There are TOO many "authenticity guaranteed" fakes on eBay. Ask what their basis of authenticity is. Many say, "Well, by the quality of its craftsmanship". Really. Does the seller look like he/she is experienced enough to know the real Vuitton quality? Even more sellers would say, "It's stamped such and so, therefore it has got to be authentic". Now, you tell me what kind of fake does NOT have "Louis Vuitton Paris made in France" stamped. Hello?? Up until last year (2001), ALL the counterfeit Vuitton had a "made in France" stamp. Now there are "made in Spain" fakes floating around. (Yes, Vuitton has a factory in Spain, manufacturing mostly smaller items like wallets).

Ohhh, wait a minute! It has a TAG!! You tell me how easy it is to fake paper tags or boxes. Counterfeit Louis Vuitton manufacturers do this as a serious business. They fake everything. What about the yellow tag? Not the buff/ivory tags you may get (although the are counterfeited too), but BRIGHT COLORFUL YELLOW coated paper.

Well, at least in the past few years, I have NOT seen any of those at Louis Vuitton retail shops. If any of you purchased anything directly from a Louis Vuitton shop in the past 5 years and received this yellow tag, please write to me. If I see an auction item with this yellow tag, I'd stay away...............maybe it's just me <giggle>. Here are some examples of fakes, blatantly sold as "copies"; they're sold for $25-$40. Oh yes, they go as high as $250 on eBay!
Dust bags? What about them? Some fakes DO come with a dust bag too, of course!
Most older fakes are real easy to tell, but recent super-quality fakes are VERY VERY WELL MADE, and you cannot tell unless you examine them in person (and only if you know where to look).
Why are latest fakes so well-made? That's because those are made by skilled craftsmen from Europe. They've decided to move to Asia where most of high-quality counterfeits of anything are manufactured. Some remain in Europe to keep producing, and their products are imported to the U.S. or Japan via another country. They aren't cheap obvious fakes anymore. Fakes used to be quite cheap ($50 for a $400 authentic wallet), but recent fakes cost half of authentic ones, and you can see why.

eBay Louis Vuitton Buying Tips

How do I know if I'm buying an authentic Louis Vuitton?

  ASK! The presence (or absence) of the date stamp (a.k.a. "serial number", although it's not a serial number) does NOT always guarantee you authenticity. (go to date stamp page) 

What is a "date stamp"?

  It is a code stamped on Louis Vuitton items for their internal use. Louis Vuitton does not stamp "serial (sequential) numbers", so it's 100% possible that my Noe and St. Cloud are stamped the exact same code.   
  Louis Vuitton actively started stamping codes in the 80's. This means that older pieces do NOT have anything resembling the date stamp at all. Even when items were manufactured in the 80's, I've found quite a few purses (especially St. Cloud and Jeune Fille) not stamped at all. With items manufactured from 1990, it's reasonable to assume there is one, including domestic pieces (model number with T's). But absence of date codes doesn't necessarily mean the piece is not authentic! Please read on.   
  These codes are supposed to be "hidden" and hard to find, and the location changes from year to year, model to model. So if your 7-year old Vuitton wallet has a stamp on the inside lining, and the exact same model manufactured this year has a stamp in the coin compartment, do NOT panic.   
  Vuitton NEVER stamps a catalog number on their products. Many fakes do have a "faked code", and they used to use the catalog number (i.e., M61665).  
I can't tell you this loud enough; presence/absence of the date code itself does NOT guarantee authenticity of Louis Vuitton at all. 

  Date codes do not verify authenticity. Of course it's one of the first places for us to look to see if anything bogus is stamped, but Louis Vuitton does NOT stamp date codes for the proof of authenticity AT ALL. It has come to my attention that most of you overly depend on the date codes, which is extremely dangerous. Again, these days fakes come with valid date codes anyway!    
  There is more than one coding pattern! It is true that most of recent ones are two letters and four numbers, but Louis Vuitton's date codes have variations.    
  It is NOT true that date codes starting with certain letters must be with "made in France (Spain, USA, Italy)". Codes with SD could be accompanied by "made in France" or "made in USA". The bottom line is date codes are not for the consumers to determine anything with. 

