THAT 100% AUTHENTIC ANYA HINDMARCH "I'm NOT A Plastic bag" you are about to pay close to $200 for may be a $2 FAKE!
PLEASE READ ALL OF MY GUIDES!! THE OLD GUIDES POSTED BY OTHER EBAY MEMBERS MAY BE VERY MISLEADING AND YOU MAY MISTAKINGLY THINK YOU HAVE AN AUTHENTIC BAG BASED ON THAT INFO!
IMPORTANT UPDATE: MARCH 2008. I have seen FAKE bags with scalloped edge trim that looks very similar to the trim on the REAL bags. So, this is no longer an indication of a real bag. You have to look at EVERY detail to see if it is correct.
ALSO: There has been a rumor circulating that these bags are supposed to have ENGRAVED hardware (i.e., the metal rings/grommets). The authentic bags DO NOT have engraved grommets! This was incorrect information posted at "The Bag Snob" website. While MOST AH bags have engraved hardware, the I'm Not A Plastic Bags DO NOT. But there are MANY things to look for so PLEASE read ALL of my guides.
I've invested a great amount of time studying these listings, sellers, and also the bags - both authentic and good quality fakes (using a magnifying glass for the ones I have in person) and I've invested my own money in buying a number of these on Ebay for the purpose of this guide. I have not purchased ANY bad fakes, I'm investing my time and money into showing how to spot the GOOD fakes. The bad ones are easy. So far, only TWO that I have purchased on Ebay has actually been authentic and all were described as 100% authentic. Many sellers receive positive feedback on ALL of the bags they sell and they are not even good fakes so feedback can be very misleading. Some sellers also offer a money back guarantee and WILL NOT not honor it. Some WILL return your money but others won't. So don't fall for these money back guarantees!
BEFORE I say anything, I want to point out that some guides have information that applied to many of the FIRST fakes and there have many improvements made since then. You will rarely see a fake with zippers, pockets, embroidered letters, a large AH logo at the top or the longer handles. These are the BAD FAKES. I want to help people with the GOOD FAKES. The new bags are pretty close to the real thing and you have to look at the details of the bag or you may be fooled. The new fakes will pass the checklist on the old authenticity guides!
I have SIX (6) guides posted on Ebay on these bags and the other five have a lot more details and pictures so please be sure to see those. I will be doing one or two more guides in addition to these to help people keep from getting fooled by a replica. Spotting a bad knock-off is easy (just look for an upside down apostrophe or rounded letter A) spotting a good replica is a whole different story. The previous guides you have read were all based on a knock-off. I want to help people spot a good replica and you will need to read my other guides to have all the information needed to do so.
FIRST AND FOREMOST:
BEWARE OF SELLERS WHO USE THESE STOCK PHOTOS AND DO NOT INCLUDE PHOTOS OF THE ACTUAL BAG OR ORIGINAL RECEIPT, NO MATTER HOW HIGH THE PRICE IS ON THE BAG! THE SELLERS WHO USUALLY HAVE A BUNCH OF PHOTOS OF CELEBRITIES CARRYING THESE BAGS AND NO ACTUAL PHOTOS OF THE BAG IN THEIR POSSESSION (OR ONLY ONE OR TWO) ARE USUALLY SELLING FAKES! BEWARE OF THE ONES WHO SAY "ALL ASIAN BAGS ARE FAKE" or "NO FAKES HERE" AS THIS IS A COMMON SCAM TO MAKE YOU BELIEVE THEIR BAGS ARE REAL. YOU HAVE TO EVEN BE CAREFUL WITH SELLERS OFFERING ADVICE ON HOW TO SPOT THE FAKES! SOME OF THEM HAVE FAKES ALSO!
PEOPLE WITH REAL BAGS WILL SUPPLY PLENTY OF PHOTOS OF THE ACTUAL BAG IN ORDER TO SHOW ITS TRUE AUTHENTICITY.
FIND OUT HOW THE SELLER ACQUIRED THE BAG AND DEMAND AN ORIGINAL RECEIPT! STAY AWAY FROM PEOPLE WHO BUY BAGS FROM "SUPPLIERS"!
