Most people think it's harmless to own a fake, saying 'oh, these big companies make millions, why should they miss out a couple of hundred.' Well, for starters tax is paid on an authentic item which goes to the UK government, and then spent on healthcare, schooling etc. The government is losing up to £9m a year through fake goods. Terrorists, even Al-Qaeda, sell fakes to fund they're terrorist acts. I don't know about you, but I don't really want to help Mr Osama Bin Laden and his crew. The children that make these fake items, as young as 8, work long hours just to be paid £10 a week. Child labour is used for the small details that go into the fake items. Personally, I don't really want to own anything that was mass produced by children for Al-Qaeda, I want something that will not break after a day because it's made by a qualified craftsman who is paid a decent salary, and at least my money won't land in the hands of terrorists.
I know I've made quite a few guides, but this one is specifically on Chanel and how to verify your item. Chanel have said that you can't take your item into boutiques to have it verified, it's just not something they do apparently. The consultants in stores are not specialists, they're only hired to sell. Some might miss something and not be able to tell the difference, so hopefully I might be able to help.
If you know of any other information on how to spot fake Chanel items, especially an item I haven't mentioned, please contact me as I'm trying to learn all about the fake trade.
Please remember that Chanel goods can only be bought from the boutiques and designated outlets such as Heathrow Airport and Harvey Nichols, Harrods etc. Chanel do not sell their merchandise on the internet (except for the make up, skin care, and perfume site in the USA). Chanel beaute products can be bought online ONLY from boots.com, (a convent garden website I can't remember the link of) and very recently Debenhams.com. If it is sold elsewhere on the internet, they are not a legal supplier.
I think this is quite a straight forward one. I've never seen a fake pair of Chanel heels before, so I think you're ok there. I think you would be able to tell the difference in quality compared to an authentic pair from a fake pair of heels, so I don't think that one is too difficult. However, if you really don't know much about Chanel, you should maybe stay away from the Cambon line ballet pumps 2005/2006. You can spot a fake from a mile away, and it can be very embarrasing for some people to end up with a fake pair because they really do look awful compared to the authentic pairs. For starters, the sole is the biggest giveaway. These are pictures of fake pairs of Chanel ballet pumps:
As you can see, it looks as though the sole has been badly glued on. It looks awful. The red is the biggest giveaway as Chanel ballet pumps do not have red soles. Another thing is the insole writing. On authentic pairs it's just the word Chanel, and it is either in black or white or engraved, never silver with anything written around it. Chanel shoes do not come with authenticity cards! I'm sorry but it's just common sense. I'm yet to hear of anyone who does authenticity cards with their shoes. The red sole is also on the fake beige, and pink ballet pumps.
These are pictures of authentic shoes.
The black ones on the end are my authentic pair, bought from a boutique, so you can definitely tell the difference now. The whole sole is the criss cross pattern and the colour part with Chanel on it is behind the sole. There should also be Made in Italy and the word Chanel twice engraved in the sole. Authentic Chanel shoes also come in black dustbags, not white. White ones tend to be fake as Chanel tend to have everything black. Also, the only place I have seen authentic Chanel ballet pumps is on ebay.com, not ebay.co.uk, so if you really want a pair and can't spare £225 for an authentic pair in the boutiques, possible go to ebay.com and see if you can find someone who posts worldwide.
Wallets, handbags, etc...
