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Handbags and Watches – How to Spot a Fake

Rolex Watch

Luxury brands are an absolute treat, and when you can buy a one of these brands second hand you can save a good chunk of change. But the phrase “buyer beware” couldn’t be more appropriate when talking about buying luxury handbags and watches at local estate sales.

From our experience, here is how to spot a fake.


Stitching and Patterns

The devil is in the details, and with handbags, this mean the stitching. With an authentic luxury brand handbag, the stitches will be completely even. Genuine handbags are handmade, so there is never a loose thread or uneven stitch.

You should also pay close attention to the patterns. The classic Louis Vuitton “LV” pattern matches perfectly at each seam.

Zippers and Clasps

Authentic Hardware should feel heavy, not hollow. Also, take a good look at the markings or logos on any zippers or clasps.


Most luxury brands are made with fine leather, or canvas. These materials maintain their shape, and age appropriately. For example, the leather handles of all Louis Vuitton bags are made from vachetta leather, a natural-toned cowhide that deepens to a rich honey color with age. As soon as it’s exposed to air, it begins to change color.

Serial Numbers

This is one of the most important marks of authenticity. Take some time to inspect the bag and do your research.

Know the characteristics

Like we mentioned before, designers take every detail into account. Did you know that Prada never lines their handbags with a contrasting color to the exterior? Before buying, do your research to better understand these subtle nuances that make all the difference.

Watches, Specifically Rolex:

No Ticking

A simple listen will reveal whether you have a fake Rolex. A genuine Rolex watch doesn’t produce a “tick” with its second hand – rather the second hand will move slowly around the dial.


A genuine Rolex is much heavier than any counterfeit. Be sure to hold and inspect the watch when working to determine authenticity.

Look at the Lens

A genuine Rolex lens is a cyclops lens that will magnify the date. It’s very difficult to replicate this, so take some time to look at the lens to make sure it has this feature.

Take it to a watch maker

If you have this option, do it. A watch maker can remove the back of the watch to determine if the watch is a Rolex.

When buying a luxury brand second hand, be prepared to ask a lot of questions. A reputable seller won’t be put off by these questions and should be able to answer them with ease. If not, we would recommend you move on and find another seller.

Occasionally, we have luxury brands at our estate sales. Check out our upcoming sales to see if you can find a treasure.

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