19 Tips That Can Help You Spot a Fake Item

7 min


Counterfeit goods are a massive global issue, amounting to a staggering $461 billion in 2013 alone. Some of the most counterfeited brands include Nike, Ray-Ban, Rolex, Supreme, and Louis Vuitton. Even though knock-offs can closely resemble the real deal, there are key differences you should be able to spot.

At Lifeknowhow, we’re here to help you spot the discrepancies between genuine and fake products in popular brands. Learn how to identify fake items and protect yourself from falling for counterfeit tricks.

Nike shoes

  • Authentic Nike Air sneakers have a distinct texture hard to replicate in counterfeits.
  • The leather in genuine Nikes possesses a noticeable hardness absent in fakes.
  • Check the symmetry of the sneakers; asymmetry could indicate a counterfeit.


  • Authentic Ray-Ban lenses with plastic frames are constructed as a single piece.
  • Metal frames should have a neat and orderly central part, without protrusions.
  • Lenses are usually made of glass, but some may be plastic—check the official website.
  • Look for the engraved Ray-Ban logo on the upper right corner of the right lens.
  • Exterior temples should feature inscriptions about the manufacturer.
  • Find the item’s serial number on the left temple and the country of origin on the right.

Fila shoes

  • Original Fila shoes have slight irregularity in the stitching of the letter “F.”
  • Counterfeit shoes often have a sharp “F” at the top edges, almost touching the logo’s square.
  • Examine the toe cap’s details, ensuring equal spacing between holes; discrepancies could indicate counterfeits.
  • Check the heel logo; on genuine sneakers, it matches the logo on the tongue.

Burberry scarf

  • Genuine scarves exhibit clear lines and a dense texture.
  • Fringe yarns are neatly rolled and spaced, staying intact when touched.
  • Brand name on the attached label is written in uppercase letters.
  • The label includes details about the scarf’s country of manufacture and composition.

Gucci handbags

  • Inspect the two “G’s” on the front of the bag: Serifs should be sleek, not thick.
  • The rounded part of the “G” should form a perfect oval, not be pointed.
  • Blurry logo likely indicates a fake bag.
  • Examine stitching: Authentic Gucci bags have even stitching.
  • Uneven stitching or stitching of a different color suggests a counterfeit.

Supreme sweatshirt

  • Collar labels: Two dark red labels on hooded and non-hooded sweatshirts.
  • Larger label: Brand name with R in a circle.
  • Smaller label: Country of manufacture (Canada).
  • Inner label: Care instructions; no ironing recommendation.
  • Embroidered logos: Uniform letter placement on red part, adequate distance.
  • Inside out view: Authentic logo has fine mesh of white threads on the back.
  • Hood laces: Authentic Supreme uses flat laces, carefully tied ends.
  • Round laces, burned or different terminations indicate counterfeits.

Adidas Yeezy tennis shoes

  • Wave pattern: Original Yeezy has sideways, irregular wave prints.
  • Tongue curvature: Authentic Yeezy tongues are more curved; fakes are straighter.
  • Adidas icon size: Verify if size is consistent on both shoes; discrepancies may appear.
  • Inside stitching: Check for professional stitching; amateurish look could indicate fakes.

New Balance sneakers

  • Brand symbols: New Balance sneakers feature logos on the back, tongue, side of the sneaker, side of the sole, on the sole itself, and the insoles.
  • N logo: The side logo is a patch in the shape of the letter “N.”
  • Sole characteristics: Authentic slippers have a soft foam sole that compresses and returns to its original state, along with a rubber sole protector.
  • Insole details: Genuine New Balance shoes have perforated insoles with the logo, size, and model information.

Toms espadrilles

  • Insole verification: Check if insoles are removable; if they are, the espadrilles are likely fake. Authentic ones have sewn-in insoles.
  • Logo examination: Inspect the back logo; original brand letters are balanced and square, while fakes have pointed and unbalanced letters (especially “O”). Stitching around the label might also appear thicker on fakes.
  • Glue presence: Examine the sides for visible glue. Reputable brands avoid this, while counterfeits might exhibit glue marks.

Michael Kors Handbag

  • Cream-colored labels: Authentic bags have cream-colored labels detailing essential product information such as serial number, shade, material, parameters, price in USD, and a unique bar code.
  • Engraved brand name: The brand name is engraved on various parts of genuine bags, including magnetic clips, handle rings, clasps, carabiners, and fasteners.
  • Durable material: Authentic bags are crafted from dense materials that maintain their shape even during shipping and packing.

