How to Spot a Fake Coach Purse
Let’s be honest. A Coach purse to many people is a real buying decision. No matter your spending ability at some point you must look at your available money and compare it to your desired purchase. For you it could be $50, $400, or $1200 that is the dollar amount that makes you stop and consider a purse purchase. If you are looking to spend a portion of your hard earned money on a real coach purse you really want to make sure that it is the real deal. Here are a few tips I have put together for you to help make sure you make a good decision.
C Pattern Design
If your purse is the ‘c’ or ‘cc’ style stitching you will be able to use this pattern to inspect for authenticity. Look at the purse to check for the following.
a. The c pattern should go straight up and down.
b. The pattern will be centered on the front and back panel of the purse.
c. The seam will go straight through ‘c’ or ‘cc’ pattern not cutting off letters. (include picture) You will see the seam in picture does not obstruct the cc pattern.
CC Pattern and Seam Display on an Authentic Coach Purse
Leather Label with Serial Number
There is a serial number that exists in the majority of the real Coach purses that begins with ‘No’ that is located on the inside sewn in leather label. On some of the smaller purse sizes there is not a tag. These styles would include the clutch, swingback, and the mini. I have also seen fakes that have the sewn in label starting with a No followed by a serial number. However, when you compare this label to the real one the quality of leather and imprinting is obvious which is real. The words on the label should also be in all-caps.
Know the Real Deal
I would suggest you visit retailers of real Coach stores to begin to teach yourself what an authentic Coach purse looks and feels like. Pay attention to the look and feel of the leather, lining, zipper, stitching and leather tag. As you become more familiar with the real Coach handbags, you will recognize a fake easier.
Poor Craftsmanship - Leather is Pieced Together
View the stitching on the purse. Stitches that are different in width or have threads coming out of the seam are a great way to spot a knockoff. In a real Coach handbag the stitching is impeccable.
Poor Stitching on Fake Coach Handbag
In order to be an authentic Coach handbag it must be a Coach style. This one can be a bit tricky since Coach releases new styles throughout the year. I see the Internet as a great way to help you determine if the style you are looking at is a real style. Ask your question in a forum or blog and learn from others.
Inspect the zipper of the purse. On a poor Coach knockoff, you can simply tell the difference by a looking at the zipper. A Coach purse will use a zipper with the engraving ‘YKK.’ Look for the engraving. If you are still not sure, zip the purse a few times to see how smoothly the purse zips.
C not G
I think this one should go without saying but it bears to mention since it must be working on some people. The Coach brand starts with a ‘c’ not a ‘g.’ It is unbelievably silly to me but some Coach knockoff have the stitching of a ‘g’ or ‘gg’ not a ‘c’ or ‘cc.’
I have seen some auctions with pictures of purses with plastic wrapped handles. To my knowledge this would also be a sign of a fake Coach purse.
So I would love to hear from you. Please let me know of any other ways you make sure that you are purchasing a real Coach purse.
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Libbie Garlock Talboys on January 26, 2017:
I have a Coach purse that I purchased & everyone is saying it is a Fake, however, the individual I purchased it from insists she purchased it at a Coach store & paid a lot of money for it. The bag tag indicates it was made in Turkey & the only number on it is No 8007. The lining does have a 'c' on it but very fant. Can you tell me if this is authentic or fake?
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Does anyone know if No M04K-5376 is authentic thanks
Emmy on June 24, 2014:
I have clicked on several of the posted web sites where people have posted them, they are all shut down. I recently bought from coach outlet.com... it is still up and running but the prices did seem unbelievable, has anyone else bought from this site?
Julia on December 01, 2013:
I would like to know how to spot a fake poppy graffiti handbag. They have the words poppy and coach all over it. Not just the simple CC pattern.
cylinder on November 04, 2013:
Thank you for the detailed information you got here. I love how you pointed out each tip with photos. I bought a nice bag from Poshmoda and it's really hard to spot the difference. I have a minimum budget and I don't mind as long as it has great quality and able to perform what a bag is supposed to do. Thanks for the C pattern tip!
MsMe on June 22, 2012:
I just spoke to one of the coach customer service and asked them if all their product has a YKK on the zipper. She told me that if you bought it from coach all the Zipper should have a YKK but if its from the outlet store some have and some don't or have a different one but its still authentic. So i guess its not.
