I'm still new at this and don't know that much. I can tell a fake from an authentic one through the cut of the canvas and patina of the leather. There's always a distinct look to the canvas when it ages as well. Anyhow, one thing was that, I've always thought that on the Monogram stuff, LV doesn't cut through the logo itself. But today a co-worker showed me her Mono Ellipse, the small version, and it's cut through in the same area as the pics on vuitton.com website. So her purse looks authentic and she said she bought it from a boutique... So how can you tell?