here's the weird thing about "feelings" in this case of the birthday croc - a bag bought at hermes, whether it's in the US, England, Spain, France, wherever, it is authentic. a bag received without an orange box, or even with an orange box but without the fanfare that a customer with other hermes experience would recognize (protective felt, tissue pillows, etc.), or even a die-hard hermes fan for that matter, might sense that something is off to begin with. i think it takes a far bigger person to acknowledge the possibility of something being amiss then it does to refuse to accept that. this is not the "best friends forever" forum, it's the hermes forum. i would not want to be a part of this forum if it weren't for the women i've met and friends i've made, BUT we discuss hermes here. the whole subforum is not exclusively about ooing and ahing over presents. while a PM helps the OP feel less attacked, it does not acknowledge the hundreds of other members who are participating and reading and viewing something that was Publicly posted in the first place. while i would not want to be in the position of OP, i am not more concerned for her feelings then for every other member's, because there is some question to the authenticity and that is something we are free to discuss here. incidentally, i do not at all disrespect look-a-like bags or people who have them. i will say this just once: i find it offense to equate the value of someone's bag with the value of their character, whether it's a bag from target, or a look-a-like that just isn't worth what it represents itself to be. my grandmother survived wwII IN a concentration camp and the nazis did not manage to kill her OR her love of beauty and good things. they did kill most of her family and understandably she had a tough up-hill climb to rebuild a life. she did this and yet still had petty desires like the rest of us. she could not afford an hermes bag while she was struggling and working. even when she finally had some financial security, pitifully, she could not bring herself to invest in a bag because (this is so sad) it was not something one could easily flee with. we're talking about having this mentality in the 70s, 80s, 90s. jewelry you could hide, or barter for your life with, was her thinking, but a purse would be too easy to lose or damage and therefore lose it's value. so my grandmother carried many a look-alike bags. to be clear look-alike-hermes! she did buy their scarves, as they were smaller items. were there any scarves for me to inherit after she died? no! why? because as she got older and ill and less able to enjoy her things, she gave them to friends who had complimented her on them, her peers who couldn't afford such things as hermes scarves but she felt they ought to enjoy them before they themselves passed on. she rightfully put their pleasure ahead of my own, rationalizing that i'm young and have time to buy my own luxuries. THAT is the kind of person who carries a look-alike sometimes. so the often-voiced opinion that look-alikes are sinful does not interest me, but i do think we should be able to speak freely about a suspected inauthentic bag that is being posted as an authentic bag. i really wish that Vlad would create a separate forum (NOT an hermes sub-forum but a separate forum altogether) for people to discuss acquiring and enjoying look-alike bags. every brand has them. discussing them is not the same as discussing a brand's bag, an "authentic" bag. they have their own issues of quality and satisfaction for the owners, and people who have them and love them and enjoy them should be able to discuss and value them free of scorn - such mean-spirited scorn. and fake hermes should NOT be posted in the hermes subforum. this is MY opinion.