I thought I would write a guide on how to spot a fake Vivienne Westwood handbag because the majority of bags I see on ebay are fake with sellers spinning some yarn about sample sales etc. It is obvious from the feedback that the buyers actually believe they are buying the real thing. I understand that not everyone can afford to pay the full price of a Westwood bag, but these sellers are selling the fake bags at a fantastic profit since most of the bags originally cost between £30-50 direct from China. Hopefully this review will help in your decision making when buying a Westwood bag off ebay.
Firstly I would recommend checking on viviennewestwood.co.uk to see what the genuine bags look like and what colours and styles they come in. I am aware of only one website that sells fakes (viviennewood.com), so check this website too to compare the look of the bag with what you see on ebay and get an idea of how much more the fake bags are actually going for on ebay!
Recently a lot of ebury bags have become available, so I will focus my guide on this range. In all the attached photos, the black bag is fake and the red bag is a genuine Westwood bag bought at the Manchester store.
1) Notice how the fake metal orb has a very straight cross where it joins the planet and that the circle inside the cross is very small. In contrast, the real orb on the red bag curves when it joins the planet and the circle fills the centre of the cross. The shape of the Saturn ring is also very different. This distinction makes it very easy to spot the fake bags on ebay because the majority for sale have straight crosses.
2) The zips are also a big indicator. Most bags on ebay have the metal zig zag zip tags as shown on the black bag below. These were never used on the ebury bags, which instead have a metal oval containing her signature attached to a leather tag as shown on the red bag. To my knowledge all fakes have the metal zig zag zips or a plastic loop with Vivienne Westwood embossed, so any bag with these styles make me suspicious. That is not to say that the zig zag style hasn't been used on Vivienne Westwood bags in the past, but is rarely seen on recent style bags.
3) The dust bags are also very different. The top white bag in the picture below is a real dust bag and is very fluffy and great for polishing your bag. The bottom grey one is the fake and is a very coarse, thin material.
4) If you are buying the bowling bag style, the little metal feet on the bottom of the bag containing the orb logo are very different in size. Real bags have feet about 1.5-2cm in diameter. The fakes are half the size and look far too small for the bag.
Finally, the fake bags claim to be patent leather. They are not. Both the bags in the photos are mine and the fake black bag's handles started splitting very soon after buying. It was obvious that the bag was also not leather because the bag stunk of plastic and was very floppy, even though it was sold to me as being patent leather. Genuine ebury bags are very solid and rigid.
Once again, I understand that not everyone can afford the prices of real Westwood bags, after all, I bought a fake handbag. But I hope this review will help save people from disappointment should they inadvertently buy a fake thinking it is the real thing.
Hi all. I have recently noticed (as of June 2011) that a lot of fake bowling bags now have the oval Vivienne Westwood signature zip pulls, making them harder to distinguish from the genuine article. However, the orb is still the same on the fakes, making the fakes easy to spot with the straight cross above the orb (as opposed to being more curved) and the small central circle within the cross. These new style fakes appear in patent plastic material and so far I have noticed them for sale in either red or sparkly black (sometimes for buy it now prices as high as an original would cost!). The picture below is of one of these new style fakes to help you in your decision. Unfortunatley, however, I would estimate that 90% or more of the bags on ebay are fakes, so please be careful to avoid disappointment.
This link below is an ebay listing for this new style of fake. This person has actually included one picture of a genuine bag to make people believe they are buying the real thing (photo 2 of the bag within the netting). But compare the orb design on this real bag to picture 4 (close up of the orb showing an obviously fake logo and plastic looking bag).