How to Buy Authentic Coach on eBay: 5 Basic Ways to Tell If a Coach Purse Is Real or Fake
I love Coach bags, period. I eat, sleep and breathe them. They are my kryptonite. I have a hard time resisting anything Coach! I have been selling Coach items on eBay and have been doing so for over ten years. As I said, I am a Coachaholic! The quality of these bags is irresistible. They are fashionable, a little sassy, and at times just downright classy! And oftentimes the best deals on authentic Coach bags are found on eBay. Yet not all these "authentic" bags are real. So how can you tell a real authentic Coach purse from a fake? Below I discuss five foolproof ways to determine whether a Coach purse is real.
Foolproof Way 1: The Coach Leather Creed
The first way to tell if a Coach bag is real is to look for the Coach leather creed. Every Coach bag has a serial number; it's as simple as that. Inside most Coach purses is a leather patch, known as a Coach creed, which shows a serial number that corresponds to the name and type of Coach purse you are looking at.
Large to medium-sized to large size Coach bags will always have a Coach leather patch with a serial number inside the bag. Some of the smaller bags (such as top-handle bags or clutches) don't have the patch, but they will still have a serial number, and they can be verified. The serial number will be listed on the sales tag. If the sales tag for a small bag is not included in the auction or sale because the bag is pre-owned, then please take this into consideration before bidding or buying.
On a Coach creed, you should see a letter, then four numerals, then a dash, and then more numbers: five numbers for newer bags, three or four for older vintage bags (pre-1990). The last five numerals are the style of the purse. For example, a large white leather Coach Ergo bag has 12235 as its last five digits (see picture). You can take this number and type it into your search bar, either on eBay or the Internet, with the word "Coach" in front of it, and search it. If your search results come back with similar pictures or descriptions of Coach purses, then you know the bag is real. Also, this number can be verified by any Coach store (some will, some won't). So if in doubt, pick up the phone and call, it's worth a try!
Foolproof Way 2: Coach Hangtags
Coach hangtags are NOT sales tags, but small leather keyfobs adorning the outside of a Coach purse. They are ALWAYS leather and embossed with the word "Coach." The only way a real authentic Coach purse would come with a metal hangtag is if it was a limited edition. The metal hangtag would always be accompanied by one or two leather hangtags, or crystal studded. If you see a purse with a metal hangtag only (often gold-colored), it is fake, or at the very least, its authenticity should be questioned!
Update 2018: Some Coach hang tags are being made as Duos with both a leather and metal hangtag set, these will always be embossed with "Coach."
Foolproof Way 3: The Inside Lining
The easiest way to tell whether a Coach purse is fake or real is by the inside lining of the purse. For real purses, it will be a solid-color satin material. There are exceptions to this rule in the Legacy line of purses or the tooth hound lining in certain bags, but since this is a basic guide, I am not touching on that. Fake Coach purses may be lined with solid-colored silk (very rarely, only high-quality knock-offs will have this and even then the material will be noticeably different in quality), or much more often with the "signature C" lining shown in the picture below.
Foolproof Way 4: Coach Sales Tag
Authentic Coach sales tags are always white. They will list the MSRP price of the purse and the style number that I discussed above under Foolproof Tip 1 (Coach creed), as well as an abbreviated description of the style of purse. For example, "Med Mad Met Hip" is Medium Madison Metallic Hippie. Fake sales tags are always red or brown with a white outside border, and these fake tags will be attached to the fake metal hangtag rather than to the hardware or to the inside of the Coach purse.
By the way, Coach bags do not come with Coach booklets, only a small business-card-like Coach care card.
Foolproof Way 5: "Signature C" Material on the Outside
This tip obviously will not work on leather Coach purses; for them, you need to use the earlier tips. But when it comes to Coach purses made from the "signature C" jacquard material, it's pretty easy to tell whether they are fake or real. The C's in the material will always line up straight down the center of the purse, so if you were to cut the purse in half from top to bottom, through the middle of the bag, each side would have its own C. This pattern will continue throughout the purse and along the bottom of the bag. On fake Coach purses, the C's are usually not lined up, and they are often off-center from the middle of the bag.
Also, if they are genuine, these bags with the "signature C" material on the outside have solid inner satin linings. If the inside liner has the "signature C" design, the purse is not genuine.
Questions or comments? Leave them below!
Feel free to contact me with any question, or with pictures, should you be thinking about purchasing a Coach bag from eBay but are still unsure. I would be more than happy to help you verify its authenticity.
© 2012 Elizabeth