How to Identify an Original Coach

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Handbag
Handbag (Image: woman with handbag image by Valentin Mosichev from Fotolia.com)

Coach handbags are sought after items because they are colorful, stylish and made with quality materials. They are considered to be high-end handbags, so they can be expensive. If you come across a Coach handbag that is a fraction of the original price, it is probably a knockoff version. There are ways to spot a designer fake, so you can easily learn how to identify an original Coach handbag.

If you are about to purchase a handbag and you are not sure it is a Coach, you should closely look at the leather. Most knockoff brands do not use real leather and most Coach bags are made of leather or have leather edging and shoulder straps. Real leather has a distinctive odor and it is a sturdy material. Fake leather will probably have a plastic odor and it will not be as stiff or strong as real leather.

If you look inside of any Coach handbag there is a signature Coach label with an individual identification number. This label is embedded into a leather patch and clearly states that the handbag is made by Coach and has been manufactured with the finest materials. This is the best way to identify an original Coach handbag because knockoffs will not have this stamped label.

See if there is any stitching on the edges of the handbag. Most Coach handbags are thoroughly stitched on all corners and on the shoulder straps. These stitches are uniform and the same color as the bag. Counterfeit versions will not have this stitching and no stitching will be seen on the outside of the bag.

Examine the metal fasteners and zippers on the handbag. A Coach handbag will have sturdy zippers and many metal fasteners that are used for decoration. On each zipper, there are usually small pendants that hold the Coach name. If the handbag does not have these qualities, then it isn’t a Coach.

Closely look at any lettering on the handbag. Many knock-off handbags will look exactly the same as the original except for the lettering. Some kinds of Coach handbags have a series of C’s on the bag, but knockoffs will have G’s.

Tips & Warnings

  • According to the "Consumer Reports" website, some counterfeit merchandise is made with cheap or unhealthy materials like kitty litter and saw dust.

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