Thursday, June 20, 2013

There is NO Such Thing as Mirror Image or 1:1 Quality

I have gotten so many emails and comments from readers asking me to refer sellers of Mirror Image or 1:1 replicas because they are looking for the PERFECT Replica that looks EXACTLY like the Original. I hate to disappoint you but I truly don't think they exist.

A lot of sellers make this claim falsely. I've never taken those terms seriously because I've purchased from so many of those sellers and they are NEVER Exactly like the original.

Seriously, I have bought 100s of replicas and seen 100s more reviews from other buyers, some who claim to have the so called mirror image replicas but I am fairly certain that if those same buyers allowed me to do a review of their bag with the Authentic version right next to it I can pick out the differences. It might not be something that you can see just by looking at it but if we're talking about TRUE Mirror Image than you would need to compare every single tiny detail side by side preferably with the aid of a magnifying glass or in my case by taking clear pictures of the small details and being able to zoom in on them to make a true comparison.

I don't even have to be knowledgeable on the style or brand. As long as I have the exact bag side by side and can take close up pictures of details I am positive I can point out the differences.

Come on people, we're talking about replicas here! I honestly do not think a replica is ever going to be EXACTLY like the Authentic and if you can't settle for the 90-95% copies than you're likely to be disappointed.

Louis Vuitton Canvas bags are one of the easiest bags to replicate and there are many that look just as nice as the Authentic but I know that if you inspect them carefully next to the original - try taking clear pictures of small details and comparing the pictures next to each other - I guarantee you will see the differences. It might be a hairline difference in the color of the canvas, the size and alignment of monograms, the stitch count or texture of the canvas etc etc. but SOMETHING is going to be off SOMEWHERE because no matter how good a replica it is it is STILL a replica.

Fortunately with Louis Vuitton the quality isn't what it used to be. There are a lot of rules out there about how to spot a fake and not all of them apply. I've seen now that even the Authentic bags have inconsistencies. Maja and Kim (the forum creators) went to the LV shop and did some comparisons of the bags in person. They took pictures inside the boutique showing a family of Damier Ebene Canvas bags and found they had inconsistencies in the shade of the canvas. They made a great post on this in the forum which I've copied here as well so take a look when you get a chance.

Some of the hardest designer bags to replicate are Chanel and Hermes. I don't know much about Hermes and up until a month ago I couldn't even pronounce their name correctly. GAWD, I was so embarrassed when I realized I have been pronouncing Hermes just how it is spelled all over youtube lol. But you can't learn without making mistakes so it's all good :).

BTW, I also recently discovered we actually do have a Hermes store here in Atlanta. Wow, I have got to make a visit there soon! If they have a good return policy I would love to buy a Birkin just so I can do a review but those bags are so expensive I'm almost afraid of having some kind of accident and then not being able to return it. My husband would strangle me!

Anyway going back on topic: designers like Chanel uses only the best quality leather like genuine lambskin that feels buttery soft. This leather is not cheap so if you find a Chanel Lambskin replica for around $100 I highly doubt it is genuine lambskin.

Most replica manufacturers are going to cut cost at every corner so they can make a profit. This means that the majority of them aren't going to use genuine materials and in the case of the Classic Flaps where the quilting has to line up on all sides they would have to waste a lot of leather to get it right. The stitching isn't added onto the bag so they can stitch all the way around. The leather is pre-stitched and then cut into pieces which are then sewn together.

In order for the stitching to line up they have to use only a portion of the leather to make the various parts line up. So the rest of the leather can't be used, at least not for the same bag and that's not going to happen.

Replica makers do not waste anything. They will sell you every single bag that is produced regardless of how it comes out and believe me there is absolutely No Rules of Consistency and NO Quality Control in this business. That's why you can buy 2 of the same bags from the same seller at the same time and still have 2 different quality bags.

Also keep in mind that the sellers we buy from are not the manufacturers. They buy from a factory and sell to us so they are in essence the middle person. They have no control over how the bags are made so the best they can do is to check them for quality issues before shipping them to the end users (the buyers).

