Liberty Thrift's Regional Manager June Jones explained, "We've been stocking them, in the office, like six big bins that have been stocking up."
Jones hadn't put the purses out, because she wasn't sure which were real and which were fake.
That is, until thrift-shopping expert Rebecca Peck heard about the stash and offered to help.
Peck, who once bought a Louis Vitton purse at a thrift store for $6.97, is a self-taught expert on separating real Coach from "Faux-ch" purses.
She says, "Some of the fakes are really good, and believe it or not, they even faked the vintage ones 101 back in the day from the 70s, 80s, so it's not a new phenomenon and there ar some really good fakes coming out of the Philippines right now."
Peck gave us a crash course.
"The first thing I would do is look at the creed," Peck says, explaining the creed is the writing inside the purse that identifies the material, place of manufacture and style. Vintage creeds might be a metal tag, but most are imprinted.
This creed in one leather bag we looked at said it was made in Korea... But Coach doesn't manufacture there. Another clue that bag was a fake: the creed read "Coachbag" (all one word). Peck explains, "If it looks like the creed statement went through a bad English translator, then you know it's wrong."
Another clue: a serial number that starts with two letters.
Peck says, "They never used that format for the creeds. And if you see that, run."
Also, if a genuine Coach bag has a pattern outside, the lining will be solid. And vice-versa. Two patterns? It's a fake. Ditto with an exterior cell phone pocket, Coach has never made a pruse with an exterior cell phone pocket.
The good news is that it turned out quite a few of Liberty Thrift purses are genuine, and savvy shoppers will soon be able to get them at thrift-store prices. Peck's going to go through the lot and then Jones will distribute the to the stores in Spring City, Collegeville, Pottstown and Quakertown.
To find a Liberty Thrift near you, click here.
And here are several links that Peck says are good sources for information that can help you tell a Coach from a "Faux-ch:"
Serial Number Basics
Coach Authenticity Guide
Guide to Italian Coach
Guide to Vintage Coach