I am a website developer, eBay trading assistant, work-at-home mum, writer and crafter.
Authentic Prada handbags are a luxury not afforded by everyone.
For those who seek the opportunity to purchase a designer item, knowing how to spot a 'good' fake from a genuine product is not going to be easy.
As an eBay trading assistant, I have bought and sold many expensive products over the years, and I have seen my fair share of really bad replicas and some quite good ones. The point being made is that the illegal producers of products are very good at polluting our online markets with counterfeit items, masking them to be the original.
It is time to put an end to this; if we cannot ourselves stop the manufacture, at least let's educate ourselves on how to spot a fake Prada handbag, wallet, or pair of shoes so that we no longer financially support these fraudulent businesses.
Never get fooled again. Sure it's tempting to take advantage of an incredibly low-priced, genuine 'looking' designer handbag like Prada. If you cannot afford to buy brand new from a Prada flagship store, and you are searching for a preloved item that is 100% the real deal, equip yourself with knowledge.
Here you will be able to learn to tell the very subtle differences between the real genuine article and a really good, or sometimes terrible fake. It could ultimately save you thousands of dollars and a lot of heartache.
Certificate of Authenticity
All genuine, brand new, Prada handbags come with two authenticity cards. One will be paper and the other a plastic credit card-like card, typically in a small black envelope. The latter not only holds details of the bag style but also its serial number.
Look out for a white dust bag to house your new addition in. This will be white and has a soft felt-like feel.
The front of the bag will have a black Prada logo on it, and it will have a drawstring closure.
The tag inside the bag itself should be labeled with 'Prada' and will also state 100% Cotton, and 'Made In Italy.'
Be aware that older style dust bags were navy blue with Prada printed in gold. If someone tries to sell you a brand new handbag with a dust bag of this description, then it is fake.
If the dust bag looks different from any of the above descriptions, or is not present with a new bag, the bag is not genuine.
Remember though, if the bag is preloved, the cards and dust bag may not have been kept by the original owner. You can try asking for a receipt too.
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Not only are the external materials of a Prada handbag of the utmost quality, but so too is the lining.
Authentic Prada bags have a lining that can come in one of three materials:
- Prada signature fabric
- Smooth calf leather
Regardless of the material used, the word ‘Prada’ and a symbol that looks like a sideways letter “S”, or figure 8, will always appear. This will be repeated horizontally over the lining.
Watch out for misspellings of the word Prada also.
If any stitching appears to be loose, misaligned, messy, or just all over the place it will definitely not be the real deal.
A genuine Prada product has perfect stitching, is very neat, always aligned, and is nice and small.
Hardware, or buckles and external additions typically come in three colors:
If you see a bag with a combination of any of these colors or something different it is not genuine.
Prada handbags are manufactured using the highest quality materials and can include:
- Buffalo Leather
- Deer Skin
- Wild Boar Skin
- Suede, Satin, or Nylon
- Leather: patent, polished, textured, full-grain
- and even Ostrich.
Logo Outside of the Bag
A signature identifier of a Prada handbag is its triangle logo. This is usually placed in the middle of a bag in the front or on the side.
Pay close attention to the placement and spacing of the letters of the word Prada. They will always be evenly spaced on a genuine article, and if the logo is a plaque, it will be engraved, not printed on.
Furthermore, the letter R in the word Prada will have its right leg curved a little. If it is a straight R, it will be fake. If it has a little curve on the R just before it meets with the letter A, then it is authentic.
Logo Inside the Bag
There will always be a plaque on the inside of the bag, attached to the lining.
It will always state "Prada Made in Italy" and it will be metal.
- It will be firmly attached to the lining on all sides
- It will have 4 round corners
- There will be a piece of backing material underneath the plaque which you will be able to feel
- The wording will be raised
- The color will match or be very close to the color of the lining
A plastic or fabric tag is a sign of a fake Prada. Also, if the tag says anything other than the phrase mentioned above, it is fake.
As always, the best way to ensure you are buying a genuine Prada product is to purchase it from a genuine flagship store, or a department store. And buy brand new. If you are looking for a preloved product and you are buying online, try to follow the above-mentioned guide to ensure you are not buying a fake.