I must explain a little bit more than I care to share. Vuitton's U.S. factory, for example, didn't even stamp any date codes in many small accessories in its early days (early 90's). Their factory in Spain is the same way. I was also caught up in this dreadful "date code" business in the past because I did not have enough knowledge under my belt to determine authenticity without depending on Date Codes. After I started serious collecting, studying, and buying/selling, I've come across many authentic pieces without date codes (not even vintage). I've raised hell with Louis Vuitton (because I was the original purchaser of some!) many times, and I even got a written letter from the U.S. factory (a true miracle, even hand-signed), then finally learned that purposefully or not, some pieces just don't have date codes!
Another thing I must share with you is that date codes are directly stamped on the lining in many pieces or a D-ring leather tab. Cite is another good example that date codes can be found on the pocket lining directly, on the synthetic lining part that rots. What if you have that part replaced by Louis Vuitton? They stamp a brand new date code, completely different from the original one! See, it really means nothing to Louis Vuitton when it comes to authentication.
Some date codes are stamped sooooo close to the seam, and you may have to force the purse open at the seam. I have a dealer friend in Japan, who actually RIPPED a purse in her effort to find the date code. She knew it was authentic, but because of the misconception & myth of "date code has to be present" by the majority of consumers, she just "had to" find it before she displayed it on the shelf.
When taking anything to Louis Vuitton for authentication, if the store manager isn't 100% sure, it goes to the factory. Unless one has been crafting Louis Vuitton for 60+ years, nobody knows every single model. The Louis Vuitton factory authenticates by the quality of the materials and craftsmanship. They pay no attention to date codes for authentication, unless of course the date code is bogus to begin with, in which case stores don't even have to bother the factory. This is why we, non-Vuitton authenticators without knowing all the secrets of Louis Vuitton materials, MUST know them from every angle possible, from the "bumpiness" of the monogram canvas to the quality of the thread because we are not equipped like Louis Vuitton factories. Whether there's a valid date code or no date code, it has very very very little to do with authentication

10. Ask for a date code: if not provided, ask for a date code (some call it a "serial number," although this is erroneous). There should be 6 characters in total. The first 2 characters will be letters. The last 4 will be numbers. If authentic, the 3rd character (first number) will not be higher than 1. The 4th character (second number) will not be lower than 8 with the exception of 0. The 5th & 6th characters (last two numbers) can be anything from 0 to 9. Have I confused you enough yet? 
Note: Vintage pieces made before up until 1990 may not have any such marking, and there are indeed a few NEW LV pieces that simply do not have date codes! The date code is often discretely embossed and difficult to find (like in many Epi pieces), but can also be more obvious, sewn on a leather tag (like the Pochette), or directly under the D-ring (such as the Houston, Bucket, Bedford, Looping...). On some pieces, you may go insane trying to find one because they are right on the seam (Cherry Blossom Papillon). Entirely different pieces can have the exact same date code. Know that many fakes also can have "date codes." Some are obviously invalid (often they are model numbers), others are true codes "lifted" from a real one. Remember the aforementioned "uber-fake?" They all have valid date codes. WORD OF CAUTION:The absence and/or presence of the date code alone is NOT enough to determine authenticity. You must NOT rely on the date code solely when looking for authenticity. I need to stress this strongly because too many of you are relying on date codes much too heavily! can eliminate a bag with a fake date code. For example, right off the bat you would know that any bag with a date code of "SP8935" is fake. You can also think of the date code as a "confirmation number" of sorts; matching the date code in the auction (or given to you by the seller) with the bag you receive ensures that you have received the bag you bid on.


I can't find a date code on my bag. Does that mean it is not authentic?
No. Louis Vuitton implemented the use of date codes in the early 1980's. Your bag may have been produced before date codes were used. In addition, date codes are difficult to locate on many items.

How do I interpret date codes?
As much as we would like to share this information with well-intentioned people, our policy is not to do so. You may visit your local Louis Vuitton Boutique or contact Louis Vuitton's Headquarters at (212) 758-8877 to inquire, however, they will likely be unwilling to share this information either.

Can you tell me where a date code should be located?
If you send photos of your item, we may be able to point you in the right direction.

Can I assume my bag is authentic if it has a date code?
Having a date code does not assure authenticity. Some very good fakes have valid date codes. However, an invalid date code means that the bag is not authentic.

Are a serial number and date code the same thing?
The proper term is "date code" and the two terms refer to the same thing: The number assigned by the factory when the item was manufactured.

I am a seller. Is it safe to give out the date code to people who ask me? I am afraid that unscrupulous people will use it for their own auctions.
If a potential bidder inquires, I would give the date code. People are becoming much more savvy and this is information they want to feel more comfortable with their purchase. In addition, there are many auctions that do give date codes and since more than one item can have the same date code, it would not be difficult for scammers to just pick one they like.

Are there any LV bags that do not have a serial number inside? ie: LUCO?
Yes. Vintage (pre-1980) bags do not have date codes. The Luco tote is relatively new, so it should have a date code.

Does every single Louis Vuitton purse or wallet have a serial number?

You told me that the date code on my bag was not valid. Other than that, it seems everything's in order, so are you sure it is not authentic?
The date code, if present, is a critical component. If it is invalid, the item is not authentic.

Do all authentic LV's have date codes and or serial numbers? I recently got a Spontini from the Louis Vuitton store in McLean, Virginia but I can't find any kind of date or serial number stamped anywhere on/in it?
All modern items should have a date code. There should be a date code on your Spontini. Ask the store where you purchased it to tell you where to find it. You could also post your question on Poupette's LV Discussion Board.

Please take a look at this auction for me. Seller can't find a date code, and I'm not sure where to look on a Nil. Says he bought it at LV Palm Beach 18 years ago, so it should have a date code.
If it has a date code, it should be branded or stamped inside the larger compartment, likely along the zipper or a seam near the top.

I asked a seller for the date code on a bag and here is the reply I got:
For security reason, I am unable to disclose the serial number to you. Yes, I purchased this wallet myself. thank you.
So, what do you think? What is the "security reason" not to disclose the serial number?
You could be a counterfeiter who wants to use the number for you own evil means. I don’t get that way of thinking. There is no “security” risk involved here.

I have been looking at the bag I purchased closer, after I saw that there are factories in the U.S. It has a serial number on the inside that reads SD0945. the plating on the zipper pulls seem to be flaking off, is this normal? I also purchased a set of hard sided suitcases and have two questions...
1 .when would these have been made... serial numbers 980563, and 92841 2. These are both nearly immaculate but they have a few abrasions that look like they were rubbed against a painted wall and they look like they will come off. What do you recommend to clean the monogram material?
NOTE:This response was contributed by one of Poupette's Recommended Sellers:
I don't know how to tell an age of a piece by the serial number. Usually the only way to get an exact age is to contact LV in Paris and have them look up the numbers. If you have a pic of the two cases, I can give you a rough estimate of their age. I would also have to see them to tell you how to clean them. The older ones were hand stenciled and any made after 1959 would be covered in a PVC coated canvas. Seeing them would make it much easier to help you. Please forward any pictures you have and I will be glad to assist you.

I have recently bought an Epi Sac D'Epaule from Ebay and can't seem to locate the serial number or date code on the buckle. Am I looking in the wrong place?
You should find it on the strap, under the belt loop.

Where do you locate the date code on sac keep all?
It should be inside on one of the leather tabs attached to the handles 

CHECK OUT THE DATE CODE.  Every authentic Louis Vuitton bag made since the 1980s carries a date code.  This can be imprinted into the leather inside the bag, or appear on  a small cowhide leather tab inside the bag.  Beware, there is not an individual number on each bag, the same number is often repeated on many bags as it represents a batch.  Normally the number is a mixture of Letters and numbers and actually signifies the date that the bag was made, but the interpretation of this is only known to Louis Vuitton.  However, I am told that of the four numbers used in this, the second and fourth number represent the year of manufacture, so an item that had a serial number 2345, would be a fake – you can work most numbers using this formula.   This is one of the ways that Louis Vuitton can authenticate your bag for you (see later).  Do not be fobbed off with people who give you the MODEL number rather than the serial number.  All model numbers are found in the Catalogue and a faker quite often uses this number to pretend to be a serial number.  Some actually copy the real numbers too! So that is not entirely a foolproof method of checking the authenticity yourself.

2. How do I know if the item is obviously fake?

  When the monogram is NOT DEADLY CENTERED (within 2-3 millimeters), there's a very good chance it's a FAKE. However, some vintage domestic (US Line) pieces have a crooked cut of the monogram. If the item you are interested in is either "made in France" or "made in france", the monogram should be centered.   
  Especially Noe and Petit Noe (drawstring), Louis Vuitton never puts the slider for the drawstring. No ugly leather patch with "Louis Vuitton Paris made in France" attached ANYWHERE. No pocket inside!   
  If you can't tell a fake from a real by examining the stitches, quality of the monogram & lining, hardware, varnish, or even the SMELL if the item is new, DO NOT TAKE A CHANCE.   
  ASK the seller how they guarantee authenticity, unless the seller obviously knows Louis Vuitton well and honestly describes the item! If you take the item to a Vuitton shop and it is proven fake, would the Seller accept returns and at whose expense? Remember, sometimes younger Vuitton clerks cannot properly authenticate items, and especially if the item is very old, they may have to send it to the factory to be sure. It would take at least 2 weeks. Managers can usually tell you on the spot, so call first to make sure some "experienced" clerk is there. 

3. How do I know the ACTUAL condition of the item?

  Normal wear on a used Vuitton starts with corners and at folds. ASK for factual details without the seller's opinion. If the seller is unable to provide you with detailed pictures, be sure the explanation is thorough. What's "EXCELLENT CONDITION" or "GENTLY USED" is the seller's opinion, not necessarily having to do with the fact. It might be "USED TO DEATH" in your opinion.   
  Do NOT expect an item in "as new" condition, if the seller clearly states it is a "used article". If you pay less than 50% of the retail price, of course the item has blemishes!   
  Don't forget to ask about the condition of the pocket lining.  

