Unfortunately, it can be pretty easy for an unsuspecting buyer to fall prey to counterfeit Chanel sellers.
Therefore, we’ve put together a list of things to keep in mind when purchasing secondhand Chanel, to help you to tell the difference between a real Chanel piece or a fake.
Quilting & Stitching
If it’s a quilted Chanel bag, all the quilting will match up. If it’s a classic flap bag, the diamonds will match up where the flap touches the bottom of the bag.
Stitching on all kinds of Chanel bags will be refined and delicate. But the quilting on the quilted bags should always maintain a consistent diamond pattern even when the front flap is closed. This also applies to the pocket on the back. Chanel goods are supposed to last a very long time so the stitching should look like a continuous line. On fake Chanel bags, the stitching will look intrusive.
On an authentic duster bag, CHANEL will be printed in white, bold letters centred in the middle. On most fake duster bags, CHANEL is usually printed in the wrong front and off-centre.
High Stitch Count
Authentic Chanel bags should have a high stitch count (more than 5 stitches per centimetre). Fake Chanel bags usually have a low stitch count, which creates an overall bloated look to the handbag.
Chain handles on Chanel bags are plated in gold and have a heavy weight. Antique hardware on vintage Chanel bags isn’t plated in gold, but still feels substantial and looks very well made.
Therefore, fake chains feel lightweight and cheap. If you know the difference between good costume jewellery and bad costume jewellery, you can very easily tell the difference between a real chain and a fake chain.
The two Cs in Chanel’s logo are interlocked and always appear right over left at the top, and left over right at the bottom. 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.
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 on the right.
If you close your eyes and touch the caviar leather, you will notice that you can feel the embossed pebbled caviar. Fake Chanel caviar leather does not, it feels flatter and smoother. After that, take a close look and make sure the imprint is unique. In addition, on fake leather, the imprint is often repeated over and over again.
Real Chanel bags are lined in leather, fake ones are lined with plastic. The lining is almost always a good indication of the quality of an item. In an authentic bag, the lining fits snugly inside with no bumps, and it is normally very difficult to separate the lining from the bag.
Chanel handbags have hologram stickers with serial numbers and a date code inside the bag. Sometimes the hologram stickers fall off pre-owned Chanel bags, but you can usually see the sticker’s adhesive residue where it was once was.
Serial numbers on Chanel bags indicate the bag model and year of manufacture. They do not produce bags with serial numbers of 9 digits or more. If this is the case, it’s not authentic. If you’re looking on the Chanel 2.55, the serial sticker should be found on the bottom, left-hand corner.
The gold hardware features a small mark indicating that it is gold plated. Don’t forget to inspect the zip. The zip they use changes depending on what year the bag was manufactured. Check that the zip on your handbag is consistent with the year it was created.
Similarly, also make sure that the CHANEL stamping inside the bag matches the colour of its hardware.
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.
You can tell if you have a fake authenticity card if it has a hologram effect. Authentic cards never have this hologram effect.
Authentic cards will also have the feeling and weight of a credit card. For instance, fake cards usually feel very flimsy and are easy to bend.
In addition bags from 2005 and onwards feature a grey circular symbol at top right. If the authenticity card does not have a symbol at the top right, it means that it was made before 2005.
In conclusion, you could always take a questionable bag to Chanel… For instance, if you have a bag that you’re unsure about, take it to a their store and try to have it repaired. If it’s fake, Chanel will refuse it. True, it might be a bit embarrassing, but you can always say it was a gift!