How to Spot a FakeThink you’re the winner because your fake Hermes Birkin cost 1/10 of the real one? Think again! While some believe the designer brands are the only ones that are harmed when you buy or sell a copy, the truth is, fakes affect us all. Watch this video to learn more about it. Michael’s Consignment Shop for Women feels strongly about being part of the solution to combat the counterfeit industry. Our best weapon? Education. Because knowing what to look for is more than half the battle… 

Here are five quick tips of what to look for when buying most Hermes leather goods:


  • PERFECTION PEOPLE: The Hermes Paris stamp should be crisp and centered. Whether the logo is on metal or leather, it will be perfectly embossed with crisp and even impressions. Hermes did not build its reputation on mediocrity.
  • HAND DONE:  At this time, everything Hermes stitches is done by hand. Because of this, the stitching is not perfectly uniform. Each bag has slight variations. If it is too uniform, then it was machine stitched and therefore it is not real.
  • QUALITY MATERIALS: The quality of the leather is often a telltale sign of a fake. The super fakes are more difficult to differentiate because there are cases where counterfeiters have been able to score actual leather pieces from Hermes workshops—but, you can still learn a lot about a bag based on what it is made of. Not surprisingly, Hermes leather is of the highest quality. It will feel soft and supple. Even the caviar leather (that’s the one with the pebble-like finish) feels soft under your touch.
  • HEAVY HARDWARE: The hardware Hermes uses is heavy and expensive. The locks and keys, the metal pulls, the feet on the bottom of a bag such as a Birkin or a Kelly, even the zippers are legit. They will not be lightweight and plastic-like.
  • SMOOTH OPERATOR: The mechanisms on Hermes goods should work smoothly. That goes for zippers, but even more importantly, that goes for the toggles that you see on Birkins, Kelly’s and many other Hermes goods. When you turn the toggle, you should not feel any granulation or interruption at all. It should be smooth.
  • Bonus Tip: If the item has keys, as many Hermes pieces do, the keys should be attached with leather as apposed to a separate metal ring. The Leather strap is slipped through the keys and looped to attach to the bag. 
  • Watch our full Hermes video series here.

    Unfortunately there are some really well-made and constructed counterfeits out there that are disrupting and destroying the industry. As a consumer, you need to arm yourself with as much information as you possibly can before purchasing. Knowing what to look for is half the battle… the other half, is knowing from whom you are buying. Make sure the seller has a 100% authenticity guarantee, experience to back up their product and, most importantly, a brick and mortar presence so you can speak to an actual person if you have a question.

    We’d love to hear about your experiences buying consignment and what you look for when you are hunting for a great deal. Please comment below. And if there is anything you’d like us to write about in the future, we'd love to hear from you as well.

    Happy Shopping!
    April 09, 2016 — Tamara Gates


    Tamara Gates said:

    @Milena My apologies for not seeing this comment it was buried in our comment section and just became live recently. Unfortunately we do not offer authentication services. With that said, if Hermes would not work on the bag then it is likely not real. I’m so sorry.

    Tamara Gates said:

    @Gina Thank you for reaching out. Unfortunately we don’t offer authenticity as a service. I will say that all designers have changed their markings over the years. Much of these changes were in response to making the items more difficult to copy. If your bag is missing a marking that is typical for it but is a much older or vintage item, it may not have been made with that specific marking. I hope this helps.

    Gina said:

    I live in the states and bought a Hermes bag at a thrift store. I have had a few people look at it and we have looked up the signs of a counterfeit bag but I am still unsure. Its smells like leather, the Hermes stamp looks pronounced and does not look off center. The lock and key are heavy. Stiching is not perfect, as done by a machine. BUT there is not any stamping under the lock strap and nowhere else is stamped with Hermes name. It is a vert anis crocodile color/style. Could someone please advise me. Thank you for any help.

    Milena advento said:

    I bought birkin black gold hardware in osaka last july 17,29.yesterday i when to hermes store in Philippines to repair something unfortunately they told me the leather is not hermes so in short the item is FAKE.Can u help me to check my birkin?

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