WARNING: There are some super fake Cherry Blossoms being sold right now on ebay. Most of them are the color brown, so you must be very careful when shopping. Some of them look so good, if it weren't for the pictures that include the fake box and reciept, you just wouldn't know. Especially with the super fakes out, please stick to trusted sellers who have proven themselves. The red/cream combo was not faked very well, BUT if you arent familiar with the correct coloring, you may get taken.
The multicolor line will be produced through the end of 2004, but the waiting lists are very long. If you want to buy on ebay, buy from a reputable seller. I have found many sellers using pictures of authentic bags which they have taken from other sellers auctions. Be careful with the bait and switch tactic. I am finding it every day now. However, if I don't know where the pictures came from I can't let the sellers know, so listings stay.
About Multicolor: I am working to update this section now with more information.
Color combinations on multicolor items: They may appear in any particular order in each line, so long as on the White Multicolor, the color combos are as such: a)Deep yellow, Deep pink, Deep purple, b)Fushcia, black, green c)Dark Blue, light blue, chartreuse yellow
On Black multicolor the color combos are as such: a)Deep yellow, Deep pink, Deep purple, b)Fushcia, white, green c)Dark Blue, light blue, chartreuse yellow
If the lettering is in any other colors than this, such as red, the bag is a fake. The motifs and LV logos have 33 colors total. Please refer to the link at the bottom of this page to Om*goddess' me page for general tips on buying LV on ebay. It is a great resource and very informative.

There are some general things you should know about Louis Vuitton bags before making any purchase on Ebay:
1. Stitching: Louis Vuitton items are hand-stitched. Every stitch should be even and proportionally aligned.
2.Logo placement: This is where your catalog will come in handy. In general, the logos should NOT be cut off. There are rare exceptions; some vintage pieces have cut-off logos, and pieces that use the logo as a background (Cherry Blossom, Graffiti), may also have cut-off logos. In fact, the Cherry Blossom Papillon is cut off by the vachetta leather trim on both sides (on top). However, you will never see an authentic bag with hazardly cut-off logos.
3."Mirror" image: It is commonly believed that each LV bag should create a mirror image, meaning each side should be the same with logo placement. This does not hold true for most models, however.
4.Upside down logos:Many assume that any bag with upside down logos on one side must surely be fake. This is not true. Some pieces are cut from just one piece of canvas, so naturally when they wrap around to the other side the logos will be upside down. The MONOGRAMS Speedy, Musette Tango, Musette Salsa, Papillon and the VERNIS Thompson Street are all examples of this.
5.Leather: Louis Vuitton straps are made from fine, untreated leather. When new, the leather will appear a very pale yellow. Over time it will develop a patina, changing into a dark honey-color. The leather's color should correspond with it's age/use--this is something that you will be able to gauge as you gain more experience about Louis Vuitton.
6. Shape: Again, your catalog will come in handy here. I can eliminate many fake bags on Ebay upon first sight simply because they are off in dimension (this goes for the lesser quality fakes).
7. Date code: As aforementioned, not something to obsess over but definitely something to be aware of. Many fakes are stamped with the catalog number; this is especially so with fake wallets. Any Monogram, Mat, Damier or Glace wallet stamped with anything that starts with M6 is FAKE, I guarantee you. M6 is the CATALOG prefix for these wallets. Any Vernis wallet stamped with a prefix of M9 is fake, any Damier wallet with N6 is fake. More good use from that catalog. TIP: every single Cherry Blossom and Multicolor item should have a date code that ends in the number 3. No exceptions.
8. Patches: Many of the older fakes have outside patches with "Louis Vuitton Paris" or the like stamped on them. These are indefinitely fake. Patches are only found on custom made items (where you can have just about anything done) or on vintage travel pieces produced by The French Company between the 70's-90's (thanks LucyndSkywDmnds!). The newer fakes are hipper to the fact that LV bags do not come with these patches, so these are mostly found on vintage fakes.
9. Plastic on handles:It is a myth that all bags with plastic on the handles are fake. In fact, ALL Louis Vuitton bags arrive to the boutiques with protective plastic coverings--most Sales Associates simply remove them before display and/or before being purchased. However, many bags make it to their prospective homes with the plastic still on. If you see plastic that appears to be shrink-wrapped (close-fitted) however, this may in fact indicate a fake bag.
10. Made in...: Louis Vuitton has factories in France, Spain, and the good ole' USA. Many erroneously assume that any LV bag made in the US is fake. Certain styles are produced in one location more than others; for example I believe a great deal of pochettes are in fact, made in America. The Retro Styles (Cherry Blossom, Eye Love) are made in Spain. Purse connoiseurs debate about the quality of bags made in these respective regions, however please rest assured that the Louis Vuitton name--which is synonomous with quality--is constant and predicatably dependable irregardless of where it was made.
These are some very general rules for Vuitton bags. Remember that the good fakes will have most of their bases covered, so as always you must proceed with caution. Over time you will be able to train your eye to most necessary details when shopping for LV on Ebay. Never be shy when asking for help as there are many Ebayers commited to Authentic goods willing to assist you in any way possible!

