How to spot a Genuine Coach Handbag Purse from a Fake!

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How to spot a Genuine Coach Handbag Purse from a Fake!
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Frustrated or afraid to buy Coach on Ebay?? Here are some guidlines that can help you out from what kind of ebayers you should buy from and what to look for in a picture and description in an auction. This should help you out to filter out those replica and fake Coaches from the real deal at least partly :)

I am an avid collector of Coach. I have been purchasing coaches since I was a teenager and have learned over the years as I have been exposed to the brand in many ways from working in a store to visiting many factory and Coach company owned stores all over the United States!

I am NOT affiliate nor a an employee of coach, just wanted to write a guide to help those out there that want to buy a GENUINE Coach handbag or accessory, but afraid to do so on Ebay!

So lets start with some basics with the seller.

Auctions I DEFINITELY avoid are the following:

  • PRIVATE auctions, meaning they keep their bidders private. If you look at their feedback, and they are all private auctions, I dont even bother to bid. I feel they are definitely trying to hide something like selling many of the SAME item.
  • FEEDBACK. If there is an established  buyer who leaves positive or neutral or NEGATIVE feedback saying their item was not authentic, I DONT bid on any of their items.
  • Amount of AUCTIONS for the SAME thing. If they have SEVERAL, and I am talking at least 3+ of this SAME exact wallet or bag with the SAME pictures and description. I DONT bid. Especially if the auction is private. I have been to many factory stores, and they usually limit you on how many items of the same thing you can buy...for example, if they have a signature wallet on sale for a great discount, then they may put a limit of 2 or 3 that you can buy, and they go pretty quick anyway, so you know that a person isn't going back every day to buy 2 or 3..they usually are gone within a couple of days!
  • They use STOCK PHOTOS...come on!! I am a seller, I take pictures! If they are using stock photos, they may be hiding something..ask them to post a picture of the actual bag..and then research, I have found that sometimes, sellers will take/steal other ebay seller's photos and use them on their own auctions. So research the bag by looking at all auctions and completed auctions to see if they stole or reused old photos.
  • Unanswered Questions. If I ask them to guarantee authenticity or ask for more photos and they NEVER respond, well that is a dead giveaway to me. If they don't provide more photos or only give excuses as to why they cannot provide more photos OR won't guarantee authenticity, I would stay away...BUT even then, a lot of sellers will LIE THROUGH their teeth and will tell you anything to get you to buy their make sure you research, research, research!
  • TRUST your gut instinct!! If you don't feel right about a seller, DONT buy!! Why would you buy from someone you can't trust??

SO DO the following:

  •  Buy from a reputable seller -a definite plus. If you see someone who posts a lot of pictures and GUARANTEES authenticity or 100% money back (no restocking fee blah blah blah) that is definitely a good thing as they stand behind their product! Short to say, there are a LOT of ebay sellers that sell Coach so don't settle for less than 99% Positive feedback. 
  •  Pay with PAYPAL! I cannot stress this enough! Paypal typically offers $200-$2000 coverage if you happen to have a disagreeable transaction.(check the auction listing) So basically, if you buy a replica and don't realize it until after the transaction has taken place, you can file a dispute try to get your money back through Paypal. 
    • Those who are selling fakes and replicas and know what they are doing, will usually avoid Paypal, theywill usually ask for money orders, cashiers checks or ask for a different form of payment like BID PAY or some other site that doesn't offer this protection! 
    • However, I have run into sellers that know they are selling fakes, and eagerly return the merchandise and give you all your money back so that you don't leave negative or neutral feedback with the words FAKE REPLICA in them. Just be on your guard and if this DOES happen to you where you bought a fake and they still refunded you 100% it is only fair to still leave feedback saying that the coach was NOT authentic, you definitely want other future buyers to know your experience....I guess use your gut instinct..and PAY WITH PAYPAL!!

Okay, so enough about sellers, lets get on to the good stuff with Coach!


One of the MOST popular collection that a lot of people buy and also the MOST popular collection that has the most Fakes/Replicas.

