Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Louis Vuitton Bag

Eva Thomas

Certain purchases you make in life are scary and intimidating… You might not think twice about spending $40 on an on-sale T-shirt—it's an easy purchase that won't decimate your bank account—but buying a designer handbag? Now that's something that might require a bit more thought. They often ring in at over $1000, and there's a lot you should think through before you hand over your credit card.

Since we've already outlined everything you need to know about buying a Chanel handbag, we thought we'd add another Purse 101 course into our archives, this time honing in on exactly how to buy a Louis Vuitton bag. To get some expert insight, we reached out to Ashley Ricketts, ThredUp's Luxe manager, for her know-how on what you should look out for, plus which styles to pick and which to avoid.

Ahead, Ricketts dishes her top tips on buying a Louis Vuitton bag. Trust us—once you finish reading through the guide, you'll feel much better about making a purchase.

1. Do Your Research

"Buy from a trusted reseller so you can be sure your purchase is authentic—ThredUp has trained luxury authenticators who triple-check for quality! When making an investment purchase, learn which brands and styles hold their value so you can recoup some costs later when you need a closet refresh. For this, check out ThredUp's Resale Report or browse styles online."

Louis Vuitton Crossbody Bag ($553)

Louis Vuitton Monogram Viva Cité MM ($645)

2. Think Long-Term

"When choosing your textile, vernis (patent leather) is less likely to hold up over time, and is prone to discoloration and dye transfer. Coated canvas and Epi leather will hold up better."

Louis Vuitton Multicolore Lodge Shoulder Bag ($680)

Louis Vuitton Neverfull Damier Ebene Tote ($1193)

3. Go Classic

"Select a style you'll love now and 10 years from now, like this timeless monogram Speedy bag."

Louis Vuitton Monogram Speedy 30 ($785)

Louis Vuitton Damier Speedy 25 Satchel ($855)

4. Thrift Like a Pro

"If you're buying a pricey bag, you want to make sure it's absolutely perfect! For a Louis Vuitton bag in top condition, filter by 'new with tags' and 'like new.' Save your search on ThredUp to be notified whenever new LV items are listed. When you find the perfect one, you'll be ready to pounce!"

Louis Vuitton Monogram Hudson PM ($795)

Louis Vuitton 2017 Monogram Retiro NM ($1725)

5. Consider Cost Per Wear

"Can you picture yourself wearing this bag for multiple occasions and getting lots of use out of it? While you can snag a bag at up to 90% off resale, there's still a sizable price tag attached to the most desirable items. Make sure you're getting the most bang for your buck by choosing a versatile accessory that complements your style."

Louis Vuitton Monogram Saumur 35 ($688)

Louis Vuitton Empreinte Fascinante Bag ($1295)

6. Be Price-Savvy

"The awesome thing about the internet is that you have access to so much information at the click of a button. Once you land on a style you love, make sure to search the web to ensure you're getting the best deal out there."

Louis Vuitton Damier Sauvage Impala ($513)

Louis Vuitton Epi Alma PM ($995)

7. Go with your gut

"If a deal feels too good to be true, it probably is. Make sure you're shopping from a trusted company and have educated yourself around marks of authenticity for a particular item."

Louis Vuitton 2018 Monogram Flandrin Tote ($1845)

Louis Vuitton Empreinte Pont Neuf GM ($2200)

8. Sleep on It

"This is a major investment! It's always a good idea to give careful consideration before pulling the trigger—but don't wait too long! Your cart timer will only last so long, and since every item on ThredUp is unique, coveted styles sell quick."

Louis Vuitton Croisette Handbag Damier ($1525)

Louis Vuitton Geronimos Waist Bag Damier ($670)

9. Know how to spot a fake

1. "Bags should not be lined in genuine suede/pigskin. Authentic linings include coated canvas, canvas, cross-grain leather, Vuittonite, and Alcantara."

2. "Note the stitching. This should be clean and even, and there should be the same number of stitches on any given part of two bags of the same style. Generally, the thread will be a heavy wax-coated linen fiber, not thin or weak. The thread will be yellow or brown on almost all classic styles."

3. "Look for an even pattern. Generally speaking, the monogram pattern should line up over seams and flaps and should be symmetrical from side to side. The pattern should be oriented the same way among bags of any particular style. (However, there are exceptions, especially with older styles!)"

4. "Locate the 'made in' stamp. Authentic Louis Vuitton bags should say Louis Vuitton and indicate the country of origin. Since the country can vary, ensure that the factory ID in the date code aligns with the country of origin noted on bag.

5. "Smell it! One major giveaway of a fake bag is a strong chemical odor."

Louis Vuitton Cluny Top Handle Bag Monogram Canvas BB ($1945)

Louis Vuitton Rossmore Handbag Monogram Vernis MM ($465)

Next up, the best under-$1000 Louis Vuitton handbags to shop now.

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

Read More from Who What Wear