BEWARE OF ANYONE WHO HAS SOLD MORE THAN THREE (3) of these bags! The more they have listed/sold the higher the chance you will receive a FAKE!
IMPORTANT INFO REGARDING PICTURES: There are countless photos all over the internet of authentic bags, pictures of the event at Whole Foods and other stores, pictures of stacks of bags still in paper....ALL OF THESE CAN BE COPIED AND PASTED INTO A LISTING. Just because a seller has a photo of a person holding a bag at Whole Foods Market or an Anya Hindmarch store (even with Anya in the picture) does not mean they were actually there. There are countless photos like this all over the internet and they can be easily copied and pasted into a listing.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING WHOLE FOODS BAGS INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE: Anyone can walk into a Whole Foods store and buy an apple and come out with a bag. This means nothing. While it is comforting to know they have actually been IN a Whole Foods store (unlike so many sellers with these supposedly authentic bags from Whole Foods who've neve set foot in one) it in no way means they have an authentic bag.
HOW TO SPOT THE FAKES: Please be aware that well over 95% of these bags on Ebay described as 100% authentic are 100% FAKE. Do not consider making a purchase until you have thoroughly investigated how to tell the difference. The really bad fakes are old news (like the ones with embroidered letters or the large AH logo)...the new fakes are getting really close to the real thing so you have to pay close attention. All that old stuff about what to look for is actually getting out of date. The new fakes are getting good.
1. Of course, the bag should be the correct shade of blue and the canvas the correct shade of cream. The blue trim should have a certain color thread (it matches the blue material almost EXACTLY) and should be stitched in a specific location to the edge of the trim. It should also have soft gathering (ruched). The material edges should be SCALLOPED and NOT STRAIGHT across. Unfortunately, the NEW fakes have scalloped edge trim now so you have to look at EVERY detail before making a purchase if you DO NOT want an ILLEGAL item!
See the scalloped edges on the left (the real bag)? See the straight edges on the right? Also, see how the thread on the left blends in with the trim on the real bag but the thread on the right is lighter than the trim on the fake bag?
2. The letters on the front of the bag should look a certain way and this will not vary much AT ALL. I'm sure you already know this (hopefully) but the letter A (I'm not A....) should be squared off at the top. Not a HARD square but definitely squared. Any of the bags you see with a rounded top on the A are fake. BUT ALSO, the letter N should be squared off also. (I'm going to have to do a separate guide with more photos so please check back and see all 6 of my guides.)
The L in "Plastic" should look a certain way. The right side of the loop should be slightly more narrow than the left side but not TOO narrow. The counterfeiters are overcompensating for this now and are making it TOO narrow. Counterfeiters read these guides just like we do!
Also, the INSIDE of an authentic bag, where the letters are stitched on, will not have a felt-like backing. I've noticed on the fakes that you will find a light grayish (almost whitish), thin, felt-like backing behind where the letters are sewn on and it is cut around the shape of the letters. On an authentic bag, this will not be there! SEE PHOTOS BELOW!!!
Also, the craftsmanship is different in an authentic bag. Look at how smoothly the inside flap at the top lies on the real bag. On the fakes, this looks more wrinkled up. This is because the material is cut EXACTLY the length it should be in order to fit correctly.
3. The apostrophe should be long & narrow and slightly teardrop shaped with the point at the TOP. These little fat apostrophes you see are on the fakes but the apostophes are now getting much better on the fakes. Here is a photo of a good FAKE apostrophe: (Pretty scary, huh? Looks pretty real doesn't it?) But here is the giveaway...look at the I on the left, see the little piece that sticks out from it, just below the apostrophe? See how it is ROUNDED on the authentic bag and SQUARED off on the fake? (Many of the fakes have this rounded now, also, so its no guarantee)
Also, see how much longer the hole is in the I? See the space between the I and the m on the real bag on the left? See the space between this little piece that sticks and the apostrophe? See how the I almost touches the m and the apostrophe on the right side (the fake bag)?
PAY ATTENTION TO THE ANYA HINDMARCH LOGO.
