Fake Vs. Fact: How to Avoid Buying Designer Knockoffs – Louis Vuitton Edition

Fake Vs. Fact: How to Avoid Buying Designer Knockoffs – Louis Vuitton Edition

Louis Vuitton is one of the most counterfeited designers out there. Scammers know that there is a massive demand for their bags. With all the different lines that have come out through the years, including canvas monogram, epi, vernis, damier azur, making sure you are buying a genuine article has never been more challenging. Luckily, at Central Mega Pawn, we’ve put together a guide to help you make sure you are spending your hard-earned dollars on genuine Louis Vuitton bags. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know to avoid buying knockoff material.

An authentic Louis Vuitton bag always has the following characteristics:

  • High-Quality Materials: Louis Vuitton bags are expensive, partly because they are made out of genuine, costly materials such as top-tier leathers made from boa, crocodile, lambskin, and camel skin. Knockoffs, on the other hand, are easily recognizable by their use of pleather or vinyl, or other material that feels rough or stiff to the touch. A genuine Louis Vuitton bag feels smooth and soft to the touch, thanks to the expert craftsmanship that goes into its construction at every step of the process.
  • Trim: Louis Vuitton trim tans naturally as it ages because it is genuine material. Fakes, on the other hand, have tags that do not age or tan. If you encounter a so-called gently used Louis Vuitton bag with trim that looked worn but not aged, you have not found an authentic piece.
  • Careful Monogram placement: On genuine Louis Vuitton bags, monograms are always consistent. There will be no misalignment or incorrectly cropped monograms, and you will never encounter a seam in the middle of the genuine Louis Vuitton bag.
  • Separate Tags: These are never attached to a genuine Louis Vuitton bag. Keep in mind that even when tags are part of the purchase, they are placed within the purse itself or in the accompanying dust bag. Tags are never attached to genuine Louis Vuitton bags with plastic pins!
  • Genuine Hardware: the hardware on a Louis Vuitton bag is always an indicator of authenticity. Fake purses will very often have painted or decorated plastic tags. In contrast, an authentic piece will have gold, or sometimes, brass metal hardware engraved with Louis Vuitton bags’ trademark logo.
  • Dust Bags: All genuine Louis Vuitton bags come with a soft dust bag. While imitators may try to throw you off with nylon or plastic dust bags, real articles will come with a bag in a soft tan leather that features the trademark LV log in the center.

Do Your Research

As a savvy buyer, you should know about some basic features about the bag you are buying. For example, if you are looking for a bag in the “Speedy” line, you should know that no genuine bag has metal or gold feet on the bottom.

Whenever possible, do your research on the type of bag you are interested in. A knowledgeable buyer will be able to spot the tiny additions or changes that make knockoffs so hard to discern by other buyers.

Beware of Extra Accessories

Many Louis Vuitton knockoffs attempt to con people by throwing in fake accessories along with their counterfeit bag. To this day, authentic Louis Vuitton bags do not come with extra accessories. However, while lines like the Neverfull have the option to add a shoulder strap, it is never included as a standard purchase.

Examine Details Like Handles and Stitching

The high-quality workmanship of genuine Louis Vuitton bags is easy to spot on genuine articles. The handles and stitching are precise and durable. If your potential bag has any loose threads, the chances are good that you’re dealing with a knockoff.


The lettering on your bag is another clear indicator of a knockoff or an authentic Louis Vuitton bag. Lettering done by scammers is hasty and sloppy. On the other hand, genuine bags proudly feature clear and precise lettering that gives all their bags their signature quality. Thankfully, there are some signs you can look out for to ensure that your Louis Vuitton bag is authentic:

  • The “O” in Louis Vuitton should be perfectly round, not oval.
  • The horizontal line in the “L” should be very short.
  • The name Louis Vuitton is almost always spelled out in all capital letters. However, even on models where the brand name is not capitalized, it is done in a distinctive script that is difficult to replicate.

Don’t Fall for “Certificates of Authenticity”

Some scammers try to fool buyers by providing certificates or cards of authenticity. While genuine bags sometimes come with a white or cream-colored card on the inside with the model name and a barcode, real bags do not come with cards or certificates of authenticity.

Look for Date Codes

Since 1980, every Louis Vuitton bag comes with a date code that indicates where and when it was made. The codes are usually stamped on a leather tag on the bag’s interior or into the lining itself. However, the codes can be difficult to find, depending on the model. The codes’ structure can vary as well – some have all numbers; some have a combination of letters and numbers. Scammers try to fool buyers by sloppily stamping a serial number on the inside.

