Can Louis Vuitton Store Authenticate?
Purchasing a Louis Vuitton handbag secondhand for the first time can be daunting and it's actually normal. You're about to spend a considerable sum of money on your dream and you want a confirmation of authenticity, highly desirable from a Louis Vuitton boutique itself.
On the one hand, you want to save but on the other hand, how can you confirm that the bag is authentic? In this article, we'll discuss your options and provide advice, collected firsthand from the Louis Vuitton fans.
Does Louis Vuitton Store Authenticate At All?
A lot of people believe that you can take a bag to the Louis Vuitton boutique and ask the managers to verify its authenticity. Will Louis Vuitton store authenticate the bag in question?
While it seems logical that the manufacturing company is well aware of how to determine whether the bag is authentic or not as well as that they're the only ones who can do that), they don't offer any type of bag authentication services.
In fact, Louis Vuitton corporate strictly forbids their employees to provide any type of comments regarding item's authenticity.
If you’re looking to buy a preloved bag and a seller urges you to go to the boutique and check the bag, it actually means nothing. Unless you have a sales assistant who's your good friend, they won't risk their job and provide comments on the item’s authenticity.
So how can you officially authenticate your designer purse? Scroll down to learn about your options.
Why Louis Vuitton Doesn't Verify Their Own Purses?
There are a few reasons why it doesn't make much sense for Louis Vuitton to authenticate their items. Let's go through all of them.
1. Reputational risks
Reputational risk is a hidden threat or danger to the good name or standing of a business or entity and can occur through a variety of ways.
Let's say Louis Vuitton commits to authenticating their own handbags. Is there anything wrong with this idea?
Actually, there's one point we tend to forget. Being able to authenticate involves at least two factors:
- knowing the original items
- knowing the replicas and how close they are
Aside from knowing what authentic items look like, it's extremely important to learn how elaborate replica items are. Otherwise, you can make a mistake that, in our modern world, will result in a bombshell damaging the company's prospects and image.
We often assume that replicas are those $50 low-quality handbags that you can buy in tourist places while travelling, but it's not like this anymore.
There are 1:1 replicas and you need to be extremely careful with them. And if you only have vast experience with authentic items, how can you learn that counterfeiters have copied another letter and it currently looks exactly the same?
In addition, Louis Vuitton would have to examine hundreds of bags every day, getting zero dollars out of all these transactions. Even if they made paid authentication.
2. No interest in secondhand
Louis Vuitton is interested in selling more of their new handbags. The company is a manufacturer and that's their main business. They've announced multiple times that they don't have any interest in secondhand market whatsoever. Thus, they're not interested in helping private sellers or consignment boutiques sell their used items.
Why would they authenticate the items then?
3. Extensive and Tiresome Training
Providing authentication services would imply that all sales assistants need to be trained to authenticate.
In fact, that means getting a training that covers
- all handbags and their limited editions, release years, history
- all fonts and marks that have ever been used on Louis Vuitton items
- knowledge of rare items and exclusions
- knowledge of signs of wear
- advanced experience with replicas
We've covered all these aspects and what they mean in the article 'Who Are Designer Handbag Authenticators and How to Become One of Them'.
As experts in authenticating Louis Vuitton items, we can rightfully declare that learning to verify designer items takes a lot of time and effort. The cost of error is too high so you need to be absolutely sure regarding every decision.
Now imagine you come to Louis Vuitton and there's a manager who's been with the company for 10 days. How can he be sure if an item is authentic? 10 days is definitely not enough to learn how to authenticate Louis Vuitton.
Contrary to popular misconception, Louis Vuitton employees are not trained to authenticate items.
How to Check a Louis Vuitton Bag In Store?
Despite what we've mentioned, a lot of Louis Vuitton fans actually managed to get an authenticity confirmation from the store.
If Louis Vuitton doesn't authenticate their items in store, where do all these stories about official authentication come from?
There used to be an indirect way of authenticating French handbags via their official stores. Large Louis Vuitton boutiques generally have a repair department. In these department, there's a heat stamping service. They offer to heat stamp your bag (new or preloved) with your initials for free.
What you can do is bring the bag and pretend you want to put a heat stamp on it.
If the bag is an obvious replica, LV SAs won’t confirm repairs saying that this item was not manufactured by Louis Vuitton. They'll give the purse back to you.
That used to be an indirect way to authenticate your item officially. authentication. However, with lots of mirror fakes on the market, it's not that easy to identify a fake bag. There were some reports that Louis Vuitton employees might put a heat stamp on a replica.
There were also stories when an official Louis Vuitton repair service accepted a fake for repair. You can read about these cases on Purse Forum.
Louis Vuitton 2016 Policy
From 2016 onwards, Louis Vuitton is asking for a receipt and the original purchase information (who bought the item, where and when).
If they find the corresponding match in their database, they can confirm the fact that the bag was purchased in Louis Vuitton and is, thus, authentic.
But guess what professional scammers used to do? They buy/steal original receipts and get a bag that would match this receipt (manufactured before the date on the receipt).
If you turn to the Louis Vuitton official services, they might say it's authentic cause the receipt is real but in fact, that does not mean anything regarding the authenticity of the bag, as it's impossible to tell for sure that this receipt comes from the same handbag.
It turns out (paradoxically) that even with receipt official Louis Vuitton can not confirm the bag's authenticity if that's a vintage item.
2021 Update: Microchip Era
In 2021 Louis Vuitton discontinued the use of date codes and introduced microchips. That being said, their previous 2016 policy is still valid. If you're brining an item for repair, especially under guarantee, they will request a receipt from you.
The difference lies in being able to check the item with a microchip.
They don't offer checking microchips as a separate authentication service though.
How to Check a Louis Vuitton Bag Authenticity?
The first step you can take is to check your item's date code (serial number. Click the link to use our Free Authentication Tool.
To authenticate a bag, seek the help of a professional Louis Vuitton authenticator. Authenticators are people who work with the brand for years and seen thousands of authentic bags so they know what an authentic Louis Vuitton bag looks like. It's only $10 for the peace of mind.
If you'd like to learn how to authenticate, you might be interested in our Louis Vuitton Authentication Course.
Want to Authenticate Your Luxury Handbag?
If you need to authenticate a Louis Vuitton item, please order one of the three types of authentication:
Verbal Authentication $10
- good when you need a certificate for any reason,
Certificate of Authenticity $25
- good when you need a certificate for any reason, either to sell the bag with the peace of mind or to return a fake bag to the seller if you purchased a fake
- includes a permanent certificate on lvbagaholic.com
Certificate of Authenticity with a thorough explanation $50
- good when you need a certificate and you need to know why the bag is authentic/not authentic for any reason, either to sell the bag with the peace of mind or return a fake bag to the seller if you purchased a fake.
- includes a permanent certificate on lvbagaholic.com
- includes an explanation of why the item is fake (detailed pictures and comparisons with an authentic bag, more than 10 pics included)
PLEASE CHOOSE ONE OF THE OPTIONS BELOW