Examine the stitching. Authentic Coach bags have straight, even stitching throughout. Overlapping, missing or crooked stitches mean it is a fake.
Scrutinize the CC logo; it should be centered on the bag. On bags with seams, the logo should be continuous, or perfectly matched.
Handle the hardware. Coach uses high-quality brass buckles, latches and zippers. They are sturdy and well-made, not shiny or mismatched. Buckles should lie flat and zippers work effortlessly.
Inspect the creed pocket or patch on the inside of the bag. It should be engraved or etched, not pressed into the leather. In addition, on authentic Coach bags, the creed pocket or patch is stitched, not glued, to the inside.
Verify the serial number on the creed patch. On authentic Coach bags the serial number begins with the abbreviation for number, "No.," followed by an eight-digit alphanumeric string, with a dash after the first four digits.
Check the smaller items like the Coach tag and the dust bag. The tag should be engraved leather on a brass looped chain. The dust bag is brown with white lettering and a red drawstring.
Compare the bag to current offerings on the Coach website or at a Coach retailer. Make sure that Coach makes the bag in the color or fabric.
Remember this: if it seems to good to be true, it probably is a fake.