I love writing about how to get the best deals when buying items on eBay.
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
Cindy on July 17, 2020:
Received a hobo bag that has a Coach written in gold on outside. I think it’s fake, is it?
Sue E Jones on May 27, 2020:
I have a large multi-colored snakeskin bag from Coach. I would like to verify the serial number No. D1126-17749.
Thanks for any help you are able to give.
Renée D on May 26, 2020:
Show me the coach bag with No A2J-10169
Brent on May 14, 2020:
Do coach bags have any upside down number or letters on the Creed
Gal on February 16, 2020:
Hi Elizabeth, thank you for the helpful post. I found a coach drifter on ebay from a seller named certified watch store. It seems real. Are you familiar with this seller at all? Thanks in advance.
MarBin on February 09, 2020:
Limited edition Coach Purse blue,
4ft adjustable strap, magnetic clasp. Have pictures.5-10 years old, have box,tissue paper, tissue paper with Coach on it, outer bag. Please help. Thank you
Barb on January 11, 2020:
I appreciate your tips, & would like to know if this bag is authentic or fake?
Could you please let me know if this bag is authentic or not?
No. E0882-F12607, black leather; Creed as follows, all in caps:
THIS IS A COACH BAG. IT WAS HAND-
CRAFTED IN CHINA FROM FULL-GRAIN
COWHIDE LEATHER. VARIATIONS IN
THE GRAIN ARE A CHARACTERISTIC.
ITS SUPERIOR CRAFTSMANSHIP
REFLECTS OUR COMMITMENT TO
Black fabric lining~ very well made, high quality leather, no uneven stitching. I have found several online, it looks authentic, but don't want to make a mistake.
Thank you~ Sincerely, Barb
Lucia Carr on January 07, 2020:
But how do you authenticate a Coach purse that is reversible with no inside leather creed / patch ?
Mechelle Drake on December 25, 2019:
I am so happy I found your site! I am hoping you can help me with a few questions.
~~Which style lines have cursive tags?
~~Where should the underline be on the o in No.? I read it must be immediately under the o and not at the bottom aligning with the N. Then I read depending on where it was made will determine the underline.
~~The last line on the tag - Should it be indented at all? Or must it be block alignment to the left? I have seen it both ways but can not find resource material to let me know if both ways are ok.
Kelly Kincaide on November 03, 2019:
So glad to find you!
I have a Coach purse that needs to be authenticated.
I have pictures I could email as well.
The hardware (buckles) have Coach on them, the zipper has YKK the lining is not satin and is clearly not been used. I'm curious and would love to know the new price. I've seen a few when I did a search but they were all used.
Kindest regards, Kelly
Irene on October 19, 2019:
Do you know if coach made a split suede handbag. D043-9663
Amy on October 15, 2019:
Im interested in a vintage coach turnlock purse (penny ourse) #9755. The person is listing the purse with that number, but the purse in the pictures is showing a different #. I asked him about this, and he said the number isnt the same as the stule number. Im not trusting this. Can you help
K on September 18, 2019:
A bag I'm looking at has a lining that's solid color with a *tonal stripe* in the weave.
It's #Jze4923 - a fold-over bucket type bag.
Diona on September 17, 2019:
I purchased a coach diaper bag. They said it's authentic. Wanted to make sure. Can you help me..?
Cindy on July 23, 2019:
My Willis coach bag has a brass rivet at the top of the coach signature label on the inside. Do you know if there is a reason for this rivet?
Luxury Finds on July 14, 2019:
I’m also a coach fanatic. I have a few vintage ones and I compare to my newer ones, the older ones have like a plastic looking tag and the newer ones have the leather ones. Also the wallets and the lanyards do NOT have any serial numbers. Only on the tags from the store have the numbers. I hardly ever keep the tags but I do save all the receipts then you’ll get the people who don’t know saying it’s fake.