Guess handbags

  • Material: Authentic Guess handbags are made of genuine leather, while fakes use cheaper synthetic materials. To verify, press the fabric with your finger – real leather will show temporary wrinkles that disappear.
  • Lining: Genuine Guess bags feature a soft and noticeable lining, whereas counterfeits may have no lining or an extremely thin one, resembling paper.
  • Metal Applications: Authentic bags have sturdy, shiny metal accents with a smooth surface. Fake versions often use inferior metals that appear dull and may have surface imperfections.

Guess watches

  • Straps: Authentic Guess watches feature straps made of metal, silicone, or natural leather. Beware of a strong odor, uneven coloring, cracks, scratches, and signs of wear on the strap – these are indicators of a fake.
  • Back Details: The back of a genuine Guess watch holds crucial information – a logo with the brand name, the watch body material (typically steel), and details about the mechanism, often engraved with “Japan Movt” as Guess employs high-quality Japanese mechanisms.

Hermès handbags

  • Inside Printing: Examine the interior printing of the leather and observe the elegance of the French accent on the letter E. Counterfeit bags often have chopped-up accents. Additionally, genuine Hermès bags feature distinct separation between the letters F and R in “France,” while fakes may have them glued together.
  • Leather Strap and Stitching: Inspect the leather strap and stitching. Authentic Hermès bags showcase elegant and flawless stitching, whereas fakes may exhibit thicker and less refined stitching, especially in comparison to the original.

Lacoste polo

  • Lacoste Crocodile Logo: Authentic Lacoste crocodile logos feature clearly defined details, including visible eyes, teeth, legs, and a red mouth. The crocodile’s body is bright green, and the tail runs parallel to the back.
  • White Label at Polo Neck: Look for a white label with the logo and a red number at the base of the polo neck. Men’s models have one number, while women’s models have two.
  • Buttons: Genuine Lacoste polo shirts have mother-of-pearl buttons with two holes and no inscriptions. Replicas often use buttons with four holes, a telltale sign of imitation.
  • Side Openings: In men’s models, small openings about 1/2 inches deep appear on the sides of the polo shirt’s bottom. Women’s versions do not have these cuts.

Balenciaga shoes

  • Heel Protrusion: Authentic Balenciaga sneakers have a distinct protrusion on the heels, which is often absent in counterfeit versions due to their weaker structure.
  • Front Curve: The front of genuine Balenciaga sneakers has a noticeable curve that is more prominent than in fake versions.
  • Back Branding: Check the back of the shoe for the brand name. In genuine pairs, it should be well-centered, with consistent letter sizes and heights. Counterfeit shoes may have uneven lettering.

Pandora bracelet

  • Silver Color: Authentic Pandora silver bracelets have a slightly dull, unique tone due to a blackening technique used in manufacturing.
  • Shape and Edges: Genuine bracelets maintain their perfect shape and have well-defined edges on their striated silver cord.
  • Clasp Size and Engraving: The size of the original Pandora bracelet’s clasp is similar to that of the charms. The clasp features the engraved brand name “Pandora” with a crown above the letter “o.”
  • Secure Fastening: The clasp includes a distinctive fastening – a clover-shaped screw with four heads – ensuring a secure fit. It also bears the quality seal of the metal (purity) with the initials ALE.
  • Charms Inscriptions: Authentic Pandora charms display the brand name and the metal acronym. Since 2011, “S” stands for silver, and “G” indicates gold. Murano glass charms are free from cracks, broken parts, and air bubbles inside.


  • Arched Design: Authentic Levi’s jeans feature an arched design on back pockets, often a bow or diamond-shaped arch. Counterfeit jeans commonly replicate this feature inaccurately.
  • Stitching Color: Genuine jeans have orange stitching, while counterfeit versions may use white thread.
  • Red Tag: The red tag on original Levi’s jeans has “Levi’s” written on it. In fakes, the red tag might have the letter “R” on a plain red label.

Timberland boots

  • Sole Color and Transparency: Authentic boots have a caramel-colored sole that appears slightly transparent upon close inspection.
  • Logo and Brand Name: The company logo and brand name are printed on the sole, forming a uniform appearance. The heel part is continuous and not protruding.
  • Logo Placement: The logo is positioned on the outside, above the heel, with a vertically aligned and well-defined print.
  • Eyelets: The boots have perfectly rounded hexagonal eyelets, with 7 in men’s models and 6 in women’s models.
  • Seams: All seams on the boots are stitched with white thread, and parallel seams are clearly aligned.

Nike t-shirts

  • Nike Logo: Check the proportions and alignment of the Nike logo, as counterfeit logos often differ in angle and inclination.
  • Label Misspellings: Examine the inside label for any misspellings. Genuine Nike products wouldn’t have spelling errors, but counterfeits might.
  • Multiple Labels: Genuine Nike shirts usually have two or more sewn-in labels near the bottom, while fakes typically have only one.

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