But is it authentic?
Believe it or not, one of the best ways to know that you're getting an authentic bag is to buy from an overseas seller in luxury goods. We routinely buy authentic Louis bags from Japan and have never had a problem with the product or with the service. It it actually illegal in Japan to sell fakes (we know...it happens) and eBay sellers are required to be licensed to sell luxury goods.
While there are dozens of sellers of Louis Vuitton bags on eBay, we look for sellers that sell authentic bags in good condition and typically start auction at a low price. Most of the sellers we buy from typically start auctions at $.99 and offer free shipping.
That being said, there are a few tips we can give to know whether or not the bag you are looking at is the real deal:
How to tell if what you're getting is the real deal:
- Know the style you want.
- Look at buyer feedback
Our Experiment: Louis Vuitton Bag for Under $100
Our winning bid? $83.96 with free shipping!
We were happy....but a bit worried as well. Why had the bid ended so low?! We looked at the pictures again but everything seemed fine. There was nothing we could do but pay and wait. It actually took only a week for our bag to arrive from Japan. It was delivered Signature Required by our local post office (luckily I was home at 11:00 in the morning to sign for it...). I was a bit nervous to open it but this is what we ended up with:
Other items that could have been yours:
Cleaning Your Louis Vuitton
*Do note, I am not an expert. This is what has worked for me. If you follow my directions and ruin your bag, it is not my fault. Follow at your own risk.
- Wipe the outside your bag down with a soft damp cloth
- Using a very soft cloth (or, as we prefer, these makeup sponges) rub the cleaner over the surface of the bag. You will see the cleaner drawing off the surface dirt onto the sponge.
- If the vachetta has significant water marks or heavy wear, you can use a Magic Eraser to clean it. Just be aware that this removes the top layer of the leather and will probably cause the vachetta to darken a bit when you condition it. Using a small amount of water, rub the vachetta is light consistent strokes. Remember, slow and steady wins the race here. If you check out the pictures of my bag, you'll notice that I opted not to use a magic eraser. I liked the color and patina that it had and decided to keep it that way.
- Once your bag is clean to your standard (or as clean as it's going to get), you'll want to treat it with a high quality conditioner. Think of conditioner as lotion for leather, when leather ages it tends to dry out which, in turn, causes it to lose it's pliability and color. Many of the old Louis bag that we see have cracks (especially in the straps) that may have been prevented if their owner would have just kept them healthy and conditioned! Using a clean makeup sponge, rub a thin coat of conditioner on the bag. A little goes a long way here.
- Let the conditioner sit on the bag for a bit so the leather can soak up all it can before wiping the excess off. Hopefully you don't use enough conditioner that there is much excess to wipe off but it pays to rub a clean dry cloth over your bag anyway as excess conditioner can attract dust and dirt.
- Enjoy your beautifully clean new bag!