I will admit I've been duped before, but that experience has only given me exceptional skills at recognizing fake designer bags. While it can be difficult to overcome the excitement of encountering a purported Louis Vuitton or Chanel for a steal, you will hone your skills at discerning fakes if you try to be more discriminating and not give in to cheap copies. Here's how you do it:
1. Consider the environment. Are the bags thrown together on wall pegs? Are they jumbled on top one another in a bin? Is the store an independent hole-in-the-wall?
2. Feel the bags. Do they feel heavy or light? Is the stitching irregular and messy? Does the "leather" really feel like leather... or plastic? You will be amazed at how quickly you can discern a replica from a real bag just by holding it. If it feels smooth, luxurious, and heavy, it may be real. If it feels cheap and light, with bad stitching and a huge logo smacking you in the face, it's probably fake.
3. Study originals. Louis Vuitton never attaches tags to their bags, nor do they have dust jackets with certain logo styles. Make sure you know how a genuine designer bag is presented.
4. Is the price too good to be true? It's fake. If you aren't shopping around for a pre-owned vintage bag, then you aren't going to get a new luxury bag for a steal. People know what they have and they won't let it go cheaply. I gave in to temptation and purchased an LV that turned out to be fake. Don't let this happen to you. You will never get a real LV for under $100 dollars unless you are buying vintage or pre-owned, and even then I advocate getting profusive assurance from the seller that it's genuine. Most sellers will own up to a bag being fake if pressed. Even then, it's highly unlikely that you will get a vintage LV for so low a price. They are super hot and people will milk this for all they can.
If you want a designer bag, budget and save. Go without the daily Starbucks. Cut back on skincare products. Save your pennies. Make a special fund for your bag. You will get it at some point, so just save, save, save!