I used to think I was very picky until I started this blog then I realized there were buyers out there that were literally counting the stitches or measuring the monograms and spacing and exact color match etc. etc.. It's made me realize that I'm actually quite lenient in comparison.

I really don't understand the fixation with having everything to be an exact match. If it is close enough where you can have your replica sitting next to an authentic and you can't tell the difference by looking at them side by side with the naked eye then I'd say you already have a perfect replica but it isn't Mirror Image until every single detail is an exact match!

I just can't see that anyone is going to be looking at your bag that closely except you so enjoy your replica and stop worrying about whether someone will know it's a fake because I'm pretty sure that the majority of people aren't going to notice those tiny details.

If you're looking to buy a replica and expect every detail to be perfectly exact to the original (which is what a true mirror image is by definition) than your expectations are likely too high. There are people who spends upwards of $1,000 for replicas and can still find minor imperfections.

I've read about certain celebrities that spend $5,000+ on replicas and someone still managed to figure out they were replicas. Now if a $5k replica can still be discovered as a replica what hope do you have of buying one in the $200-$500 range that will be an exact match down to the very last detail?

I also think that some people get overly excited when they read someone else's review where the buyer claims they have a Mirror Image. We want to believe they exist so we take their word for granted but you have to keep in mind that we all have different opinions.

What I find to be great replicas may be complete trash to someone else but if I'm happy with it than I really don't give a crap what someone else thinks.

Sorry for rambling on here. It's just that I've gotten so many of these requests I am becoming uncomfortable referring anyone at all. I just don't believe in a true Mirror Image Replica period and the last thing I want to do is refer someone to a seller who I think is great only to find out that person has OCD and can't live with the little imperfections that I don't think is an issue at all.

I can just see that person going on some blog or forum and posting - Sarah on the Purse Princess blog referred such and such seller and I found all these flaws on the bag so she obviously doesn't know the meaning of a good replica lol.

I'd rather you look at as many reviews as possible from other buyers and make your own judgment on what you can or can't live with and choose who to buy from that way. If you can't live with the flaws I've pointed out in my reviews than you're not going to be happy with the sellers I buy from.

Thanks for taking the time to read this!

Cheers,

Sarah

28 comments:

  1. Hi sarah,

    thanks for the post. It clarifies a lot of things. I think your blog is awesome. I tried to find more blogs but there are only yours and spotbag (Eva). Before i found your blog, ive been blind buying off ioffer and im so glad ive found your blog! I will order from Joy soon :)

    cant wait

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    1. Joy is a great go to seller. She's definitely my top favorite of all of them. I buy from her every month now :).

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    2. How can i contact this Joy?

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  2. Sarah,

    Thanks for a great post--I totally agree! One can really get tied in a knot trying to find that replica so perfect that they think can actually be athenticated--even the sellers with the most expensive replicas tell us that we would NOT be able to do it, and can't believe someone would want to try! ! I love when you do reviews because it constantly reminds me that small imperfections in our replicas are NORMAL, EXPECTED, and COMPLETELY OK. I also LOVE that you don't get worried about things like date codes and numbers of stitches and hues of the LV canvas (or even the quality of a dust bag!).

    I like Smart's explanation of replica quality, found on the forum: http://forum.reploversunited.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=1843. He explains the differences in quality, while reminding us that many if not most trusted sellers will sell a mix of AAA and 1.1, terms which they will use interchangeably.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. If my expectations were to get exact quality as authentic I would have missed out on a ton of wonderful replicas that in my opinion look just as nice. Heck there are some that look nicer lol :).

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  3. Thank you Sarah there has been so many "Where can I get mirror quality or 1:1 a replica?"...of course there is no such thing. If I wanted a perfect bag I would go to the store and buy it. I assume no matter what country designer shops hand you a new stock bag to inspect, yes INSPECT down to the last details. So if your not happy with it they go back to the stock room and get you another one till your satisfied. Once you give the approval they do their fancy wrapping and you go home with a bag or accessory your fully happy with. That's for Prada, LV, Gucci and Chanel store that I have been in. Now how can you expect a replica bag or a seller to the same thing...even pre-shipment photo's I wish can be more detailed but fact of the matter is it takes too much of their time and most of the time we are only paying 1/10 of the actual authentic price. Some people do need to lower their expectations just a tiny tiny bit so that they can be happy with their replica. Otherwise if perfection is what you seek I say go authentic

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    1. Exactly Mimi, thank you for commenting!

