Coach has carved out a rather enviable fashion niche by being uniquely, well… American. And as always, there are others out there hoping to cash in on the Coach handbag name. Unfortunately, the official Coach website does not provide information on detecting knockoffs; they feel it helps the pirates! However, there are a few steps you can take to be sure the Coach bag you have your eye on is the real deal.
Vintage or new? Quite simply, you’ll only be able to purchase a new Coach handbag at an authorized outlet or through the official Coach website. However, there are many authentic “gently loved” Coach bags out there.
What‘s the price? Used Coach handbags that are still in good shape retain much of their original value. This means that if the Coach bag you’re looking at is a “real steal,” well… it probably is!
Quality materials and workmanship are a hallmark of Coach products. Inspect every inch of the bag thoroughly. It should look, feel and even smell, hmmm…expensive! It goes without saying that there should not be any stitching “issues!”
One thing that Coach does is use only YKK brand zippers. Look for the tiny letters on the zipper pull. Another thing to look for on “signature” bags is the C logo. They should begin at the middle of the bag and wrap around. When they come to a seam, the logo should look like a mirror image of the one on the opposite side of the seam.
Most, but not all Coach bags have a serial number. Inside the bag there should be a leather tag and at the bottom of the tag should be the serial number. It should consist of numbers and letters. The last four digits correlate with the particular bag style.
The tag should be correctly centered and not the least bit sloppy-looking. Sometimes knockoff artists wait to put in the tag until they have the fake bag at the point of sale.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If the person selling you the bag doesn’t seem to be quite on the level, then walk away. Actually, this is also a good bargaining strategy if you want the price to come down!
I’ve saved this point until last, but maybe it should be first. Handbags are kind of like, well, chocolate. We know we shouldn’t have any more, but we just can’t resist. So, the question is “Will you still love it in the morning?” If the answer is yes, then buy it and enjoy!