Replica Luxury Bags: Is it OK to buy them?

by | Jul 28, 2018 | Femme Finds, Shopping & Hauls | 0 comments

Replica luxury bags can be a great alternative for shoppers who love the look of a specific designer bag. But what if you are unwilling or unable to pay upwards of $2,000 or more for a purse? There are a lot of arguments both for and against purchasing replica bags. But the question remains: is it OK to purchase one?

I admit that I have purchased replica bags in the past. But now that I can afford them I find them as a fun goal to work towards. However, I understand both sides of the argument and will outline my personal opinions here. Feel free to read and draw your own conclusions.

Reasons Why Someone Might Purchase Replica Luxury Bags

Often, the main reason someone will buy a replica of a bag is because they cannot afford the price tag. But there are plenty of reasons why a customer would choose to go the replica route such as:

  • Simply cannot afford an authentic bag
  • Have ethical qualms with a specific company
  • Not a fan of the materials that a bag is made with (such as leather)
  • Like the overall look of a bag but it is not offered in a color that they would like
  • Authentic version of a bag is too small/too big and need a custom size
  • Not willing to spend large amounts of money on an item they do not plan to take care of
  • Wanting to try a style of bag before purchasing an authentic version

There are even more reasons why someone would purchase a replica over an authentic bag. One woman stated that she purchased a replica bag because she lived in a rainy environment & didn’t want to worry about getting water spots on an authentic version. I have heard mothers state that while they could afford an authentic bag, they didn’t want to pay $4K for an item that would be destroyed by their children in a few months.

My point being, not everyone purchases a replica simply because they cannot afford an authentic bag. Sometimes a replica is just the more practical/ethical choice available. Also, if customers want something and a company isn’t filling that need, then the customer will take their money to someone who can.

Are Replica Luxury Bags Worth The Money?

Replica bags come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges. Some replica bags can cost darn near 1/2 the price of an authentic one. But is it worth the smaller investment in the long run? Lets look at the facts:

  • A replica, no matter how well made will never be a 100% copy of an authentic bag
  • Materials used in replicas will not be the same as those used in an authentic bag
  • Some luxury brands offer repairs and guarantees with their items, which you won’t get with a replicas
  • People who purchase replicas are often more likely to purchase authentic bags in the future
  • If you are interested in slow fashion, it is better to pay more for an authentic item that will last a lifetime than multiple replicas

Replica Luxury Bags, while becoming harder to spot, are never going to have the same quality as an authentic item. They all have flaws and (quite frankly) tend to fall apart over time. This creates a feedback loop in buying replica purses. As someone who has bought both, I can honestly say that I probably would have saved more money in the past by just saving and buying an authentic bag instead of purchasing multiple replicas.

That being said, there are some replica makers who do put extra work into sourcing their materials and build beautiful bags for a quarter of the price – if you can find them!

Is It Unethical to Purchase a Replica Luxury Bag?

That would depend on your personal code of ethics. (Note: A replica bag is always going to be an infringement on a designer’s copyright.)

There are a few ethical reasons why a customer would rather choose Replica Luxury Bags over an authentic item:

  • No Vegan or Cruelty Free Options – some authentic bags do not have a faux leather or fur option available. Most replica bags are often made of non-leather parts to keep keep costs down.
  • Human Rights ViolationsPrada, Hugo Boss and Dolce and Gabbana are known luxury brands whose supply train is littered with paying unlivable wages to their workers. There are many replica sellers who make their bags by hand. Some of these replica companies are family owned and operated and take great pride in their work.
    • Know who you are buying from: large, unchecked replica companies can be known for funding organized crime; however, if you know the right subreddits and groups to look for, you can find small independently own replica makers.

Ethics in fashion is not a new thing. While more companies are making great strides towards becoming better to their workers, not everyone is so friendly.  There are certain companies that I would never purchase an authentic item from until they change their ways. Even if I can afford them.

“I don’t look at my bags as a status symbols, but as things I worked hard for.”

Conclusion: Is Purchasing A Replica Luxury Bag OK?

My honest personal opinion is that you should always shop in the price range that you can afford. If you cannot afford an authentic luxury item, but really want one, shop around the pre-loved market and see if you can find something you love. If you can’t afford pre-owned, then I would prefer someone purchase replica luxury bags than spend money that they don’t have on an authentic luxury item.

I know some people complain that when someone purchases a replica bag, it devalues their item or makes it worthless. All I can say is that my Louis Vuitton Pochette Metis is just as valuable to me even though I know that there are replicas out there. I don’t look at my bags as a status symbols, but as things I worked hard for. Every time I carry them I think about how far I have come. Between putting myself through school and paying down all of my student debt, I’m proud I can afford these items!

What I can say is that I never would have purchased an authentic Pochette Metis if I hadn’t first owned a replica of it and loved it so much. So if anything, I can say that my purchase of a replica did lead to a legitimate purchase from the Louis Vuitton brand in the future, which would never have happened if I had never owned a replica.

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Note: All links in this post are un-sponsored, and I received no compensation of any form if you click on them. These are just helpful links for you to follow to help you find great quality handbags at more affordable prices.