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  4. I agree with you too, and if there are exact reps with exact materials I would expect them to be sold as authentic for the same prices as real ones on Ebay or consignment stores.
    Also I have read that it's super hard to walk in and buy a Birkin at a Hermes store, maybe you'll have better luck buying a pre loved Birkin and it won't cost you as much money too.
    Thanks for your posts Sarah lol answering all your readers emails would drive me crazy!!

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    1. LVridiana, you're right, I forgot there is a waiting list on the Birkins but honestly I've never seen an Authentic Hermes anything so I really just want to examine one closely and if my credit limit allows and the store offers a return policy I'd love to bring it home for a detailed review :).

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  5. My first replica is in the mail (I hope) so I am very inexperienced to speak on this subject. I am a collector of all sorts things though, and when I attempt to authenticate anything, I go with my overall impression first before I even start looking at hallmarks, heat stamps or maker marks etc. Getting the overall impression right is harder sometimes than getting details correct though. I would rather own a replica that achieved the character and flavor of the label even if a few details were off, rather than one that just got the little details correct but gave off the vibe of a replica. I would be very happy to have a replica that could rest side by side with the authentic without the authentic jumping out as superior. I wouldn't dream of thinking that I could buy a replica that could be authenticated but I would like a replica good enough that I can shop in the company store, and not be thrown out or worse have the bag confiscated. I am concerned that might be difficult too. Since the sales staff work with the products day in and day out, they might just be able to spot a replica just on site by the character of the bag rather than the details. I read that Hermes won't authenticate a bag but one way to do it, is to simply go in and place the bag on the counter. If they refuse you service then you have a replica, if they offer assistance then it is real. I don't know if that is true, but I do wonder how difficult it is to get a replica that gets that overall luscious feel of a Chanel, LVT or Hermes correct.

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    1. Kathee, you said it perfectly because that is exactly how I feel! The tiny details aren't so important so long as the overall appearance gives off a nice impresssion. You're much better with words than I am :).

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  6. Thank you! I disagree completely. I am not better with words, but I will take that as a compliment -especially coming from you. Blogging is a modern storytelling genre and you are obviously a successful and adept writer. You are not only great with words- you are exhaustive with your research, you understand and connect with your readers/audience, you seeing the story in everything and you are so fearlessly honest and real about yourself. That is a great writer! But still thank you! :)

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  7. Thank you, Sarah for all your help and insight! You have great information! Happy Shopping!

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  8. I can not stop loving this blog thanks Sara

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  9. They do exist I actually know a seller and they are beautiful and they have a fb where u can see actual pictures and theres pictures of how the lv bags battina after,a few months.

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    1. Where have you seen/purchased from? I've been looking for about a month now and I am so confused and weary!

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    2. Where have you seen/purchased them from? I have been researching for about a month now and I am so weary.

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  10. Where can I get a believable louis replica with real leather that will darken? ? I've seen them but can't find any :(

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  11. Where can I find a believable louis replica with real leather that will patina? ? I've seen them but can't find one

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  12. my chloe drew relpica has a plaque that is stamped and not engraved like they show in the internet. Im nervous will it be obvious that its a fake?

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  13. Can somebody send me Joy's contact info?

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  14. I'd like to have Joy's info also ....someone please let me know

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  15. I'd like to have Joy's info also ....someone please let me know

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    1. please give me your email and I will send you the contact

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    2. Shellyhill21273@gmail.com
      Please send me joys info

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  16. I've searched for a great replica. Help!!!

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  17. Please tell me someone has finally gotten Joy's info. I have been searching many years. Looking for long term business. Please contact me at vailesinc@aol.com

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