Inspect your bag thoroughly:
*Check to see if the stitching is perfect--EVERY SINGLE STITCH should be even.
*Check for any misalined or cut off logos, and to see if there are any glued pieces.
*Match the date code to the one in the auction to make sure it is the bag you bid on.
*Depending on the style, the leather should feel firm yet supple, pliable yet sturdy. Cheaper fakes are often made with vinyl or plastic; I've even seen some made with reinforced and laminated cardboard! Higher quality fakes still use second quality leather.
*Do the STRAP TEST: the straps (on certain styles such as the Petit Bucket, Thompson Street, Lexington, Pochette, Houston, Cabas line, etc.) should be firm and flexible. Bend it in your hands~~it should feel much like a licorice whip! The best quality fakes I have ever examined have straps that feel brittle and do not bend smoothly.
*If the bag is used, the handles should show some darkening (patina), and this should be pretty evenly distributed. However, there will be heavier darkening in the middle of the straps in the area which actually rests on your shoulder (or in the case of a handbag, the area where your hand holds the bag). This is because of this area's greater exposure to dirt, body oils, lotions, etc.
*If you won a Vernis, it should have a *brilliantly* glossy shine; the leather should be supple.
*Used Vernis fakes often have unsightly "wrinkles" all over the bag.

Comparing a fake Monogram Speedy 25 to a genuine one, as told to us by Ebayer skipperb89:
"I have had the great chance to compare an authentic Speedy 25 purchased from eluxury in October, 2003 at a cost of approximately $430.
I also have a certified "fake" Speedy 25 purchased on the street from a vendor in Boston's Chinatown in 2001. The cost of the fake was $55.
Putting the bags side by side, here are the similarities and differences:
1. The MONOGRAM canvas - there is absolutely no difference between the bags in the canvas used to make the bags, either in background or LV color, or the size or prominence of the LV's. The two bags have canvas that is identical, and the dimensions of the BAG itself are identical. The only difference in the canvas is in FEEL ... as the fake bag is more structured, the feel in the canvas as it is presented in the bag is stiffer. (SEE MORE ON THIS BELOW)
2. The PATTERNING - Both bags use virtually identical patterning and spacing, down to the very trim ... the flowers end up on the fake where they end up on the authentic bag. The flowers are cut off on the fake where they are cut off on the authentic! They are all aligned in the same places on the bag. This is impressive.
HOWEVER, ON THE FAKE, THE TWO LV'S THAT SHOULD BE OUTSIDE OF THE HANDLES ARE CAUGHT UNDERNEATH THE HANDBAG HANDLE FASTENINGS. On the authentic version, there are two LV's outside the handle fastenings, and one LV directly between the handle fastenings. Tip: Check to see where the LV's fall on your speedy handle fastenings. Are they outside, or caught under the handles?
3. STITCHING UNDERNEATH the FAKE ... this is to make both sides of the handbag have LV's that are "upright."
On the AUTHENTIC, however, the LV's are up on one side, and upside down on the other, because it's one continuous piece of fabric. Strangely, this almost makes the authentic bag look more "fake" than the actual "fake" bag ... but it's the fake Speedy 25 that has all the LV's upright on both sides.
4. The parts where the handbag handles are secured on the fake bag are puffed out a little inside the pockets of stitching to apparently make them seem more substantial. And the securings are fixed straight upright.
On the AUTHENTIC version, the securings are more delicate and are extremely FLAT. On my authentic version, the handles are aligned slightly inward ... but as this is not even apparent to the naked eye at first when you have the bag in front of you, I wouldn't depend on this in an auction picture.
Counterintuitively, that the handles on the fake version actually appear to be better secured. Both the yellow thread and the securing are thicker than on the authentic version. Take that for what you will.
5. Lining--These are completely different. Both are brown canvas, but the fake has nothing but a crappily sewn cell phone pocket. Otherwise, just lots of brown canvas.
The authentic version has a flat inside flap with leather trim on the pocket opening, and d-ring sewn inside. My serial number is underneath the flap on one of the pocket securings. Two letters and four numbers.
6. Handles--Good news - this is the most obvious difference. The handles on the fake, when folded down, extend 1.5 inches below the middle line of LV's on the bag. On the AUTHENTIC LV speedy, the handle just reaches the top of the middle LV line. And when held up over the bag, they extend 5-6 inches above the top of the bag. Whereas, on the authentic, they are only 3-4 inches over the bag.
7. Cowhide Trim and stitching--Identical ... red trim and all. The only other counterintuitive thing is that on the authentic version, the "Louis Vuitton" tabs on either end of the bag say "Louis Vuitton Made in U.S.A." and are thin: polished only on one side, rough leather on the other.
On the FAKES, the Tabs are one longer piece of leather wrapped together over a seam to be smooth on both sides. They seem more substantial, are actually slightly wider, and "look" more real. Kind of like a "chunkier heel" if you will. Tip: Try asking a seller if the tabs on either side of the bag are "finished" on both sides. Also, on the fake speedy I have, everything is "MADE IN FRANCE."
8. Hardware--On the AUTHENTIC version, the "pull tab" on the zipper is thin (rough one side), BLANK and is riveted further down the zipper.
On the FAKE, the "pull tab" on the zipper has "LV" stamped on the tab, is thicker (smooth both sides) and is fixed to the base of the zipper. The handle hardware on the FAKE is thick and is stamped "LV" on the sides. Tip: Ask seller if your handle rings hardware are stamped with the genuine "LV" : )
The handle hardware on the AUTHENTIC is blank and thin. It actually looks much cheaper than the hardware on the "fake" version.
Overall, I have to tell you all that the "fake" version impressed me. It is 90 percent identical to the authentic. This particular fake version actually seems "more solidly constructed" in some aspects than the "authentic" version, but I take this as the clue. The "fake" version is kind of what you'd call the "robot" version of the real thing, which is more delicate, more refined ... and I'd say, not constructed to pass tests, but constructed for beauty and to be just what it is.
The authentic version is more supple and malleable and can be folded down into a flat sleeper. The "robot" fake version has assumed the shape of the stuffed speedy on eBay and won't give up that shape anytime soon. You CANNOT fold it flat! It is too heavily structured.
Well, anyway, those of you who aren't looking into anyone's linings anytime soon ...
Tip 1: check out the handles. The handles on my authentic speedy extend only an index finger above the top of the bag.
Tip 2: On an authentic bag, the LV's are upside down on one side.
Tip 3: On a fake speedy, the LV's might fall slightly underneath the handle fastenings.
Tip 4. If handles are folded down, check out where they will or do fall on the side of the bag in a photo. Authentic speedy handles reach only to the top of the mid line of LV's.
Tip: Is there stitching on the bottom? Fake. On the authentic version, it is one continous piece of fabric.

