The hardware on a genuine leather bag is another such important part of determining the over-all quality. In other words, what kind of metal is being used? And how durable is it? And how can you actually tell?
An easy way to determine the quality of hardware is to feel its weight. There are usually buckles accompanied with genuine leather bags, and just by touching these buckles you should be able to feel the weight and density. Usually good quality metal feels a little heavy for its size and is either stainless steel-plated or brass-plated.
Another important part of the hardware is the zipper. You really want to pay close attention to the quality of the zipper and how well it functions. The last thing you want to happen is, the zipper stops working almost a month after you bought your leather bag. So, before buying a leather bag, give the zipper a crash course. Zip it back and forth a few times to get a feel for its level of smoothness. If it gets stuck easily this usually means that it's not the best of quality. Usually with a good quality well functioning zipper, the edges are smoothed out and not very sharp or edgy, thus flowing smoothly when zipped. This almost always entails a good quality and well functioning zipper.