Here at elvogue.com we are truly dedicated to root out all the counterfeit items. We made a thorough internet-wide search and collected some tips, how you, as a buyer can check, if the Chanel handbag you are interested in, is an authentic Chanel or not. And there are so many things you can do even before purchasing the bag.
There are many things you can check simply by asking the seller to add more pictures with better quality about the specific parts of the bag you are interested in. You can ask anything you want through the “comment” section on the product page. After you are satisfied with the pictures and the answers from the seller, there are 2 additional things you can do after the purchase, to be absolutely sure about the authenticity of the bag.
What you can do before (and also after just to be sure) the purchase.
- Check the logo on the bag. The Chanel logo is comprised of two interlocking "C" letters that face away from each other. The right C should always overlap the left C at the top and the left C should always overlap the bottom of the right. This rule is for handbags only and does not necessarily apply to other items in the Chanel line. But there are one or two exceptions on limited pieces.
- One of the most famous and recognizable features on Chanel bags is the CC lock. The original 2.55 lock is rectangular without any logo or Chanel stamping. Chanel makes bags with both styles of locks so if your back features the rectangular lock it may still be authentic. 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. Replica locks generally feature minor mistakes such as the shape of the Cs, the placement of additional metal above the lock, and even the style of the interlocking Cs. Replica Chanel CC locks usually have a rounded finish on the CC. Authentic Chanel CC locks have a flat edge finish. The lock stem itself is another feature worth checking. Authentic lock stems are made from 24K gold and even when used for a lengthy period of time will still maintain its condition. Replicas, however, are generally plated with gold which will peel off after use. Also inspect the press studs for quality. Genuine press studs will also maintain their appearance after use, whereas replicas will peel and fade quickly.
- Check the quilting. The quilting pattern is synonymous with Chanel and can be a good indicator of whether a bag is genuine or not. A good place to check the quilting is the back of the bag where the pocket lies. The stitching should maintain the consistent diamond pattern and line up perfectly. If there is a pocket sewn to the front of a quilted bag, the quilted pattern does not break or deviate on the bag. The pattern aligns from the top to the bottom of the bag as if there was no pocket at all. However, if you are purchasing a pre-loved Chanel bag it is possible that wear or the stretching of the leather has led to the lines becoming slightly out of place, so this is only a valid indicator if purchasing a new Chanel bag. This one is also tricky because it depends on the angle of the picture taken. On flap bags the quilting doesn't always align perfectly when the flap is closed because it really depends on whether the bag is stuffed or empty, or if it's hanging correctly, etc. But it should appear to align.
- Count the stitching/lining. This can be a very good indicator as Chanel use a high number or stitches to help maintain the bag’s original shape. A genuine Chanel bag will feature eleven stitches per panel (that is the distance of one side of the diamond shape). However, a replica bag will generally feature nine or less stitches per panel. Lining is another feature which varies between genuine bags and replicas. Lining on a genuine bag lies flat against the material without any visible lumps or bumps. However, counterfeit bags will usually skimp on his detail and use inferior leather which can crease easily and even be a little loose.
- Check the back of the lock. Stamping marks vary according to when the bag was made and the style of the bag. Some CC locks have a stamping mark whereas others have no mark at all, so even if your bag doesn’t feature a stamp don’t fret! If the lock has a stamp it means it was made in France whereas if it doesn’t feature a stamp it means it was made in Italy. The real giveaway is the stamping mark on the back plate. If you open the bag and look at the back of the turnstile lock you will see the back plate. Chanel attach this using flat had screws only alongside a clear font with even spacing. Replicas may use different type of screws and various other styles of lettering and font on the back plate. Chanel bags are either made in France or Italy. They will not say "made in Paris".
- Verify the branding or logos. The brand stamp is another way to confirm the authenticity of a Chanel bag. Check the font and quality of the stamp. Many replicas use a thinner font and rush the branding so that it sits on the leather rather than being embossed into it. The position of the embossed Chanel logo is another feature worth checking. It should sit one and a half centimeters below the quilted C with the width of the Cs and the gap between them remaining consistent at 0.9cm. The width of a genuine Chanel logo is 3.3cm.
- Find the authenticity card. An authentic Chanel bag comes with one (unless it was lost :-). This embossed card contains a serial number. If there's no card, if the card is not embossed or if there is no serial number included in the text, the bag is likely a knock-off. Not all authenticity cards are genuine! A quick way to see if the authenticity card is genuine is to see how many numbers make up the code. If the bag was made between 1984 and 1986 it will feature 6 digits, if it was made between 1986 and 2004 it will feature 7 digits, and if was made from 2005 onwards it will feature 8 digits. Currently Chanel do not issue authenticity cards with 9 digits or more. The authenticity card should have gold edges, be as thick as a credit card. Also, 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. Authentic cards must also have the consistency of a credit card. They cannot be very flimsy and easily bent. All the information must be straight and aligned. Bags from 2005 and onwards feature a grey circular symbol at top right. Fake card symbols are often whiter, 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.
