Le Creuset Dutch ovens cost anywhere from $250 to $350. With that in mind, you don’t want to pay that price and learn that you bought a fake Le Creuset Dutch oven later. You have a simple check that you can perform to spot the fake Le Creuset.
How can you tell a fake Le Creuset? Check the rim of the Le Creuset pot where you place the lid. Fake ovens, pots, and pans will have underlying cast iron showing through. Le Creuset stamps its brand name, as well as size identifying letters, and numbers on the bottom of cookware pieces/lids. In some cases, it raises the sunken lettering in the ceramic.
If you’d like to learn more about fake Le Creuset Dutch ovens and cookware and how to avoid them, keep reading for further information. I will cover everything that you need to know.
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Identifying Fake Le Creuset Cookware
How do you know if the piece of cookware in front of you is actually a genuine Le Creuset? It’s not easy to spot a fake start by following these steps for identifying fake Le Creuset cookware:
Uncommonly Low Prices
Le Creuset ranks as the most coveted cookware in the culinary arts. Beware of Le Creuset pots that sell at $40 apiece.
The color itself on the pot will look off. It won’t have the same genuine vivid color a real Le Creuset Dutch oven has. Uninformed customers buy them thinking that they have walked away with a great deal. They have only walked away with a fake Le Creuset.
As the saying goes, “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” At the least, you should look over the pot with extraordinary care to ensure its authenticity.
Don’t assume, however, that the fake pots will always cost less. In some cases, scammers charge the same price as authentic Le Creuset to trick customers out of their hard-earned cash and make a hefty profit. This is the worst kind of fake cookware.
Recommended Reading: Why is Le Creuset so expensive?
Not as Many Enamel Layers
Le Creuset applies three layers of enamel to guarantee the perfect quality. You can tell a counterfeit by how the color looks off.
It won’t have the same vivacious color that Le Creuset has a reputation for. The extra layers ensure that it lasts longer.
Counterfeit from China, unfortunately, use substandard product materials, like the pots will have lead and other toxic substances in them.
Good quality enameled cast iron is less likely to stick due to a better smooth non-stick finish – see more about that – here
Fake Ones Don’t Have a Warranty
True Le Creuset products have a limited lifetime warranty on them. Check to see if the enamel coating that has a proper coating on it. Cast iron that has an improper enamel coating can split into two pieces when exposed to heat. The pot splitting could cause burns and other injuries.
To check for proper enamel, look for uneven or missing spots of enamel. Le Creuset has a well-founded reputation for its immaculate quality. You won’t receive the same quality as counterfeits because they were produced in haste to take advantage of unwitting buyers.
Authentic Le Creuset – 6 Must-Haves
First, look for the brand name at the bottom of the pan. Second, check for the size mark with a double-digit number on the pot. Third, you will see a marking that either says, “France” or “Made in France.” Le Creuset is a French brand.
Not all Le Creuset products get made in France, but the brand manufactures all cast iron products at the original foundry in Northern France. Le Creuset makes its stainless steel products in Portugal, the stoneware comes from Thailand and the accessories come from China.
You should never see a Le Creuset cast iron product with a sticker at the bottom that says “Made in China.” That is not a good sign.
The fourth sign to look for with authentic Le Creuset cookware is the Le Creuset diamond mark. You can see this under the handle of the Dutch oven, and it signifies its origin.
The fifth telltale sign is exposed cast iron around the rim of the pot and the lid. You will note in the image that the cast iron is not exposed but covered by the finishing glaze Le Creuset applies to all the cast-iron cookware.
This all-important sealing of the cast-iron rim means that we do not have to season this iron and it is protected from moisture, then, in turn, rust.
The sixth is the embossed Le Creuset knob. Regardless if it is black, stainless steel, or gold, all Le Creuset lid knobs have the brand name stamped on them.
My guide about replacement Le Creuset knobs tells you about how these knobs are interchangeable and the temperature ranges they are safe for.