For the ones that are purchasing off of other sites other than a reputable seller or coach you can look up the serial number on coach itself. I purchased a few off Tophatter and they were real. I’d say do what you think you need to do is get all the information before buying from other than a reputable seller or coach, coach outlet.
jo on June 29, 2019:
Hi all, if you want to confirm the authenticity of your Coach items just contact your nearest store either outlet or retail and ask them to check the codes for you. Alternatively when you type it on Google search stating coach then the serial number it should come up. As with the metal hang tag, this is a season's release it's not necessarily fake.
Linda kuuttila on June 25, 2019:
I have a coach purse with white tag sewn in seam with serial number but the hang tag is not leather and is stamped lightly. The creed patch is not leather either. All the hardware is marked Coach, how do I tell authenticity by hang tag
Swoodco on May 04, 2019:
I am trying to determine the authenticity of a coach bag I purchased online
From coach outlet. The serial number inside the bag is L1822-F39043
Any help would be greatly appreciated
Matthew J Harner on March 06, 2019:
Hello! I am looking at purchasing a coach bag from poshmark and the serial number from the inside matches with a Hamptons signature medium madeline tote bag from 2008, via coach customer service. I'm still wondering if it is a fake though. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Mary on February 22, 2019:
The metal hangtag thing isn't foolproof, because the Coach company supplies replacement metallic tags for free. I have a navy Janice's Legacy bag that lost its original tag and I recently decided to look for a replacement. I saw a rather ratty looking navy leather tag for sale online for over $20 (no thx!) So I opted for the freebie option. I emailed Coach my bag's creed number, hardware color & mailing address. They got back to me in less than 24 hours and immediately generated an order for a free tag. They supply them in 3 tones: light gold, silver, and gunmetal. I went with gold to complement my bag's brass hardware. It may not be the original vintage tag my bag was issued with but at least I know it is authentic. Anyone opting for a metal tag do not waste your money with eBay etc. Just call or email coach!
CEAS on February 16, 2019:
Hi there just purchased a beautiful grey coach handbag. The model is a 1942, No-E1832-31698. The lining is silk with coach written in it. Just checking to make sure its real.
Jan Diller on November 13, 2018:
I bought a nice "Coach"? purse on Tophatter for $50.00. The serial number is F0873-13516. It has a nice plain thick silk lining. Does this mean it is a factory outlet piece; is this a good price?
Jenny on August 17, 2018:
I bought a leather zip wallet and the pinning is not silk, to be honest I’m not sure what this material is just like a coach wallet but back of the soft leather is not striped and the soft leather seems very thin and there is nothing marked coach on the inside! Could you please maybe make an assumption for me
sigh on August 11, 2018:
I think this is great and informative but also hilarious as coach has watered down the value of its bags. They can be bought on sale for a song and dance. I'd care if a Louis Vuitton or something $2000 was real or fake. But for $100 I just dont give a crap.
MMJ342 on August 03, 2018:
If there is an F in front of the 5 numbers it's still a genuine bag! However this F indicates that it's a factory outlet piece. They're still made by coach, but they're often cheaper versions of the real thing. Don't be tricked into paying the full tag price on a bag with an F. Most outlet bags sell about 60% cheaper than the price listed on the tag!
Janice Castle on June 22, 2018:
the serial number on mine is G1276-F19708 doesn't matter I like it just curious
Joyce on June 02, 2018:
I have coach bag given to me & do not care if it is real of not, but would love to find more of this size & with all the pockets. how do I find all this out.
Pamela Howard on May 12, 2018:
I sent a request. I'd like to send you photos
Stephanie on April 19, 2018:
Thanks so much for this article! It was super informative. :)
Carly Blankenship on April 15, 2018:
Thanks for information how your information regarding serial numbers on the creed is no longer accurate. Coach stopped putting serial numbers on the patch over a year ago. Unfortunately newer bags do not have this information- dumb move on Coachs part IMO.
