My weak spot? Designer bags. I am more than happy to dress head-to-toe in high street, as long as I can carry my favourite designer handbag. I’m incredibly lucky to have collected a few treasures over the years, and lately I’m all about preloved designer vintage. Nothing better than ticking that one amazing bag off your wishlist, and knowing you paid only a fraction of the original price. But truth be told, buying preloved isn’t without risk, so today I’m sharing my 5 tips on how to score that one special bag for less.
- Know where to look. There are a lot of websites out their claiming they can get you the bag of your dreams for the deal of a lifetime. But behold, because not all websites do as they promise. The main problem with designer bags are counterfeits and fakes, so do your research and look up different reviews on the website you’re about to use. Trustworthy secondhand platforms and eshops will have a well-written about page, a page dedicated to authenticity, and their contact information. Use your common sense; if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. My favourite website to buy preloved designer items from? Labellov.com, with their showroom in Antwerp and team of experts as safe and secure as it gets!
- Compare prices. Behold yourself for impulse buys and take the time to compare prices all over the internet. That bag you spotted on Vestiaire Collective might look like a good deal at first, but what about shipping costs? Facture in shipping, packaging and import duties to the total price.
- Authenticate! Probably the most important thing to check before spending serious money: am I buying the real thing? Ask the seller for invoices, guarantee cards, close-up shots of date stamps, serial numbers and other bag-specific characteristics. If you’re still in doubt, turn to an expert to get your bag authenticated. There are specialised forums such as ThePurseBlog that can help you out, or you can even go to a boutique to ask the sales assistant for advice.
- Time is of the essence. Timing is everything, especially when it comes to landing the bag of your dreams for less. Designer brands such as Chanel, Hermes and Louis Vuitton tend to increase the prices of their leather goods every year (or every season!), so you’re better off buying your bag at the end of the year, rather than to wait for the beginning of a new year. Timing is probably even more important when it comes to preloved designer items. Websites such as Labellov only have one piece of everything, so it’s all about being the first to close the deal. Online auction platforms like eBay work with timed auctions – users tend to start bidding in the last few minutes of a listing, and they are probably using sniper programs to ensure their bid going through. If you have your eyes on an eBay item, I suggest you use a sniper app yourself – or just don’t forget to set your alarm ;)
- Go for the classics. If you’re looking to invest in the bag of your dreams (and let’s face it, dream bags don’t come cheap), make sure that you’re getting a classic piece. Chanel’s 2.55 flap bag, the brillant by Delvaux or Hermes’ Birkin, Kelly and Constance keep their resale value, and are well-worth investing in.
What bag do you wish to add to your collection?