The details
Don't overlook the smaller features. The zips, handles, buckles and other trimmings are often what lets down a fake. Hermès bags should have an 'Hermès Paris' stamp, while genuine Louis Vuitton leather goods say 'Louis Vuitton Paris, Made In France'. However, the fakers are cannier than ever and are wise to the fact that savvy shoppers seek the 'LV' stamp on zips and press studs. In this case, look even closer. Monograms should be clearly printed, not smudged - and stitches should be tiny and discreet, not clumsy and gaudy.
Thinking of buying an item that has one of these round white "LV" tags attached? Don't! Sellers, please DO NOT sell anything that has or had this tag attached! This is discussed in Poupette's Guide.
As with Tip #13, avoid LV items with a swatch of fabric attached. Poupette has NEVER seen such items attached to authentic LV. You don't have to take Poupette's word for it.
When looking at a Monogram Canvas Speedy or a Keepall, there is one photo you cannot be without: The top of the bag when zipped. The Monogram pattern along the zipper should be identical on either side of the zipper.

The reason I am writing is to offer your readers and members an alert to a rather obvious scam that is drawing in many unsuspecting buyers. It seems that when people see an item that comes with a box, they assume it must be the real thing. I cannot count the number of boxes I have seen that are misprinted!!! They are too light in color to start with, and they are imprinted: LOUIS VUITTON
The obvious flaw being the lack of separation between
the "R" at the end of Malletier and the "A" which is its
own word.
Many "fakes" have interiors that
are nothing like the authentic version. A friend of mine bought a
"murakami" and the interior was a brown leather, she was shocked when I
told her it should have been a raspberry colored material. She gave
this buyer $600!!!!!

bought a brand new wallet on eBay, but how do I know if it is authentic? The date code behind the section for credit cards is M10946.
Gently pull back gently on the seams to see if any glue is present. If there is none, I would cautiously say this item is authentic. I am reluctant because according to the date code, it is more than five years old!


Are four GRAFFITI items you list--keepall, speedy, wallet, pochette..-the ONLY items designed for the graffiti collection?
Two other items were manufactured in Monogram Graffiti: A Hatbox and a Bandana.

Is there such a thing as GRAFFITI in vernis leather?
No. There are three sizes of the Graffiti Alma. They are leather but not patent leather.

Do all LV locks and keys have the numbers 318? Or are they all different?
They differ, though many locks with the same number are manufactured.

Do Monogram canvas handbags of a certain design all look the same as far as how the monogrammed material is cut so that the design is always the same on each handbag produced within each handbag design?
Yes and no. LV may vary its cut of monogram on certain items, but all items with that cut of monogram should look the same, varying only by millimeters.