Khall on April 03, 2018:
I see Coach at Goodwill all. The time but the body will look good but handles are always messed up.
Ppp Carter on March 29, 2018:
Can you tell me if this Coach purse is real? I'm not sure but I think it's fake. I don't know how to provide pictures. The label doesn't say made in China & the isn't a serial number. It's a satchel with the C's on the outside. It has purple straps
RuthaAnne on March 12, 2018:
hi! I enjoyed your article but did need to disagree with one point. I know for a fact some bags- pre -1990 did in fact come with C signature logo fabric. I own a couple that have been authenticated. You may want to change that piece of this article to help others in their authentication process:) thank you.
Elizabeth (author) from Some Sunny Beach, USA on March 08, 2018:
HI Alexa, Yes, its a Coach Signature Reversable tote with included travel pouch which would include the creed number. Id say its Authentic but without pictures I cant be 100% certain. Thanks!
Jami on February 21, 2018:
I would gladly help I have over 15 yrs selling experience. :)
Ark on February 02, 2018:
I bought a few coach “vintage” bags and now questioning if they are real. If i send you the creed # can you help?
JeanetteSerdula@gmsil.com on January 20, 2018:
Looking for serial no: LO969-13821 would like to buy at a reasonable price. Thank you.
Patricia Ann Lawson on December 28, 2017:
Can you tell me if J0820-f13075 is real and what is it worth? How do I clean the suede on it?
vivian vazquez on December 17, 2017:
Hi, i was given this coach purse years ago from my grandmother who has since past on.....im just wondering if its real or fake, since i cannot ask her. Inside is the serial numbers N°F04J-6824....i think its fake but my friend thinks it may b real...thank u for your time.
T. on August 25, 2017:
I would like your opinion about this coach purse please.
Josie on August 17, 2017:
How will i know if its an authentic coach bag?
mycarolinavintage on August 05, 2017:
I have acquired a large Coach bag with creed patch and serial number that reads:#G1082-16742. Seems like a few rules are broken here? Any suggestions?
Nellie on July 10, 2017:
I'm getting ready to purchase one today from a seller not sure if it's a real Coach or not!
Jo on June 21, 2017:
My purse has H1049-F15480 is my gift a real coach..
Kyra Carlos on June 06, 2017:
Hi I hope you can help me I just purchased a Coach Heritage signature flight back, I would like to know if its authentic can you help me with this?
Please send me e-amil with firstname.lastname@example.org
Vanessa on June 03, 2017:
Hi. Got a Coach purse. Can't tell if it's real?
pam on June 03, 2017:
help me fine value of my purses
Leeanne on May 19, 2017:
Have won the second bag and now really questioning whether it is real. Could you let me know what you think before Thursday when I have to pay for it. She seems to have a lot of luxury items for sale.
Leeanne on May 18, 2017:
Can you tell me if these coach bags I'm interested in are authentic
K1373 - F26033
ebay item number 152552487912
G 1275 - F20428
Ebay item number 361978142777
This one didn't have a serial number on the bag and I couldn't read the tag in the picture.
Its ebay item number 201903338012
I would send links and pictures but don't know how to do it. Would really appreciate the help asap. Thanks.
Pat Schaeffet on May 17, 2017:
Are bags sold at a Couch Outlet real?
Alania on April 27, 2017:
Given a black satchel madison sabrina coach bag #F0821-12937. Is it real
Sue on April 21, 2017:
Hi on a red coach city bag it has the #s
No A7B-9790. It was hand crafted in the United States. Are the Cereal numbers real?
Sharon on April 11, 2017:
Thanks I bought a message bag unsure if it's real.
Lala on April 10, 2017:
Please help me if my coach purse is authentic No E0878-12358
Jan on March 26, 2017:
Will an authentic Coach purse have a small tag on the inside of the bag that says "Made in Vietnam"? And the leather tag on inside has no number on it. Seller says she knows it's authentic because she bought it at a coach store in El Paso....
