How to spot a fake Chanel bag
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How To Spot a Fake Chanel Bag in 2024

There’s no doubt that owning a handbag from Chanel is the ultimate dream for many. However, one should also acknowledge that in recent years, the market has been flooded by Chanel “superfakes” —highly sophisticated counterfeits that closely mimic the look and feel of genuine items. In fact, Chanel superfakes have become so sophisticated that even seasoned buyers now struggle to distinguish them from the real thing. This is a nightmare scenario for any handbag lover – spending thousands on a handbag through the resale market, only to discover later that it is a clever fake. That is also why it’s more important than ever to know how to spot a fake Chanel bag. This ultimate guide will teach you the key differences to look for in 2024.

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1. Examine the craftsmanship

Chanel Lambskin Medium Classic Flap Bag
Chanel Lambskin Medium Classic Flap Bag. Media Credit: Fashionphile

One of the hallmarks of an authentic Chanel bag is its exceptional craftsmanship. The stitching should be even, consistent, and free of loose threads. If you notice any of these things, chances are that the bag is fake. Also pay attention to the materials. Authentic Chanel bags use only the finest quality materials, including high-quality leather and hardware.

2. Inspect the “CC” lock

Chanel CC logo
Chanel CC logo. Media Credit: Fashionphile

The iconic interlocking CC lock is a key feature of many Chanel bags. On genuine bags, the CCs should be perfectly straight and aligned on the closure tab. Furthermore, on authentic Chanel bags, the C’s should always overlap each other.

3. Inspect the rectangular backplate securing the “CC” lock

Chanel cc lock backplate pre-2015
Chanel CC lock backplate pre-2015. Media Credit: Fashionphile
Chanel cc lock backplate 2015 and on
Chanel CC lock backplate 2015 and on. Media Credit: Fashionphile

After examining the lock, make sure to open the flap and look at the rectangular backplate securing the “CC” lock. Authentic Chanel handbags produced before 2015 will feature flathead screws, whereas the bags produced thereafter will have bespoke, star-shaped screws securing the lock. Btw, these new screws require a custom screwdriver to attach, which at this time, only Chanel has, making them basically impossible to replicate. 

4. The Serial Number and the Authenticity Card

Chanel serial number sticker
Chanel serial number sticker inside the handbag. Media Credit: Fashionphile
Chanel Authenticity Card
Chanel Authenticity Card. Media Credit: bagreligion.com

If shopping for a Chanel bag through the resale market, make sure to check on its serial number and authenticity card. Older Chanel handbags (particularly those produced from 1984 and 2020) should come with both. The serial number is typically found on a hologram sticker inside the bag, and it consists of six to eight digits. Furthermore, the serial number inside the bag should match the one on the card.

5. Assess the quilting pattern

Chanel Small Classic Flap Bag in caviar leather
Chanel Small Classic Flap Bag in caviar leather. Media Credit: Fashionphile

One of the first things that handbag authenticators recommend looking at when trying to identify a fake Chanel bag is quilting, which, on a real bag, should be symmetrical and perfectly aligned. Chanel also uses a high number of stitches for each panel of their iconic diamond quilt to ensure that the quilting doesn’t appear too puffy. In particular, there should be between nine and eleven individual stitches per panel.

6. The “Made in” stamp

chanel made in france stamp
Chanel "Made in France" stamp. Media Credit: Fashionphile

Another way of how one can spot a fake Chanel bag is by looking at the “Made in” stamp. A genuine Chanel bag is also going to be stamped with either “Made in France” or “Made in Italy” (yes, Chanel does make bags in Italy). With that being said, bags that are stamped with anything else, incl. “Made in Paris”, are fake.

7. Analyze the chain

Chanel Small Classic Flap Back View
Media Credit: Fashionphile

On authentic Chanel bags, the chain should feel heavy and substantial. If it doesn’t, it’s more than likely that the bag is fake. Furthermore, the color of the chain part of the strap should match the color of the hardware throughout the bag.

8. Look at the lining

Chanel bag burgundy interior
Interior of a black Chanel Small Classic Flap. Media Credit: Fashionphile

Many people overlook the importance of the interior when authenticating Chanel handbags. And that’s a huge mistake, because it can be a great indicator of the bag’s authenticity. In particular, counterfeiters typically use the wrong colors or fabrics for the interior of the fakes. I mean, why bother to do it correctly when most people around won’t even see the interior?

9. Packaging also matters

Chanel Caviar Small Double Flap Black
Chanel Small Caviar Classic Flap. Media Credit: Fashionphile

The packaging of your Chanel bag can also be indicative of its authenticity. In fact, the dust bag and the box accompanying your bag should feature the same impeccable craftsmanship as the bag itself. So, if you notice the opposite, it’s a huge red flag. In addition, authentic Chanel dust bags typically have an opening on the side, whereas the fakes open through the top.

10. Review the price and seller information

If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Authentic Chanel bags come with a high price tag, and significant discounts can be a red flag. So, make sure to research the seller’s reputation prior to making the purchase. Trustworthy resellers should provide detailed photos of the item and have a clear return policy, ensuring 100% transparency.

Extra tip from Fifth Avenue Girl:

Remember I’ve mentioned that on authentic Chanel bags the chain should feel heavy and substantial? Well, here’s another tip for you! Try to put a magnet close to the chain. If the chain attaches to the magnet, the bag is fake, but if it doesn’t, it’s authentic! I’ve learned this trick from this Youtube video.

I hope this article was helpful!

xoxo’s, Masha S.

P.S. Always trust your instincts and seek professional authentication if you have any doubts about the authenticity of your handbag.

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