Coach Sales People - The Test
This is a test I did myself to see what various Coach Sales People would tell me.
I have six Coach Retail Stores in various malls within about a 30 minute drive and I do not frequent any so much that anyone knows me.
I took a purse I purchased at Coach (so I KNOW where it came from) and asked a Sales Person if it was real. She looked it over and than called her manager over and they asked me where I got it and I told them I had purchased it on eBay. They took their time and looked it over some more and than assured me that I had been ripped off and it was actually a fake. I asked for specific ways they could tell and they could not give me a straight answer. I asked for a letter but they would not give me one. I thanked them for being so honest and helping me and assured them I would never buy on eBay again. They nodded and seemed very pleased with themselves.
Next I took this same bag to another store and this time I told them it was a gift. Same procedure but this time they said my bag was real.
I thought I would try a third store and this time I said it was in the closet of my mother's house that she had asked me to clean out. Again it seems the bag is real.
Moral of the story ... Coach hates that you can get good deals on authentic merchandise on eBay and they will do just about anything to get you back into their retail stores ... except put it in writing!
So if you have a question about a Coach bag you purchased - what do you do?
Well, my suggestion would be not to say you purchased it on eBay - at least if you want the truth! Try the test yourself and see what you get for answers!
Of course if you purchased a bag you think is counterfeit, and the salesperson agrees with you, ask them to put it in writing. Have them include their name, title and contact information and get it on company letterhead. If it really is counterfeit, there is no reason they should not be willing to do this for you.
How Coach bags are actually authenticated
To have a Coach bag authenticated, the Coach store may tell you that you must send it to the Coach headquarters in Jacksonville, FL. You will be responsible for the shipping both ways of course and they will send you a letter of authentication.
When they authenticate a bag, a knowledgable individual will compare the serial numbers to verify that style bag was actually manufactured at that time in that factory (that is what the numbers before the style number are referring to on the authenticity patch).
They will check the authenticity patch to see if the patch style is correct for the style of bag. If you study Coach bags you will see the patch is different in different styles. Please don't take my word for it, look inside the bags at your local Coach Retail Store or department store.
Next they will look at the stitching and compare to reference bags. Stitching is often a dead give away on a fake. They will also look at the hardware. Hardware is the other easy way to spot the fakes.
Then there is the leather. Not all Coach bags are made from the same leather which you will see as you get into your study of Coach bags.
Most copied bags however are the limited edition and signature bags. Fabric bags are cheap to counterfeit and in high demand. Coach logos are centered on bags and the fronts match the backs.
Each Coach bag has identifying markers that proves it's authenticity and of course if you have references to compare to you can become a Coach expert as well.
Study the Coach website pictures - although they are limited. Look at the brochures when they arrive in the mail and save them as reference guides. Go to the retail store or department store when you are there and study the bags. Many long time eBay sellers will be happy to help as well.
Look at the photos in the listings of the bags you are considering and if they do not include the pictures required to authenticate the bag, do not bid without more information from the seller. And don't forget to look at the other items the seller is offering and feedback!
Let us know if we can help and feel free to use our pictures as references.