Dec 04 2015

12 Ways to Spot a Fake Chanel

We specialize in selling pre-owned designer bags, shoes, clothing and accessories. We want all of our buyers to feel confident about every purchase they make inside Sabrina's Closet. This is why we always ensure that all of our products are authentic. 

When you think designer copies, Chanel handbags are probably the first to come to mind. There are tons out there. Some obvious, and some, well, a little trickier to catch. Sure enough, we received a beautiful black Chanel classic flap bag a couple months ago. At first glance, it looked great. However, after completing our authentication inspection, turns out, not so great after all - it was a fake. We must admit, they did a pretty good job at it. So, how can you tell if the Chanel bag that you are about to buy online is the real deal? We've put together a simple step-by-step guide to be sure.

Below, we have a photo of three classic Chanel Flap Bags. Two are authentic, one is a fake. Can you spot it?

The fake on is actually the one at the bottom. Hard to tell, right? Keep reading to find out exactly how we knew. 

1 | CC Lock 

The first thing we always look at is the CC Lock - it's a quick giveaway. The right C must always overlap on top and the left C must always overlap on the bottom. If this is not the case with a bag you are about to purchase, you can guarantee that it is not authentic. 

In the picture below, the bag on the left is a replica and the bag on the right is authentic. As you can see, this replica bag we rejected passed the CC Lock test, however keep reading to find out how it failed on others. 

Notice how on the authentic Chanel (right), the CC lock is centered. On the replica Chanel (left), it is positioned more towards the top than the bottom. 

Chanel Flap Bag

Replica Chanel CC locks usually have a rounded finish on the CC. Authentic Chanel CC locks have a flat edge finish

The width of each C should also match the width of the gap between the two C's. 

The back of the CC hardware should have two screws, with "CHANEL" embossed on the left, and "PARIS" embossed the right. 

Authentic Chanel 

Replica Chanel

2 | Duster Bag

When comparing the two duster bags side by side, you can see a clear difference between the authentic duster and the fake duster. The left duster is authentic and the right duster is fake. On the authentic duster (left), you can see that "CHANEL" is written in white, bold letters centered in the middle. On the fake duster (right), you can see that "CHANEL" is written in a faded grey color. It is also written in the wrong front, which appears to be thinner. The fake logo is also slightly off-centre on the duster.

3 | Serial Numbers

Serial numbers on Chanel bags indicate the bag model and year of manufacture. Do a quick Google search, and you will discover tons of guides online to help you find out what what year your Chanel bag was manufactured. Chanel does not produce bags with serial numbers of 9 digits or more. If this is the case, it's a fake.

On the Chanel 2.55, the serial sticker should be found on the bottom, left-hand corner. 

4 | Zipper

Don't forget to inspect your zipper. The zippers they use change depending on what year the bag was manufactured. Check that the zipper on your handbag is consistent with the year it was created

5 | Authenticity Cards

First, check that the authenticity card matches the serial number inside the bag. If it does, it's a good sign, but that does not necessarily mean it is authentic. Authenticity cards are very easily replicated.

Below, you will see two authenticity cards. The right card is fake and the left card is authentic.

Normally, you can tell if you have a fake authenticity card if it has a hologram, rainbow effect. Authentic cards never have this hologram effect. The fake card below is a good fake, since you cannot see the hologram effect. 

Authentic cards must also have the consistency of a credit card. In the case below, the fake card felt very flimsy and was easily bent.

All the information must be straight and aligned.

Bags from 2005 and onwards feature a grey circular symbol at top right. As you can see in the picture below, the fake card symbol is more white, compared to the grey authentic symbol. If the authenticity card does not have a symbol at the top right, it means that it was made pre-2005. 

You can also see a slight difference in font between the two cards. 

Chanel Authenticity Card

6 | Chain Strap

To tell if the chain strap is authentic, a lot of it has to to with the weight. In our case, the chain strap on the authentic bag was much heavier than is fake counterpart. 

Chain Flap Bag

A huge telling sign for us with regards to the chain strap was the stitching on the leather intertwined between the chain. On the authentic handbag (gold-tone hardware), you will see that the stitching is clean and seamless. You do not see any crooked lines or bumps.

On the fake bag (silver-tone hardware), there was obvious bumps where is was stitched (sometimes slightly unsewn), it was crooked and uneven. Below is a zoomed picture to get a better idea. 

Chanel Flap BagLet's get a little closer. You can see on the replica Chanel chain (silver-tone hardware), there is a double layer on the top flat part of the leather. One the authentic Chanel, there is no double layer on the top flat part of the leather. There is seamless, perfect stitiching.

