bought a knockoff.

Let the Gucci Games begin!

But first... our Disclaimer

The following thread is a true story shared by Lafem Meanita who told everyone her story after getting scammed on eBay

Take a guess and tell us which is the genuine and which is the counterfeit Gucci Soho Disco. 
In keeping with our series on the art of authentication, we have to highlight that counterfeit bags that are flooding the market are getting harder and harder to spot. With the Gucci Disco, our girl Lafem made mention that she has never come across an exact replica of the bag and almost always finds at least one thing that gives away the true nature of the bag.
In this unfortunate case, she purchased a Gucci Disco bag from eBay and when it arrived, she found out that the bag was a terribly made counterfeit.  

"I know a lot of people know the difference between a real and counterfeit Soho Disco, but this is for those who have never owned one and may be considering purchasing their first Soho Disco." 

In this case: the green handbag is the knock-off! Carry on reading to find out why the devil is always in the detail...

1. The front of the bag
If you don’t already own a genuine Gucci Soho Disco, it can be really difficult to spot a counterfeit because you have nothing to compare it with. In the following photos, you can see that the grain in the leather on the knock-off is far more prominent and looks like it is almost “printed” or stamped on...and that is because it is!
The higher quality knock-offs tend are usually made from leather, but in this instance, it’s polyurethane. In addition, the  knock-off has a distinct sheen which is completely wrong as the authentic bag has a matte finish. The Soho Disco is made from a patent metallic leather and has a matte finish.  The second thing to point out is how flat the logo looks on the green knock-off bag.
Another quick tell is that the  knock-off is much bigger than the original. The Soho Disco range comes in four different sizes.  The standard sized “Soho Disco” is the blue bag in the picture below. There is a slightly smaller version called the“Small Soho Disco”, a "Soho Disco for children”, and finally a “MiniChain Soho Disco”.
2. The Tassel
A huge issue in the picture below is the fact that the  knock-off has an exposed screw. This should NEVER be the case.  
3. The metal rings that connect the tassel to the zip pull
The ring should always form a perfect circle. When examining the bag, you should not be able to see where it closes and there should not be any visible gaps.
In our case, the  knock-off has an extra ring and the metal looks very poorly made and artificially textured. 
4. The length of the tassel
Knock-off bags tend to have a shorter tassel, although there are some higher quality bags that do not. We are pointing it out here as it is another quick and easy tell. 
5. The lining inside the bag
The lining inside the green  knock-off is of terrible quality. As always, you need to be extra careful as the "premium  knock-offs" are lined with fabric that is almost the same as an authentic Soho Disco. Another obvious sign was that the lining in the  knock-off was glued to the bottom of the bag, while the authentic bag allows for the lining to be pulled completely out of the bag for cleaning purposes. 
6. The Inner Leather Tag
Knock-off tags can often be distinctly awful! Upon a first glance, the tag on the knock -off was not obvious, but on closer inspection, we saw that the tag on the replica closely resembles a square, whilst the authentic tag is shaped like a rectangle.
Another obvious sign is that the embossed serial number on the  knock-off is far too big and falls short of the required numbers. The black leather seal also looks messy and poorly finished. 
The finishes on an authentic bag will always be neat and the serial number will contain 12 numbers. Another handy trick is to google the serial number to see if it matches the style of bag you have.
7. The leather strap and hardware
We now look at the leather strap join, specifically where there is a fold which is sewed down securely. In the case of the  knock-off, the leather is cut clumsily, whilst the authentic bag is much neater and has been edge painted and properly sealed. The hardware is also far bigger on the knock-off bag, but this can differ depending on the quality of the replica. 
8. The Dustbag
This photo almost speaks for itself. The authentic dustbag has the correct Gucci font and has drawstrings on either side of the bag. The  knock-off dust bag looks cheap and nasty - and does not have the finer details such as the little gold circles for the drawstring fabric to pass through. 
9. The Authenticity Card/Booklet 
The counterfeit failed to arrive with an authenticity card/or leather square, but the authenticity cards in the photos are both genuine and from 2 different Soho Discos. The cards below are from two authentic Soho Disco bags and are for information purposes. 
You can see on both authenticity cards that the pages have a slight curve on all of the edges, even where they join to form a booklet.
A lot of eBay retailers selling counterfeit goods tend to use the same type of receipt. In most cases, these receipts are printed poorly.  A genuine Gucci receipt will always be very professional and the font will be clear and crisp. 
Another tip when buying secondhand goods is to pay via PayPal, using the "Goods and Services" category. If a retailer asks you to pay via the "Friends and Family" option, we would steer clear, but if you decide to continue with the sale, proceed with caution. 
That's all from us this week. We hope you found this post to be useful and that you will be extra careful when shopping for second-hand bags online.
Lots of love from Team MHH x 

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