The Danger of Traveling with Fake Designer Bags

fake hermes mini kelly | airport fake bags seized | replica bags seized

Image courtesy CPB

“Fake it til you make it” is the wrong advice when it comes to traveling with handbags. Not only are authorities cracking down on big commercial shipments of counterfeit goods, or otherwise infringing intellectual property, but they also may be checking you out at the airport. That’s right, officials are paying attention to the luxury goods you are carrying or wearing. So, whether it’s the purse purchased on the street at home or a superfake from an international replica factory, buyer and traveler beware.

A recent report from Atlanta, Georgia’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport documents a crackdown on fake merchandise. Customs and Border Patrol officials provided travelers a lesson in the dangers of counterfeits. In one example, a passenger learned that the cigarettes purchased might just be grass from someone’s yard. Or worse – contain harmful or lethal ingredients.  

Moreover, officers warned that traveling with these goods exposes you to forfeiture. In other words, if Customs thinks you have a fake designer handbag, it will take it away. Where, when, or how you got it, doesn’t matter. There is no welcome mat for fake goods. 

fake chanel bags airport | airport fake bags seized | replica bags seized

Image courtesy WSBTV

To our knowledge, this is the first report of such activity on American soil. Years ago, we wrote about French laws banning fakes. Perhaps that’s not surprising given that so many top luxury handbag brands are in fact French. Think Hermès, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Dior, just to name a few.

Signs were posted throughout Paris airports warning that buying or carrying fakes is a crime. Violators are subject to a €300,000 fine and three years imprisonment. And French Customs authorities are trained to identify counterfeits. Is that a risk you’d want to take?

Read also:
Part VI: The VAT and Customs Procedures
France Bans Fake Handbags

And apparently, France is not the only country cracking down on fakes. On a recent trip to Italy, @Boptalk found similar admonitions at the airport in Rome. Glass cases of seemingly designer wares were labeled “counterfeit goods seized by Rome Customs Office.” It didn’t seem to matter whether purchased in Italy or elsewhere.

Rome airport @Boptalk

Rome airport @Boptalk

The moral of the story is pretty clear. Don’t shop for fakes abroad. Truthfully, don’t own them at all. As U.S. Customs and Border Patrol reminds Americans, 

“The dangers of buying counterfeit products aren’t always obvious. There are economic impacts, legal implications, and health and safety risks that are important for you to know before you buy. Particularly, when shopping online, beware of counterfeit goods.  Fake goods can lead to real dangers.”

For more information, check out the Customs and Border Patrol website.

However, the bottom line is that if you own replica bags, leave them home whenever and wherever you fly. You never know which Customs officials are expert authenticators.

More information here



Love, PurseBop
XO

Published: May 16th, 2023
Updated: May 16th, 2023

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59 Responses to “The Danger of Traveling with Fake Designer Bags”

  • Excellent information on dupe handbags and/or merchandise. Love the “Real ladies don’t like fake” sign….buyers beware!
    It’s tempting to buy a dupe, but you will know its not the real deal….its kidding yourself. Best is save for it and buy it. I have a vintage Louis Vuitton bag that is 46 years old….never will part with it.

  • Is pursebop even an authorized retailer? Most people are unaware that “Authenticators” are not the same as licensed dealers, or authorized retailers. I’d think that would be something to know when educating people about so called counterfeits, or fakes.

  • My guess is this: People have been traveling abroad purchasing the real thing and telling customs that it’s fake to avoid taxes. This way, they get to keep their item and customs gets their money. They really could care less if you buy a designer dupe on the side of the road while you’re on vacation lol. Not buying it.

  • This is grasping for straws at this point. People are too invested in others lives and they won’t seize your bag. Chanel has quality so bad in the boutiques that the superfakes are starting to look better.

  • Good fashion rule should be if you can’t buy Louis Vuitton settle for Michael Kors. If you can’t buy Chanel settle for Kate Spade. Nobody should buy fakes. You should buy what you look and what you can afford.

  • So, are they now hiring people who can tell if an item is a real or fake on the spot? Hell jewlers now a days can’t even tell a real diamond from a fake with the naked eye!!🤣🤣🤣

  • Never saw while my latest travel in Europe April 2023. I always use replica rather then spend such a huge amount on original. Duplicate is much better and reliable then original now a days.

  • Never saw while my latest travel in Europe April 2023. I always use replica rather then spend such a huge amount on original. Duplicate is much better and reliable then original now a days.

  • This sounds like bullsh*t to me! There’s no shame is spending your hard earned money on what you want and SAVING your money if a ‘dupe’ looks good enough to you. To make the purchase is perfectly legal. I would be astonished to hear first hand (since this story is hearsay with no evidence) that any US customs offices care about individual citizen’s purchases. Lol!

