Monday, May 9, 2011

Buying Authentic Coach - what to look for

Ok, so you want to get yourself a deal on ebay or are even hoping to find a little vintage Coach at your thrift store.  Good news!  There are thousands and thousands of authentic Coach bags out there just waiting to be re-discovered by YOU!  I have found Coach bags everywhere, even at little thrift stores in the middle of nowhere.  My husband even knows a fake Coach from a real one at pretty much just one glance.  Here are some important things to help you separate the real ones from the fake ones.

- Coach always uses REAL LEATHER on their bags.  If it looks like its supposed to be leather, it needs to be leather.  They don't use pleather or faux leather.  It can take awhile to tell real leather from fake leather just by touch, but you can do it.  

- Coach NEVER lines a bag with C's on the inside if it has C's all over the outside.

this is a FAKE lining on a FAKE bag.

 - most Coach bags have a patch inside with a "creed" and a serial number and or style number.  Usually the number should have an "No" followed by a series of numbers with a dash in the center.  They can be various lengths, but they should always have at least 3 digits/letters before the dash and after (often there's more).  A lot of fake bags have "NT" - and a set of numbers. Also, coach bags were NEVER made in Korea.  A LOT of vintage fakes have "NT" and then 2 numbers, a dash, and 3 or 4 more numbers.  All of those are fake.  Also, check the creed to make sure the words are spelled right.  Some vintage bags have some misspellings in the creed, even though the bag may be a pretty good quality otherwise.

REAL Coach creeds:

- Get to know Coach's styles.  They do come out with a lot of crazy shapes and colors, but they are always well made and reasonably tasteful.  They have NEVER made bags that look like these:
 Also, another thing both these bags suffer from is the ZIPPER HANGS OVER THE EDGE.  Coach pretty much never does this.  If you see a bag with the end of the zipper hanging over, run away.  Coach almost always nicely tucks the bottom end of the zipper inside the bag.  They may have long zipper pulls, but the bottom end of the zipper tucks inside, or the zipper will be a separating kind (like on a jacket).

- The Signature C bags usually have a symmetrical pattern to them.  Usually the C's are well placed on the bag and are NOT crooked.  Some signature patterns like the Optic Signature are not symmetrical because they can't be, but if the bag has regular C's, they should be even on both sides of the bag. 

BAD C's on a FAKE bag...
GOOD C's on a REAL bag...
 - Hang Tags come on most Coach bags.  They are easy to remove, though, so they won't always be there.  If you see a bag with a Coach hang tag like this, walk on.

Check the font and shape of these tags. FAKE. 

Here's a REAL Coach hang tag:  See how the font is different. 

The biggest tip for buying Coach bags on Ebay is make sure you see pictures of BOTH the inside of the bag and the outside.  Buy from a seller with lots of feedback and one who has sold a lot of authentic Coach bags.  As you get to know your stuff, you can take more chances to try and score a good deal, but stick to someone you trust for the beginning.  Before you know it, you'll be getting familiar with Coach and becoming a pro!


  1. Yikes! Melissa, my sister bought a Coach bag for me at the Coach Outlet and it does have C's on the inside and it does have tags that look like the one in your pic above! I do not want to be walking around with a fake bag looking like a poser! Do you think the Coach Outlet stores are selling knock-offs???

  2. NO the outlet stores are not selling knock offs. :) There are probably subtle differences that make your bag real, don't worry! Bags have C's on the inside, just not generally if they are all over the outside. Anyways, if it was from an outlet, it's totally real. :)

  3. send me a picture if you want, I'd be happy to tell you why your bag is the real deal! :)

  4. I am loving your blog! Keep it up, cousin :D

  5. i would like help to see if my coach bag is authentic plz?