Authenticating LV

Authentication- Louis Vuitton Handbags & Shoes

We only accept listings for authentic items. As such we constantly verify each item submitted for sale and also inspect these to weed out the fakes. In this article, we will look at how we spot fake Louis Vuitton bags.

It is important to establish that this can be a challenging task, as fake Louis Vuitton bags are extremely prevalent. This guide will help you learn how we go about authenticating Louis Vuitton bags.

In this guide, we will be looking at the ‘Speedy 30’, ‘Keepall 60’, ‘Alma PM’ and ‘Neverfull GM’ for example.  

The Leather

While canvas is largely used to make these bags, all of them are also made up of Vachetta leather. Hence, a new bag will look very light, and with time, the areas that are exposed become darker. A fake Louis Vuitton bag will not be made up of leather, or at least, the same quality of leather that Louis Vuitton bags come in. Hence, if a piece does not darken at all, or darkens at a slower or faster rate than a typical original bag, we most likely identify this as being a fake.   

If it does not seem obvious, we compare the bag’s interior with its exterior, or its exterior with another that is of the same age as the bag in question. Furthermore, the majority of fake Louis Vuitton bags exhibit a pinkish tint, as opposed to the honey shade that original Louis Vuitton bags come in.

The Stamping and Lettering

Moreover, the majority of fake manufacturers of Louis Vuitton bags never seem to get the stamping and the lettering aspects right. Hence, we do check out the lettering to spot a fake. To begin with, thin lettering is common to all genuine Louis Vuitton bags. Manufacturers of fake bags tend to mess up here, by either changing the font a little or by altering the alignment. We ensure that the bag follows these rules in terms of lettering:

  • The “O” is always bigger than the “L”.
  • On the L, the tail is always short.
  • Both the T’s are placed close to each other and are almost in contact.  
  • While the stamp always reads “Louis Vuitton Paris,” the information pertaining to where it was made might be different. Typically, it reads “made in” France, USA or Spain. Sometimes, you may come across Italy and Germany as well.
  • LV bag date codes that are made in Switzerland, do not read “Louis Vuitton Made in Switzerland”. So the date code may indicate its production location in Switzerland, but the Louis Vuitton Stamp won’t. That is okay.
  • In a genuine LV symbol, one stroke is emboldened, while the other is normal, and it is the former that crosses over the latter.    


Hardware is a classic tell-tale sign for fake Louis Vuitton bags, as they are of cheap quality and different shapes. Many times, fake manufacturers coat plastic in mental, to make it look like metal. On the other hand, Louis Vuitton uses actual metal to make its hardware, and most of its hardware includes branding. Moreover, the guidelines stated above are applicable for hardware as well.   

People often tend to lose their Louis Vuitton padlocks. So it’s normal to find the locks are missing. However, in case the locks are present, the padlock should be engraved with the LV sign on one of its sides, while the other side proudly reads “LOUIS VUITTON PARIS” along with the “made in” information. Moreover, a number is also engraved on the lock, which can be matched with the keys.

Date Coding

Since 1980, most of the Louis Vuitton bags have been manufactured to include a date/location stamp in their interiors. Usually, the stamp is present on a tiny tab present in an interior pocket. Sometimes, this information is incorporated on the inside where the handles meet or beneath a flap inside. With time, the codes have gradually changed, but can be streamlined in the following manner:    

Early 1980’s: During this time, the codes included three or four digits, out of which the first two digits represented the year, while the last digit(s) were used to define the month. For instance, “814” simply meant that the bag was manufactured in the year 1981, in the month of April.    

The early to late 1980s: Such codes also informed buyers about the location where the bag was manufactured through the use of two letters, following three or four digits again. The number again was used to represent the year and the month of manufacture, in that order. Hence, “853RI” meant that the bag was manufactured in France, in the year 1985 and in the month of March. Initially, the digits were followed by the location code. However, in the late 1980s, the location code was followed by information about the manufacturing date.   

1990 to 2006: In this period, the letter and the number format continued to be the trend. However, the digits were rearranged. Following the letters, four digits were laid out. However, it was the first and the third digits that represented the month, while the second and fourth digits added up to the year. Hence, “CA1907” meant that the bag was manufactured in October 1997, in Spain.

2007 onward: Until today, this format continues to be used. However, there is a slight variation when it comes to its meaning. The first two letters describe the location where the bag was manufactured. While four digits follow, the first and the third digits represent the week of the year when the bag was manufactured, while the second and the fourth digits are used to inform about the year. Thus, a bag labelled “AR4129” was manufactured in the 42nd week of 2019 in France.

Country Codes

For each country, there are many codes and these are the most commonly used ones:

A0, A1, A2, AA, AAS (Special Order), AH, AN, AR, AS, BA, BJ, BU, CO, CT, CX, DR, DT, DU, ET, FL (also USA), LA (also USA), LM (also Spain), LW, MB, MI, ML, MM, NO, RA, RI, SA (also Italy), SD (also USA), SF, SK, SL, SN, SP, SR, TH, TJ, TN, TR, TS, TY, VI, VX
BC (also Spain), BO, CE, FH (also USA), FO, FP, MA, NZ, OB, PL, RC, RE, SA (also France), TB, TD
BC (also Italy), CA, LO, LB, LM (also France), LW, GI, UB
FC, FH (also Italy), FL (also France), LA (also France), OS, SD (also France), TX

There are several other ways in which we check for fakes. For instance, the lining, stitching, and the canvas as these may not be up to the standards of original Louis Vuitton products.  

Modified / Personalised Louis Vuitton Items

As users list both, used and preowned bags, shoes, and various other items. Sometimes some of the items may have been personalised or modified by their previous users. Some of these include Name or letter prints on the bag, additional personalized hardware, perforated areas, cut-out straps, interchanged shoe laces and a whole long list. We have found cases where users even cut-out date codes on their LV pieces.  This does not stop us in any way from investigating the bag’s production year, leather and canvas lining etc. There are several other ways in which we check for fakes. For instance, the lining, stitching, and the canvas as these may not be up to the standards of original Louis Vuitton products.

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