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jennifer on February 11, 2012:
This was very helpful but theres a few things that arent that true... Yes they use the YKK zippers but they don't always. They use about five diff brand of zippers... Cuz i have a legacy sig and it doesn't have YKK zippers on it and i bought it rite from coach... And plus another one i bought from coach the zipper does not slide that great... It getts stuck all the time... So sum of those facts don't always matter...
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i got mine from macy's and it is poor stiched
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rachel on September 15, 2011:
I bought a coach purse on ebay that says it was handcrafted in vietman .also zipper has ykk on it. could it be fake
Sarah on September 12, 2011:
If a coach wallet has cc on the zipper is it fake??
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Christine on April 26, 2011:
Not all real coach have ykk I have real coach didn't see that in it unless I missed it
Guest1 on April 24, 2011:
Perhaps things have changed since this article was released, but some of this information is incorrect. My "cc" pattern goes diagonally (this could be because it is a handbag) not vertically. Also, the zipper does not have the ykk symbol, but I am 100% positive it is authentic. I ordered it online, from the coach website
Mandy on April 12, 2011:
Has anyone bought from cbnshoop.com? Are they real or fake Coach items? Retired items? Thanks for any advice.
Randi on March 12, 2011:
I just want to say thanks!! I just got home with a new bag I got off someone and quickly realized it was a fake. Thankfully they guy was nice and is meeting my husband tomorrow to give the money back. He said he was just going off of what his wife said and he had no clue. After reading this I could tell right away from the leather, zipper, and lack of serial number. Thanks again, you saved me from walking around with a fake!!!
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The coach is known worldwide as a designer of high quality.It is important to note that due to a coach handbag made not only a fashion statement for women.All women in functionality,quality and affordability are interested should consider buying the coach.
I buy a coach bag from the www.coaches1941.com just try to fell the quality.After pay money from my Credit Card,just got a week,i got my bag.I found the bag is beautiful and of high quality.So I want to share my experience with you.
Read more: http://www.coaches1941.com
katie o. on January 22, 2011:
Another way to tell (I guess is kinda a no brainer) is if the "c" or "cc" s overlap each other. With the authentics, they will never ever overlap the "c"s but I ended up with a fake that did.
mysisters on January 17, 2011:
Great Hub. I think its great to teach people how to tell an authentic from a fake. Thanks for posting.
BagLady on January 12, 2011:
I've worked at Coach for 3.5 years, and the ONLY way to know that you have a Coach item is from purchasing it from a Coach full price or factory location or an authorized retailer like Nordstrom, Macy's, Lord and Taylor, etc... Anything else is a gamble at best! Anyone can copy a "serial" number (Coach bags do not have a serial number, but a manufacturing code and style number). Also note that bags purchased at factory stores may or may not have at one time been full price. They make styles for factory only of usually lesser grade leathers. The bags are still of great quality, simply different. Also, be mindful of the pricing differences between full price and factory items. Factory items are usually very inexpensive, you can find great values, but if you purchase a factory item from somewhere other than the store, the person may be making a profit off of you!!! To get the newest styles of the best quality, visit a full price Coach store and let an experienced sales associate assist you. If you are not near a Coach store, visit coach.com (and coach.com ONLY), or call Coach customer service at 1-888-262-6224.
Bring any handbag to a Coach store and anyone can let you know if it's real. Associates usually feel bad that someone's been had, and can't "officially" say it's fake, but they'll know. Trust them, but expect them to tell you it's not real unless you purchased from a place I mentioned.
As someone else said, Coach has been around since 1941. It's an American fashion icon, great quality, with exceptional customer service. Styles and designers have changed, materials and suppliers have changed, manufacturers have changed, so there's no way to definitively say a bag is real or not without seeing it in person. These tips are good, a great start, but are not ALWAYS true and not all inclusive.
nshepp on December 26, 2010:
does anyone know if coach-handbagsstore is real or not?? No one is saying yes or no!!!
