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In the luxury goods market, buying second-hand designer bags can come with a certain amount of risk. It’s not like buying a T-shirt at your local departmental store — if the shirt is a size too small or doesn’t fit quite right, you can always take it back and swap it for something that does. With high-end designer items, however, there’s often no guarantee that what you’re getting is real. This is especially true in the case of pre-loved Chanel bags, which are notoriously popular with scammers and counterfeiters who sell the fake goods at second-hand markets.

Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can authenticate a Chanel bag before committing to a purchase:

1. Examine the Bag’s Leather

Leather has always been a popular choice for luxury bags, and Chanel is no exception. The superior quality of their leather can be seen in every single bag they manufacture, which means you’ll know that something is off when your second-hand designer bag doesn’t look or feel right, while you scrutinise and rub your hands against the leather. 

Most Chanel bags are made using lambskin, which should be soft to the touch and explicitly smooth in appearance. Some Chanel designer bags also utilise caviar skin made from pebbled calf leather – when running your hands over a second-hand bag of this supposed material, make sure you feel raised dimples on the surface. The quality of leather used by Chanel should be easily distinguishable from that used by most counterfeits, so this is the first step many in Singapore take when authenticating a second-hand Chanel bag before purchase. 

2. Count the Stitching and Lining

Chanel bags feature a high number of stitches to help maintain their original shape. Your second-hand Chanel bag should feature up to eleven stitches per panel, as in the distance of one side of the diamond shape that makes up Chanel’s signature quilting pattern. Replicas likely feature fewer stitches as quality isn’t often at the top of their list when making fake bags. Check for your stitch count per panel whenever you buy a second-hand Chanel bag. 

The lining of an authentic Chanel bag should also lie flat against the leather without visible bumps or lumps — counterfeits tend to skimp on this detail, so check for creases and loose linings when attempting to authenticate a second-hand Chanel bag in Singapore. 

3. Check the Stamps 

First, check the “made in” stamp on the second-hand Chanel bag you’re looking to purchase in Singapore. Make sure that the colour of the logo stamp coincides with the colour of the bag’s hardware — a bag with golden hardware should feature gold stamps, and a bag with silver hardware should likewise feature silver stamps. Note that Chanel bags are made in either Italy or France, so watch out for stamps that read “made in Paris”. 

The lettering on Chanel stamps are always clean, sharp and evenly spaced out in clear font. There should be a backplate that is attached using flat head screws behind the turnstile lock, so check if your second-hand Chanel bag uses different types of screws, other styles of lettering or messy fonts for its backplate stamp mark.

4. Ask for Authenticity Cards

If possible, ask for authenticity cards for the second-hand Chanel bag you’re thinking of purchasing, but don’t be complacent in thinking that the existence of an authenticity card makes the designer bag genuine in any way — not all authenticity cards are authentic. 

Check the number of the authenticity card you’re presented with. If the luxury bag was made between the years 1984 and 1986, there should be six digits on the card. Bags made between 1986 and 2004 should have seven, and those made from 2005 onwards will have eight. At the time of this writing, no Chanel bag features authenticity cards with eight digits or more. 

5. Examine the Zippers

There are a variety of different zipper types that Chanel uses on their designer bags. When buying a second-hand Chanel bag from a consignment store or otherwise, make sure to check if the zipper fitted onto the bag coincides with the zipper type assigned to that model. Generally, most Chanel bags feature one of the following zipper types: the lambo zipper which is used on metal teeth, the EP zipper which utilises a leather pull tag, the three-Cs-in-a-circle zipper, the OPTI DMC zipper, the DMC zipper, the YKK zipper, the éclair zipper and the no-mark zipper often found on their vintage bags. 

Shop LUX.R for Authentic Second-Hand Chanel Bags

LUX.R is Singapore’s leading name in luxury consignment. At our boutique, you won’t have to worry about counterfeits and the likes — all our preloved designer bags in Singapore have already been checked for authenticity. 

Book an appointment and buy an authentic second-hand Chanel bag from LUX.R today, or sell or resell your branded designer bags online with us.

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