February 5th, 2005
Tips to determining authenticity for a Signature Coach Bag
If you are considering on purchasing a handbag from a questionable source, then go to the coach website or even go into a reputable store that carries Coach products.
The simplest way in determining authenticity would be examining the layout of the signature C’s. The C’s should be lined up perfectly to the center. However, it is not uncommon for the mini-signature C collections to be off by tiny bit only on the sides. So don’t panic.
The signature style for Coach will always be the two C’s next to each other in doubles, not as the picture shows below, in a single row of C’s
If the overall figure of the bag appears to not resemble one that coach would produce, then chances are it’s a replica.
You can tell by not only the style of the bag, but also the pattern. If the pattern is not the famous Coach signature C, but rather a different letter, such as an O or a G then it’s an obvious fake.
Dust bags should be dark chocolate brown with a red drawstring. In the bottom right the words in all caps “COACH EST.1941″ written in white. Coach does not use cheap material to make these. There are many replica dust bags floating around on the Internet. So if you see one stay away, chances are that bag is fake.
Up until 2002 about 75% of coach handbags were manufactured in the US. Now, most are assembled in China.
The interior serial number should start with “No”, the abbreviation for number, and have 4 numbers after the dash, not 3.
The writing should be neat on the authenticity tag, not crookedly stamped on. Also the paragraph above the serial number should be in all caps, and in English.
Make sure that the authenticity number matches up with the style of the bag that you are interested in purchasing. If you are about to purchase from an unauthorized dealer, call Coach, their representatives will be more then willing to verify if the authenticity number matches the style.
There also needs to be a serial number.
Coach commonly uses logo tags that are attached by a beaded chain. Usually, the tag should match the trim of the bag. The words “COACH” should be raised, not imprinted.
Some styles to have metal tags. Do your research to make sure that the tag goes with the bag you are getting. It is not uncommon for counterfeiters to mass-produce these metal tags; it’s the cheaper more profitable way. Tags are never made out of hard plastic.
Other minor flaws
Coach uses ykk zippers. Be sure to check if the markings are on the zippers.
The seams of the bag and interior authenticity tag should not be glued on but rather neatly stitched on. Coach takes pride in experienced craftsmanship on each and every piece. If the stitching is of poor quality, by being raised in some areas, or if you see the string knot then it is a replica.
The bag should look neat and sturdy, not slouching to one side or lopsided. This is caused by either uneven lousy stitching or not quality material that’s to thin. Coach uses leather or suede trim, not pleather or shiny plastic.
It’s easier to tell the difference between leather and plastic in person. You can usually tell by the smell, however, there are handbags out there that are made of plastic and sprayed with leather perfume, which smells more like a new car than a purse. If you are looking at a picture, you can generally tell if it looks too shiny or cheap looking.
Coach in my opinion degrades their image by having discount stores. However, this could be a reason why there are less fakes online. More people are going to the outlet stores or purchasing them on sale, only to turn around and resell.
I also must applaud the US government for a attempting to end the importation of counterfeit items coming into the US. It is a big goal to accomplish, considering the fact that the law making it illegal to sell counterfeit items was recently passed in the mid 1990′s. The government at this time does what it can to catch these criminals. However, lets just say I won’t be too impressed until it’s illegal for vendors to sell them on the streets! It’s not only the governments lack to enforce which keeps this multi-million dollar industry in business, but you as a consumer must not purchase these items. Most people do not know the trail of money when purchasing a counterfeit item.
You ask your self how they could get away with this? They import them without the fake designer labels. Then upon purchase by an unsuspecting person, the vendor will glue on a cheap label.
There is such thing as a good deal. However, if someone claims to have a handbag for sale that isn’t even in stores yet, you should pass. If purchasing from an unauthorized dealer or from an auction site, the only understandable good deal would be if it were a bag from a past season.
If you’re unsure if you are purchasing from an authorized Coach dealer, then contact Coach. Just call their 800 number and they should tell you if you are dealing with a certified seller. Read into the website by checking the “about us” or “customer service” section. If anywhere on there sounds suspicious then stay away. Con artists try to hide the fact that they are selling fakes. Commonly when describing their products, they would state they are “designer inspired”, or “grade A replica’s”. They put these words in there to protect themselves from any lawsuits.
How do I report counterfeit Coach merchandise?
Combating counterfeiting of Coach product is an important objective for Coach. Please e-mail your information to firstname.lastname@example.org or use the Coach anti-counterfeiting hotline to report counterfeiters and unauthorized distributors of Coach merchandise at 1-800-396-1807.