JHartz on December 20, 2010:
I bought a fake Coach from
It isn't even real leather. It was shipped from China and I am waiting to hear back from them about whether they take returns or exchanges. Their website shows pictures of real bags, but they aren't what they look like in the pictures. It looks like those cheap knock-off bags you buy in the streets of Rome for $20.00. THis one cost me $87.00. You get what you pay for ladies!
cc on December 15, 2010:
DOES ANYONE KNOW IF THE COACH BAGS ON ECOACH.COM ARE FAKE
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j0nny on November 30, 2010:
thanks for the help. the 1st pic u showed was the exact same purse i got for my girlfriend. the thing that i really found helpful was the zipper and the ykk. its there and now i know i got a good deal and a authentic purse. =)
j0nny on November 30, 2010:
thanks for the help. the 1st pic u showed was the exact same purse i got for my girlfriend. the thing that i really found helpful was the zipper and the ykk. its there and now i know i got a good deal and a authentic purse. =)
nmm12345 on November 29, 2010:
Has anyone purchased from www.coachbagspurse.com? Are they authentic?
SkinD on November 29, 2010:
My Mother passed and I found a cream colored leather bag w/coach on the buckles, inside label, and on a leather tag. It appears to be real, but not sure there is a No COD-9408 stamp below the inside label.
theresa on November 29, 2010:
can you tell me if KO4S-1417 is a fake or real?
Andrun on November 09, 2010:
thanks for sharing,i also like the coach brand
nshepp on November 06, 2010:
I just bought a new coach bag and was wondering does the year and horse and carrage mean anything. If it is real or fake??
shortcake on October 27, 2010:
Yes, You say the Ykk has to be there? I see everything but that the letters.!
new jordan shoes store on October 22, 2010:
I did not read these tip until after I won the auction, duh. Seller denied she sold me the fake!. She said that if it has the creed and serial numbers, it IS a real coach purse, funny, and she also said she owned that purse for a long time
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Where Do You Go To Type In The Code To See If Your Purse Is Reall?
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uadacita on September 22, 2010:
I bought a Coach purse on ebay recently. It was so fake. Misspelling creed, poorly sewn. I did not read these tip until after I won the auction, duh. Seller denied she sold me the fake!. She said that if it has the creed and serial numbers, it IS a real coach purse, funny, and she also said she owned that purse for a long time ( oh, like it will become real if you own it long enough! ). Be super super careful when you buy Coach purse on ebay, check seller 's feedbacks, make sure they sell a lots of Coach and got good feedbacks. Oh, one more thing, the zipper, not all authentic Coach purse have YKK zipper on them.
afA on September 21, 2010:
is this website real?
justagirl on August 23, 2010:
I have a real coach that i have had for 5 years, its a real coach im pretty sure because i got it from the coach store, but the stitching is starting to come undone. So now i buy used too and i got one that has a tag in it telling me its made in the us with all this other stuff No-9764, real or fake?
Camie on August 22, 2010:
I have a coach bag I bought that looks like it passes all your criterias except the ykk zipper (but it works easily). The model is NO 060-1047. Can you tell me if its real or fake.
JAY on August 11, 2010:
Coach web site from China is all fake !!
just purchased from
buycoachoutlet.com and few other websites.
they are all fake and inspired items.
1) fake leather, it is like plastic material
2) really pool sweing jobs
3) some parts are used cheap glue
4) located in wrong places is really embarrased and shame
i will say, they are not even B class fake.
not even worth 20 bucks
beware !!!! and they are all located at china, we have to
pay the shipping and no return, only store credit !!!
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Sherry on July 15, 2010:
Have any of you seen the website coachoutlets-stores.com? I wrote to Coach and asked if this was A real Coach site, but no reply yet. They say they are governed by Chinese law. I think they must be selling fakes. What do you think? Does anybody have any experience with this site? Is it another BUYER BEWARE?
