How to Tell If a Chanel Bag Is Authentic: 10 Ways
One of Coco Chanel’s famous quotes goes, “If you want to be original, be ready to be copied.” True enough, there are tons of Chanel dupes in the market. This well-known designer brand is a target for imitators looking to capture the appeal of its high-end products, especially its bags.
If you’re a shopping fan of this fashion house, it’s crucial to know how to spot a fake Chanel bag. You don’t want to spend money on a fake because these luxury bags are more than just splurges. They can also be excellent strategic investments since their value increases.
In this article, you’ll learn about key indicators that can help you tell apart a genuine Chanel bag from a knockoff.
How to Spot a Fake Chanel Bag: 10 Ways
With countless counterfeits in stores worldwide, it can be challenging to identify authentic Chanel bags. Some imitators do an exceptional job at copying that the superfakes look identical to real ones. So, here are some things for you to keep a close eye on when shopping for your Chanel bag.
The type of leather on a Chanel bag is one of the tell-tale signs of its authenticity. Genuine Chanel bags use either caviar skin or lambskin. You can examine this by touching and getting a feel of the material. Caviar leather from calfskin is grainy and textured. It also has a pebbled finish. Meanwhile, lambskin is incredibly smooth, velvety, and baby soft.
You must check the bag’s softness because some fabricated ones only feel smooth. A genuine Chanel bag goes beyond that. Its high-quality material is ultra-soft and even has a buttery sheen. Of the two types of leather, caviar skin is sturdier and more popular among Chanel fans.
Don’t forget to inspect the interior when you’re eyeing a Chanel bag. A genuine Chanel bag is consistent with its quality and smoothness inside out. The leather interior lining should be free from creases, bubbles, and bumps. Chanel flap bags should have firm-fitting lining perfectly tailored to them. It should remain the same even after years of using it.
However, be mindful that some superfakes present a lining with a tight fit, making it look like a real one. But over time, the lining of a fake Chanel bag loosens and sags, unlike an authentic one.
Another tip on how to tell if a Chanel bag is authentic is by taking a closer look at the stitching. Since the original ones are handmade, they have precise and consistent stitching. You’ll also notice the quilting pattern perfectly aligns when you close the flap, revealing an even diamond pattern throughout the bag.
An authentic Chanel bag from a previous owner may have slight misalignment due to use. But new ones should have flawless quilting and pattern. These meticulous details are among the many reasons designer bags are luxury investments.
4. Stitch count
While scrutinizing the quilting, you should also count the stitches on the panel or the outline of a stitched diamond or square. Chanel uses a high stitch count to guarantee a plush yet non-puffy quilted appearance.
You can determine the stitch count by checking the panels, which should each have nine to eleven stitches. Some may even have as many as twelve; vintage or older styles may have as few as eight stitches. However, if there are fewer than eight stitches, it’s a clear indicator of a fake Chanel product.
5. Logo lock
One of the most noticeable trademarks of a Chanel bag is its famous ‘CC’ logo lock. Imitators may try to copy the real Chanel bag, but a good eye can detect the signs. The Chanel logo sits straight and perfectly, with equal spacing. The left ‘C’ overlaps the right ‘C’ at the bottom, while the right intersects with the left at the top. Each ‘C’ should have a flat end unless it’s a limited-edition bag.
If you’re wondering what else to check in learning how to spot a fake Chanel bag, inspect the lock’s backplate. Chanel forgers typically use Phillips-head screws to secure the backplate. But the real deal has customized screws, and only Chanel manufacturers have special non-standard screwdrivers. However, you may see that genuine bags made before 2016 have flathead screws.
Another way to authenticate a Chanel bag is to look at the chain straps. The chain straps on a genuine piece are heavy, sturdy, and substantial. Plus, they have uniform weight and a brushed finish. When looking at the leather that intertwines into the chain, see if they’re flat and smooth.
On a fake Chanel bag, the chain straps are often light, scratched, and even dented, and the entwined leather will look machine-made.
7. Brand stamp
There are two things to look for in a Chanel bag’s brand stamp: the color and what it reads. These indicators are probably the easiest to examine. The brand stamp is directly pressed into the interior or affixed to a leather patch. A true Chanel piece will always have a brand stamp that matches the bag’s hardware color, such as gold or silver.
In genuine Chanel products, the metallic leafing may experience wear and rub off over time, resulting in a change of color or almost complete disappearance of the brand stamp. But you’ll only have to worry about that if you’re getting vintage styles or old, heavily used bags.
The second sign of legitimacy lies in what it says on the brand stamp. Chanel only manufactures in France and Italy. You know you have your money’s worth when the brand stamp shows either of these countries and in capital letters. But if you see a specified city, such as “MADE IN PARIS,” that’s counterfeit.
8. Authenticity card
Every Chanel bag features an authenticity card. This tag shows the bag’s information, such as the date of purchase and style number. The card’s height should be 4.5 cm and its length 8.5 cm. You have a fake Chanel in your hands if you see imperfections, misprints, or anything unreadable on the authenticity card.
In addition, the gold border around the card should not easily scratch away. It should appear clean, clear, and neat throughout. The overall weight of the authenticity card also serves as another obvious indicator of forgery. The genuine card is bulky, resembling a credit card, while its counterfeit version is lightweight and feels cheap, akin to cardboard.
Another thing you should look out for is the serial number. Depending on the bag’s production date, the serial number consists of six, seven, or eight digits. Chanel never issues longer serial numbers. Typically, the serial number is on a horseshoe-shaped badge inside the bag. An original Chanel bag also features a round hologram label in the top right corner.
The authenticity card’s font style and numbers should also match the serial number on the bag’s sticker.
If the bag lacks an authenticity card or serial number, there is a high likelihood it is fake. However, many vintage handbags may not always have an authenticity card or serial number. As such, examining other details, such as logos, material, stitching, etc., is crucial.
9. Dust bag
An authentic Chanel dust bag varies, depending on when the product was made. Chanel bags made after the year 2000 should have black dust bags. Meanwhile, genuine Chanel bags from the 1980s and 1990s come with a white dust bag.
Other things worth noting with dust bags are the details. Chanel manufactures hard cotton dust bags, including a white “Chanel” at the center. You should be suspicious if you encounter an off-white or differently sized font for the trademark. Moreover, counterfeit dust bags frequently utilize shoelaces or boot laces as strings.
10. Overall build quality
One final assessment you can do to tell if a Chanel bag is authentic is the stand-up test. If the bag can stand on its own, you have a keeper. Chanel always ensures that its bags have excellent structure and shape. When you place down an original Chanel bag, its rounded corners should hold steady on the surface, sitting upright. Anything else that collapses or flops over is an absolute fake.
Spot a Fake Chanel Bag
The sheer number of counterfeits flooding the market worldwide can make identifying genuine Chanel bags challenging—even more so with imitators producing fakes that closely resemble the real thing.
Luckily, you can make a more informed purchase decision by inspecting various elements, such as leather material, lining, quilting, logo lock, hardware, authenticity card, and overall build quality.
Avoiding imitations lets you enjoy the luxury and craftsmanship of authentic Chanel products, which can also be strategic investments you can pawn. With your prized Chanel bag, you can avail of PawnHero’s online pawning services if you need fast cash.