There is nothing worse than getting ripped off by buying a fake COACH handbag/purse or other Coach products on Ebay. COACH handbags are relatively inexpensive compared to many other designer bags such as PRADA, DIOR, CHANEL, LV, and so on, so many people may be thinking it is not worth it for people to make and/or sell fake or unauthentic Coach purses or products. However, we all know that there are so many people who want to make some quick cash and don't care how they do it.
At issue is the fact that unlike most other designer bags, fake COACH products are easy to make and it is often difficult to distinguish fake Coach handbags and other items from the brands authentic handbags and other products.
I have another guide focusing on fake COACH key rings and this guide will focus on COACH handbags/wallets. Now, I am basing this guide on my experiences as a COACH buyer since I started buying their items in high school, which I graduated in 1996. I am also basing this on the numerous fakes I've seen on sale on the street while in college in Philadelphia and on my more than I can count trips to NYC.
This means I am not in no way an expert but I LOVE COACH and their products because the brand allows most people the chance to own high-quality products without spending thousands of dollars.
Again, please note, I am not in any way affiliated with COACH, but I love their products and I hate to see people getting ripped off.
So, here are my tips on things to look for when purchasing a COACH purse on Ebay....
- Pay close attention to any purse/wallet with the "C" pattern. I usually avoid buying these products even in stores because I do not like to own things street vendors copy and sell replicas of, but I know the signature pattern is very popular with a lot of people, so I feel it is necessary to stress what to look for when purchasing the brand's signature line items. So, most, but not all like the "optic" or "scarf print," should have the tip of one "C" touching the facing "C." (See why it is often hard to distinguish an authentic pattern from a replica? It is only some of these patterns that this rule applies to, grrr!) Anyway, for the most part, the "C" pattern should start at the center and go out towards the side. The seams of the purse should go straight through the middle of the "C," and the pattern should be aligned properly, i.e., aligned horizontally and vertically. I advise you to look at the COACH website or browse the product at a COACH store or authorized retailer such as M*cy's to compare the purse you are thinking of purchasing on Ebay with a product you know is authentic.
- I have seen so many street vendors trying to sell Coach purses with the "C" pattern but they are actually "GG" patterns. It is so obvious that it is almost funny but some vendors try to claim that the purses are Gucci or because Guess has a similar motif, well then they are Guess purses, but they are just VERY poorly made replicas.
- Look at the details! If you purchase a Coach purse on ebay examine the purse carefully to ensure it is authentic. If it is a Coach bag than the stitching should be perfect, even at the outlets, the stitching is top notch. Also, the brassware or Coach's hardware so to speak, is often tagged with Coach's logo. It is important to PAY ATTENTION to these details. Unfortunately these details are often hard to photograph but if someone sells you a replica bag they are practicing fraud and there are steps you can take to ensure you get all of your money back if you purchased a bogus bag on Ebay.
- On Ebay, be sure the photos of the Coach item you want to buy is of the actual product the seller is selling and not a stock photo. Also, be weary of blurry photos, etc. Poor or stock photos do not neccessarily mean the seller is selling fake products but I prefer to see the actual products I am purchasing, especially for something like a COACH purse. I mean stock photos may be okay for a book but in my opinion not for a Coach purse.
- Most sellers will state clearly that their COACH products are 100 percent Authentic. Check to see what else they are selling and READ their feedback. Reading feedback can help you determine the seller's reputation and this helps you determine whether you can feel safe purchasing products from them. Also, reading feedback has helped me from not buying a Coach purse from one seller who claims to purchased their Coach products from an outlet store at a location where no such store exists. Now, just because a seller is not selling a lot of Coach products does not mean the few they do sell are not authentic. The seller may have received the item as a gift, found a good bargain, etc. So, I would not assume a seller is selling a fake just because they only sell the product every now and then, especially since searching online showed me that many of the replicas being sold are from dealers who require buyers to buy high amounts of the same fake bags for it to be worth their while to sell them for profit. This is why I don't get the replica Coach thing because the good replicas still cost a lot. Anyway, I would be cautious of a new seller who is selling a lot of Coach products, especially the same model/style purse/handbag etc. Coach stores, even their Factory Stores, limit the number of one style/model they will sell to an individual at one time. I know because a COACH store almost did not sell me 5 of the same coin purses I was purchasing as gifts for my bridesmaids.
- Again, with the authencity question....You can ask the seler if the item is authentic. I know some sellers ask that you do not contact them questioning them about the item or whatever, but if you have a question, then ask. If they do not answer then maybe you do not want to purchase from them. I know answering these questions for honest sellers may be tedious but there are also a lot of dishonest sellers who may not want to incriminate themselves, so I rather be safe than sorry. Another option is checking feedback, can't stress this enough, because if a seller has sold a lot of items with a lot of happy customers then I more often than not willing to trust them.
- A lot of Coach purses have a serial number stamped inside the purse on a leather lining patch or whatever you may call it, but not all, see, again, why it is often hard to distinguish a replica Coach from an authentic Coach. I do know that a lot of the smaller Coach bags like a clutch, swing purse, and some wristlets do not have this serial number indicator. Most of the handbags and totes do but it is probably a good idea to examine an authentic Coach purse in a store to verify whether a particular style/product does or does not have a serial number patch. I spent more than $125 on a silver COACH wristlet/clutch at an outlet store nonetheless but the style did not have a serial number patch but a wristlet that cost less than $60 did, so it does depend on the style and so forth. Please Note: The last 4-5 digits of the serial number should match the style number of the bag.
- I mentioned this before but it is important to know that for the most part the "Coach" logo should be stamped on most of the metal fixtures on a Coach purse. However, some of the older and/or classic styles do not have this stamp, but most of the newer styles do.
- Look at the purse's zipper mechanism (the item that actually pulls the sides of the zipper together). This mechanism will have the letters "YKK" on it, which means that the highest-quality of manufacturer of zippers was used and this is the manufacturer COACH uses. Keep in mind these letters are often hard to photograph.
- A lot of people assume that Coach purses should have a lining that is embossed with "C's" but that is not always the case. Again, this is why knowing Coach's styles and brands will help buyers distinguish a real Coach purse from a replica.
- A lot of designer handbags/purses are not made in China, but many of Coach products are. This is another reason why distinguishing real Coach products from replicas is often hard. I do know that Coach bags are not made in Korea, for now anyway, so if a Coach item says it is made in Korea then it is a replica.
I hope this guide was helpful and I wish you happy and safe shopping experiences on ebay.