« Knock Knock | Main | Shades of Confusion »

Counterfeit Chic on Tyra

On September 14, Tyra Banks offers a televised guide to "How to Spot a Fake" -- with your favorite law prof as her trusted guide to legal issues and fake handbags. Check out the preview (yes, that's me with the false eyelashes and giant scissors), and then check the website for local air times.

In New York, it's on at cocktail hour (5pm) -- a good thing, since I'm just realizing that I agreed to appear on TV next to a fabulous former swimsuit model. Hopefully the camera will be kind with regard to exactly where it adds that 10 pounds.

UPDATE:  Did you catch all of Tyra's tips on how to spot a fake handbag?  If you need a quick review, continue reading below.  You can also click here to watch Tyra's and my discussion of fake handbags -- including a few pointers on international law that didn't make it to prime time. 

How to Spot a Fake Handbag:

*Consider the sourceThat hot new handbag you’re thinking about buying may be fake if you find it

  • On the street
  • Behind a locked door in a back alley
  • Online, if
    • the price is too good to be true
    • the seller has very few previous customers
    • the seller has went into business very recently
    • the seller posts limited pictures and refuses to offer additional views
    • the seller claims the item was a gift or from an estate and does not guarantee authenticity
    • the seller is from a country that produces many fakes
    • the bag is sold out – but somehow the seller has several
    • returns are accepted, but with a high “restocking fee”

*Check out the details – Signs that a bag may be fake include:

  • Misspelled labels
  • Loose or uneven stitching
  • Puckered seams
  • Crooked labels or logos
  • Coarse rather than smooth canvas
  • Lightweight, hollow, or generic hardware
  • Flimsy, often plastic zippers
  • Blurred or sloppy printing
  • “Off” colors
  • Uncentered logo canvas or stamped leather
  • Glue rather than stitching
  • Low-quality hangtag
  • Cheap materials used for lining or sleeper bag
  • Lack of a control number
  • Fake leather when the brand uses the real thing
    • Feels “oily” rather than dry
    • Doesn’t smell genuine
  • Incorrect design details – do your brand homework!
    • Wrong lining color
    • Design that doesn’t match the brand
    • No logos where there should be, and vice versa
    • Inaccurate dimensions
  • Made in the wrong country – again, homework time!

Basically, be suspicious, be picky, and do your homework – according to one estimate, over $600 billion in counterfeit goods are sold annually.  That adds up to quite a shopping spree!