Let me give you a little advice about shopping for bags in the thrift store. I’ve provided information about this before, and I’ll go back and tag it better with “thrifting advice” and “bag shopping advice.”
When you’re looking, do so calmly. No talking. If you see something you like, put it in your cart or over your arm – calmly. Don’t get excited when you see a brand like Marino Orlandi. Don’t talk out loud, saying things like, “Wow!” “I wonder if this is real?” “Oh my gosh!” and so on. Just put it down and finish your shopping. If you find something phenomenal like a Marino Orlandi patent leather croc-embossed tote, take it and the other bags you may have seen and find a quiet spot where you can sit down.
Take the bag and examine the exterior. Get your phone and google the brand. Many high-end brands have blog posts with photos of real vs. fake to help you analyze your bag. Fundamental questions include: Are the logos clean or slightly messy? Are they straight or crooked? Is the stitching tight, or are pieces coming unraveled? If it’s leather, is the leather supple or stiff? Test the zippers. Are they smooth or difficult to open and close? What about the zipper pulls? Here is where fakes go cheap. Is branding clean and perfect? Look for YKK zippers or zippers of similar quality, which I refer to as butter.
Moving inside – check the brand tag. Is it made of the same material as the bag? It should be. What about the lining? Quality bags make their lining, and it’ll have the brand in the fabric.
This gorgeous bag shows all the signs that it is authentic. If it isn’t, it’s an excellent fake. Little touches like the bound ends on either side of the zipper and five feet to protect the bottom, in addition to the fact that it’s a used bag in excellent shape, indicates authenticity. When I see fake Coach bags or Dana Buchman or the like, they look like… well, they don’t hold up well.
I found this bag earlier this year during the early days of the giveaway at the Woodlawn Goodwill for $10. And I qualify for the senior discount – which is lit when 50 and up makes me a senior because I’ll take that discount! – so it was even less. YES!!!
I can’t wait to get to the thrift stores when the time is right. I know I have a pile of stuff to take in! But hey, they might burn it all for safety.