In the fashion world there’s nothing more financially damaging than the knockoff. While they may seem like bargains to the buyer who thinks they can’t afford the real thing, they are generally so poorly made that they aren’t even worth the few bucks they cost. More importantly, they distract buyers from the original item and force designers to spend time and money tracking down and stopping those who steal their designs .

One of the most often knocked off products are handbags . These important accessories are actually necessities, as most women wouldn’t be caught dead without a handbag of some kind or other. With designer bags costing hundreds of dollars it can be tempting to hunt for knock offs or look-alikes. While a look alike is merely inspired by a designer bag and may still cost a pretty penny, a knock off will try to trick the buyer into thinking it’s the real thing, right down to the designer logo and label.

It’s usually easy to spot a true knockoff . The level of craftsmanship will give it away if not the place where it’s being sold. And if the price seems too good to be true, it’s probably a fake. For those that want to find designer handbags at lower prices, there are plenty of outlet stores and end of season sales that offer legitimate designer fashions at reduced prices.