Counterfeiting is a booming business. Nearly $509 billion worth of counterfeit goods were sold internationally in 2016. Experts predict that the reselling one of the most targeted luxury brands is Louis Vuitton! The brand is known for producing stylish, high-quality goods and their items have an extremely high demand.
So, how does a consumer ensure that they're purchasing the real thing?
The first way is by purchasing directly from the brand's online or physical storefront. The second way is by purchasing through a reputable reseller like Luxybit!
It's also essential for consumers to know what to look for before making a purchase. For example, one of the most important things to look for before purchasing a Louis Vuitton item is to see if it has a date code.
What Are Date Codes?
Unlike other brands, Louis Vuitton doesn't use serial numbers or provide a certificate of authenticity for their items. Instead, the brand takes a unique approach by providing a manufacturing date code. Most modern LV bags, small leather goods, and accessories will have this combination of numbers and letters to tell you when and where the item was manufactured.
Do you want to know the most remarkable thing about it? Your special code gives you a little insight into where your beloved treasure was made and how far it had to travel to get to you! This is especially intriguing if you enjoy collecting pre-loved or vintage items!
It's crucial to keep in mind that date codes are not the sole way to verify the authenticity of a Louis Vuitton item. While most counterfeit items don't have a date code, more sophisticated replicas may.
This is simply the starting point and a tiny piece of the larger puzzle!
How Does it Differ from a Serial Code?
So, what's the big difference between serial codes and date codes? Well, it's pretty simple!
Serial codes are specific to one item. Therefore, no two goods can have the same serial code.
The combination of letters and digits in a date code indicates only when and where your item was made. So, many Louis Vuitton items can have the same date code.
Locating Date Codes
Date codes are usually embossed or printed onto the fabric or material of the item. Sometimes, a small leather tab will be sewn into the seam of the item's interior.
However, the position of the date code can vary from item to item. They're typically found within the bag's interior. This can be underneath a hanging pocket, inside of a pocket, or inside the main compartment.
If you can't find the date code inside the bag, don't fret! It may be embossed near the handles or on the exterior of the bag in an inconspicuous spot!
What If My Item Doesn't Have A Date Code?
Don't panic! If your beloved accessory doesn't have a date code, it doesn't mean that your item is fake. The date code is not the sole way to determine the item's authenticity.
It's important to remember that vintage Louis Vuitton items made before 1983 will not have a date code. This is because the brand implemented the dating system in 1983.
Items manufactured after March 2021 will also not have a date code due to the brand phasing out the system in favor of microchips!
Deciphering Date Codes
If your item does have a date code, here's how to decipher it!
Most Louis Vuitton date codes will be a series of two letters and four numbers. The combination indicates where and when the item was made
The date code system wasn't implemented until 1982. So vintage pieces will not have a date code!
1982- Mid 1980s:
Date codes for items manufactured from 1982 to the mid-1980s will have three or four numerical digits. The first two numbers indicate the year, and the last digit indicates the month of manufacturing.
Mid 1980s - Late 1980s:
Louis Vuitton updated their successful dating system to include letters to indicate the factory location!
The first two numbers indicate the year, and the last two numbers indicate the manufacturing month. This sequence is followed by two letters that indicate the factory's location where the good was produced.
Early 1990 to 2006
In the early 1990s, Louis Vuitton revised their numbering system for date codes. The new sequence is two letters followed by four digits.
Like the previous system, the two letters refer to the country of origin. However, the numbering system is a bit tricky! The first and third numbers represent the month. The second and fourth represent the manufacturing year!
1997 Monogram Keepall 55 Travel Bag – Available on Luxybit now!
2007 - Early 2021
The numbering system format was revised once again in 2007. While the letters functions remain the same, the manufacturing dates were altered. Instead of highlighting the month of manufacturing, the brand became more specific and pinpointed the week instead.
The first and third numbers represent the manufacturing week, and the second and fourth letters reflect the year.
2018 Grace Coddington Calfskin Catogram Petite Boite Chapeau Bag - Available on Luxybit now!
March 2021 - Present Day:
Louis Vuitton abandoned their date code system in favor of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) microchips in March 2021.
2021 Reverse Monogram Vanity PM - Available on Luxybit now!
The microchips are non-visible and discreetly embedded into the item. It doesn't store any client information. It can only be scanned at Louis Vuitton stores to retrieve the model name, manufacturing date, and materials. The new system is a new way of combating counterfeiting and providing immediate authentication results.
Louis Vuitton Factory Codes
Here’s a handy guide to decipher the factory codes! Keep in mind that some factories use the same code.
A0, A1, A2, AA, AAS, AH, AN, AR, AS, BA, BJ, BU, CO, CT, CX, DR, DT, DU, ET, FL, LA, LM, LW, MB, MI, ML, MM, NO, RA, RI, SA, SD, SF, SK, SL, SN, SP, SR, TA, TH, TJ, TN, TY, TS, TY, VI, VX
BC, BO, CE, FH, FO, FP, MA, NZ, OB, PL, RC, RE, SA, TB, TD
BC, CA, LO, LB, LM, LW, GW, UB
FC, FH, FL, LA, OS, SD, TX
With the rise in demand for luxury goods, it's crucial to be a savvy shopper to avoid being taken advantage of by counterfeiters! Remember, the presence of a date code does not guarantee the authenticity of Louis Vuitton items. But it is a good starting point when shopping online.
Want to skip the hassle? Luxybit has your back! Our team uses over 23 years' worth of experience to verify the authenticity of every item listed on our website. We offer only the best deals with up to 80% off retail prices, free shipping, and a generous 30-day return window.
Are you ready to shop? Check out our Louis Vuitton collection today!