Duped: How to spot fakes at the thrift store

So many of us have been there, we spot a designer bag at the thrift store, our heart skips a beat, only to find out it’s a fake. Soul crushing! I’m not big on designer logo bags but I love a nice quality, classic bag.

So, how to spot a fake quickly at the thrift store so you don’t get duped:

Know your stuff

It all starts before you go to the thrift store. It helps to do some research before you even go to the store to get a sense of what some of your favorite designer bags look like from the inside and out. There are TONS of YouTube videos and articles comparing real and fake bags side-by-side for practically every brand. Or if you have a store nearby that sells your favorite designer bags, go look at them in person!

Sometimes you find a brand you’ve never researched before, if so here are some things to look out for:


Sloppy stitching is a sure sign it’s fake

Interior colors

Is the interior orange whereas it should be red?

Interior identification

Serial numbers, logo plaques, etc. Just because it comes with an authenticity card, doesn’t mean it’s authentic. Pay attention to fonts, colors, and alignment on cards. Or whether or not it should even come with a card!


Cheap zippers, buttons, the logo hardware, mismatched hardware, logo stamps. Also, certain brands only use specific kinds of zippers (like Lampo, YKK etc).


Sure you can sometimes find designer bags for a steal at thrift stores because maybe someone didn’t know the brand, but more often than not, thrift stores are brand savvy and know their stuff so they up charge for them. So if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Fake leather

Cheap, fake leather is always a sign the bag is fake.

Google is your friend when you’re thrifting. Also, ask people online! I’ve asked people on IG before when I wasn’t sure and others were very helpful.

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