There is no doubt that Prada handbags are popular because they are made from quality materials and carry quality features.
Authenticity card, stitching quality, logos, matching colors throughout, engraved Prada name with a curved R, and overall quality materials are all good signs that your product is genuine.
Remember also that if the bag is being advertised as new and has a ridiculously low price, ask a lot of questions before even considering buying this. No one, no matter who they are, will 'give away' a genuine Prada bag for peanuts.
If you prefer to feel and inspect a Prada item before buying, scour local opp shops or thrift shops. Some ladies who are fortunate enough to afford these kinds of designer bags often like to regularly donate their items as they buy new ones, so you may just spot the bargain of the century in your local donation shop today. It will have more chance of being genuine than the stand at the local market that has a sign-up advertising '50 brand new Prada bags all for $20'.
© 2012 WorkAtHomeMums
Nini on October 23, 2018:
I bought a red Prada bag in Bicester , London last month on our vacation. While reading the original and fake Prada...it says that authentic Prada bag must have dust bag but unluckily no dust bag inside ...any comment please..thanks
Geri Noland on May 18, 2017:
My bag says Prada with Milano under prada and that is inside. But everything else is Right. The outer Triangle has the curve in the R. There is a tag with a D on one side and 7 on the other.
Dawn on April 15, 2016:
I found a red leather wallet with Prada logo on it at a charity resale shop with the bulk of items donated by very affluent ladies. The R is curved, but the inside lining of the wallet doesn't have any pattern or the name Prada on it. Does anyone know if wallets have a "watermark" style red fabric, or do authentic Pradas have the words printed on the fabric. Anyone know how to authenticate, or is there a company that will do a paid authentication via photos? Thanks!
Ranjeet on January 09, 2015:
$500 less? Wow, sounds dodgy to me, hehe. No, it's aywals good to buy designer handbags that are on sale. Me, I only dream to have at least 1 in each signature handbag. So, looks like I have to work hard all my life to be able to make this dream come true.
Jhona _501 on January 05, 2015:
i bought an 80's nylon quilted bag in a thrift shop in our country so it doest have the authenticity card and all the cards that should go with it.plus the the letter R of the prada don't have curve,and no serial nos.also.My bag have excellent stitching,excellent hardwares and zippers but the zippers don't have name except the letter T and 1 on it.it has a horizontal lining with prada all over with the S or 8 things too. But ive search around and i saw a bag just like mine and someone said its real despite.The comment said its like that because it is vintage and prada back then is not consistent with their fonts so the newer items this days bore serial nos. to combat counterfeiters.What do you think?
Esme D on July 14, 2013:
Well the one comment of quality leather is accurate, as for the authenticity card I couldn't say. BUT! I was in my prada store looking at everything, from bags, shoes, belts, wallets, etc... Also had a lengthy conversation with 2 SA's. The bags, shoes, and wallets had NO serial numbers. Also it was explained that only some items remained made in italy. Other countries of manufacturer were explained was Romania, Spain, and even China. Also examination of these items, including Gucci, Hermes, Louis Vuitton as well all seemed imperfect. The stitching was NOT perfect on most. It was explained that anything handmade will have flaws in leather and stitch. Just a little FYI from someone who shops, handles, and has good relationships with all these brand in my city. Too much misleading info is floating around these types of items and its just silly.
aboutaustralia from Newcastle, New South Wales on February 22, 2013:
This is such a great hub. So many people could benefit from reading this. Thanks for sharing your information. There is also an article here: http://wholesale-australia.com/wholesale-bags/ which some of your readers might be interested in. Thanks again.
WorkAtHomeMums (author) from Australia on September 30, 2012:
That's a shame. I hope your friend did not spend too much money then.
Thelma Alberts from Germany on September 30, 2012:
Thank you for this informative hub. Now I know how to spot a fake Prada and I have inspected my Prada bag which I have received from my friend. It´s fake I should say but I don´t mind. I did not buy it anyway. Thanks for sharing.