If you love shopping online and you love designer merchandise, then you probably know how many fakes there are out there being passed off as the real thing. Hermes produces some of the most expensive and high quality merchandise in the world, meaning there are bound to be thousands of fakes out there. Read this to find out how to protect yourself and make sure your Hermes bag is genuine.
1. Make sure you see real, close-up pictures
Never agree to buy a bag if you've only seen a couple, far away photos of the proposed Hermes bag. Make sure you get to see tons of high-quality photographs that show every detail of the bag. If someone is trying to sell a Hermes bag and only has a couple of pictures that don't show a lot of details, then you should definitely look elsewhere.
These are the type of photos you should look for—photos that clearly show the bag’s details and its true appearance. They should be professional photos that are high quality.
2. Rough vs. soft leather
A fake Birkin or Kelly bag will have leather that feels rougher and coarser. Real Hermes bags will be extremely soft due to the craftsmanship it takes to make them, as well as the material that they are made of. Leather Hermes bags such as Togo and Clemence will be extremely soft to the touch.
3. A real Hermes bag will be free of bulges
A real Birkin or Kelly bag will look straight and neat, without any bulges. Replicas, on the other hand, often have bulges in the sides and the back that can easily give it away.
As you can see, this fake Birkin has bulges in the side, where it should appear straight and neat.
4. Look at the lining
Check on the Hermes store to verify the lining of your bag. There are many unusual and bold colors used inside of Hermes bags to give them a distinct look. Also look at the lining closely - it should look neat and professionally done. If there are loose or messy looking threads, then you are probably looking at a fake.
This is a genuine Hermes bag. The inside lining is crisp and neat, and the color can easily be verified on the Hermes site.
5. Hermes stamp
This is one of the easiest ways to spot a fake Hermes bag. All Hermes merchandise have a neat and tidy Hermes stamp, located between the clasp and the bag's opening. It says "Hermes Paris - Made in France" and is impossible to miss. Make sure that the stamp matches the hardware and that it doesn't appear to be fading or flaking off. Another thing to watch out for while analyzing the stamp is that it should be engraved, not just lying on top of the material. There is also a certain amount of distance between the leathers, which can be seen below:
On the real Hermes stamp, the writing is crisp and neat, and matches the hardware. On the fake Hermes stamp, the writing looks messy and chunky, and is also lying on top of the material, rather than being engraved. The letters are also too far away from each other, which is a clear giveaway that it is a fake.
Many Birkin bags feature delicate engraving located in the clasp. The engravings on the clasp should say "HERMES-PARIS" as you can see below in the photo. On replica bags, these engravings are normally deeper and the lettering is thicker.
As you can see from the photo, a fake Hermes bag will have engravings that look much deeper and thicker. This is because they lack the experts who know how to softly add the engraving.
Every genuine Birkin will include an I.D. code that is on the reverse side of the right strap. The number and letter combo determines who made the bag, while the letter inside the square determines which year it was made in. "L" stands for 2008 while "M": stands for 2009. The most obvious sign to look out for is the way this part of the bag is cut. For a real Hermes bag, the strap’s edges will appear neat and straight, whereas a fake will have rough edges. The small stamp containing a letter inside a square will be very neat and embossed in the material. A fake Hermes bag will normally have a stamp that isn’t quite as deep in the material.
On the authentic bag the edges of the strap will be extremely straight and neat, and the stamp is deeply embossed in the material. On the fake bag, the edges of the strap look much messier. The small square stamp isn’t quite as noticeable or deep as it is on the authentic bag.
Any real Birkin will come with a sleeper, or a dust bag that is normally white or beige in color. This is used to store your bag when you're not using it. Some older bags may come with an orange colored sleeper. Fake sleepers, on the other hand, are a different color, which is normally a light gray. The fabric will also look much cheaper, and the picture on the sleeper will have many differences.
As you can see, the image on the right is a fake sleeper as it is gray in color. A real Hermes sleeper will be a white or light beige color, and the picture of the horse, man and carriage (Hermes’ brand symbol) will be dark brown. As you can see in the fake picture, the symbol’s color is more of a maroon color. Another great way to determine whether or not your Birkin is fake is by looking at the symbol on the sleeper and comparing it with the actual Hermes symbol by googling it. The picture will ALWAYS be the same, and a fake will have a variation because it has been drawn on. A real sleeper will also be made of 100% cotton, whereas a fake will be made of a cheaper material such as polyester.
9. Expert stitching
The stitching of a Hermes bag should never look sloppy or loose. Birkins, in particular, are made using saddle stitches, which appear as a string of X's. These stitches should be very even, neat and tight. Most Hermes bags take over 24 hours to make and are made by a very skilled craftsperson. They will never have flaws in the stitching.
10. Authenticity cards
A real Birkin or Kelly bag from Hermes will NEVER come with an authenticity card. If you are looking at a bag that comes with a card proving it is real, this is a flashing sign that it is a fake.