Fake Coach Bags: 8 Easy Ways to Spot Them

After starting out with pure leatherware in 1941, Coach has grown into one of the most sought-after brands all across the globe. With each bag handcrafted to perfection, it’s hard not to fall in love with the kind of love and effort the brand puts into its products.

Recently, the brand started venturing from classics to edgier styles. This created a bigger and younger brand following snapping up their gorgeous products.

Also, if you’re a Selena Gomez fan, chances are you’re a newly converted Coach follower.

Coach endorser Selena Gomez signs a bag to give away to fansCoach endorser Selena Gomez signs a bag to give away to fans

After Emma Roberts and Chloe Moretz, Coach signed on mega star Selena Gomez as its latest endorser. Selena went on to collaborate with the brand which resulted in the Coach x Selena Gomez leather line.

Not that Selena was needed to boost the brand. Some of Coach’s followers included Ariana Grande, Alessandra Ambrosio, Chrissy Teigen, and Karlie Kloss.

Check out some of the brand’s Hollywood celebrity followers below:

Emma Roberts, Ariana Grande and Chloe Moretz love their Coach basicsEmma Roberts, Ariana Grande and Chloe Moretz love their Coach basics

Alessandra Ambrosio and Selena Gomez take their black Coach purses out on errandsAlessandra Ambrosio and Selena Gomez take their black Coach purses out on errands

Eva Longoria, Karlie Kloss, and Kate Bosworth are only among the long list of Hollywood celebrities who love their Coach bagsEva Longoria, Karlie Kloss, and Kate Bosworth are only among the long list of Hollywood celebrities who love their Coach bags

As with any popular handbag brand, the counterfeiters come copying with zeal. Monogram bags are the counterfeiters masterpiece, so it’s important to know how to tell a fake Coach bag from a real one.

Check out eight easy ways to know if your bag is authentic or not:

1. Each handcrafted bag should exude quality.

Coach bag detailCoach prides itself in being a company that creates handcrafted bags. Established in 1941, the brand has held quality craftsmanship to the highest regard. The same is still true today.

One of the first things you should check is the overall craftsmanship of the bag. A poorly made bag will have ill-fitting leather pieces that would cause the product to bulk in areas. Check that the outer shell is made from quality leather material. Overall, it should smell and feel like genuine leather. If your bag is second hand, real leather will stand the test of time, growing beautiful aging marks such as tiny creases at the most.

For bags that have rings on it, the leather loop where it connects should feel snug. This prevents the handles from moving around loosely. Counterfeit bags usually have a lot of space inside the loop.

2. The stitching should be symmetrical.

Coach bag detail

When spotting counterfeit Coach bags, the difference between beautiful and sloppy stitching is a dead giveaway. While most Coach bags are now made in China – which is basically the motherland of counterfeits – Coach still prides itself in quality stitching that runs beautifully across their products.

While Coach is no means perfect in their stitching, the hiccups are minor compared to counterfeit ones. Fake Coach bags will have stitching that are blatantly bad with some stitches running over each other. The spacing between the stitching are also often uneven.

3. The hardware and tags should made from quality materials.

Coach bag detail

Coach hardware is usually made out of brass or nickel. A great way of determining whether your bag has quality hardware is to weigh it. Authentic hardware should feel solid and heavy, which is contrary to ones that are made from cheap metals. If your bag has rings connecting the handle to the body, check to see if the rings are solid and seamless. On rare occasions, Coach will have rings with seams but they are beautifully polished and aligned.

Be wary of Coach bags with plastic over the hardware. Counterfeit bag makers do this in order to prevent humidity from tarnishing the low quality metal. Authentic hardware won’t tarnish.

Check to see if the zipper snags. Real zippers should unzip easily. Also, Coach uses YKK and Ideal zippers so don’t panic if you see these brands on the hardware.

Coach tags are usually made out of leather hanging from a beaded chain. However, recent models have made use of metal tags as well.

4. The iconic C pattern should be neatly aligned.

Coach bag detail

There’s a lot of talk behind the do’s and dont’s of the monograms but with Coach releasing different versions of the C’s, it has become increasing unclear what the standard is.

Two things are for sure: first, the C’s have to be symmetrical and second, they always follow a certain pattern. Whether printed or embroidered, the pattern should follow two C’s facing each other, followed by two C’s beside each other.

Some claim C’s that are cut off are perfectly aligned at the seams. Due to certain styles (like those having invisible zippers or diagonal darts), this has not been a consistent standard.

5. The lining is usually solid and made out of quality cotton, satin or canvas.

Coach bag detail

A quick way to spot a fake Coach bag is simply by looking at the lining. When a Coach bag has C’s outside, it will have a solid colored lining. Occasionally, vibrant linings are used for limited edition items. When the brand does use C’s for the lining, it’s a subtle dark-on-dark coloring.

Another good way of determining fakes is to look at the lining quality. Coach uses thick cotton, satin or canvas to line the insides of their bags. If the lining is overly shiny or it reminds you of an 80’s prom, chances are it’s fake.

Coach bag detail

6. For most bags, the creed patch and serial number should be easily found.

Coach bag detail

Regular sized Coach bags usually come with a creed patch on the inside. For smaller bags and wallets, the creed patch is usually absent.

Creed patches contain a paragraph in all capital letters that actually make sense. Some fake creed patches look okay from afar but make no sense when you read them. Others will have a mix of upper and lower case text.

Below the paragraph is a serial number that starts out with a letter followed by four numbers, a dash, and more numbers. The letter corresponds to the month it was made (A – January, B – February, etc.), followed by two digits referring to its make year, then two digits referring to its place of manufacture. The last set of digits is the style code. When buying from a factory outlet, you can usually spot the letter F right before the style code.

If you don’t find the serial numbers on your creed patch, don’t panic. As of 2014, Coach stopped putting the numbers on the patches. Instead, they stuck them on little white labels that you can find inside the inner pocket.

7. The dust bag and packaging should be consistent.

The dust bag should be white with the Coach logo on the bottom right. If the dust bag has the logo strewn in the middle, it’s probably a fake.

If you order your bags through their website, the package comes with a letter explaining a little about Coach’s history. It should be signed by Coach’s president of retail. The official invoice should also be included inside the box.

Coach bags usually come in sheets of thin quality paper that has a gold sticker on it. The gold sticker should also have the Coach logo on it.

8. The iconic horse and buggy logo should be tastefully detailed.

Coach bag detail

The Coach logo differs depending on the line where the bag came from. Some have the words “Coach New York” underneath while some read “Coach Leatherware Established 1941”.

The iconic horse and buggy also differs in size. Usually for the older models, the horse and buggy is quite big compared to the newer ones. It should also be facing to the left.

A good way of spotting a fake is by looking at the details of the horse and buggy. The original will have a detailed, artful one (except for the line where they changed the horse into a dinosaur – true story) while the fakes will look sloppy.



If you’re still in doubt, don’t hesitate to call Coach for help in authenticating your bag. Just look for your product’s serial number and ask them to run it through their system.

For more tips on busting fake Coach bags, watch the video below:



Credit: Coach / Alberto Reyes / Sean Thornton / WENNCHELA / Kento Nara / Future Image / Michael Wright / WENN

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