I've seen countless people buying fake replica Chanel items. If you are unsure of authenticity, then ask the seller for the authenticity number. If it is 9395451, do not buy! That's the number of all the Chanel replicas on the planet. There might be other numbers, but that is the biggest way to tell. To any random person they look like the real thing, but people who know a bit about Chanel items can normally tell wether it's fake or not close up. One thing to look out for is the zips. Authentic Chanel is thickly engraved on the item. The letters should probably be at least one millimetre thick. Badly scratched on words normally is fake. Check the popper buttons too. Should have Chanel on them. Fake ones tend to have Chinese people names on them. One cunning way to tell the difference is simply take a photo of the inside of the bag. Example:
< FAKE < AUTHENTIC
The authentic item is more luminous than the fake one. If you want you can copy my picture of the authentic pink lining and use it to compare it with an item you may have doubts about. It's not a diffrence in camera because the photos were taken seconds between and with the same camera. Sometimes when trying to push authenticity, they have things blatently staring at you in the face, like, serial numbers. You can clearly see a serial number in a fake item, but an authentic one you have to sometimes hunt for it. Took me months to realise I had a serial number in my wallet. The fake ones tend to be right in front of you when you open up the wallet, and with the number 9395451 (other serial numbers used on fake items are 9316391, 9395451, 10218184, 11062948 and 10803549). The serial number in my authentic wallet was hidden in the front comparment which is rarely used. If you have one of the Cambon line handbags, the triangle piece of material in the corner should not be fully sewn on. You should be able to put your finger underneath the fabric. Also, the cards with the serial numbers on them do not come in plastic sleeves. And the little paper booklet that it black with a gold trim and says Chanel on it (I'll try and get a picture) is completely fake. I don't know how these people who make the replicas thought that these booklets would pass off as authentic, most of them have awful spelling and grammar mistakes. Chanel do not make these mistakes.
The classic 2.55 chain handled quilted bags are quite hard to tell if they are fake or not. There is a serial number used for fake bags, it starts with a 1, I'll edit this guide when I remember what the number is. Another way to tell is the gold CC logo part where you tie it on the front. The majority of these bags have a ltitle N or W symbol, can't quite remember which one, engraved into the top left hand corner of the metal CC. This is only in the 2.55 quilted classic bag.
The cheapest handbag available by Chanel at the moment is £455, and it's a small clutch-bag sized shoulder bag in the Cambon line. The 2.55 bags start at just under £900, but that is for a half-size one, which is about 6 inches cross, which is quite small. So, ones twice the size, the ones you normally see on ebay, cost anything from £900 to £1600. And if they have any fancy details like they are made from snakeskin etc, then expect it to cost a lot more. If I had the large size 2.55 bag that cost just little than £2000, why would I sell it, brand new, on eBay, for £50. It's just not logical. Remember to look for that mark on the metal CC on the front.
Small leather goods do not come with dustbags. They are wrapped in black felt then placed in a box.
Another way to tell is to look at the price tag. All cardboard tags are removed in the boutiques when purchasing items, so they can be scanned and paid for in the till, whilst the item is being wrapped for you. If it does somehow still have the tag on it, it wouldn't be black. All Chanel price tags are white with black writing.
These are pictures of some fake Chanel jewellery
The round bracelet as seen above sells for little more than £49. Why? You can buy these things in Spain for £2 people! One major factor is quality. Stones shouldn't fall out, bits shouldn't be mishapen, and also, pendants (as seen above) do not come on that ball chain style stuff. Normally comes on steel curb chains. Chanel costume jewellery is all base metals. Normally steel. Not gold or silver. Precious metals are used in Chanel fine jewellery, and normally with diamonds. So, not cheap.
Most authentic Chanel jewllery has the authenticity stamp on it. The only exception is tiny earings. they don't have the stamp because basically, they're too small, so you have to look at quality when trying to see if the item is fake or not. Pierced earings tend to have plastic disc metal backs, and hoop ones have clasps on them to make sure they don't fall out of your ear. That would be devastating. Here is a picture of some authentic Chanel costume jewellery:
See the little oval stamp on the chain? That's the authenticity stamp. Authentic jewellery should also come with the little Chanel plastic tag with a white sticker with printed numbers and letters on the back, if the owner hasn't thrown it out.
Chanel do make towels, sports equipment etc. I can't tell the difference between fake and authentic yet, mainly because there isn't much fake items of this nature anyway. Another one which is bad though is belts. This is a picture of a fake belt. I know it's fake, mainly because it's Buy It Now price was only £10.