Commonly Replicated Louis Vuitton Bags

One of the many things that not only make Louis Vuitton bags so beloved but also susceptible to fraud is the fact that there are so many innovative styles and types of bags in the Louis Vuitton collection. While some styles are more frequently knocked-off than others, below is a list of the most commonly replicated bags on the black market:

  • Signature Monogram Canvas
  • Takashi Murakami Collection
  • Damier Graphite Canvas
  • Speedy
  • Neverfull
  • Alma

At Central Mega Pawn, we take every step possible to ensure that you will find only genuine articles in our shop. When you’re in the market for a genuine Louis Vuitton bag, you can rest assured that ours will be the real thing. Visit us today to see what bags we have in stock!

A Guide to Pawning or Selling Your Guitar to Your Local Pawn Shop

A Guide to Pawning or Selling Your Guitar to Your Local Pawn Shop

Guitar owners are a special kind of person. Once they start playing, they never seem to have enough guitars or accessories. But, sometimes, life happens, and guitar players need to pare down their collection due to a move or for some quick cash. Whatever the reason, if you are a guitar owner and are thinking of pawning or selling your guitar at your local pawn shop but are not sure where to start, Central Mega Pawn has you covered. Keep reading to find a guide to getting the most for your guitar at your local pawn shop.

How Pawnshops Work

If you are new to working with your local pawnshop, you should know a few things beforehand. For one, a pawnshop can only make loans against or buy items that they can resell. This means that you may not get the full amount that you are expecting. Generally, count on an offer of about 40 – 60% of your guitar and gear’s going rate, unless it is a rare specimen.

Also, every pawnshop is a reflection of the community it serves, which means that demand for guitars will be a factor in how much your pawnbroker will offer, or if they will even accept it at all. Some guitar brands can also command a higher price due to their popularity or reputation for quality, while other brands are generally avoided. Popular guitar brands include but are in no way limited to:

  • Gibson
  • Yamaha
  • Fender
  • Epiphone
  • Gretsch

Finally, pawnshops are in the business of making collateral-based, short-term loans. This means that your loan is secured by an item of value – in this case, your guitars. When you take out a pawn loan, your pawnbroker will hold on to your guitar until you repay your loan. If you do not repay, the pawnbroker takes possession of your guitar and sells it to recover the amount.

When it comes to reaching a price, feel free to negotiate with your pawnbroker. However, be sure to have realistic expectations. We will go over how to figure out a fair price a little later.


Pawning your guitar and gear is an excellent option if you need a quick, safe cash loan. Pawn loans are one of the safest kinds of loans out there. Pawn loans do not put your credit score at risk, and they do not trap you in a vicious cycle of debt like other sources of loans, such as payday advances.

Even better, you can get your guitar back when you pay your loan back on time, which is excellent news if you are not entirely ready to part with your instrument or gear just yet. Your guitar and guitar gear can be a source of quick cash whenever you need it.


Selling your guitar and gear to your pawn shop is an excellent alternative to selling online through Craigslist or Reverb websites. When you sell to a pawn shop, you get your cash in hand in minutes, unlike selling where you will have to create an account at the website, take and post photos, then deal with picky buyers who will try to lowball you, then risk your safety by meeting in public for the handoff. Selling to your local pawnshop is quick and easy.

Pawning vs. Selling Your Guitar

Pawning or selling your guitar and guitar gear is a personal decision. If you are not ready to let go of your guitar forever, a pawn loan may be your best option. If you just need the most cash possible for your gear, selling may be the way to go, as on average, a pawnbroker can offer a little more money when you sell. However, you will not get your gear back when you sell, which may be a concern if you plan to keep using your guitar, either to play or to use again and again for a pawn loan.

How to get the most for your guitars at your local pawnshop

Regardless of if you are buying or selling, here is a quick guide to getting the most for your gear:

  • Do your homework – Even if you have lots of experience with buying and selling guitars and guitar gear, it is still vital to learn as much as possible about the going rate for everything you plan on pawning or selling. While prices on guitars don’t fluctuate too wildly, the market is still vulnerable to change. So, in addition to looking around for prices at big-box music stores like Guitar Center, look at completed sales on auction sites like eBay or Reverb.
  • Clean it – Make your guitar look as beautiful as the day you took it home. The more appealing it is right off the bat, the more attractive it will be to your pawnbroker, and the more leverage you may have when it comes time to negotiate an amount.
  • Gather any and all accessories – Do you have a case, straps, amps, pedals, extra strings lying around too that you can also bear to part with? The more “complete” a set up you can offer your pawnbroker, the more they may be willing to offer.
  • Negotiate – Whether you are selling, or pawning your guitars, a skill that will come in handy is the ability and willingness to negotiate with your pawnbroker. One of the best things about working with your local pawnshop is that you may have room to negotiate the offer on your price or loan terms. This is where your research will come in handy – you will walk in knowing what it is a fair price and will be able to work knowledgeably with your pawnbroker to arrive at a price that works for everyone.

Pawnshops are members of your community. As such, they want to make connections with their neighbors and support them in times of need. Visit us today to see how we can help you get a fair price for your guitars and guitar gear.