Knock-Off Handbags are Aplenty in Miami – But the Real Deal is Always Better

We’ve read the recent headlines, “Counterfeit high-end handbags seized at Seaport,” and “$1 Million Worth of Fake Hermès and Louis Vuitton Bags Seized in One Year,” and most recently, “Coconut Grove Woman Gets Two Years in Prison For Selling Fake Handbags.” Yep, selling the fake version of the good life here in Miami is real. We chat up Consign of the Times Owner Carin Kirby (who boasts over a decade of luxury consignment business under her belt) on the issue of faux bags, why it’s bad business, and which handbag brands hold their value (yes, you read that right).

Designer impostors are a serious issue here in Miami. What should one think about before buying faux goods?

When you buy fake products, you’re basically pooing on generations of expert craftsmanship and design. You’re also sacrificing quality and longevity. But most importantly — and what most counterfeit buyers forget or choose to ignore — you may be funding things like child labor, terrorism, unsafe work conditions, hazardous materials, drug crimes, and human trafficking. Not. Cool.

Where are fakes manufactured? 

Most people would assume China, and they wouldn’t be wrong. But some high quality copies have also been snatched up recently coming in from Brazil and even Italy!

Have people tried to sell faux Hèrmes Birkins to you?

Unfortunately, yes they’ve tried. But no Birkin makes it to our floor without being professionally authenticated.

Can one profit from re-selling an authentic Birkin?

Absolutely. These bags are in high demand and very hard to get, especially if you are particular about what you want. The stories you’ve heard about people waiting months and even years are true. Most of us are not willing to wait, so Birkins are priced at a premium in the secondary market (resale world) because people will pay for instant satisfaction.

Birkins aside, what other handbags hold their value?

The Chanel classics and any Louis Vuitton Limited Edition bags like the Stephen Sprouse or Yayoi Kusama. There is a  caveat: A bag’s condition determines what someone is willing to pay for it — so take good care of your stuff!