The Anya Hindmarch logo at the top of the bag should look a certain way, particularly up close and should be professionally detailed. The oversized logo is on the really bad fakes. The newer fakes have the size almost exactly correct. But the QUALITY of the stitching is not the same. See the photo below? The one on the top is fake, the one on the bottom is real. See how the size is correct? See how the logo looks pretty good from this distance?:
Now look up close:
See how clearly defined the letters A & H are, even up close? See the little spaces above the H? It doesn't bleed into the ribbon. Occasionally, you may find an A and H that bleeds into the ribbon on an authentic bag so you have to look at all the other things to be certain. One thing to notice is how "clean" the the stitching is sewn. Remember, this bag was made and endorsed by one of the most highly respected handbag makers in the world. Anya Hindmarch is not going to halfway do her logo, not even a canvas grocery bag. See the magnified, close up photos below for a comparison. Occasionally, you may find an AUTHENTIC bag with a logo that is slightly off. You need to compare the other details (trim, stitching, grommets, rope handles) to confirm the authenticity of your bag. (SEE MY OTHER GUIDES FOR DETAILS AND PHOTOS)
They are the same SIZE logos, just not the same quality.
Ask the seller for a close-up photo of the logo if it is not provided. The stitching should be sharp, clean and easily defined. On some of the fakes, when you look closely or if you magnify it, it becomes fuzzy looking and undefined.
Same goes for the letters on the front of the bag. If you look INSIDE the bag, BEHIND where the letters are stitched on, you will NOT find a felt backing on an authentic bag but you WILL find this on some of the fakes. See the shading around the letters on the fake bag?
(Notice it also came with that pink Plastic Ain't My Bag card also....)
Remember, counterfeiters get in a BIG HURRY when they make these things so the details are less refined. You will notice that the stitching on the front letters is spaced nicely and it uniform. FOR THESE NEW FAKE BAGS, IT IS GETTING TO THE POINT OF IT REQUIRING A MAGNIFYING GLASS TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE. This is why so many people are being fooled. You have to pay close attention or you may be fooled by a good fake. That is why I'm including more info on the AH logo in my guide.
5. The d in "we are what we do" should not be too tall. But this is kind of outdated info as the new fakes have the d pretty much the right size now. The fakes are getting better at this but some of them are still a millimeter too tall. Of course the fonts should look a certain way but the fakes are getting so good with the font refinements and even the letter d that its really hard to tell this anymore. On the good fakes, it is almost impossible to tell much from the "we are what we do" letters anymore. The color of the ink on the fakes is usually too dark though but THE COLOR ON THE AUTHENTIC BAGS ACTUALLY DOES VARY A LITTLE WHICH IS ODD and it CAN be noticeably lighter than the rest of the blue trim. If the color on the "we are what we do" logo seems funny to you, compare all the other details and before jumping to the conclusion that the bag is not authentic. This is just about the only thing I can find that varies. I think this difference is from the first batch of these that were made as compared to the later ones BUT ALL THE OTHER DETAILS ARE CHECKING OUT TO BE THE SAME.
6. THE ROPE HANDLES SHOULD BE A CERTAIN LENGTH. From the UNDERSIDE of the top of the handle to the VERY TOP of the bag (lie the bag completely flat to take the measurements) the handle DROP should be just a notch under 5 inches to exactly 5". This could be off a couple of millimeters but not much more. The bad fake bag that I received had handles with a drop as long as 6-1/2 inches. The good fake had handles with a drop right at 5" also. Isn't this scary how good the fakes are getting?
7. DO NOT buy a bag from a seller with STOCK photos (the same photos you see repeatedly like the ones of the celebrities and the one holding the groceries or the pictures from the event at Whole Foods Market). These can be copied from anywhere. Ask the seller to provide a picture with their SELLER NAME in the PHOTO! This is proof that the seller has possession of the receipt. People will cut out around their photocopied receipt in an attempt to make it look like an original. BE CAREFUL.
8. Also, many times an authentic bag is pictured but a fake is sent in its place. Make sure the one you receive looks EXACTLY like the photo of the authentic one in the listing. If it looks different at ALL, you probably received a fake. ALSO, some sellers sell REAL and FAKE bags! They get a good reputation by selling a couple of real bags, then they start sending replicas in their place!!!
