http://www.colehaan.com/colehaan/catalog/product.jsp?productId=238864&categoryId=306193&productGroup=194258

Before you click the bid button for a Cole Haan purse on eBay or buy a purse from a street vendor, take a second to think about the purchase. That purse could be a fake, and the difference is important. Knockoff purses are of inferior quality and will not last nearly as long as the name-brand version. Plus, buying a knockoff helps support the illegal practice of copyright infringement. Learn how to determine if a Cole Haan bag is the real thing or just a cheap imitation.

Feel the leather. Leather on a designer bag has a very particular feel. It should be soft, smooth and supple. When you bend it the leather shouldn't crinkle. If the leather has a plastic-like feel or is hard, then it probably isn't Cole Haan.

Check the credentials. If the bag doesn't come with a Cole Haan authenticity card, take a pass on it.

Check for the Cole Haan signature-engraved charm on the bottom of the strap.

Cole Haan bags cost around $300 to $12,000. If you are purchasing a new one for a deeply discounted price, such as $25, you are more than likely getting a fake.

Tip

When buying purses on Ebay, make sure to look closely at the photo provided to check for signature-engraved charm. Also, don't be afraid to ask if the purse comes with a Cole Haan authenticity card.

About the Author

Alina McKee

Since 1998 Alina McKee has written for dozens of traditional and online beauty, fashion, health and parenting publications including Pregnancy.org, Mama Health and Real Beauty. As a professional artist, her articles about these subjects have been used in magazines and websites around the globe. McKee has a diploma in fine art from Stratford Art School.