Is Coach Outlet Real Coach?

Is Coach Outlet Real Coach?

Coach outlet stores, owned and operated by the Coach brand, offer a wide range of genuine Coach products at prices significantly lower than those found at regular retail stores. Nonetheless, it’s important to note that there are notable distinctions between the merchandise available at Coach factory outlets and that which can be found at traditional Coach stores. Keep reading to learn more about what makes Coach outlet a “real Coach” and what to know about is coach outlet real coach.

Overview of Coach Outlet Stores

Coach outlet stores are operated by the parent company Tapestry, which owns the Coach brand. The company opened its first factory outlet store in 1991, offering a selection of Coach products at discounted prices compared to its retail stores.

Today, over 200 Coach factory outlets are located across the United States and Canada. The stores offer handbags, wallets, accessories, footwear, outerwear, and more for women, men and kids. Many outlet locations are grouped in large outlet malls.

Overview of Coach Outlet Stores

Outlet Products are Authentic

Items sold at Coach outlet stores are 100% authentic Coach products, not “fake” or inferior quality versions. Outlet products are made specifically for the outlet channel.

Coach does not compromise on the materials used because an item is made for the outlets. The leather, hardware, and other materials undergo the same rigorous quality testing as retail store merchandise.

Shoppers can feel confident that outlet products are the real deal in quality and design. Coach stands behind all its products with a warranty, whether purchased at retail or at an outlet.

Differences Between Retail and Outlet Products

While outlet products are authentic, there are some differences in terms of the specific items available:

Limited Selection

Coach outlets have a more limited selection compared to retail stores. Don’t expect to find all of the same new product styles. Outlet stores only carry some of the products from recent seasonal collections. The selection focuses on outlet-exclusive and retired retail styles from prior seasons.

Few High-End Items

In outlets, you won’t find many of Coach’s higher-end, premium-priced items like the brand’s exotics bags. These types of products are usually reserved for retail stores only. The outlet selection focuses on the mid-range to lower-end price points.

Outlet-Exclusive Styles

Many products in Coach outlets are “made for outlet” styles not sold at retail stores. These are products designed specifically for the outlet channel rather than being overrun from the retail line. Outlet exclusives may feature simpler hardware, different materials, or slight design variations compared to retail bags.

Lack of Customization

Coach allows extensive customization and personalization of many retail store bags. However, customization options are minimal when it comes to outlet products. Shoppers cannot unique order outlet bags.

Few Limited Editions

Coach periodically releases unique limited edition bags at retail, but these highly sought-after styles rarely make it to the outlets. Again, outlets focus more on core products rather than little edition capsules.

Lower Prices

The biggest draw of Coach outlets is, of course, the savings. Discounts run around 25% to 65% off retail prices. Exact discounts will vary based on the style and collection. Recent releases tend to have the smallest discounts, while retired products often get marked down even lower at outlets.

Are the Savings Really That Good?

With these differences in mind, are the lower outlet prices still considered a bargain? Here are some factors to consider:

Retail Prices are Inflated

The savings at the Coach outlet may seem significant. However, Coach intentionally inflates the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) used to calculate discounts. This makes the percent-off seem larger than it is. The “compare at” prices rarely reflect what a product sells for at retail.

Used Market Prices

Many retired Coach styles sell for less than current outlet store prices on the resale market. Since outlet bags may not hold their value well over time, buying from an outlet versus pre-owned is not always a better deal.


Shopping the Coach retail boutiques during seasonal sales or promotions can offer deeper discounts. For instance, the semi-annual sales offer discounts of around 50% off on retired styles comparable to outlet pricing.

Quality Differences

Some shoppers argue that the outlet versions may not have the same durability, cost per use, or longevity as retail bags once you account for material variations. This further reduces the actual savings of outlet shopping.

While the deals may not be as substantial as the high percentage-off numbers imply, outlet prices still typically beat regular retail. However, savvy shoppers should weigh the pros, cons, and alternatives before assuming the outlet is always the better bargain.

Spotting the Real Outlets

With the growth of online shopping and the increase in counterfeit goods, how can shoppers be sure they are buying from an authorized Coach outlet? Here are some tips for spotting a real versus fake Coach outlet:

  • Check the Website – The official Coach outlet website lists all legitimate outlet locations—type in your zip code to identify real outlets near you. Be wary of any locations not shown on the brand’s website.
  • Look for the Branding – Genuine Coach outlet stores should have clear Coach branding on the exterior signage and throughout the interior. Look for the Coach logo, “Coach Factory Store” signs, and brand imagery on employee shirts and bags.
  • Quality Control – Carefully inspect the product hardware, materials, stitching, and packaging, which should all be pristine. Irregularities may be a red flag if you are purchasing counterfeit goods.
  • Updated Merchandise – Real Coach outlets will display the latest outlet collections on the floor. Fake stores are more likely only to carry dated styles and products.
  • Reasonable Discounts – Authentic Coach outlets offer discounts typically ranging from 25% to 65% off retail prices. Be wary of any store claiming to sell Coach at drastically lower prices, like 80% or 90% off retail.