What Happens if You Bought Fake Cookware?
Unfortunately, Le Creuset doesn’t reimburse you for fake Le Creuset products, which puts you on the hook for the cost. What can you do?
First, report the seller if you bought this at an online platform like eBay or Amazon. Platforms like eBay will cover you if you paid for a fake Le Creuset Dutch oven through the eBay Guarantee.
You have a right to receive a refund if you bought a fake product from anywhere. Report the seller to Trading Standards. They will take legal action against the seller, but they can’t return your cash.
You will also want to report the seller for fraud. On reputable platforms like Amazon and eBay, when they determine the product is fake, they will remove the listing and even ban the seller from the site to prevent future abuse.
These articles deep-dive into all the information you need about Le Creuset Cookware
Le Creuset Sizes – here
Le Creuset Letters & Number – here
Considering purchasing a piece of Le Creuset see my Le Creuset Buyers Guide – here
Where and when to pay the absolute best price for Le Creuset – here
How to Avoid Counterfeits
Your best bet to avoid fake Le Creuset comes from only buying from reputable dealers. Buying in person can help you to look for the fraud points with the product because the photos online can conceal the truth of authenticity. If you buy direct from Le Creuset, you drop the risk altogether.
Anyone concerned about the authenticity of their pot can contact Le Creuset at (877) 273-8738 (CREUSET), extension 6. A professional Le Creuset consultant will help you verify the authenticity of cookware.
The other way to avoid fake Le Creuset Dutch ovens is by knowing what to look for.
Let’s sum up what we’ve covered so far:
- Look for cracked or uneven enamel
- The cast iron shows through at the edge near the top of the lid with counterfeits
- All Le Creuset cast iron products are made in France
- Check for a bright color of quality from the brand.
- No warranty is offered on the product
- Uncommonly low price on a top-tier brand
Understanding the Psychology of Counterfeiters
Counterfeiters can’t match the true quality of a brand like Le Creuset, but they prey on the unsuspecting. If you know what to look for, you can avoid buying counterfeit products.
They make counterfeits cheap and fast and hope that a portion of the public doesn’t learn the truth. Many of these products come from China because of lax laws around counterfeiting.
Fake Le Creuset will have a noticeable substandard quality through subtle things that you can spot.
Counterfeiters target the more expensive brands and try to pass them off as the real thing. Unfortunately, wherever you have an expensive brand that remains high in demand, con artists will take advantage of the unsuspecting.
Warning Signs of Counterfeit Products
You have a few warning signs with counterfeits that you should never ignore. The warning signs to pay attention to include:
- Dubious websites
- Seller’s profiles
- Country of origin
- Payment method
Trusted brands like Le Creuset will use quality product packaging because you paid a good price for it. Counterfeits, on the other hand, don’t use the same quality packaging.
Anything that you buy from China should be looked at with suspicion because 72 percent of counterfeit goods in the EU, the United States, and Japan came exported from China. Other counterfeiting hotspots include Turkey, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore.
Exercise caution with any Le Creuset products bought from these countries. At the least, make sure that you have bought from an authorized seller.
Unfortunately, counterfeit products have become increasingly harder to distinguish because of the growing sophistication, but knowing a few things about the differences can ensure that you don’t blow your money on a counterfeit.
Counterfeits will always have lower quality because they were made to deceive.
Con artists will never put the same level of effort into these products that a real Le Creuset product has in it.
Buying from authorized vendors mitigates the risk, but you should still be alert to potential scams.
Check out some authorized Le Creuset retailers
Final Thoughts – How Can You Tell a Fake Le Creuset?
No one likes to be conned especially for large amounts of money for expensive items.
So you should carry out your due diligence by following the tips above to see if the Le Creuset cookware you are intending to purchase is a fake, vintage, or in fact a genuine product.
If in doubt do not purchase that piece of cookware. Save a little more money, walk into a reputable store and purchase the Le Creuset piece from there.
Read about the best Alternatives to Le Creuset cookware.
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