Thank you to all who helped me with my previous dilemma of which MC bag to get...Well, I decided to get the Speedy and found one on eBay for $500 less than retail but I am concerned about a couple of things: 1. Are the handles and hardware covered in plastic when you buy it from the store? (because this one is) 2. What's the date code? Is that the serial number? I read that it should always end in 3, 4, or 5 for an MC speedy--is that true? Where do you find the date code on the bag? Here's the bag if anyone has time to look: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=190147633475 I am so freaked out now about how good the fakes can be that I'm probably going to suck it up and pay full price at eluxury, but I'm still curious... K.