Honeylie soriano on March 14, 2017:
I bought a coach hologram bag. Theres no code and the tag name coach is not embossed... Can u show me original hologram bag? Thank you
email@example.com on February 27, 2017:
Don't have my purse with me but would like someone to see if it's real when I get him I will send a picture
Pau on February 16, 2017:
Nadia Schneider on February 08, 2017:
is a Coach purse with No. co4u-1202 authentic or fake?
Carolbelle on February 01, 2017:
Your number 4 is not completely true. Authentic Coach bags sometimes come with Coach booklets! My daughter worked for Coach and gave me several bags, some had a booklet inside!
Michelle on January 29, 2017:
Hi I wanted to know how to check the serial number
Evette on January 17, 2017:
Why is my coach bag peeling ,I had it for 15 years
Isvasu (อิสวาสุ) on January 10, 2017:
I bought a Coach handbag for my sister directly from Coach store in Virginia. My sister said it was Made in Vietnam and her older sister's Made in New York. Her bag was fake...
Where/how can I find one Made in USA?
GAfromCA on January 02, 2017:
It appears that your rules don't apply to saddlebags. Coach.com shows them with leather lining or no lining, only the natural suede back of the leather. Also the serial numbers are SD-XXXXX(numbers).
I have a bag from the 1980's from ebay. I think it may be real because I've been using it continuously for 15 years the damn thing won't die!
Kay Graham on January 01, 2017:
I received a gift from a family member last year. A blue Coach tote. According to your article it seems authentic, however, the logo on the front is a silver oval similar to the turnlock style. It also does not have the serial number under the creed which I understand is not always used. There is no tag inside the bag with a serial number, just a clear tag that says MADE IN VIET NAM* VIETNAM.
Ernie on December 31, 2016:
I bought 3 Coach Dakotah rivets bags on eBay. They all have a perfume smell . They were labeled new with tags. Do genuine Coach bags smell like perfume?
Stuart garison on December 28, 2016:
I am male and no nothing about handbags but the coach bag I have seems to basically all match up to what is authentic but the model I have is F21883 made in China and on the zip mechanism it doesn't say ykk it says ideal so does this mean it fake?
Mel on December 06, 2016:
I could you tell me is this one is real or fake.
COACH NO K1380-F24603
COACH NO D1059-F15669
Real or Fake please on November 27, 2016:
I was given this purse. I'm not sure if it is real. How can I send pics
Tamara Ekberg on November 15, 2016:
I have a bag I was wondering if you could tell me if it's authentic or not!?
VincentLazaro on November 12, 2016:
...same goes with bags for men?
Emilie on October 30, 2016:
Come on girls!!! This post is olddddd. Somebody notifies the writer to change or update plz? As of today, 30 October 2016, I know for a fact that most of Coach bags don't have ID numbers anymore. I checked in person at department stores like Macys, Lord and Taylor, Nordstrom... and also Coach outlet stores in Illinois. Please DO NOT rely on a VERY OLD POST to verify your bag. Go to a store instead!!
Kathy on October 26, 2016:
Is it real??? YE-06-1982
Natasha on October 22, 2016:
Hi can you please tell me if Coach F36366 (Authentic Coach London Womens Designer Tan Brown Leather Carryall Bag [F36366]) is genuine? item: 331984632561 It looks like a business called and called sarah-hobbs-handbags (402 Feedback score: 402) I live in the UK and want to buy my mum a multi compartment zipped handbag and this one looks quite nice 3 separate zipped compartments, decent size, and can be hand held or put across her body (which is easier for her at the mo as she has to use a walking stick as she has had a problem with her leg for a couple of weeks. I have set myself a budget of £200 (so it is just within) as I have already spent over that on some of her other Christmas presents (already LOL! Better to start early and you only have one mum! Oooops I deviating off the subject sorry) So any help is confirming whether this is genuine would be much appreciated x
Brittany on October 17, 2016:
G1282-F20015. It's blue. Please help :)
Linda on October 09, 2016:
Where do you go an look up the serial number?
