SIU Today Summer 2021 - 9

AUTHENTICATING HANDBAGS
AND AREA RUGS
By Doug Davis, Haley Bliss, & Amanda Skidd CIFR, FCLA, CFE
Handling personal property claims can be intimidating when
encountering luxury or unfamiliar items. Working with a local
authenticator, appraiser or property restoration professional
can be helpful in determining what an item is worth as well
as its authenticity. A fake designer handbag will not have
anywhere near as much value as an authentic one and may
not be made of the same materials, making restoration after
damage difficult or impossible. To the untrained eye, area
rugs can also be a challenge to assess. Whether an adjuster
or an investigator, a little knowledge can go a long way in
determining what is owed after a loss. Restoration company
FRSTeam's account managers Haley Bliss and Doug Dais were
able to share some of their knowledge about high end handbags
and rugs.
While handling property restoration, what purses/
bags do you see most counterfeited most often?
Louis Vuitton and Coach bags are the most counterfeited handbags
FRSTeam comes across on claims.
As a consumer, what would I want to look for when
buying a designer bag used or somewhere besides
the branded retail store or factory store?
When purchasing a bag, you want to verify authenticity. There
are many ways to do this depending on the designer of the bag.
A few things to look for with any bag include the following. If
zippers and snaps look to be of poor quality the purse is more
than likely a fake. The stitching and construction on all highend
purses should be immaculate.
Each stitch should be exactly the
same size with no overlapping
stiches and each seam should be a
straight line. If the handbag is made
of leather it should be soft by the
touch, not tough and shiny. The
Louis Vuitton counterfeit (right)
is a great example. You can see the
loose stitching and the knots are
different sizes.
SUMMER 2021 | SIU TODAY 9
Stitching Knots Are Different Sizes

SIU Today Summer 2021

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