How to NOT Buy Fake Coach Handbags

Don't get burned. Embrace the real thing!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Tips for buying Coach on EBAY

Now, let me just say that I don't recommend this. I was burned, which is why I created this blog. I'd rather not see anyone make the same mistake. But, if you absolutely, positively feel that you must attempt to buy genuine Coach products from EBAY sellers, I'll give you a few pointers that may prevent heartache later on. If only I had followed my own advice!

1. Read ihatefakecoachbags' 'about me' page before even looking at any bags. There is a list of apparently reputable sellers on the page. Hit them up and see what they're offering. Most of the reputable sellers, I've found, have Buy It Now listings.

2. Read the seller's feedback. If they have private feedback, even if the numbers are high, run!! If they have a great reputation, why would they want to hide their feedback? But be careful. A lot of EBAY fraudsters get new accounts every now and again to circumvent the pesky negative feedback. If they have 100% positive feedback, but have only been a member since ten days ago, watch out. Other fraudsters hijack good EBAY sellers' accounts, so the feedback is all good, but the good seller is long gone.

3. Look at the seller's other auctions. Do they, like this guy, have tons and tons of the same hard-to-find bag? This seller has been listing his "Coach" gallery totes, model 1443, over and over again, which tells me that he has an unlimited supply of them...which is just about impossible.

4. Just because the seller says they bought the bag somewhere doesn't mean the bag is authentic. A receipt can be faked or copied. I can say I bought my fake Coach at Saks, but that doesn't make it true. Just because the listing says authentic, doesn't mean it is.

5. Do some research. Look at the bag in the pictures. Try to find other instances of that model. Some of the supposed Coach bags listed on EBAY were never actually manufactured by Coach, so you're not even getting a real copy, just some cruddy old bag plastered with Cs.

6. And what about the pictures? If there is only a single photo and it looks professional, check the Coach Web site. The seller may have stolen Coach's images. If the seller is using the same image on multiple sales, how can you be sure of the bag you'll actually receive? Make sure that the bag you're looking at on the listing is actually the bag being sold.

And now, the 'No Good Knock Off of the Day.' Notice that one the back, the Cs are on their sides! Whoa! Red flag!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Update - Wool signature bag

Since posting on the 5th, I have come across a second signature wool handbag. I wasn't aware that Coach had produced such a bag, but finding reliable information about out of production bags isn't that easy. One comes across a lot of crap. Of course, I've only come across the two - one on ebay and one on the Boston craigslist Web site. That tells me nothing, really. A google search didn't bring up much, either. If anyone knows anything about a wool bag, please let me know.

Here is a picture of the craigslist bag:

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Designer bag advice from the WNBA

From WNBA center Janell Burse:

For those of you who actually want to buy a genuine designer bag but are looking for a bargain, I have some tips on how to tell if the bag is real or not. EBay is a good place to look, but it's obvious that some of the bags are fake. They have bulky stitching and misspelled monograms. I once saw a bag with the signature Coach "C's," but in a Gucci pattern. I referred to this as a Goach purse; Gucci and Coach mixed together! You can also spot a fake bag by looking at the zippers and buckles. Designer bags alway have their logo on every piece of hardware on the bag. Designers seem to pay very close attention to detail and the bootleggers are getting smarter. Fake bags sometimes will have the designer monograms on the zippers, but they're usually crooked or slightly off.

Those are some of the easier ways to spot an imposter purse, but now it's time for a tough one. If someone is trying to sell you a bag that looks authentic yet you're still not sure, ask to see the bag's point of origin. If the tag says "MADE IN TAIWAN," throw it down and run away! Trust me, as fast as you run that bag will tear up even faster. No designer hand bag is ever made in Taiwan.

