How To Check Your Used Luxury Hermès Handbag for Authenticity

Luxury handbags are highly coveted items for many fashion enthusiasts, and none are more sought after or difficult to find than Hermès bags. With a notorious quota system and the infamous “Hermès game,” it can be virtually impossible to buy an Hermès bag brand new from the boutique, driving many to purchase them secondhand, despite the increased price point.

The value of a used Hermès bag is actually much higher than the retail value of an Hermès bag purchased directly from the store due to their rarity. Used Hermès Birkins and Kellys — the brand’s most popular styles — can be double or even triple the recommended retail price, costing tens of thousands of dollars (or even hundreds of thousands, in the case of exotic materials). Therefore, when buying a pre-owned Hermès handbag, it’s crucial that you make sure you’re purchasing a 100 percent authentic purse. Although nothing beats professional authentication, here are four key ways you can verify your pre-owned Hermès handbag for authenticity.

Check the Size and Shape

One of the first things to consider when authenticating a used Hermès handbag is its size and shape. Hermès Birkins and Kellys are known for their distinct shape and structure, so ensure the proportions are accurate before purchasing. 

Hermès Birkin and Kelly bags are named according to their base length. For example, the Birkin 25 should measure 25 centimeters across and the Kelly 35 should measure 35 centimeters across. Birkins come in only six sizes: the Birkin 25, 30, 35, 40, 42, and 50. The Kelly comes in eight sizes: the Kelly 15, 20 (also known as the Mini Kelly), 25, 28, 32, 35, 40, and 50. If your bag doesn’t measure to one of these exact sizes, it can be safely assumed to be a counterfeit.

Examine the Stitching

Hermès bags are handmade by artisans in France, and there are strict quality control standards before the bags are released to be sold. As such, every authentic Hermès bag will have incredibly precise, even stitching. If you notice uneven, askew, or popped stitching, the bag may be a counterfeit Hermès.

Hermès also employs a type of stitching called “saddle stitching.” In this method, two needles create double rows of stitches in a single row of holes, creating a durable yet clean final look. If you only notice one row of stitching, this could be another sign that your Hermès bag is fake.

Inspect the Logo

The Hermès logo is another critical element to check for when authenticating a pre-owned luxury handbag. Hermès bags, especially Birkins and Kellys, have a heat stamp on the bags that read “Hermès Paris Made in France.” This stamp should have a perfectly consistent, centered, and evenly-spaced font with all words spelled correctly. “Made in France” should be printed in slightly smaller lettering than “Hermès Paris.”

If the stamp contains typos, is off-center, is pressed deeply into the leather, or otherwise looks irregular, it’s possible the bag may be fake. It can also help to look up examples of the heat stamp online to ensure that the font is the same, even if it appears centered and even.

Verify the Date Stamp

Another important stamp to inspect is the date stamp. Also called the blind stamp, these date stamps are a serial number that indicates the date of production and artisan’s mark. The location of the stamp will vary depending on the bag’s style, but it is typically found under the top flap or inside the interior pocket.

In a counterfeit Hermès bag, the date stamp will either be incorrectly formatted or missing entirely. You can search for the Hermès date stamp handbook online, which will show you how your Hermès date stamp should be formatted according to the bag style and the year manufactured.

Counterfeit handbags are becoming more and more realistic, giving rise to the “superfake” industry. If you’re not confident in your ability to determine the authenticity of a pre-owned designer handbag — or even if you are — it’s always best to bring it to a trained handbag authentication professional. At Watch & Wares, our team of experts authenticates all pre-owned luxury handbags that we purchase so you can shop with peace of mind. All of the bags that we have available are guaranteed to be authentic and have been personally verified in-house. We also offer handbag spa services so you can rejuvenate your secondhand Hermès and restore it to its full glory before bringing it home. 

Whether you’re searching for an Hermès Birkin or a Chanel classic flap, we have some of the most sought-after pre-owned luxury handbags on the market. Give Watch & Wares Couture a call at 714-633-2030 or fill out our online contact form to inquire about a specific bag or schedule a free appraisal appointment today.