I don't think Chanel have ever made a belt like this. This is an example of an authentic belt. Belt prices in boutiques start at £125, and that's for a small chain belt.
Chanel make up and other cosmetics
Now, I think everyone knows what Chanel make up products look like. Don't be fooled by only USA market, or, discontinued brand, compacts have never looked like this! And if they have, it was a very long time ago, but packaging rarely changes. The USA, European, UK, and Asian markets for Chanel are different, but all generally the same. After all, it is the same company. Make up brushes, there is loads of fake items. it's hard to tell the fake ones, but generally I'm sure the fake ones normally have gold metal and the authentic ones have silver coloured metal, but, in the USA they are gold, which is a bit annoying. Quality is a big thing to llok out for. Hairs shouldn't fall out all over the place, and top of the mettal bit where the hairs come out should not be sharp! If it is sharp, bin it. Having something sharp near your face and eyes is not really advisable. It's very rare to hurt yourself with these cheap sharp brushes, but it could still happen. Better safe than sorry many would say. For starters, the make up brush in my picture is lying on fake Chanel paper, so that might give you a clue, also the person selling this item had loads of neutral feedback saying Fake item but I'll use it anyway. Some people can say it's fake, when it isn't because they just do not know, so, it's a hard one. If you haven't seen the item lately in shops, it's either fake or not been sold for many years, which is bad news in either way. I certainly wouldn't put anything on my face that had been sitting around for years, or made by some random person in China. These products could contain potentially harmful dangerous chemicals which could be banned, and have certainly not gone through strict testing as brand named cosmetics do.
I have to look into brushed more. The brushes I've received from America do not have the numbers printed on them, which a lot of brushes on eBay say they do, but, I'm not 100% sure if it's true with all USA Chanel brushes yet.
Fake Chanel products are normally sold to people without boxes in mostly Asian countries. Some people can get hold of these products and the boxes from people, so the only way to be 100% certain you are getting the genuine product is to go to a certified Chanel cosmetic counter, either in major department stores, duty free, or boutiques.
Edit:This is for the new Chanel make up brushes that have been released in Europe. They do have the numbers on them. These brushes are extremely top quality, so any doubt in quality they are fake, because I don't think I've seen brushes of this quality, they are amazing!
PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU ARE IN DOUBT ABOUT ANY MAKE UP OR OTHER BEAUTE PRODUCT, DO NOT BUY! IF YOU DO, DO NOT USE. THESE ITEMS AVE NOT GONE THROUGH STRICT TESTING. ONE OF THE MOST COMMON ELEMENTS FOUND IN FAKE MAKE UP IS LEAD, MERCURY, ARSENIC, AND OTHER POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS CHEMICALS. LEAD AND MERCURY WILL POISON YOU. hAVING MERCURY AND LEAD POISONING IS NOT POTENTIALLY FATAL, IT IS FATAL.
Have I covered everything? If not get in contact with me. I've seen a vast improvement in removeval of fake Chanel items from eBay, literally thousands. It's hard to buy a fake jewellery item now, and if you do it will be removed by the time you pay for it anyway.
Another way to tell if the item is fake, if the seller says ***authentic...brand new with tags...unwanted gift*** on a Cambon line handbag...what nutter would honestly sell this item!!! They cost thousands and all the celebs have one, and it's from one of the most prestigious companies in the world. Who in the right mind would sell a £1600 bag for £100, and say it was an unwanted gift? Who would be so callous enough to sell an item for £100, that someone had bought for them for £1600. It makes no sense. The only person who would sell an expensive bag for such little pennies would be a billionaire, and why would a billionaire want to sell any of they're items. They'd keep them in a wardrobe or give it away.
Remember, if in doubt, just don't buy! If you want a fake, well, just don't spend £100's on it and get ripped of, but if that's your things then go for it! But these people are making a mug of you.