It was in the 1920s that Guccio Gucci opened a small leather goods shop in Florence, Italy. The inventory's craftsmanship and use of high quality leather quickly earned Gucci an international reputation. These days, Gucci is one of the most sought-after designer brands. A genuine, full-size Gucci speciality bag carries a price tag of several thousand dollars. So it pays to learn how to spot fake or replica Gucci products.
Be selective about where you shop for Gucci products. Downtown garment districts and street vendors surely are not selling high-end original Gucci. Purse parties, unauthorised websites and mall kiosks are other common suspects for faux Gucci. If you buy from a Gucci store or an authorised department store, you are going to get 100 per cent authentic Gucci. Consult the Gucci website (see Resources below) for a list of authorised Gucci dealers.
Check the logo. For every genuine Gucci product out there, there are thousands of Cucchis and Gucis. Compare the logo lettering, size, placement and direction with those on the authentic pieces posted on the Gucci website. Fake Gucci sunglasses are notorious for having backwards Gs or for having Gs that look like Cs. In Gucci bags, the logo is on the inside. On Gucci wallets, check that the logo is placed well and not crooked. The logo should be imprinted on the fabric rather than just printed on the surface.
Look for an authenticity card. The card usually has the Gucci logo embossed on it, as well as specs about the Gucci product. It may have a magnetic strip holding a bar code. In Gucci bags, there should be a leather tag printed with a serial number along the zipper seam. When bags are sold on eBay, there should be a photograph of the tag and its serial number. Gucci wallets also come with authenticity cards, as well as a serial number that is printed on the leather lining the wallet. The code only consists of numbers, no letters.
Examine the materials. Authentic Gucci products are made with top-of-the-line materials. The stitching should be even and tight, with no missing stitches. The thread colour on the stitches should match the principle colour in the bag's design. For leather products, the logo should be engraved rather than printed. Hardware should be solid and tightly attached.
Note the accessories. Many a real Gucci handbag comes with a host of extras, depending upon the model. A dust bag or Gucci box are pretty standard. If the Gucci item comes wrapped in plastic rather than in a box, it's a warning sign of a fake. Consult the Gucci website to determine which extra pieces are supposed to come with specific styles.
Vintage stores often carry authentic Gucci products that are a season or two out of style.
Buying a counterfeit bag is illegal. Instead, try a bargain replica bag that is inspired by Gucci design, as opposed to a direct copy.