How to Authenticate Gucci Belts

With their fine Italian craftsmanship, luxurious materials and deceptively simple designs, Gucci clothes and accessories have long been a byword for chic. There are, however, lots of knock-offs on the market. When you are purchasing a Gucci belt, make sure you get the real deal by following a few simple steps, such as buying from approved sellers, checking for the correct labels and packaging and rejecting anything which doesn't display the quality you associate with the Gucci name.

Look first to see whether the site or outlet selling the belt is an approved seller of Gucci products – ask in the store or check the site's small print to establish this. If the answer seems to be no, then it might be wise to go elsewhere.

Look at the price. Genuine Gucci belts market for somewhere in the region of $300-700, so chances are that an item selling for a lower price is fake – don't be blinded by your love of a bargain.

Check that the alleged Gucci belt has the correct labels. There should be a “controllato” card, with the word “GUCCI” in capitals against a dark grey background and “controllato” in lower case against a white background. Look for an unfolding care card with instructions in several languages and a serial number applied to the belt itself.

Check belts being sold as second-hand to see whether they come with their original receipts and packaging, such as a dust-bag with the Gucci logo or a Gucci gift box with satin ribbon.

Inspect the item for quality. Gucci designs are all about elegant simplicity combined with impeccable workmanship and the best materials. Imperfections in the stitching, blemishes in the finish of the buckle and other metal attachments, the use of cheap, brittle leather or anything other than the softest suede – all these point instantly to the belt being a fake. In most cases, the buckle should be impressed with the name “GUCCI” in capitals – check this under a magnifying glass for crisply-outlined letters.