To determine if a handbag is authentic, check its materials, workmanship and tags. While many fakes look like the real thing, they are easy to spot for the knowledgeable consumer.

If a designer bag is supposed to be made of leather, the material should feel dry to the touch, not sticky or greasy. It should also smell like real leather, not like glue or chemicals. The same rules apply to the leather trim on a canvas bag. Zippers and other accents should match the color of the bag and move easily. Any tarnished buckles or zippers may indicate the bag is a fake.

Designer bags are carefully stitched together. Loose threads, uneven stitching and heavy globs of glue are red flags. Logos and designs on the bag should follow an even pattern, and should always be spelled correctly. The interior of the bag should reflect the design of the original bag. Liners in a different shade, or those missing the correct interior pockets indicate the bag is a knock-off.

Ageneral rule of thumb when it comes to purchasing designer bags is: if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Consumers should be wary of bags with heavily discounted prices, or bags sold online with unclear pictures.