  • This world has bigger problems than fake bags.. here in Atlanta, everybody has got one..

  • Its really disturbing to know that people are more focus on futile things. What about the more important things like homelessness, hunger, increase mental health disorder,what about hiring not staff to keep high increase of delayed flights? Those are more important than worrying about someone’s handbag!

  • Well we will see who really can afford them now lmao!!! I’m so glad I don’t try to live above my means. Don’t get me wrong I love nice pretty things. But I’m nobody’s Label Whore,why spend a fortune on one bag.When u can have many for way less.Most people with designer things buy them to show off. If u can’t afford them u don’t need to go broke to get them.There are nice designers that are way cheaper.Like Coach,Calvin Klein,Prada,Guess just to name a few.I love love love bags and have plenty.But I will never pay thousands for on bag even if I could JS.

  • When actual authenticators are having a difficult time with current fakes, I hardly think Customs officials, trained or otherwise, are the authority on real or faux, unless the faux is quite terrible.

  • Just the rich wanting to keep control of the market and of course their designs so that part I get. Only the filthy rich could afford to treat this as a horrendous crime yet human trafficking takes so much more ro legally do anything about! SMH MONEY and PRIDE iare ALWAYS the priority over kids/people

  • Who TF cares if it’s fake or real? The real ones aren’t even made out of real leather. Get out of here. Let’s focus on what matters instead of confiscating some darn fakes that nobody cares about anyway!!!

  • This is SAD!!! Y care everything got a copy.. u got people wth low income that want to be cute.. they go for the small people go to Turkey and over sea and take there sewing machine if that’s the case.. the big stores just made people buying off the street and there not getting a part of that money… and what are they doing wth these items there taking from the people.. after hours I see the wkers wth them on where did they get there bag from..where are they turning these bags in to

  • I think it’s up to whatever the person likes, no one can tell you what to buy, if I like a certain replica then I’m buying it,F@#k these money hungry designers, they just hate losing money to replicas.

  • That is good to know. Don’t buy fake of anything. Not only bags. If you cannot the original one. Take any bags that affordable for you.

  • In other words you don’t want poor folks to evenhave a cheap version of the rich folks fancy.

  • Purseshop sells fake as well. I often go to Istanbul and buy copy 1 for a fraction of the price with original tags, boxes, warranty card, and even an original receipt for less than 10% of the original price and believe it or not, better leather quality. Never had any issues when traveling. I ve been doing it for 11 years. Dont believe this bogus news. This is just advertising to this fake yet expensive site!

  • You guys should go after those who manufacture the article not the person who buys.

  • The reality…….Just goes to show how superficial and shallow these people are. Leave people alone, this world has wayyyyy bigger issues. Thanks for showing us what you prioritize. They race really just mad others are happy with purchasing dupes and nothing can shame them!!!

  • Wow really instead of this why do t we worry about the fucking illegals coming in our country and killing people and living for free wtf what has this world come to thanks Biden.. make America great again #trump stupid fuckers this blows my mind

  • Couple of things I should mention about this article as someone who is related to work withing a customs department.

    1.) This article is incredibly exaggerated. No we do not go after individuals with fake merchandise. We don’t have the man power nor the expertise to identify whether all the luxury goods in the world from all the luxury brands in the world are authentic.

    2.) There are instances where customs officials will confiscate fake luxury goods. These would be instances where the goods in question are brand new with tags and are blatantly low grade quality copies that can be identified immediately as not being original. However this is done only when either the individual who is bringing the goods into the country declares it fake or tries to sneak it through customs without declaring it, both reasons being to avoid paying taxes. That’s all we care about, whether you are paying your fair share of taxes.

    3.) This is not a one size fits all rule. It’ll be upto the customs agent to determine it, depending on whether the goods are new, and the quantity of the goods. You having just one bag that looks new is not going to raise any red flags. However you having multiple bags, with tags on will raise suspicions.

    4.) Customs officials are more worried about catching importers who import fake goods in bulk. We really don’t care about your fake bag if you’re using it personally and have absolutely no intention of selling it.

    5.) We are more worried about luxury watches rather than bags because luxury watches have insane prices.

    6.) We really can’t tell the difference between A grade copies of luxury bags and the original product. And yeah we don’t care enough to do it because again, there just way too.many products. It’ll only be confiscated if its blindly obvious. But then again, I don’t know why you would even spend on a fake that’s blindly obvious because if we can obviously see it’s fake, then the rest of the world can as well, and as the purpose of a fake is it show to the world a wealth you obviously don’t have, it makes absolutely no sense to buy a luxury fake that is obvious to the rest of the world as a fake.

    7.) These laws might be stricter in countries like Italy, Spain and France because most of these luxury brands come from these countries. That means the government has an interest in protecting these brands because they generate a significant income to the country.