T on June 08, 2010:
Do not buy anything from 1941 coach.com! I purchased two purses knowing they were fakes, loved the bags and then was charged twice on my card. For what I paid, I could of bought a real one. Warn everyone you know as they will not give me a refund or respond to any of my requests to get one. BUYER BEWARE OF 1941COACH.COM Stay far, far away
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Kelley on May 21, 2010:
IF you go to COACH.com, you will see that the only place to purchase COACH Authentic Bags on the web is COACH.com themselves, the others you are seeing: Coachoutletbags.com etc are FAKES and COACH is aware of them. The prices are great, the pics look good, but they are NOT COACH products. The BEST PLACE to get an AUTHENTIC COACH bag or accessory at a FABULOUS savings is a COACH FACTORY OUTLET store, they have GREAT items at GREAT prices.....go to COACH.com to find your closest Coach Factory Outlet....don't be fooled by those other websites....happy shopping (oh and ONCE you go to a COACH FACTORY OUTLET, be prepared to get hooked...LOL...Mine actually knows me by first name, not good...LOL) I just love COACH bags old and new, and they have been in business since 1941.
carolyn on May 17, 2010:
My coach bag's stitching is great,but it has the c pattern inside out. I'm told it's a fake :(
shirley porter on May 09, 2010:
do you give cash rewards or gifts for telling you all the info on a person who is taking from the real coach company by selling fake and passing them off as real.they have thousands of them and they have the real coach tags inside and out. if you need to know more please call me shirley. (313) 523 7151 please be very quiet about this and about where you get you're info. i know where 2 dealers are. thank you.
CPF on May 09, 2010:
@Alison, 1941coach.com is FAKE
Alison on April 30, 2010:
Does anyone know if the Coach purses on www.1941coach.com are real?
TB on April 30, 2010:
Just to let you know, the ykk theory is false. I just bought a coach purse directly from Coach.com and it has no ykk on the zipper and a white dust bag , and like I said, it came directly from Coach so it is for sure Authentic.
denise on April 27, 2010:
Has anyone purchased a coach bag from http://www.coach-handbagsstore.com ? Are these pursed authentic??
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I have seen some on ebay with pictures of purses with plastic wrapped handles.
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STACEY on February 20, 2010:
is the handbags real from www.buycoachoutlet.com?
tricia on February 02, 2010:
nevermind i found the YKK. it was really really small.
tricia on February 02, 2010:
i just got a green foldover clutch from my aunt for my birthday. it seems real according to all the requirements and the leather is very nice.. but the zipper has a leather pull, no ykk. is it different if its a leather pull?
sharon on January 30, 2010:
if ur coach says made from china.its real n the purse will have a chain that says coach.it will say coach inside the purse too.the knock offs don't have coach written on the inside.
Roland on January 26, 2010:
We recently boutght a purse on ebay
Angela on January 19, 2010:
My bag's serial number is NoH26-8326 with no spaces. Is it authentic or not? Thanks.
Db on January 17, 2010:
I'm sorry, but I'm afraid this guide is filled with inaccuracies. Coach has been making bags since the 60s...hundreds of styles in a variety of manufacturing locations around the world. Materials and quality have changed over time and can vary widely. There is no one-size-fits-all set of rules to determine the authenticity of Coach bags. Zippers, dust bags, tags, creed patches, etc can all be faked. Visit a reputable handbag forum like The Purse Forum and ask for opinions if you have doubts about your bag. Ebay users can ask on the Shoes, Purses and Accessories discussion board at eBay.
And for the bazillionth time, COACH HAS USED MANY TYPES OF ZIPPERS - NOT ALL AUTHENTIC COACH BAGS HAVE YKK ZIPPERS.
KF on January 11, 2010:
just thought I would put this out there.... I sent my bag to coach. (a friend of mine works for them) and had them check mine out. it has no ykk on zipper, and it did come with a white bag...I have polished brass etc... it is real and authentic. I have read several places that some of this has been said it is not real....sorry...get yours from a good place..Macys etc....
hahaha on January 06, 2010:
look on the actual Zipper on top and under
Livie on January 03, 2010:
Someone please let me know because I have the receipt....it was $350. It has the serial # inside with all caps, the c pattern looks like the authentic pictures. the stiching is very neat with nothing wrong...only thing I cant seems to find is the YKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Livie on January 03, 2010:
My boyfriend bought a coach purse from the coach store for christmas....BUT.....I was wondering, Do all authentic purses have the engraved YKK on the zipper?
Claudia on December 23, 2009:
My bag has "Coach" stamped in the leather on the bottom of the bag and a metal "Coach" tag, the "Coach" is stamped at an angle on the material inside and the material is brown, there is NO YKK. Some of the stamped "Coach" are upside down, ha! After reading your descriptive instructions for detecting fake "Coach" products I learned mine must be, but i'll be more prepared from now own.
