Coach Sample Bags - Your Chance to Own Something Special

Let’s talk about Coach sample bags. A lot of people have a lot of questions regarding these bags such as: "are they actually real, genuine Coach bags?" And the short answer is YES. But that leads us to other questions:

  • What exactly are Coach sample bags?
  • How do you get one?
  • How do you know if you have one, or if a bag you are considering buying is one?

I’m going to answer all of these questions for you! Keep reading to find out what makes these special and what the upsides and downsides to buying and owning them are.


Coach sample bags can be one of 3 things.

1:  Some are samples made of a model before it went into production for the stores. This means that it is an early example of a bag that you could also find in the retail store at some point, which doesn’t make it particularly special unless you value having one of the first ones made.

2:  Others are samples of models that ended up never being put into production for the stores, meaning there are a very limited number of that model in existence, giving you the opportunity to have something very special if you are lucky enough to find one.

3:  Finally, a sample bag can be a sample of a model that did go into production for the store but where there were slight changes or additions made to the design in the time between the production of the samples and the production of the actual retail bags for the stores. This means that you can have a bag that is a familiar model but stands out by having extra features, different colors or other special details and that were produced in very limited numbers.

So, owning a sample bag can mean that you have something very special and a bit more unique from what everyone else gets to have. Now, you might wonder why they make these sample bags, and there could be several reasons for this. They could be made for testing out new designs and features but more importantly, they are created for press campaigns for new collections and for product photoshoots. This explains why sometimes, on the Coach website, you might see for example a Rogue 25 where the hangtags are attached to the front of the bag, but when you receive the bag, they are actually attached to the handle as usual. This means that the final product was slightly changed after the pictures are taken but before the model was put into production for the store. 


Now that we’re all clear on what sample bags are, let me address an important question: How do they end up in the hands of us mere mortals who just love having something special from our favorite brand? This is how: These bags are made available to purchase in a Coach sample sale, however, these are only open for Coach employees. Bought at good prices, Coach employees often sell them on (though they are probably not supposed to, but shhh we won’t tell), and this is how they end up in the reselling market. Therefore, in order to get one of these, you can do one of two things. Get a job at Coach and work your way up to earn the privilege of shopping the sample sales OR prowl the deep depths of reselling sites to find the hidden treasures listed for sale. Though they can be hard to come by, they do show up here and there.  A great place to start is right here in the Essex Fashion House shop where you’ll find several special sample bags that have already been authenticated and can be shipped worldwide. Shop the whole collection here or keep reading if you want to know how to spot a Coach sample bag.


Before venturing out looking for sample bags, take a look at these points so you know exactly what to look for. These are some of the most common features of Coach sample bags. Please note that not all of these features are present on all Coach sample bags and that there can be other signs of sample bags not mentioned here.

00000 Creed Patch Number

The first and best sign of a Coach sample bag is a creed patch with the numbers 00000 instead of a style number. Sometimes, the production code numbers are replaced by zeros as well. Check out these examples: 

Coach sample bag dreamer snakeskin patchwork 00000 style number creed patch

Find this bag here.
Coach Sample Bag Rogue 31 Oxblood Quilted Rivets Chevrons

Find this bag here.

The reason for the absence of a style number and presence of these zeros is simply that a style number had not yet been assigned to the model at the time of production of this specific sample. Sometimes, you will also find sample bags from between 2014 and 2016 where no numbers at all are present as the type of creed patch in those years did not feature a style number so there would be no number to replace with zeros. In bags with this style creed, you would usually find the style number and production codes on a small white tag inside an inner pocket, but sample bags produced at this time for photoshoot and promotion purposes would not have this small tag and no numbers present at all. This unfortunately leads to many of these bags being mistaken for counterfeits even though they are completely genuine. Remember that you can never authenticate a Coach bag simply by the presence or absence of a style or serial number alone. Check out my Ultimate Guide to Coach Serial Numbers here for more information on this topic.

Creed Patch with Blank Space

From time to time, you might even come across a bag with a creed patch that is simply blank where there otherwise would have been a style number. This can be another very good sign of a sample bag. Why some have zeros and some have a blank space is hard to say though. Here is an example: 

Coach shuffle runway sample bag blank creed patch no style number

Find this bag here

Hangtag Attachment on the Front

On models such as the Rogue, you often see a different way of attaching hangtags on Coach sample bags. They can feature a little metal loop at the front of the bag for hangtag and/or clochette whereas on normal models, the hangtags are usually attached to the handle of the bag.