    8.) Also, pretty much most of the time, we can guess whether the bag you’re carrying is an original or not just by looking at you. Trust me it shows. If you can afford a $5000 bag, it’ll show from the rest of your appearance as well.

    9.) Also, some of these original luxury brands that you spend thousands of dollars on, have really bad quality. So yeah, we can’t really say if a bag is an original or not by looking at the quality in certain instances.

    10.) The part about fake goods being dangerous is true. Sometimes these counterfeiters use absolutely dangerous materials to construct these goods. It’s always a better option to go for a reputable cheaper brand, because at least that way you don’t end up getting cancer because you were using a fake LV bag that was made out of PV that had been exposed to radiation sitting in a warehouse somewhere.

    11.) The sign boards that are placed saying that you can be fined and arrested for carrying a fake luxury good have absolutely no merit at all. If they do arrest you for this, the first judge that takes a look at this will throw the case out because they have no way of proving that you knew that you were purchasing a fake product. The sign boards are mainly there to deter people from making purchases willingly of fake products. Basically sort of scaring them into not doing it. They know that they can’t do anything about it if you do it, so they try to scare you into not doing it. These laws are also in place to mostly prosecute individuals who are selling fake goods because you need a solid legal framework around it.

    11.) My recommendation though is not to buy these fake goods. Why, because trust me, most people know whether you can actually afford these goods or not, or whether you are just showing off with a fake product. And even if you have the genuine product, people are still going to assume its fake if you look like you can’t afford it. I’ve seen young men with rolexes on their hands go through, but they look like they won’t be able to afford housing for the next month. Remember, money screams but wealth whispers. To those of you thinking about buying these overpriced genuine products, stop and think about it again. If you are going to go the next month without food just to pay for this bag then you can’t afford it.

  • This is just a way to make people feel less than by not having the access that rich people have. We are avatars either way. You can’t take it with when you die so who cares if it’s fake or not? People exert so much energy into others lives that they forget to live their own. Keep the rich people on a high pedestal and the poor beneath them is all that I’m seeing.

  • This is just a way to make people feel less than by not having the access that rich people have. We are avatars either way. You can’t take it with when you die so who cares if it’s fake or not? People exert so much energy into others lives that they forget to live their own. Keep the rich people on a high pedestal and the poor beneath them is all that I’m seeing.

  • Focus on bigger problems, for real. How about hiring experts looking for signs of human trafficking than signs on spotting a fake bag. This is ridiculous. This is the 2nd ridiculous story I read this week. So many people out of touch and so much ignorance.

  • The cost of living is sky rocketing, affordable housing is diminishing, wage increases are halting and buying fake bags is a crackdown?? Oh OK. Make it make sense

  • Get a life reality is the real people can’t offerd it there for they buy what I already know is fake all u protecting is the big guns with a deep pockets u can’t let people even dream wow

  • Articles like these are incredibly gentle on the readers. There needs to be better clarification on what is considered counterfeit – an exact replica, including the logo. The black market is often used to support even more horrible crimes such as human trafficking. It’s not look the other way or a slap on the wrist if you get busted for buying or selling. Whereas a dupe or inspired by item slightly different and without the logo, that’s not counterfeit and therefore not illegal.

  • Many years ago my daughter commented about all her grandmother’s friends having fake Louis Vuitton bags. I’d seen the bags at a local market and considered buying one. I’d never heard of Louis Vuitton or seen the design before, I just liked it, and had I bought one I wouldn’t knowingly have been buying a fake, just a nice cheap bag from the market

  • Ok this is wrong to take anything from anyone people need to be left alone and the stuff they buy with their own money should be left alone people are just enjoying their life no matter what social class they are in .you can send thousands of foreign people to our country without our ok for us to take car of and take outer benefits but you want to cry about a fake purse really sad you got your morals all messed up

  • Beware of buying. Fake things it might cause you a problem.I love real bag and shoes.Work hard and save more money to buy it.

  • Fighting against fake is good but how to differentiate fake from real is a big deal in Africa, especially for someone like me in Cameroon where most of this brands don’t have shops here nor franchise and everyone tells you “mine is authentic”.

    It will be injustice to be held in others airport because I have a fake for am not a professional in fashion nor fashion freak.

    Let the brands look into educating us to differentiate fake, it pains to spend money on something, only to later realize it fake.

  • What if we brought a original. But is made in a country like China????.
    Can it consider as fake .????

