The surge in popularity of Hermes Birkin and Kelly bags has inevitably led to the market becoming flooded with fakes. In fact, recent studies indicate that up to 90% of all Hermes Birkin and Kelly bags sold online aren’t the genuine article. This is worrying news for any woman who wishes to purchase her dream bag.
Another problem arising with fake Hermes bags is that they are becoming more sophisticated. As more and more fake bags flood the market, the ability to spot the difference between them as authentic Hermes bags becomes more difficult. However, there are always tells in fake bags that can be spotted if you know what you are looking for.
With that in mind, we have created this special insights guide to help women spot even the most subtle flaws in fake Hermes bags. Using this guide will help you avoid the extreme disappointment that comes with realizing you have bought a fake.
Every Hermes bag is handmade and hand stitched, meaning that the sew lines should be flawless on an authentic bag. There shouldn’t be any stitches obviously out of place, out of line, crooked seams, or irregular patterns on an authentic Hermes bag. To inspect the stitches on a Hermes bag, follow the lines carefully with your finger (using a glove if you wish) and feel for any stitches that are out of place or crooked within the seam line. If you find any signs of sloppy stitching, this should immediately raise an alert in your head.
The shape of the bag and the handles are an excellent indicator of whether the bag is authentic or fake. When standing, the bag should be neat and pronounced without any slouching or bulging in places. The same applies to the handles which should stand straight up and down. There may be cases where someone has stored their Birkin or Kelly in an incorrect manner, causing a bend in the handles. However, when holding the bag, you will be able to tell immediately if it is genuine. Also, fake Hermes bags can sometimes have misshapen or rounded handles.
Authentic hardware on Hermes bags are always a genuine precious metal, usually either palladium or plated gold. The hardware also features small markings to indicate it is a precious metal and will feel heavy and of a high quality. The use of precious metals on Hermes bags also means that the hardware on authentic Hermes bags will not tarnish. When checking the hardware on a Hermes bag, feel the weight of the lock, keys, studs, and other pieces of hardware on the bag. If they feel light and cheap this should act as a red flag.
The toggle on a Hermes Birkin is another way of testing the authenticity of the bag. Genuine toggles should have a smooth turn when you twist them, similar to the movement of a watch. Toggles fitted on fake bags tend to be much lighter in weight and feel grainy like sand when they are turned. Some may even be stiff when turning. If you feel string resistance when twisting the toggle on the bag, this is a red flag.
Hermes make their own zippers which feature the Hermes name. However beware that counterfeiters can also produce zips with “Hermes” on them. So, there are some other ways to distinguish an authentic Hermes zip over a fake. Authentic Hermes zip pulls should not flop down or hang down at a 90 degree angle from the zip line. It should remain parallel to the zipper at all times. The mechanism is also a high quality design, created to lock the zipper pull in a parallel position. If the zipper pull is hanging, this should alert you to a potential counterfeit.
The lining and interior of every Hermes Birkin and Kelly bag is made with as much care as the rest of it. Many of these bags are lined with chevre leather, a goatskin that is grained and not smooth. There are Hermes Birkin and Kelly bags that feature other material as the interior or lining, but the material will always be of a high quality and in most cases made from a similar leather to the exterior. Another way to ensure the authenticity of the lining or interior is to verify the color scheme on the Hermes website and to ensure the stitching is neat and proper without loose threads.
The logo is a stamp on the bag that reads “Hermes Paris Made in France”. This logo is featured in a delicate and neat font that is not affected by the texture of the leather. On many fake Hermes bags, the logo will look irregular, big, and/or blocky. Ensure the logo on the bag is properly centered without being uneven, lopsided, or crooked in any way.
This is something that should raise a red flag immediately. Hermes do not issue an authenticity card. They never have and most likely never will. Many fake Hermes Birkin and Kelly bags come with these orange plastic credit cards that say “Hermes” on them. If the bag comes with one of these cards, it is most definitely a fake.
For starters there should always be a Hermes dust bag with a brand new Birkin or Kelly bag. The dust bag is of a high quality, as the bag itself is, and will feature a high neat stitch count. The color of the dust bag is always light beige or orange with a dark brown Hermes logo on the material. Fake dust bags often come in a grey color and feature a burgundy colored stamp. Another point of note is that the drawstring on the dust bag is also brown and should be made of 100% cotton. Please be aware that with some used Birkin and Kelly bags the dust bag may have been misplaced and therefore this this only applies to brand new bags.
Let’s face it, if a Hermes bag is listed for a price that seems too low – it’s probably a fake. Authentic Hermes bags can cost anything on the secondary from the very, very cheap at around $10,000 to the most exotic at around $150,000. There are many fake Hermes bags on the market which are priced at a couple of thousand dollars and are of a very high quality. However, think to yourself why someone would sell a genuine Hermes at such a low price when they could get many times more for it.
Always buy from trusted dealers. This can’t be stressed enough as it is a way of guaranteeing you are buying a genuine Hermes bag. A trusted site such as Baghunter.com which uses a meticulous authentication process for each bag before it is shipped to the buyer grants peace of mind. If you decide to buy from individuals online via auction sites, proceed with extreme caution. It is not recommended to make any purchase without first having the bag authenticated by a professional.
Inspect every detail. If even one of the details listed above seems off about a Hermes Birkin or Kelly, trust your instinct. It may be the tiniest of details such as the quality of the stitching, the weight of the zipper the stamp, the logo, if the price seems too good to be true etc. However, if you have any doubts, trust your gut feeling and get a second or even third opinion from a professional.
Take a suspect bag to Hermes or use a trusted authentication service. If you have purchased a Hermes bag and you are unsure about its authenticity, take it to a Hermes store and try to have it repaired. If it is fake, Hermes will refuse the repair and you will know immediately. Alternatively, to save the embarrassment of being told by Hermes, avail of a trusted authentication service such as that provided by Baghunter.com.