Luxury

DIY – How To Authenticate a Chanel Handbag and Spot a Fake

Chanel Handbag Authentic vs Imitation…

Take a look at this Chanel Fanny Pack. Does it look real or fake?
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After researching several forums and asking Chanel employees, this bag is indeed FAKE!
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I purchased this on Poshmark where the ad listed it as a “LIMITED VIP Promotional Chanel Bag!”. The person who listed it said she received it free as a gift with purchase (GWP) promotion in Asia so it won’t have a hologram or an authenticity card. Fair enough, I thought, I’d still buy it if I know it’s from the Chanel flagship store.
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Upon receipt of my the bag, it was nothing like the listing described nor was it the same bag as the photos in the listing. Thankfully, Poshmark is awesome and refunding my purchase any day now! Lesson learned…you get what you pay for.

Here's how to learn how to identify an authentic versus fake Chanel bag

Regarding the VIP Promotional bag part of the listing…

I've learned that there is no such thing as authentic VIP Chanel gifts such as handbags, wallets, fanny packs, etc. Chanel does give VIP gifts but they are small gift with purchase cosmetic pouches from their compact and foundation lines, but not handbags. And with those VIP GWP, the tag inside is made of clear plastic and must say “With compliments of Chanel. Not for resale.”

Buyer beware! Sellers selling VIP Promotional bags purposely list and sell them for under $500 on Poshmark, because items listed and sold for over $500 go directly to Poshmark for authentication. Here is Poshmark's promise to buyers:

‘When you purchase a luxury item on Poshmark, it's shipped directly to Poshmark HQ for authentication. Our team of luxury experts carefully inspect the item's authenticity. Once we've confirmed authenticity, we'll package it with care and ship it to you. If the item's authenticity cannot be verified, we will refund you immediately.'

Now that we've cleared up any questions or confusions regarding Chanel VIP Promotional Bags, let's discuss what an authentic Chanel bag should look like and have…

Verify the authenticity of your Chanel handbag by following this authentication checklist I used:

CHANEL HOLOGRAM

The hologram sticker helps to verify authenticity and can be found on a tab inside your Chanel handbag. The hologram sticker inside your Chanel handbag will have a plastic foil covering and contains a six to eight digit serial number (based on when the bag was produced). You will need to compare this against your black and gold plastic authenticity card to make sure the number on the card matches this hologram number.

Chanel authenticity card and hologram sticker have a serial number made up of a certain number of digits.
Chanel bags made between 1984 through 1986 features 6 digits
Chanel bags made between 1986 through 2004 features 7 digits
Chanel bags made between 2005 to current features 8 digits
*Please note that Chanel does not currently issue authenticity cards with 9 or more digits

CHANEL INTERIOR LABEL

The interior of your Chanel bag will have this exact Chanel and trademark stitched or stamped, evenly spaced and centered in gold or silver inside of the bag: CHANEL® and all of the metal hardware should match in color:
*If your stitching or foil stamp is silver then the zipper and hardware in the bag must also be silver.
*If your stitching or foil stamp is gold then the zipper and hardware in the bag must also be gold.

The Chanel logo and branding stamp positioning and font will ensure authenticity of your Chanel handbag. Genuine Chanel logos have a width of 3.3 centimeters. Check the font and quality of the stamp – it should be embossed into the leather versus sitting on top of the leather like many replicas. Then check the position of the embossed Chanel logo and make sure it's 1.5 centimeters (one and a half centimeters) below the quilted ‘C' and that the width and gap of the ‘C's between them remain at a consistent at 0.9cm.

The hang tag should also be free of grammatical and font errors like this photo below with several errors on spacing and grammar…

Chanel Replica Hang Tag

Genuine Chanel handbags have an interior label that says it's made in France or Italy. Authentic Chanel handbags will NOT say “made in Paris”. Where they are made from should also match throughout the bag and on the hang tag (see photo below showing this replica as “made in Paris” on the hang tag but then “made in France” on the foil).

IMITATION CHANEL FANNY PACK FROM VIP Promotional Listing

CHANEL METAL HARDWARE

The ‘CC' lock on the front clasp should have the ‘C' on the RIGHT overlapping the other ‘C' on the left at the top of the logo and then the left ‘C' should be overlapping the right ‘C' at the bottom. They will either be raised or flush/flat finishes. Original 2.55 locks are rectangular and do not have a logo or Chanel stamping on it. The CC lock can feature either raised or flat finishes with the right C overlapping the left C at the top and the left C overlapping the right C at the bottom.

An authentic CC Chanel lock stem is made from 24K gold (NOT plated gold that will peel off after use); the press studs should feel sturdy, and of heavy quality that should not fade or peel over time.

The back of the Chanel lock hardware has stamping marks that vary based on the style of the bag and when it was made. Be wary, though, some of the CC locks do NOT have a stamping mark and some of them do. If the lock has a stamp it means that it was made in France, however, if it does NOT have a stamp it simply means that it was made in Italy. A genuine, authentic Chanel handbag will have a stamping mark on the back plate – open the bag and look at the back of the turnstile lock and you will see that the back plate was attached using flat head screws and only alongside the ‘CHANEL' clear font with even spacing.

REPLICA CHANEL HARDWARE

CHANEL LEATHER MATERIAL

The Chanel leather needs to be examined – Chanel bags are made of lambskin or caviar skin. Lambskin looks smooth in appearance but extremely soft to the touch; pebbled Caviar leather is more durable and less likely to scratch as it's made from pebbled calf leather. Caviar skin has a pebbled and raised dimpled kind of textured to the touch. Is there any glue residue on the leather? Chanel replicas glue their stitching together.

CHANEL QUILTING

The quilting pattern is most known with Chanel and you'd want to check the quilting at the back of the bag where the pocket is. Does the stitching maintain a consistent diamond pattern and does it line up perfectly between the exterior and the flap when your bag is closed? Also, does it line up perfectly between the exterior and the pocket on the back?

CHANEL STITCHING

You can also tell if the Chanel bag is authentic by looking at the stitching on the handles. Does the handle's stitching continuously and exactly stitch in the same pattern? The Chanel handbag stitching in the lining uses a high number of stitching to ensure the upkeep of maintaining it's original shape throughout it's use. There are up to eleven stitches per line of panel (one line panel is one of the 4 sides of the diamond) on a genuine Chanel bag. Also, the lining on the inside of an authentic bag should lie flat and smooth against the material (it should not crease or be loose and it should not have dents or bubbling).

CHANEL BAG SHAPE

Chanel replicas are poorly constructed and have a boxier shape and more rounded corners (see my imitation Chanel below) versus authentic Chanel handbags having a more defined, square shape.

IMITATION CHANEL STRAP

CHANEL CHAIN STRAPS

Chanel is famous for their signature chain and leather straps. Older, vintage Chanel handbags will be links without leather threaded through it. Newer, more recent Chanel handbags feature leather straps that are folded back on themselves and then stitched through each link. This is where “it's all in the details” come in, inspect it closely!

I hope this guide helps you when it comes to buying luxury Chanel handbags through online sellers and thrift stores. Please let us know of other determining factors that you may be aware of when buying Chanel bags in the comments below!

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