  • You guys more worried about some dam gucci than the real crimes find all these missing women and children stop sex trafficking be concerned about some real shit who cares about what someone is wearing

  • I think that if you have a purse, sunglasses whatever, you paid $ for it. It’s not the airport responsibility now to become the fashion police much less take something from someone who either paid $ for the item or probably received it as a gift, doesn’t matter if it’s counterfeit or not, next thing you know they’ll be taking fake gold chains lol with all of the problems in the world and more serious issues this is ridiculous & unless you are Rich no one I know is plunking down 1,000 for a purse.I think you should backtrack to the scene in the movie house of Gucci when she discovers her maid has a counterfeit Gucci bag LoL you cannot stop it no matter how hard you try, practically everything is made in China anyway even what is classified as authentic, also if the airport is taking people’s belongings then don’t support the travel industry by not flying. It’s as simple as that.I think be it real or fake if you wear it , carry it and it makes you feel good then it was worth the price of admission.

  • I think that if you have a purse, sunglasses whatever, you paid $ for it. It’s not the airport responsibility now to become the fashion police much less take something from someone who either paid $ for the item or probably received it as a gift, doesn’t matter if it’s counterfeit or not, next thing you know they’ll be taking fake gold chains lol with all of the problems in the world and more serious issues this is ridiculous & unless you are Rich no one I know is plunking down 1,000 for a purse.I think you should backtrack to the scene in the movie house of Gucci when she discovers her maid has a counterfeit Gucci bag LoL you cannot stop it no matter how hard you try, practically everything is made in China anyway even what is classified as authentic, also if the airport is taking people’s belongings then don’t support the travel industry by not flying. It’s as simple as that.I think be it real or fake if you wear it , carry it and it makes you feel good then it was worth the price of admission.

  • I think that if you have a purse, sunglasses whatever, you paid $ for it. It’s not the airport responsibility now to become the fashion police much less take something from someone who either paid $ for the item or probably received it as a gift, doesn’t matter if it’s counterfeit or not, next thing you know they’ll be taking fake gold chains lol with all of the problems in the world and more serious issues this is ridiculous & unless you are Rich no one I know is plunking down 1,000 for a purse.I think you should backtrack to the scene in the movie house of Gucci when she discovers her maid has a counterfeit Gucci bag LoL you cannot stop it no matter how hard you try, practically everything is made in China anyway even what is classified as authentic, also if the airport is taking people’s belongings then don’t support the travel industry by not flying. It’s as simple as that.I think be it real or fake if you wear it , carry it and it makes you feel good then it was worth the price of admission.

  • i have a real louis and i never keep receipt. us is very old 20 yesrs as hood as new. old model. how can they imagine ta take awsy my real luois that would be very unfare.

  • What fakes? The Rich had them made in China using cheap labor… & Put their label on them. keep on getting Richer…

  • Fakes? What Fakes? The Rich had them made in China using cheap labor… & Put their label on them. keep on getting Richer…
    I’m making my own organic 😌..

  • Well is good information tours fake n real item to carry when you travel by airline or any other transportation that are strict on inspection. I believe that every airline or other has every right to purchased n travel what they want . I’m not rich with huge money to buy expensive items to travel with cause to me traveling with real good expensive items is more dangerous there a lot creedy crazy people out there n they hide as thieves .I will never risk to travel with expensive hang bag or items I prefer a copy cause danger can appear anytime thief so I get assaulted n rob is not me going to lose is the criminal thief he going focus what he/she see won’t inspect at the moment until he /she gone… I respect all rules for traveling but never risk my life for real expensive items for nobody .

  • This is most likely an exaggeration. It is illegal to sell but I believe my personal handbag would be the last thing security would care about. I won’t lose any sleep over this 😂.

  • There’s a whole lot of other things they can worry about besides somebody wearing a fake handbag. It sounds crazy to me.

  • Right, they’re going to disrupt travel on the busiest weekend of the year out of a desperate need to confiscate your Cucci bag? I don’t think so. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Saving for an original bag if you’re not making decent money is miserable and stupid, why would anyone give her savings for a bag that is fakely positioned as something so expensive you got to save years to buy. Just relax ladies, and buy whatever is good for you. No one, no one in this world can really spot a fake with an eye, if it’s a good dupe, ofc. This branded shops produce new styles every year, even the sellers from authentic shops can’t remember them all. And know that they price it high and also imitate insufficiency to keep it in demand, because those who really got a lot of money, usually by inheritance or something else, they can really easily buy this really expensive bags, but for us ladies, it’s really hard, because we have to work and save for it. So my advice my precious ladies, don’t save for originals, proudly buy dupes and save for bitcoins or shares! That’s a smart deal!

  • Excellent site. A lot of useful information here. I am sending it to several pals anss additionally sharinbg inn delicious.
    And of course, thanks in your sweat!

  • Don’t buy from the real designers either. A majority of fashion houses have a serious and long history of price gouging, slave labor, child endangerment etc. I will CONTINUE to purchase replicas for that very reason. Just because something is illegal, doesn’t make it right and if something is illegal, doesn’t make it wrong. You do NOT get to pick and choose.