One good way is if you don't buy it in an official coach store/coach factory store/official retailers(like dillards) store then it is fake. I it was given to you... All the C's should match up if its that kind. If its leather, it should be real leather. On the inside if there's a zipper pocket then there should be a leather label stitched onto the outside of the pocket that reads COACH then this is a coach bag it was handcrafted in china from "it's long" ending with enduring quality. In all caps. Then a serial # under that. The inside of the purse should be lined with a solid color, satin like material. And all the stitching should be superbly done. Hope that helps. I have several of them.