Irmski on October 08, 2016:
Alexandria on September 23, 2016:
Is my coach purse real ? N2F0993-14235
Michelle on September 20, 2016:
Hello I purchased a Coach bag A2J-7801 and think its a fake. Any help? I could not find where to send a pic.
Sabiha Hassan on September 16, 2016:
I would like to know if this bag is authentic. Attached is the link and pictures. I have not bought it yet. Waiting for yiur advice. Thanks! I cant attach the link, so I am putting in the description. Coach Carrie Crossbody in pebble red authentic leather F36666, sold on Amazon.com by Electro Deals NH and fulfilled by Amazon.
Calvinj82 on September 16, 2016:
Thanks for the article. I actually just bought a Coach from Ebay and I was wondering if I could send you some pics to help with authentication?
Hi its julie on September 15, 2016:
I have three coach purses and would like to know if there real or fake please help me ty
Maria Drummond on September 10, 2016:
Does Coach make any purses with a print other than the Cs? Do they make an animal print bag? Thank you.
ceecee on August 24, 2016:
Hi ijust brought a tablet holder and cant tell if it is fake or not, it has a solid lining inside and the C's line up but no serial number anywhere. not sure how to send pic to this site
Looneyslady on August 24, 2016:
I got this coach bag with leather smells like leather NO A2J -7800 is it a fake it has metal tags
Asiah on August 21, 2016:
Hey @Jasmin , there are coach factories in Vietnam, China & Phillipines. So it should be authentic.
jessica chauhan on August 18, 2016:
Thanks for sharing the information as I was not aware that we can get fake coach purse also.
Jasmin on August 13, 2016:
Hi, i bought coach purse in mainland and im suspecting it is fake. The serial number is F28502 and its made in philippines. Is it automatic fake if it's made in the philippines?
Nikki on August 04, 2016:
Not all hangtag are leather the poppy collection has a hard plastic hangtag.
Nikki on August 04, 2016:
I have one of the poppy bags and a magnet will not stick to the metal on it. Is it fake?
Nicole on July 23, 2016:
I am interested in a COACH cardholder. Not sure if it is real.
Missmariaberns on July 17, 2016:
Hi i'm eyeing a coach bag online can i email it to you to authenticate? Pls. I need your email pls.
Joanne on June 19, 2016:
Hi. Great article. Thanks for helping those of us who are coach novices. I have an affinity for vintage coach bags. I know in your article you said that the lining will never have the sea pattern for handbags. However I have A brown leather wristlet with the coach insignia on the outside and leatherware est. 1941 the inside of it is the "C" pattern lining. I wasn't sure if your rule of thumb applied to wristlets as well. I do not have a serial number for this wristlet . I appreciate any help you might offer. Take care
Ms Gertie on June 18, 2016:
I have a sinking suspicion that I bought a fake Coach. The serial number is CO6Q-11495 . According to your blog, this number many not even be in the correct format? It also is lined with the C pattern. The bag is Red with a embroidered design that includes the stage coach, a skull and pink flowers. Do you have an opinion on this?
ChastitySMoore on June 17, 2016:
Is there any way I could email you some pictures of a Coach bag I just got for a gift? I haven't a clue whether it's real or fake. I've never seen one in this color... that you.
Collette on June 07, 2016:
Hi I need help authenticating a coach gabby tartan bag. Creed is H1040-F1548. This bag is a pink and black plaid. Should an authentic Coach match the c pattern in the back also?
Emily on May 23, 2016:
Is this a real bag?
Karen on May 17, 2016:
Can you tell me if this is an authentic creed for the following coach purse
Coach on May 17, 2016:
That is a lie , not all coach purses have the creed numbers , especially after models made in 2014 , or mini bags and a numerous of others , don't post false information