Prada Handbags: How to Spot a Fake

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What is it about women's handbags, anyway? We're all attracted to them and some women are, shall I use the term, almost addicted to buying them. (You know who you are.) Anyway, we all want to be sure that we are carrying the right one, the best-looking, most fashionable one.

You want a Prada bag, of course. Well, how do you spot a fake?

If you are thinking of making your next handbag purchase on Canal Street (NYC), at a flea market or at a home shopping party, you can be pretty sure you are not buying an authentic Prada purse. OK, you have picked it up, examined the logo ( the triangle with the name Prada in it) the stitching and the pattern. Looks pretty good. You open it. The lining looks good. It might even have a tag that says "Made in Italy" and a serial number. Now you're sure this is the real thing and it fell off a truck.

You're not alone in being duped. Some knock-offs are so authentic-looking, even the experts can be confounded. Some of these bags even come with authentic-looking packaging, those protective cloth bags that real designer bags come in.

The Internet is a big source of knock-off Prada bags. Some websites will tell you that the bags are Prada "inspired". That's the tip-off that you're not getting the real thing. A trickier area might be bags sold on eBay.
Although the official policy of eBay is to not accept knockoffs, it may be difficult to determine if the seller is offering an authentic designer bag or a replica.

So, here's the deal. If you want the real thing you must go to a real store or to the website of a major, reliable retailer. is the place to start. (And while you're at it check out the shoes from their Spring 2010 collection. Wow!)

Anyway, back to handbags. You can buy an authentic Prada handbag at Saks, Neiman Marcus, and Bergdorf Goodman. The bags come in many fabrications, including nylon, leather and mink! They are priced accordingly. You might pay $700 for a nylon bag, $850 for a small leather hobo or $4,950 for mink. Knock yourself out!