Is the Monogram pattern on the back side of a Musette Tango and a Musette Salsa supposed to be upside down?
Yes. Same for the Musette, the Speedy (except Manufactured by The French Co.), Keepall and the Mini Looping, among others. These are all made of one swatch of material covering front to back.

One quick question.....the "stuff" that seals the edges of the leather handles, straps, etc. - what is it (wax, lacquer?) and what color should it be (red, burgundy, brown?)
I can only tell you that it is LV's secret goo--a lacquer or sealant. The color may vary depending on the item.

My wife went to a conference not long ago and one of the presenters talked about fake LV bags...He was an expert on Asian gangs who are very involved in selling fakes. When he saw her bag he said this one is real...and she said asked how can you tell, so he told her the following: Real LV bags have the LV going one way and on the other side of the bag it will be upside down because its all made from one piece. They never stitch over an LV and it will be stamped in leather and on the lock.
The information you received is only partially correct. LV does sell bags where the front and back (or sides) are made from two pieces of fabric stitched together to form right-side up LV’s on both sides. In addition, many older models did have “LV’s” stitched over and, depending on the design of the bag, some still do.

Your Tip 16 states that a large Looping bag's bottom should have two swatches of material stitched down the center. I'm sure that's the norm but it cannot be absolute as my bag (the one I sold just before Christmas) had a bottom that was different, a single piece. I know my bag was authentic as my wife and I bought it, in person, from the LV store in Toronto. Have the way the bottoms are made changed over the years?
LV has changed its design of the Large Looping. The sides and bottom may be made with one swatch of fabric.

I just wonder what kind of dust bag it suppose to go with a Speedy?? The normal dust bag for a Speedy or the dust bag that has a string at the top, like the one for those big big bowling bags??
Speedy bags typically come with a large bag with a flap (for when the bag is folded), not a bag with a drawstring. However, it may all depend on what is available at the store.

Can a LV mini Looping have a suede interior, or has it always been made in canvas? Also, has the bottom of the bag changed from two pieces to just one piece now? Any thoughts as to checking for authenticity on a mini Looping?
The mini Looping has always had a canvas lining. The bottom of the bag could be one or two pieces, depending on when it was made.

Questions on Epi Speedy 25
My ebay customer asked me if the Speedy 25 that she bought from me is 28cm in length instead of 25cm. The length of my other Auth Speedy 25 is 27.5cm. I think that the differences in measurements between the actual bags and the ones on the LV catalog are common. My customer said that the length of the newer ones is 25cm. Is that correct? I only have measured the older types of the Epi Speedy. I called LV's customer service and they told me that "25cm" is misprinted on the catalog and it should be "28cm." Do you know if 25cm is the length of the zipper?
I measured my Speedy 25 and got these numbers: from side to side top 25cm, bottom (left to right) 26 cm and side top to bottom, 18.5 cm.
Thank you for the information! I just called one of the LV boutiques and talked to a manager. She said that the length of the zipper from left to right should be 25cm.

Hello ...I think your site is great! I had a question about the monogram Louis Vuitton bucket. What is the interior of the bucket called? I know it's that pebble type leather but I just wanted to know what it is called.
In the LV world, it is affectionately called "Vuittonite." It is a manmade material.

The seller has offered me a second chance offer for the glace Portefeuille wallet and it cost $325. I don't know if LV carries this product and I am wondering if this item is authentic. Would you please have a look at the auction and let me know if it is safe to buy.

If you are in any way uncertain, do not make the purchase until you can confirm this item. If you are close to an LV store, go in and ask to see one. Or, call LV at 1-866-VUITTON and describe the wallet to be sure that model was made.
Follow up: It turns out he wallet was not authentic, as LV did not make it in the color the auction offered.

Please help me!!! I just purchased a Medium Looping Bag from EBAY and everything seemed great, in fact everything is mainly the same, the reason I know this is because I own another medium looping bag, but since I spilled soda on it, the handle turned into a dark color not a nice honey color. My question is the bag I purchased at a boutique in Scottsdale has like some stitch on the bottom that runs from top to bottom, this one that I purchased on EBAY. It doesn't have the stitch; its just plain and then on one side of the bag the LV's are backward and on my original bag the LV's are not backward. Do all bags look alike? Everything else seems exactly like the other bag , it has the serial number and the lining is exactly like the original bag. I just don't want to be carrying a fake purse. I paid over $400 and I need to know. I feel like throwing up, the guy guaranteed authenticity and my friend told me about you guys, which I think is great. I do not live near a Louis Vuitton shop but I need to know. I hope you understand what I am trying to say. I would feel so much better.
The Looping MM's that I have seen have had a solid piece of fabric comprising the sides and bottom, but LV has changed the Looping GM to the same style, where it used to have two pieces of fabric stitched together on the bottom center. This is because the bottom holds together more securely.