Monday, September 05, 2005

The signature C

The signature C is a beautiful thing. I drool over them when no one is looking. It also happens that examining the signature C is one way to distinguish a fake Coach bag from the real thing. Head over right now to the Coach Web site. Don't worry, I'll wait. Look at the traditional signature styles. What jumps out at you? Here is a hint: symmetry. On all of the classic styles, there is a certain symmetry inherent in the signature. On either side of any sort of buckle, the Cs will match up. I'd show you, but I don't want to steal images from Coach. So, if you didn't before, go look now. The Cs will also all match up horizontally. If the C in the middle is cut off half way on a straight edge of the purse, all the Cs on that edge will be cut off in the same place. The line of Cs will not slope diagonally in either direction. The Cs on one side of a leather flap will mirror those on the other side of the flap.

Please note that this doesn't apply to certain limited styles of the signature C.

Now have a look at the bag below. First, even though the photo's quality bites, the fabric is obviously a little fuzzy, like wool. Notice how the topmost horizontal Cs on the left are closer to the seam than the topmost Cs on the right. There are two Cs positioned between the lowermost horizontal Cs and the leather trim on the left and only one C on the right. And that, Coach lovers, is why it is today's 'No Good Knock Off of the Day.'

Friday, September 02, 2005

Crud can't satisfy!

Ah, the satchel tote...and the signature gallery tote of last fall's collection. These things linger at the back of my mind, making me desire them. But I'll be buying no more fakes and no more "replicas." Even ones like theseand these, where the usual tips for spotting fake Coach bags (more on that later) just won't cut it. They look pretty good. And the details are okay. But my advice is to stay far away. If you can't buy the bag you love, how is having a cruddy fake of it going to satisfy your longing? Hint: it won't. And it may be supporting sweatshop labor!

From a NY news source:

It's legal to sell a purse that only looks like the real thing by design. But when a fake logo bearing the designer's name or crest goes on the fake bag, selling it is breaking the law.

Also, some claim sales of these bags have been linked to terrorism and organized crime. In many cases, they're produced outside of the United States in sweatshops by people making less than minimum wage.

There you go. And here is the 'No Good Knock Off of the Day':

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Fool me once...

Hi there. I don't know how you got to here, but welcome. I've created this blog in order to prevent others from making the same mistake I did. You see, I unintentionally bought a fake Coach handbag. I'm not going to make any sort of moral judgments regarding those folks who choose to buy fake designer products. Most all of us have done it at one time or another. In the past, when I have done so, however, I have found that said product is of poor quality, falls apart quickly, and is usually a blatantly obvious fake to anyone in the know. Like those bags that sort of have the Coach signature C's except, when you take a closer look, they are really G's.

I've also created this blog as a penance. I wanted a deal and wasn't willing to wait until I had saved up enough to buy straight from Coach. I thought I could get the hookup from a reseller or someone who just got tired of their bag and wanted to get rid of it. I was wrong. Well, not entirely wrong. There are plenty of good, honest people out there trying to unload real, legit designer handbags. The problem is, you can never be sure. Oh, I tried to be sure. I looked for someone on EBAY who had good feedback and didn't seem to be a mass handbag seller. I found amykeeka. She seemed to just be unloading a bag or two she bought on impulse. She even had receipts! And I took the bait. What I received was this:

There are a few problems with this bag, though the one that jumps out at you is that this bag, as you see it in the photograph, was never manufactured by Coach. But that aside, there are some other little inconsistancies that, had I known as much then as I know now, I would have recognized. Like uneven lines and the weird color of the "leather," which naturally, as I am a sucker, turned out to be vinyl. Also, most real Coach bags stand up for themselves. If you put them down on a table, even when empty, they look pretty good. They don't slump in weird ways. And there is more.

But the point of this, my first post, is that I hate to be duped out of money because I was an uninformed consumer. In the case of the purchase of this "designer" bag, I was. The receipt turned out to be a photocopy that the seller used when posting three more of the same bag - whoa, red flag! That, and the uneven frabric was what set me off. Oh, and the vinyl. Anyway, since then, I have been on a quest to learn as much about identifying real Coach bags by sight as possible. And I want to include you in that quest.