9. MOST IMPORTANTLY watch out for sellers who sell a volume of these because 99% of them are selling fakes. Even established Power Sellers. But be particulary careful of new sellers selling these in volumes or they get them from a "supplier". Even if they say "no fakes here" or "watch out for fakes" or "all Asian bags are fake". Most of the ones I see that say this are actually selling fakes! And guess what? These bags are now being purchased by investigators and turned in. SO ATTENTION SELLERS: YOU NEVER KNOW WHO IS BIDDING ON YOUR BAG. YOU MAY WANT TO READ THE NEWS, DESIGNERS ARE GETTING FED UP AND ARE TAKING ACTION. (FINALLY)
10. A COPY OF A RECEIPT MEANS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IN MOST CASES! A seller should be able to provide an ORIGINAL receipt for one of every three (3) bags they sell because only three could be purchased per receipt. There is no reason why they could not provide an original receipt for every 3rd bag they sell. If they can't do this and can't provide a LOGICAL explanation, don't take a chance. (A logical explanation is not "I get mine from the factory. This would be called A LIE.)
If they have a COPY of a receipt, that means they HAD the receipt and didn't lose it so demand an original receipt if the seller is selling volumes and has not provided an original to ANY previous buyer. If they say they lost it, this would be a big lie. They kept up with the copy but lost the original? Yeah, right. Look at their listings and see if ANY of them say that an original receipt is included. IF NOT, then they are probably selling fakes. Look at their COMPLETED LISTINGS...if they have never provided ANYONE with an original receipt, they are probably selling fakes. Actual receipts (or an electronic photo of an actual receipt) are sold to people who buy these fake bags from "suppliers". They then make hundreds of copies of it and sell hundreds of fake bags but they SHOW a photo of an actual receipt but never give it to anyone. Pay attention to what the seller is doing!
TAGS DO NOT MEAN ANYTHING EITHER!! REAL AND FAKE BAGS COME WITH TAGS, BOOKLETS, EVERYTHING!!
11. A HIGH PRICE does not mean the bag is authentic. While you are more likely to find an authentic bag with a high price, I have seen some fakes being listed and sold for high prices and I assume this is an attempt to fool the buyer into believing it is authentic based on the price. It apparently is working because I see probable fakes selling for top dollar.
12. When you see "100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEED" you need to pay attention to the word "satisfaction". What they are saying is that you will THINK the bag is real and you will be satisfied. This in no way guarantees the bag to be authentic. As a matter of fact, the overwhelming majority of listings where I see with these words are fake bags. This is a standard line used in counterfeit bag sales. They believe their bag will fool the average individual so therefore they will be "satisfied".
13. I would also like to point out one thing that bugs me that I see in listings...its the ones who say "ALL ASIAN BAGS ARE FAKE". This is incorrect. While MOST are fake (the overwhelming majority) they obviously aren't ALL fake because some bags were specifically made for Hong Kong (Gray) and Japan (Green) and the last time I checked, Japan and Hong Kong were in Asia. Because of this, I have a hunch there are some Asian folks with authentic bags and they should not be penalized. Just make sure you know what you are buying and be VERY CAREFUL if you are buying a bag from Asia (particularly CHINA) because the overwhelming majority of them are FAKE. But many US sellers use this line to try to make people believe because they are in the UNITED STATES, their bags are real. I SEE AS MANY FAKES BEING SOLD FROM US SELLERS AS I DO FROM ASIAN SELLERS. DEMAND A PHOTO of the ORIGINAL RECEIPT to be emailed to you or posted in the listing from the seller with their SELLER NAME in the photo. Some sellers say they just won't post a photo of their original receipt in the listing for fear that it will be copied. Well, they can do what I did and make it difficult to be copied - I included my seller name next to the receipt and my receipt had an identifiable signature on it in BLUE INK. Ask them to SIGN the receipt in FRESH BLUE INK. Also, you should be able to tell a photocopy from an actual receipt. An actual cash register receipt will have started to yellow by now. And these Anya Hindmarch receipts you see with the red stamp on them are pretty much all fake. This red stamp is a big trick.
14. BEING A POWER SELLER MEANS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING except you will have a better chance of getting a refund on a fake bag. But this has absolutely nothing to do with the authenticity of the bag. It only means the seller has sold $1,000 or more of ANYTHING a month, for three consecutive months. They can sell ALL COUNTERFEIT ITEMS AND STILL BE A POWER SELLER.
15. EXCESSIVE SHIPPING CHARGES are very common for sellers with counterfeit bags. The actual postage will be around $4.90 to $6.40 for Priority Mail. $20 or more is outrageous for a bag that only weighs a couple of ounces. Most sellers with $20 or higher shipping are selling fakes. The higher the shipping, the higher the odds that they are selling a fake. These people offer a money back guarantee MINUS S&H and they have figured their profit into the S&H amount so they aren't out a dime. These fake bags only cost them a couple of dollars. This is a SCAM. AVOID these sellers.
16. These fake bags literally only cost a few dollars, why else do you think some sellers can sell them for $19.99 (or even a PENNY!) while claiming they are authentic and come with the receipt? Only a lunatic would sell a bag valued at over $100 (or much more) for $19.99 or less.
17. If you see one of these bags covered in white plastic or clear plastic, they are fake. Does it make sense logically that a bag that was created to REDUCE the use of plastic bags would come packaged in one?
18. Of course it should be the correct size but the thing is most people just copy the dimensions listed at the websites that had the authentic bags, they aren't actually breaking out a tape measure, so, in many cases the size may be listed correctly but the bag may not actually be that size. Also, someone with an authentic bag may just measure their bag incorrectly. So, the size mentioned in the listing is not a very accurate gauge but you do want to at least try to confirm the size.
19. Purple/Lavender bags: If seller has one of these listed and the price is under $150 it is most definitely a fake. These bags, authentic ones, are selling for hundreds of dollars and are about as hard to get your hands on as the Hope Diamond. If you see a seller with a lavender bag listed and the price is low, this is as good an indicator that their bags are fake as you will find. I'm sure you already know this if you have read the guides but these were very limited (only 200 were sold) and they originally sold for $160US. So, ask yourself why anyone would list one for 99 cents....or $49.99...or $99 for that matter.
Also, ask yourself this question: Why would anyone stand in line, in the rain, for HOURS to get a bag they want SO much, pay $15 PLUS TAX ($16-$17) and then turn around and sell it for $30? Does this make sense logically? And what are the odds that HUNDREDS of people are willing to do this? HUNDREDS of these bags are selling on Ebay every single day. USE COMMON SENSE!
20. I'm sure this is a "Duh" thing to mention but if you see ANY bag in any other color besides Navy, Brown, Gray, Green or Lavender, it is fake. Also, the color should be correct, the Blue is not bright royal blue, it is dark blue with some brightness to it but not INK dark blue. The brown is not a deep espresso brown, it is a medium chocolate brown color. I will be posting a detailed look at a fake UK Brown bag soon.
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I'm very sorry but a personal authentication from me on these Anya Hindmarch bags (as I do with Kooba handbags) would basically just be based on my opinion, as the good fakes are almost impossible to tell from photos unless clear, close-up photos are provided. I would be using the same information I have provided above and putting all the pieces of the puzzle together. I think you could use all the information I have provided along with the information provided in the other guides by other Ebay members to authenticate the bag yourself. But if you need assistance, please contact me.
These canvas bags are NOT like quality leather handbags that are easy to spot when they are counterfeit. These canvas bags require basically common sense on whether or not they are real or not and on the good fakes may require a magnifying glass or camera with an accurate, precise magnifying function.
NOTE: If you found this guide to be helpful, please take a moment to register your vote below. I have worked very hard on studying these bags and listings to provide this service to fellow Ebayers and I do like to know that my efforts have been helpful.
THANKS SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ MY GUIDE! DON'T FORGET TO REGISTER YOUR VOTE BELOW!
PLEASE SEE PART 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 OF THIS GUIDE FOR SOME VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND NEW UPDATES!!! GUIDES 7 & 8 WILL BE POSTED SOON!!!!
REPORT ALL THE FAKE BAGS YOU SEE BY USING THE "REPORT THIS ITEM" LINK AT THE BOTTOM OF EACH LISTING!! THEN CHOOSE "SEND EMAIL" TO SEND THE ITEM NUMBER!!