Real Vs. Fake: Chanel Classic Flap-Bag

Saturday, March 29, 2014

I've gotten some great responses about my Real vs. Fake posts. Most people will look at sites like Ebay, Souq and Dubizzle to purchase pre-loved bags but often can't authenticate them. They would want to know if they are paying thousands of Dirhams for the real deal, or a bad knock-off.

So, I decided to write a blog post on how to spot a faux Chanel, which is by far one of the most replicated bags out there and people WILL try to sell knock offs and pass it off as the real deal.

I will start off with my favorite Chanel: The classic caviar or lambskin flap-bag with cross stitching and with silver/gold hardware.


According to this thread on the Purse Blog Forum, the flap-bag comes in 3 sizes: 
Small - 9"W x 5.5"L x 2"D
Medium - 10"W x 6"L x 2.5"D
Jumbo - 12"W x 8"L x 3"D

Sizes are vital because it's a dead giveaway in a fake bag.

The white Chanel below is 10" W, 6"L, 2.75" Depth. It's amazing... but the most shocking part is how much she paid for it back in 2006: 5,800 Dirhams or 1,595USD! If you visit the Chanel boutiques now (2014), you'll be lucking to get a measly Wallet-on-Chain for that amount.

Just a quick note here: I would NEVER buy a white bag... especially not a Chanel! First off, you can only wear it in the summer. And secondly, it gets so dirty so quickly. I  had a white Fendi once and was holding it above my elbow... My jeans (although they weren't cheap!) rubbed off and absolutely ruined it. I still don't wear it to this day. In my humble opinion, when you're paying that much, you're better off buying a black or dark color. 

Caviar, Silver Hardware

Lamb Skin, Gold Hardware

Patent Leather, Silver Hardware
Side View of Jumbo, Medium and Small

A real Chanel's stitching is impeccable and symmetrical

Researching this blog post made me realize that it's getting harder and harder to authenticate Chanels because of how well the Chinese are making them. But because I have seen so many real and faux bags in my lifetime, there are some giveaways.

I got the below pictures from TopLuxuryBag2014. If the link is broken, it's because Chanel probably shut it down for selling fakes.

The Differences

From far, both the authentic and the replica look identical. But the devil is in the details:
  • The grains of the fake caviar bags protrude while the real are flattened and larger 
  • Even if the bag is an A+ replica, the zippers are always a give it away. The zipper lining should be straight, not crooked. Also, the zipper clasp can sometimes be a piece of leather rather than a metal clasp. That does not mean it's a fake. However, how that piece of leather looks/feels is important. 
Use this picture as a handy tool:

  • As mentioned before, replicas are almost NEVER the same size as the original. 
  • Stitching: Take this as a rule of thumb: Real = High Stitch Count, Fake = Low Stitch Count. And, as the image above shows... the stitches is impeccable and in a straight line.
  • Hardware: the right C in the CC logo should be over the left. Newer Chanels do not have a stamp on the left C. Also, the bag strap should be heavy. I've seen fake bags where the chain is really cheap-looking and light.

Now, it's your turn! Let us know how you detect a fake Chanel in the comments section below. Also, if you have review you can share it with us in the comments below!