Coach 1941 Rogue 25 in Pink Floral Bow Leather Sample bag Handbag

Find this bag here

Large Barcode Tag Inside

Another thing that can signify a Coach sample bag is the presence of a large white tag inside the bag with a large barcode on it. This is different from the small white style number tag you sometimes see in bags from 2014-16. This tag is much larger and features no production codes or style numbers.

Coach Sample Bag Large Barcode Tag Prairie Rivets Drifter

Find this bag here

Sample Sale Card

Another possible sign of a Coach sample bag that you don’t see very often but does occur, is the presence of a Coach sample sale card. These are often not present which I imagine is due to Coach employees reselling these bags taking them out before selling the bag as to not draw attention to the fact that they are selling a bag that they probably shouldn’t be selling in the first place.

Coach Sample Bag Sample Sale Card Mason Carryall

As you can see, this card contains certain information about the bag such as price category and color code. Interestingly enough, this card actually also has a style number listed on it but this is not a style number that any of the current Mason Carryalls ended up having. The reason for this is unknown to me, but I can only assume that perhaps this specific edition, which differs from any final Mason model on the market, would have been given this style number had it been put into final production which it was not.

Differences from Final Models – Extra Details, Different Colors

Now here is the most exciting part in my opinion. As I mentioned before, a sign that you might have a special sample bag can be that a bag has features that are different to other bags that are the same model. For example, it could be that you have a bag in a color that is not one of the colors offered for that model in the stores. It can also be things like additional details that are usually not present on that model or different materials. 

Like this one: 

Coach Sample Bag Rogue 25 Signature Embossed Burnished Leather C-Chain straps

Find this bag here.

And this one: 

Coach Sample Bag Mason Carryall Blue with Snakeskin Handbag

Find this bag here.

Aaand this one: 

Coach Sample Bag Rogue 25 Crossgrain Leather C-chain straps

Find this bag here.

Completely Unique Models

Finally, sometimes, you can come across a Coach sample bag of a model that ended up never being put into production, which means you can have a really special bag that looks nothing like anything in store. These can also be quite hard to find any information about and I have therefore named my example of this the Coach Mystery Bag. This one has plenty of familiar Coach features and some unfamiliar ones but overall has a unique look and no expense spared when it comes to the amount of snakeskin.

Coach Sample Bag Snakeskin Coach 1941 Handbag Limited Edition

Find this bag here

As far as I know, there is no Coach model on the market that looks like this one (Please feel free to let me know if you have any information about this bag) and this is the wonder of the Coach sample bags. Sometimes you end up with something super special that you will probably only see once in a lifetime. 

In conclusion, Coach sample bare are in fact real genuine Coach bags and in my opinion, they are an amazing opportunity to get little bit of insight into the considerations Coach made when they designed some of their retail models and to have something rare and unique that stands out from the crowd which to me makes them even more valuable than normal Coach bags. They can sometimes be harder to authenticate but in the end, they are all worth the hassle in my opinion. I hope this blog has opened your eyes to the wonderful world of Coach sample bags or given you the information you needed to find your own. Check out my YouTube video below showing the whole sample bag collection at Essex Fashion House and let me know in the comments what amazing and special Coach sample bags you have come across or owned!

Note 1: I always work very hard to keep my articles updated and make sure that the information in them is accurate and up to date, but if you notice something missing, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Note 2: I am not able to reply directly to comments here so if you have any questions, please send me an email at



  • Perfect purse strong yet beautiful.

    Julia Thomas
  • I have a bag that has a style number and a c after the style number I ha e searched and searched a d can’t find any info on the letter c being after the style number and you please let me know what it means.

  • Hi I have a Coach bag that ONLY has the style number. It just says No-12947.
    I am also having trouble finding it in a Google Lens search and online reselling sites.
    Any ideas? Thanks

    Marisa Cowan
  • I have a Coach leather saddle bag that has no lining and has a stamp No. O or 0 (not sure if it’s a letter or number) 115 then 933. Wondering if you know or can give me information on this, thanks!

  • Thanks for the info on the Coach Sample Tag. It seems this tag is not limited to the bags. I bought a Coach bifold wallet on eBay last week and when it arrived, it had the sample tag stuffed in it. It is a member of the current C6701 family but it does not show up as one of the colors in that line up. However if I google it and look at images it shows the exact same wallet I have on the Coach website. Yet when I click on the pics, it takes me to the Coach C6701 page that has every other color but that one. I am guessing this wallet color was a shot lived version that was removed from sale and dumped into the Coach Sample bins. Or most of them got packed up and sold in Japan as the only other place i can find this wallet sold is by Japanese sellers. It is a nice wallet and seems well made


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