Here is the FIRST thing to look for:

 The signature collection typically consists of a bag with C's in alignment all over the bag. The C's ALWAYS RUN from side to side of the bag, NEVER up and down, see the photos below

FAKE See how the C's run up and down and not side to side?
They are usually coupled and facing each other. On a genuine Coach, you will find that the C's are PERFECTLY CENTERED AND SYMMETRICAL. If you were to take an imaginary knife and cut RIGHT in the center of the bag, you will split a pair of C's facing each other. You will NOT split TWO pairs of C's.

FAKE  See how the C's are NOT centered to the middle of the bag?
The picture here above shows a REALLY good example of a fake/replica Signature Collection Coach. See how a PAIR of C's do not make the center of the Purse??


See how the C's are not even Coupled together?? They are singly printed? 

Now here is a Purse that has the C's Coupled, facing each other AND Centered
See how the Clip/Strap of the purse Splits a Pair of C's?? THAT is what you need to look for in a REAL Coach.

Now the same goes for purses that have flaps, both the flap and the actual purse will have the C's Centered.  Here is a photo of a bag with a flap that is a GENUINE

Here you see that the C's are still perfectly Centered :)

HOWEVER, I must ADD, that just because the C's are centered, that DOES NOT mean it is ABSOLUTELY 100% Authentic. So read on for some other things to look for...

The SECOND thing you want to look at with a Signature Collection is the Lining and/or CREED/Serial!!

Now here is the RULE OF THUMB for the lining:

If a Coach Purse has SIGNATURE C's(to include the patchwork & Legacy collection as well) on the OUTSIDE-It is NOT going to have C's  OR the Coach Lozenge emblem lining printed on the inside!! They will either have: a)solid color twill fabric lining OR if it is the Legacy Collection, it will have the Striped lining.

If it is a LEATHER Or MERCER Coach bag, then it will have either the Medium C's Lining (for leather bags) OR Coach Lozenge emblem  printed lining for the Mercer Collection.

Here are some examples:
This is a Photo of mine. This is a Leather Soho Flap Purse that shows the medium C's lining on the inside.


There are a couple of things that give this away as a fake.

  • 1. This is a Coach signature bag, so C's will ONLY exist on the outside..not the inside lining..the inside lining should be solid.
  • 2. The creed...a creed always has the serial/style number AFTER the creed on the bottom...not next to the end of the creed...see below:


See that even though it is inscribed in gold lettering, the style number is STILL below the actual creed!! This is a LEGACY series Coach bag, you can tell with the striped lining.  Now the Gold Lettering ONLY exists on Legacy Series..Which brings me to the THIRD thing to look for:

Now with the CREEDS, here are some good telltale signs:

A Coach Creed consists of sets of letters and numbers.  Now the First set of letters numbers, will typically tell you what year it was made.  The Second set of letters/numbers will tell you the STYLE number of the purse. So if you want to be extra handy and quick, do a search on ebay (include descriptions) for the STYLE number of the purse and see what comes up and see if it matches.

So the above creed, is obviously mine (I watermark my pictures so they are less likely to be stolen) So you can see the First set of letters/numbers is : E063-this means it was made for a 2006 design...the second set of letters/numbers is: 2156-this is the style number of the bag, if you do a search for this bag, you will find it is the signature tote with a leather bottom and detachable strap.

If you find that your seller has not posted a picture of the creed, ask for it, then start your research from there :)

If you find a purse who's Creed Has JUST the creed and just the style number imprinted below, that is a FAKE. Also the First let of numbers/letters ALWAYS start with a LETTER and always has at least 2 more letters/numbers next to for will always have at least three numbers/letters (XXX-Style number) AT LEAST.

I hope that this guide has been helpful. I have also wrote a guide on Patchwork Handbags and one on wallets..Please see my other reviews that may be helpful to you :)

If this helped you, please don't forget to VOTE YES if it did :)  I would greatly appreciate it.

 If you have any other questions about a bag you have purchased recently or one up for auction or any comments, please feel free to contact me..

Thanks so much!

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