Heather on December 21, 2009:
Are any coach purses made in china. The inside of my purse says it was hand crafted in China
Pam on December 20, 2009:
I got an order on ebay. How many days should it wait until I receive the shipment?
RUTH on November 23, 2009:
MY COACH CAME WITH A WHITE BAG SO THIS MEANS IT IS DEFINITELY A FAKE??
Tonya on November 09, 2009:
My question is do knockoffs have YKK zippers in them?
britney on October 11, 2009:
Thanks great advice..!!
LoveMeLoveMyPurse on October 08, 2009:
Great tips! Another thing to look for is any misspelling on the creed patch. You would think this wouldn't happen with the modern counterfeiters but it still does! When you see a misspelling, it's a fake for sure. So check that out too when buying online or at a thrift store or garage sale. Good Luck!
Josephine on October 07, 2009:
Michelle Long on September 08, 2009:
Hi...you have develop such a wonderful useful hub that educate us for differentiating the actual and fake coach handbags...in fact this is important for us as consumer that didn't know much about the details on this product....thanks...i really appreciated.....
kelli jean from Up North Michigan on April 07, 2009:
Great informative information.
mar on March 29, 2009:
just was reading one of the comments that said that she saw a purse on ebay made in Costa Rica instead of China, and then said Buyer beware. Coach did have genuine purses made in Costa Rica, this is generally a good sign if you see a Coach bag that says it was made in Costa Rica, it's probably not a fake. Coach also has made purses in the United States, China, Italy. The only creed that is a dead give away in this way of a fake is one that says made in Korea. Coach never made purses in Korea.
DivinePurses (author) from Cincinnati, OH on January 16, 2009:
I am glad you were able to return it for an exchange. The zippers should work good without having to do anything to them.
Below is a link to the Coach website which states the Coach guarantee.
YellowOrchid on January 14, 2009:
I asked my DH to exchange it at another Coach store near his work. They showed him several purses of the same model and they were all like that unfortunately. So I guess it wasn't a fake (which is good news) but then the product is not that good (bad news). The sales rep could only suggest rubbing a wax candle on the zipper and repeatedly opening and closing it to "break it in". Decided to return it and get a different model (going to check it out thoroughly)
DivinePurses (author) from Cincinnati, OH on January 14, 2009:
This description defintetely raises some questions in my mind. From my exeperience the Coach stores are great to work with. I would suggest taking the purse back to the store with your receipt for an exchange. The zipper should work easily.
YellowOrchid on January 13, 2009:
My Sister bought a bag from an official Coach store and gave it to me for Christmas. The zipper was terrible! Got stuck all the time. There was no YKK stamped on it and it came with brown paper wrapped around the zipper pull. I'm wondering is it possible it's a fake even though it came from a store? If it's fake, I'm sure she didn't know. Afterall, it's from Coach!
Kim on December 31, 2008:
Should all Coach purses come with an authenticity code, or is it the more pricey ones?
zarelle on December 31, 2008:
THis is very helpful! Coach bags are a bit pricey but if you go a Coach Factory Outlet you can get a very good deal.
andyrocks on December 06, 2008:
All Coach handbag lovers need to read this. Thank you for the great buyer beware. I would suggest only buying Coach products on ebay from a buyer that has sold at a MINUMUM 100 items which included at least 50% of Coach purse sales.Thanks for this very detailed information.
outofbreath from Kenya on December 05, 2008:
Coach purse and handbags are really very good products, I've already bought many of the coach purse, but not checking the Leather Label with Serial Number, this hub teach us about how to buy a coach purse…
Star Smith from Right Here, USA on November 25, 2008:
Thanks for this very detailed information. I know to look at the label and serial number, but the cc pattern and stitching is something new to me. All Coach handbag lovers need to read this.
DivinePurses (author) from Cincinnati, OH on October 24, 2008:
Thank you for the great buyer beware. I would suggest only buying Coach products on ebay from a buyer that has sold at a MINUMUM 100 items which included at least 50% of Coach purse sales. Seeing a buyer's previous history will help to protect you when you buy on ebay.
I just saw today that some ebay seller's are offering free shipping on the Coach purse sales. In this economy, it is a wonderful time to get great deals if you have cash available!