How to Spot a Real Coach Purse & Avoid Getting Duped

Fight back against luxury fakes by learning how to tell if a Coach bag is real and the signs that someone's trying to dupe you.

Updated February 28, 2024
Fake Coach Handbag

If you're going to drop big bucks on a Coach bag, you want to know you're getting the real deal. Unless you're a designer enthusiast, it's easy to get tripped up by the high-quality fakes that litter the internet. Arm yourself against any kind of smoke and mirrors by learning how to tell if a Coach purse is real and which commonly duped bags to be on the lookout for.  

3 Ways to Tell if a Coach Purse Is Real 

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery (so they say), but when you pay for the real deal that's what you should be getting. Spot the well-made fakes from genuine designer labels by learning all about Coach bags' specific qualities. The three main areas to focus your hone in on are the logo/design, the construction/materials, and the creed/serial numbers. 

Logo & Design

Woman hand bag on brown background

Coach is just one in the massive ranks of brands that have an iconic lettered logo. Once you know what the standard logo looks like, you'll be able to spot the fake ones from a mile away. 

  • When Coach Cs are in pairs, they line up perfectly. 
  • The Cs in the signature print also need to line up — this is especially important with the jacquard styles. 
  • Look closely at the large logo because fakes often use Gs or Os instead of Cs, but when twisted together they can mimic the classic C. 

Materials & Construction 

Coach prides itself on using superior materials and churning out high-quality workmanship on each of their designer bags. Simply, they don't scrimp. So it's important to be on the lookout for these fine details. 

  • Look at the hardware and see if it's heavy. It should be made of either nickel or brass. Coach never uses plastic or plated metals. 
  • Coach leather is buttery-soft. Fakes are often made out of pleather or plastic. Review the website to get more familiar with Coach's signature leathers and fabrics
  • Coach makes sure that all their stitching is perfectly finished in high-quality, durable thread. Nothing should be overly stitched or unfinished on a genuine Coach. 
Need to Know

If you spot what you think is a bargain on a Coach bag, first check the Coach website to see if that style's listed online. Most of their current styles are on the site, so if there is a bag that you can't find on there (and it's not vintage) then it may be a fake Coach purse.

Creed & Serial Numbers

Nearly every authentic Coach bag has a creed aka their fancy statement so you know it's genuine. This creed is emblazoned on a leather square panel that's stitched into the bag. On this creed, you'll find a style number, as well as a unique serial number. 

Here are some other notable things to recognize with the Coach creed. 

  • The creed is perfectly centered, always stitched onto the bag, and never glued on. Some smaller bags and clutches don't have the serial number, but it should be noted on the price tag.
  • Sometimes fake Coach bags contain a creed with a bunch of typos or spelling mistakes, kind of like a spam message.
  • The serial number is never less than seven digits and always begins with No. instead of Number.

Need to Know

If the Coach bag you're eying is $50 at an open-air market, there's a good chance it's a fake. Most Coach purses cost around $300 (barring sales and specials). If there's a bag selling for way less than the industry standard, it's good to err on the side of caution. 

Related: 7 Valuable Vintage Coach Purses Worth Digging Out of Your Mom's Closet

Watch Out for These Commonly Duped Coach Bags 

Some Coach bags are easier to knock off than others. From vintage Coach styles to modern dupes, these are some of the most commonly copied Coach bags in the business. 

Signature Shoulder Bag With Monogram Print

Woman with coach bag doing some shopping

Monogram-printed bags are extremely popular because they're often on the lower end of the company's price range. Unfortunately, with so many on the market, they're frequently faked. Look for these characteristics on the next Coach monogram shoulder bag that catches your eye. 

  • Carefully inspecting a monogram print close up and from a distance to look for imperfections, misalignment, and poor quality. 
  • Check the seams — they should look perfect. 
  • The pattern must always align organically, look neat, and be symmetrical.

Crossbody or Shoulder Purse With Full Logo

Black leather bag firm Coach

Crossbodies and shoulder bags don't have a complicated construction, which makes them ripe for the fashion industry's black market. Get ahead of the curve by knowing what to look for in these bags. 

  • Some bags feature the full designer logo, which consists of a person holding a whip on a carriage being pulled by two horses. 
  • The name "COACH" should be in capital letters, and you should find the words "New York" or "Est. 1941" underneath the name.
  • Coach has a signature font with a pointy capital "A." Sometimes, you can tell if the bag is real just by analyzing the font.

Duffle Shoulder Bag With Turnlock

Vintage Coach Maggie Bag Yellow 9019, Duffle Sac Small

Not everyone is familiar with many luxury brand's vintage silhouettes. So, people are more likely to get fooled by these dupes. Learn all about what to look for in Coach's duffle shoulder bags to stop a fake reseller in their tracks. 

  • Some Coach duffles have a turnlock fastening. Authentic Coach turnlocks have a wider outer circle, but the lock itself is quite thin in comparison.
  • Some fakes put the name "Coach" on the bag's turnlock, even though the real deal doesn't have this style feature.

Always Buy From Authorized Coach Sellers

Coach doesn't have individual distributors and they don't authorize street vendors or flea market stands to sell their wares. As a luxury brand, they like to keep their products exclusive.  However, Coach does authorize a handful of retailers to sell their goods. 

  • Coach stores
  • Official Coach outlets
  • Authorized department stores like Macy's and Neiman Marcus.
  • Coach's website

Anyone Can Confidently Shop for Coach Bags 

We don't blame you for wanting to score big on eBay, but if you're going to buy second-hand, you've got to know exactly what to look for. We want your hard-earned cash to go to the real thing, and the best way to make sure that happens is to understand how to tell if a Coach bag is real and the signs that mean it's probably a fake. 

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How to Spot a Real Coach Purse & Avoid Getting Duped