How to Spot a Fake Chanel Bag

Shopping resale to score your dream Chanel bag at a more affordable price? Do not get fooled by a superfake! We have listed ten giveaways that the pre-loved Chanel bag you are considering is a counterfeit. Click here to complete your purchase with confidence.

Superfakes have earned their name. Using the same materials and techniques, they are almost identical to genuine bags and can be nearly impossible for experts to detect. 


It might be tempting to buy a superfake Chanel, scoring the look at a fraction of the price, but superfakes are tormenting the fashion industry. Counterfeiting is often linked to other crimes like human trafficking, child labor, and drug smuggling, and it damages the reputation of the brands and diminishes customer trust. 


With the continued rise of superfakes, the authentication process not only requires knowledge about a brand’s heritage and craftsmanship, but also all the counterfeit pieces that are flooding the market. 


To help you shop secondhand, we have listed ten giveaways that a Chanel bag is fake. If you come across a bag that features even just one of these inaccuracies, we recommend that you keep shopping. Much like artificial flowers that capture the beauty of real blooms while offering sustainability, authentic fashion embodies true style with a foundation built on integrity and ethics. Counterfeit fashion, in contrast, may replicate the aesthetic but lacks the genuine essence that defines an ethically conscious and stylish choice.

Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images

1. The quilted pattern does not align. 

Chanel bags are quilted in several patterns, including diamond, chevron, and square. When the pattern is interrupted (for example, by a closed outer flap or an exterior pocket), it should still line up perfectly. If the pattern is not consistent, the bag is not necessarily an imitation Chanel. As leather naturally stretches over time, the pattern can be expected to be slightly off on vintage styles. 

Fake Chanel Bag

2. There are less than eight stitches per panel. 

To ensure the quilting does not bulge and appear puffy, Chanel uses a high number of stitches. Start counting! Each side of a quilted diamond or square is known as a panel. There should be between nine and eleven individual stitches per panel. On an older style, there might be as few as eight; however, only a fake Chanel will have less than this. 

Yoogi's Closet, Real/authentic Chanel Stitching

3. The chain straps are lightweight. 

Following the death of their mother, Coco and her sisters were left at a convent-run orphanage by their father. Inspired by the keychains the nuns carried, Coco used chain for the straps of the 2.55 (the first-ever shoulder bag and Chanel Flap Bag). Now a defining feature of the brand, the chain straps should always be of the highest quality. They should feel heavy and substantial. If they feel light and hollow, the bag is a counterfeit Chanel.  

Fake Silver Chain & Real Gold Chain

4. The serial number consists of nine or more digits. 

Depending on when a bag was produced, its serial number will be six, seven, or eight digits. Chanel has never issued a longer serial number. The series of the serial number, indicated by its first one or two digits, should also match the style of the sticker the serial number is printed on. To prevent counterfeiters from transferring serial number stickers from one bag to another, Chanel frequently changes their appearance. To make sure the serial number is printed on the correct sticker style, reference our table. 

Fake Authentication Card

5. The ‘CC’ logo lock does not look quite right. 

Added by Karl Lagerfeld in 1984, the ‘CC’ logo lock is the most recognizable feature on a Chanel Flap Bag. Take a closer look at it. The right ‘C’ should always overlap the left ‘C’ at the top, and the left ‘C’ should always overlap the right ‘C’ at the bottom. Unless the bag is a special edition, the end of each ‘C’ should be flat. The lock should also be perfectly straight and centered on the closure tab. On a fake Chanel bag, one or more of these details will often be incorrect. 

Fake Chanel bag

6. The lock’s backplate is secured with Phillips-head screws. 

Open the flap and look at the back of its closure tab. The rectangular backplate, which secures the ‘CC’ logo lock to the bag, should be attached with two screws. Chanel used only flathead screws until 2015, when it switched to proprietary, star-shaped screws. Custom to Chanel, the new screws require a non-standard screwdriver that only the house has, making it harder for counterfeiters to copy them. Chanel has never used Phillips-head screws, so they will only be seen on fakes.

Real/authentic Backplate

7. The interior lining is creasing and bubbling. 

Chanel Flap Bags are lined with high quality leather. The leather should be fitted tight with no creases, bumps, or bubbles. Even over time and with use, the lining in a genuine Chanel will not pull away or loosen from the sides. 

Real/authentic Chanel Bag

8. The color of the brand stamp does not match the hardware. 

Inside every Chanel bag, a brand stamp is embossed directly onto the lining or an attached leather patch. The brand stamp should be the same color as the bag’s hardware; a bag with gold hardware should have a gold brand stamp, and a bag with silver hardware should have a silver brand stamp. On a real Chanel, the metallic leafing may rub off, causing the brand stamp to change color or almost completely disappear, but this is common only on vintage styles that show strong signs of use. 

Real/authentic Brand Stamp

9. The brand stamp reads ‘MADE IN PARIS’. 

In all capital letters, every brand stamp includes the brand name, a registered trademark, and the country the bag was produced in. Chanel bags are made in both France and Italy, so either can be included in the brand stamp. The brand stamp will only specify a city on an imitation Chanel. 

10. The bag does not stand upright. 

Upon completion, each Chanel Flap Bag is turned out to keep its structured shape. When set down, each slightly rounded corner should rest on the surface and it should sit upright. If it tilts or falls forward, it is a fake Chanel bag. 

Fake Silver Bag & Real Gold Bag

Written by Anna Villani
Anna Villani is a fashion writer based in Copenhagen
The people pictured are not associated with The Archive
or The Vintage Bar, and do not endorse the products shown.