Chanel handbags are one of the most coveted status symbols on the planet. A genuine Chanel handbag is considered an impressive return on investment—in fact, the value of Chanel bags are increasing at a rate of 10-15% a year

Sounds like the perfect investment, right? Well, only if the bag is real. 

So, how can you authenticate a Chanel handbag? 

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about how to shop savvy and safely on your quest to purchase the investment of a lifetime—an authentic Chanel handbag. 

Learn more about this Chanel Caviar Card Holder

Why Do I Need to Authenticate My Chanel Handbag?

According to Entrupy, $972.5 million dollars worth of counterfeit handbags were seized by U.S. customs and border patrol in 2023. Chanel handbags are a status symbol as much as they are chic and fashionable, making them high targets for counterfeit action.

As technology advances so does the quality of counterfeit handbags. This has led to something called “super fakes” that can even stump experienced collectors. It’s a wild world out there, and we want you to be empowered to identify a counterfeit Chanel bag when you see one.

Shop Chanel handbags!

How To Authenticate Chanel Handbags

Let’s be honest—if you have suspicions that the bag is fake, it just might be. You can try to use your trained eye to tell the difference between fake and real Chanel, but there’s only one sure-fire way to ensure authenticity: using an AI luxury authentication technology like Entrupy. 

But if you still feel like giving your bag a once-over on your own first, here are some of the best ways to tell if a Chanel handbag is real or fake. 

Step 1: Check the construction. 

First, check the overall construction of the bag. The flap should align perfectly and not extend beyond the sides. The leather strap in the chain handles should move smoothly, without appearing forced.

Chanel uses specific, high-quality leather. Each type has a distinctive luster, color absorption, and feel. Entire guides are dedicated to Chanel's leather. If the leather feels off, it’s a warning sign. 

The bottom line: real Chanel bags are made from premium materials.

Explore this Chanel Large Running Chain Flap bag.

Step 2: Look carefully at the quilting and stitching. 

Chanel’s stitchwork is precise, with many small stitches. Authentic bags will have at least 11 stitches per diamond side. Fake bags often have fewer, larger stitches. 

Then, examine the quilting. The diamonds should have a pleasing puffiness, neither too flat nor overly puffy. Rich, sophisticated colors are another telltale sign; any shoddy craftsmanship is a red flag.

Attention to detail is a trademark of Chanel handbags. Poor stitchwork is a clear sign of a counterfeit.

Step 3: Examine hardware & logos. 

Chanel’s hardware is consistently high-quality. All logos, zippers, and screws should match in color. Any inconsistencies in metal color are a red flag. The hardware should feel substantial, not flimsy. Examine every detail closely. Authentic Chanel hardware is impeccably crafted.

When it comes to logos, the iconic interlocking C’s are key indicators. They should be three-dimensional and locked together. The logo must be perfectly centered on the leather flap.

Misaligned logos are a good indicator that the handbag is fake—Chanel’s logos are precise. 

Explore this Chanel Quilted Mini Square Flap Bag.

Step 4: Check authentication stamps—and don’t rely on authenticity cards. 

Look at the stamp inside the bag. The lettering should be crisp and even. Chanel never uses "Made in Paris"; it’s always "Made in France" or "Made in Italy." Blurry or uneven stamps are a red flag. The stamp’s clarity may be a small detail but it’s very telling of a fake vs a genuine Chanel. 

Our best advice is don’t rely solely on the authenticity card. Counterfeiters are often able to replicate these cards. To combat this, Chanel came up with a new system in 2021. 

Since 2021, Chanel bags have embedded microchips with authenticating details. This makes counterfeiting more difficult. Use the microchip as a key verification tool by taking your bag to a Chanel store to scan.

Step 5: Analyze the packaging. 

Chanel’s luxury extends to its packaging. Look for a dust jacket, tissue paper, and box. High-quality packaging is a good indicator of authenticity. The experience of unboxing should feel luxurious. Poor packaging could be a red flag. 

Learn more about this Chanel Caviar Medium Boy Bag. 

Authenticating Chanel Handbags Checklist

We’ve created this checklist so you can quickly assess if the bag you’re holding is authentic Chanel or something you need to leave on the table—you’re welcome!

  • Overall quality that lives up to the Chanel brand
  • Perfect quilting
  • Premium leather
  • Ideal stitch quality with tiny stitches
  • The interlocking C logo should truly interlock and be three-dimensional
  • Rich-looking hardware, never brassy
  • Flat head screws or star-drive, never Phillip's head
  • Smooth working zippers
  • Hand-pleated tissue paper
  • Serial number that follows the Chanel date code protocol

How to Authenticate Chanel Handbags—Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know my Chanel bag is authentic?

Look for flawless craftsmanship, high-quality leather, precise quilting, and clear serial numbers. Check the hardware and origin stamps.

Can you look up Chanel's serial number?

Yes, Chanel serial numbers can be verified to match the authenticity card and the era of the bag.

Where can I authenticate my Chanel?

You can authenticate your Chanel bag through trusted luxury resellers, expert authenticators, and modern authentication apps.

How to verify Chanel microchip?

For newer bags, Chanel microchips can be scanned and verified through official Chanel stores and some advanced authentication services.

Buy Authentic Chanel With SoHo Luxury Exchange

As an Entrupy-certified consignment business, SoHo Luxury Exchange specializes in authenticating luxury handbags so that you don’t have to! We want our shoppers to rest easy knowing they purchased their dream bag authentically. Let us help you bring home your next luxe investment!
June 27, 2024 — Victoria Damiani