Replica Chain

Chanel Flap Bag

Authentic Chain 

Chanel Flap Bag

7 | Stitch Count

Authentic Chanel bags should have a high stitch count - more than 10 stitches per inch. Fake Chanel bags usually have a low stitch count, which creates an overall "puffier" look on the handbag. 

8 | Leather

If you close your eyes and touch the caviar leather on both bags, you would notice that you feel the embossed pebbled caviar more on the authentic bag. The fake Chanel caviar leather did not feel as embossed and felt flatter and smoother. Take a close look and make sure the imprint is unique. On fake leather, the imprint is sometimes repeated.

9 | Quilting

The quilting should always maintain a consistent diamond pattern even when the front flap is closed. This also applies to the pocket on the back. 

10 | Overall Quality, Structure 

The biggest telling sign for us between the two bags was the overall quality. In the picture below, the bag on the left is authentic, and the bag on the right is a replica. When you placed both down, the authentic Chanel was much sturdier, structured and stood up straight. The fake Chanel did not stand straight, folded, and was clearly not as structured as the authentic.  Chanel uses the best materials that are made to last - this should not happen, even with older models. 

Chanel Flap Bag

You can also see how the replica bag (silver-tone hardware) folds more from a birds-eye-view (it is thinner at the top). The chain straps also start further back on the authentic version. 

 Chanel Flap Bag

11 | Lining

The lining is a good indication of the quality of an item. In an authentic Chanel bag, the lining fits snugly inside with no bumps. It is normally very difficult to separate the lining from the bag. When we compared this to the replica, the lining was baggy and loose and extremely easy to pull out from the bag. 

12 | Stamping

Make sure that the "CHANEL" stamping inside the bag matches the color of its hardware. 

We hope this guide will help you make safer and smarter shopping decisions. Check out the selection on authentic Chanel handbags we have for sale, below:

Shop Sabrina's Closet
Chanel Vintage Patent Leather Shoulder Bag 

Chanel Vintage Patent Leather Shoulder Bag

Chanel Snakeskin Flap Bag

Chanel Snakeskin Flap Bag

Chanel Surpique Quilted Leather Tote

Chanel Surpique Quilted Leather Tote

Chanel Ice Cube Shopper 

Chanel Ice Cube Shopper

Chanel Cerf Tote

Chanel Cerf Tote

Chanel Travel Line Tote

Chanel Travel Line Tote

 

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Comments

  • Posted by Laura on September 22, 2016

    Hi I just have a question why do some of the Chanel double flap classic bags have made in France and some say made in Italy?

    Also if the bag says made in Italy on the inside leather on the burgundy flap, then shouldnt It read Chanel Italy instead of ChanelParis on the little metal plate on the inside of the bag

    Hope that makes sense. Just wanted that clarified before I make a purchase

    Kindest regards

    Laura

  • Posted by Kym on August 29, 2016

    Hi I think I bought a replica Chanel . TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE MOMENT anyway the zip mechanism does not have the manufactures stamp and this black quilted bag has the traditional gold chains but this one has a long pearl strap as well the handles are also pearl as is the cc logo. Has Chanel made any such bag do you know!
    Thanks Kym

  • Posted by Milan on August 23, 2016

    Stamping is not quite right. I bought a medium classic red Chanel at Chanel store with silver hardware, product year 2014. However, the authentic card stamp is light gold, not silver.

  • Posted by Liz OHara on August 22, 2016

    Did Chanel ever have any bags made in China and did Chanel ever make a black canvas rucksack?

  • Posted by Gretchen Maas-Scott on June 11, 2016

    Thank you soooooo much!!!! What an eye-opener. I have an authentic Chanel and I also have what I’ve been told is a good fake. The areas of concern were pointed out to me. I recently purchased a “Chanel Hobo” from Ebay. The color and shape were just what I wanted…the leather was total…CRAP…pardon my language. The handbag arrived from Kyoto, Japan and the box in which it was shipped looked like it had been in a train wreck. When I returned the handbag, I packaged it very carefully, and placed pieces of the owners box inside to make my package sturdier. The owner, in Japan. wanted the handbag returned by a certain date. I went to our local post office and mailed it Express which cost me $82. I hope I get reimbursed for that, as well as a refund for the FAKE Chanel. I will NEVER purchase from Ebay again. Live and learn…and Buyer Beware!!!!

  • Posted by Karen on June 01, 2016

    I have a black and white Chanel bag. It measures 6″ × 12″. It’s very soft, the squares have even stitching with more than 10 per square inch, the CCs are even and placed correctly, the hardware is silver and the authenticity card looks correct. I misplaced the dust bag that it came in. This bag was purchased around 2006. How can I tell if it’s a real one or a knock-off and is there a Chanel site featuring older styles purses?

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