If two Ellipse bags are side by side....can the LV's be placed in different spots?
Yes and no. Two versions of this bag exist. One has two rows of LV's down the front, just inside the handles, while the other has one row of LV's down the center. Of each version, if placed side-by-side, they should match to within a centimeter or two. I cannot tell if this
bag is authentic by one photo. I need a photo of the bottom and of the interior, and I need the date code.

Are the Red Epi Petite Noé with the Black trim authentic Louis Vuitton's? I've never seen one in a store, but that doesn't really mean anything. I've seen them on eBay with a black suede interior and also with a red suede interior. Could bags with either interior color be authentic? I also have a date stamp, "AR0916". Does that ound like an authentic date stamp?

Yes, they were made from the 1980's through the late-1990's, and are now discontinued and very collectible. They could have either color interior, though red is typical. The date stamp does appear to be authentic.

Could you tell me if the L.V. Speedy bags come with Alcantara lining?

No, not in the monogram pattern. The closest would be the Epi leather Speedy, which is leather lined.The new Murakami Speedy Bag does have Alcantara.

Is it Alcantra or Alcantara?
It is Alcantara in LV's catalogs. However, Alcantra is also widely used.

I got the bag and it is a TOTAL fake. It has NO serial #, the inside lining is PLASTIC, no dustbag as promised and no plastic around the handles as promised and NO d-ring! The zipper is broken and it is a terrible fake.

One woman even pointed out that my mother's Speedy was fake because the LV's were upside down. I had to explain to her that if she looks on the other side of the purse that the "LV's" are going the correct direction and that in this style of Speedy they use one continuous piece of material, so no matter what one side will have upside down LV's! Or, like I mentioned before, they say the my domestic LV's are fake. Just because these people have one LV purse they think they know everything about every single LV purse ever made. It gets me soooo angry. Sorry I needed to vent!
I had another look and noticed that the monogram on the pocket is a bit skewed to the right, not as centered as it should be ( i always check if the prints are awfully centered and balanced) plus the presence of white paper wrapping on the brass hardware. "2002-10-13 uncreated "
No! First of all the LV logos are not in the proper places. Secondly, the little round plastic hang tag is an obvious sign of a knock off!!
These are some of the classic hallmarks of a fake bag:

1. It has a paper or plastic tag hanging from it.  I have never ever seen or purchased an authentic Louis Vuitton item from their stores with this attached.  Sometimes in the picture you can see a price sticker on the paper tag – DEFINITELY NEVER, never, never does this appear on an authentic bag. Neither is the plastic wrapping usually left on when purchased in the Louis Vuitton shops.

2. The zips on the bag look very gold and shiny.  Zips on the monogram range are made from brass and are not over-shiny.

3. The dustbag, or sleeper bag.  All authentic Louis Vuitton sleeper bags are made of a cotton, caramel coloured, fabric and usually have a label sewn into the inside (but not always).  They are always oversewn (overlocked) on the seams and flap of the small bags and only ever have a drawstring on the larger bags. The flap is generally square, not looped. The printed LV logo is the only thing that appears on the outside. So if the bag is pale cream, and made of a fabric that resembles a jiffy cloth, and is imprinted with Louis Vuitton, Made in Paris, blah, blah, blah, it is a fake.  Who would sell an authentic bag with a fake sleeper bag?

4. On fake bags the leather trim often looks like plastic, often it is!  As stated above, only the best quality cowhide leather is used in authentic bags and this turns a rich honey colour over a period of time as the leather oxidises to form the patina effect.  A fake bag will often remain the same colour for as long as it exists.

5. In wallets, and purses a fake one is often seen with a Yellowish  card in one of the credit card slots on the inside, printed with LV.  Authentic wallets never come with these.

6. Don’t be fooled by statements that say the bag has the Louis Vuitton Made in Paris statement imprinted on it, or LV on the metalwork, this does not prove it is authentic.

7. Watch out for the linings.  Most authentic bags in the monogram range have a plain dark brown canvas lining, and others have the suede type alcantara lining, in specific colours for each design – another way of checking with LV if it is a fake.  Many of the fakes have flashy lining with satin and LV imprinted on it – again not real.  Many fakes have extra zip pockets inside to try to impress.  The accessories pouchette for example does not have a zipped pocket inside in any style of finish.

8. Watch out for the finish on the edge of the straps.  Some fakes have a really yukky red paint effect on the outside edges, probably to cover the glue, all authentic bags have sticthed straps.

9.  On all authentic Louis Vuitton items using a patterned material, these patterns will always be symmetrical at the sides, like wallpaper.

Do not be distracted by authentic Carrier bags, ribbons and dustbags being pictured with your bag, nor the receipt.  ALL of these have been sold on ebay in the past, so it is possible to buy the authentic accessories, but the bag is still a fake.