No seller on eBay or Amazon is going to tell you the designer bag you're about to drop upwards of $100 on is 99% authentic. Nope, if everyone is to be believed, every Anya Hindmarch "I'm Not A Plastic Bag" out there in the internet marketplace is 100% authentic. Unfortunately, that's not the case. This now-iconic bag is being knocked off at an astonishing rate. Make sure you're not one of the unlucky fashionistas who ends up with a faux tote by following our guide to fakes.
1. Look for sellers who show photos of the actual bag that's on the block. If the seller uses a stock photo of the bag (like the one we used here) or a photo of a celebrity carrying the real deal, chances are you'll wind up with a fake.
2. Ensure that you'll be getting an original receipt for purchase of the bag. If your bag was originally purchased "in bulk" or from suppliers or side-door merchants, steer clear.
3. Get as many pictures as you can of the actual bag you'll be purchasing. Tiny subtleties, like the shapes of certain letters and the colors of trim, thread, and canvas can give your bag away as being fake. A great guide to miniscule lettering inconsistencies can be found here.
4. Pay special attention to the Anya Hindmarch blue bow logo. On older, more obvious fakes, the logo is oversized and easy to spot. On newer, more authentic-looking fakes, check the quality of the stitching on the logo. Look for clean lines and professional stitching as opposed to sloppy, quickly done stitching on the logo.
5. Know how to spot quality craftsmanship. Trimmed edges should be scalloped, not smooth. Metal grommets should be polished and tight to the canvas (fakes, which are made quickly, will often have shredded canvas poking out from beneath loose grommets). The bag should fold nicely along well-constructed lines instead of looking wrinkly or crumpled when you fold its sides in and its bottom under. Stitching should be clean and uniform, with no frayed edges or loose loops. The twine at the base of the rope handles should be sturdy and tightly wound, not flimsy.
6. Do your research. Run a search for Anya Hindmarch in the Reviews and Guides section of eBay and read multiple reviewers' takes before dropping your money on what you think is an original. Some of these reviewers have taken magnifying glasses to the good, the bad, and the unforgivably fake bags, and their findings are documented thoroughly on the web. Remember, these bags are pretty rare, and could only be purchased in lots of three at a time, so it's imperative that you read up before you ante up.
7. Did you receive a designer handbag as gift? Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, but do do a little spy work to determine its authenticity. Our friends at Fashionista tipped us off to a little trick sure to earn any perpetrators lumps of coal in their stockings: buying designer boxes on eBay and filling them with fake duds. Yuck!