- Check the chain straps. The famous chain and leather straps are a signature feature of Chanel bags and also a great way to spot a fake. Vintage Chanel bags feature a link without the leather threaded through it whereas replica straps often don’t have a link without the leather threaded through it. However, contemporary Chanel bags feature leather straps folded back on themselves and stitched through each link, so it is important to inspect the detail up close! Starting in the ’80s, Karl Lagerfeld began lace leather into the chains on some Chanel bags. Today, there are four ways the luxury brand does this. Four-fold with a stitch: This strap style is often seen on exotic-skin Medium Classics, Maxis, Jumbos and vintage camera bags. A strip of leather is folded until the two edges meet in the middle. Then it is folded one more time. Triple-fold: This is a technique used in most of Chanel’s Medium Classic Flap bags. A strip of leather is folded once and then folded back again. It has no visible stitching – only a rolled and a cut edge on one side and a rolled edged on the other. For wallets and chains: Cut edge: To create this type of strap, two piece of leather are cemented together then cut both edges, leaving the edges on both sides raw. Turn (or fold) to center: In this technique, two edges of a leather strip are folded together until they meet. The strip is then hammered until a line on side of the leather is visible and the two edges are folded.
- Locate the serial number inside the bag. There must be a serial number placed somewhere within the bag's interior. Prior to the late 1990s, the serial number was printed on a white sticker with the Chanel logo printed in gold across the background. From the late 1990s to the present, the serial number has been printed on a white sticker beneath 2 gold Chanel logos. The serial number is most often located inside the bag at the lower left corner or on the zipper pocket. The sticker should be covered with a rectangle of clear tape large enough to cover the entire sticker. Inside serial number has "Chanel" letters on a side of the number. Serial number cannot be removed from the bag easily without damaging the bag. Try to peel off the hologram with your nails. The real ones stick really hard to the leather whereas the fake ones easily peeled off. Examine both the serial number on the authenticity card and the serial number on the bag. They must match.
- Observe the bags shape. Replica Chanel bags are usually constructed poorly and feature a boxy shape in comparison to genuine Chanel bags. Look out for rounded corners on replicas compared to the squarer shape of genuine bags. This is a sign of the bag not being turned out properly and of poor-quality material used on the bag.
- Check those zippers. There are a variety of zippers used on genuine Chanel bags. These include the lampo zipper which is always used on metal teeth, the EP zipper which generally features a pull tag made of leather, the three Cs in a circle zipper, the OPTI DMC zipper, the éclair zipper, the DMC zipper, the YKK zipper, and the no mark zipper which is usually found on vintage Chanel bags.
- Look closely at the hardware on the strap of the bag. The Chanel name or logo should be engraved on the strap's hardware. If an engraving is missing, chances are the bag is a fake.
- Check for white paper tag. Authentic Chanel handbags has white paper tags with style number, name, colour, barcode and price. Fake usually has metal tag saying "Chanel" on it and small square tag (black or white colour) saying just "Chanel" without the name of the bag, colour and price.
- Look for black dust bags. New models Authentic Chanel handbags have only black dust bags with white "Chanel" letters on it. Only sport style handbags can have grey colour dust bags and older made bags (such as the 80s and 90s) come with a white dust bag made from a kind of flannel fabric stamped with the CHANEL logo in black and enclosed in a circle with the word CHANEL written underneath.
- Check the match in colours. The stamping (on the inside of the CHANEL bag) of CHANEL and MADE IN ITALY / FRANCE should always match the hardware. For gold hardware the stamps should be in gold. For silver hardware the stamps should be in silver.
- No plastic or tight paper wrap! Brand new Authentic handbags' hardware, handles or authenticity card NEVER covered with plastic wrap, can be covered only in light paper that can be easily taken away without throwing it into small pieces.
- Study the “made in” text if there is one. Chanel does everything with precision, which includes creating the label’s “made in” text markings. Authentic Chanel products have proper spacing between letters. The text doesn’t bleed out, and all corners are clearly stamped. The text will have ample spacing at the bottom, while replicated products usually have text placed too close to the stitching.
Now, if you found out everything you could previous to the purchase and have received your brand new family member, there are two more things you can do…just to be sure..
- Examine the leather. The leather of choice on many Chanel bags is lambskin which should feel soft to the touch and have a visibly smooth appearance. The superior quality of leather used by Chanel should be easy to distinguish from the feel and appearance of a counterfeit. If you are inspecting a lambskin leather bag, ensure it feels extremely soft to the touch. Another popular leather used by Chanel is caviar skin which is made from pebbled calf leather. This type of leather has a bubbly appearance and is more textured to the touch. It is less likely to scratch and mark and is a more durable leather than lambskin. When you run your hands over genuine caviar leather you should feel raised dimples.
- Do a sniff test. If you’re a leather goods enthusiast, we’re sure you’re already able to tell a real leather from the synthetic version. There are a number of ways to tell the two apart but the most telling is the smell. Synthetic leather tends to smell like chemicals, while genuine leather has a musty and natural smell. Also take a look at both the give and color of the product. Natural leather is malleable and will soften over time, whereas synthetic leather retains its original shape for a long time. Color variety is more limited for natural leather, too, since the dyeing process isn’t as flexible as it is for man-made materials.
We used sources that had a lot of pictures of original and fake bags. Go check them out also: