Since it began in the mid 1900s, Chanel has been a well recognized brand in couture fashion, specifically in handbags. Chanel purses are made from extremely high quality materials and are known for their durability. Because the Chanel brand is extremely expensive, cheap designer knockoffs are very common. It is fairly easy to tell whether or not your vintage Chanel bag is genuine or fake.
Check the inside label of the purse. Real Chanel bags are all imprinted with specific Chanel logos that are easily recognizable. The logo may be a gold or silver Chanel sign, and oval label with a Chanel logo, a black label with Chanel written in white or a black label with vertical lines. These are the only logos used by Chanel, so any vintage Chanel bag without one of these is not real.
Look for the bag's serial number. The number should be either seven or eight digits long. All Chanel bags are created with a specific serial number, along with a certificate of authenticity.
Look at the zipper pull on the purse. There should be a Chanel logo, either the word Chanel or CC on the zipper pull. All Chanel handbags have the Chanel logo imprinted on the zipper pull.
Look at the CC on the bag. The top of the right C must overlap the top of the left C and the bottom of the left C must overlap the bottom of the right C. The two Cs should appear to be linked together tightly. Fake vintage Chanel bags do not have the correct sequence of overlaps and the two Cs do not fit together tightly.
When buying a vintage Chanel bag online, always ask for a certificate of authenticity. This certificate can be compared to the serial number inside of the bag to quickly determine if the bag is genuine.