When in doubt, ask outlet sales associates direct questions about the source of their merchandise. Reputable outlets will happily confirm Coach’s parent company operates them.

Shopping Tips for Coach Outlets

Once you’ve identified an actual Coach outlet store, use these tips to make the most of your shopping experience:

Check the Return Policy

Coach outlets have more restrictive return policies compared to retail stores. Returns must be made within ten days with the original receipt, attached tags, and intact packaging. Try on items and inspect for defects before purchasing.

Sign Up for the Email List

Join the outlet email list for notifications about extra percentage-off sales, which occur periodically throughout the year. These short flash sales offer intense discounts.

Ask For Discounts

Don’t be afraid to ask sales associates if there are any other available discounts. Occasionally, outlet stores will honor coupons or other unpublished promotions at the cash register, especially if you are making a large purchase.

Be Flexible

If you are searching for a specific item, it may not always be in stock. The outlet selection constantly changes. Allow some flexibility in your shopping list if your desired item is unavailable.

Compare Prices

Outlet merchandise costs vary by location. If possible, check pricing at multiple outlets to find the best deal. Larger Coach outlet stores tend to offer lower prices on certain items.

Seek Out Retired Styles

Since the deepest discounts are on retired retail products, head straight to the clearance section to find those styles marked up to 75% or more off retail. The newest collections will have smaller discounts.

Buy Gift Cards

Coach outlet stores sell brand gift cards at a 10% discount. This is an opportunity to save a little extra on your overall purchase.

Quality Check Carefully

Thoroughly inspect items for any damage, defects, or irregularities before purchasing. Returns and exchanges are more restrictive compared to retail stores.

Should You Shop At Coach Outlets?

Should You Shop At Coach Outlets?

Are Coach outlets worth shopping for? Here are some key pros and cons:


  • Authentic Coach products at discounted pricing
  • More excellent selection of bags under $300
  • Opportunities to score retired/ vintage Coach styles
  • Ability to find outlet-exclusive styles not sold at retail
  • Future savings by joining the email list for extra promos


  • Minimal selection compared to retail stores
  • Savings not as substantial on non-clearance items
  • Minimal customization options
  • Restrictive return policy

The advantages can make Coach outlets a solid option for savvy shoppers on a budget. However, outlets are better suited for casual Coach fans versus loyal collectors interested in limited editions and new releases.

While Coach outlets don’t carry the full breadth of Coach collections, the products remain authentic Coach both in terms of brand and build quality. Customers can shop confidently, knowing they get real Coach at discounted outlet pricing.


Are the bags at Coach outlets real or fake?

The bags sold at authorized Coach factory outlet stores are 100% authentic. Outlet merchandise is directly distributed from Coach.

Why are Coach outlet bags so much cheaper?

Bags are cheaper at the outlet for a few key reasons:

  • Particular outlet-exclusive styles with different materials and hardware
  • Lack of customization options
  • Limited recent styles – more retired/clearance merchandise
  • Discounts partially driven by inflated retail pricing

Is the quality lower at Coach outlets?

While materials may vary on outlet styles, overall quality meets the same standards. Outlet bags are not inferior or “second” quality.

Does Coach own coach outlets?

Yes, Coach outlets are owned and operated by the parent company Tapestry. Coach manufactures and distributes products directly to its outlet stores.

Does Coach outlet have sales or coupons?

The outlet email list frequently provides coupons for an extra % off during seasonal sales events. Sales associates may also offer other unpublished discounts at checkout.

In Summary

Coach outlet stores offer authentic Coach bags and accessories at discounted prices compared to retail stores. However, the product selection is limited and focuses mainly on outlet-exclusive styles and retired retail items. While markdowns represent decent savings, outlet prices are inflated off higher suggested retail prices. When exploring Coach vs Coach Outlet: Key differences to know before you shop, savvy shoppers should weigh all factors before assuming outlets always provide the best value, recognizing that Coach outlets offer a legitimate option for those seeking lower-priced Coach products compared to retail.

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