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Handbag Addict, Handbag Enthusiast, Lover of all Handbags, call it what you want – I’m that.
I have been in love with handbags my entire life. It seems as I progress in life, my taste in designer handbags does as well. I remember in high school getting jobs so I could buy the latest Guess purse, in college I moved on and saved up for Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Coach, and Tory Burch. Now, as late “twenty-something” it seems my eyes are on the like of Louis Vuitton, Prada and dear Chanel.
While being a Handbag Enthusiast is not a cheap title to have, there are ways to make it a little more attainable. Buying on the pre-loved market is a great idea for those trying to be a little more budget conscious.
Pre-Loved Market Tips
There are so many great pre-loved sites now and authentication companies to choose from. Some of the most reputable and popular pre-loved sites at the moment are: The Real Real, Luisaviaroma, Fashionphile, and Vestiaire.
I love Fashionphile! Their website is easy to use and they have a fabulous mobile app. Once you make an account you can save things to wish lists and they will notify you once an item goes on sale! They also back every item on their site with a lifetime authenticity guarantee! They inspect each and every product to ensure it is authentic before listing it. If you find out later on that it wasn’t authentic they will give you your money back! I find this really helps put FOBF (fear of buying fake) at ease. Lastly, they have a 30 day return policy. If you get the bag and it’s not what you thought or not exactly as pictured, just be sure not to take the tags off and you can send it back! “Remove The Tag, Own The Bag”
BUYER BEWARE: Buying from the pre-loved market is like waiting for an avocado to ripen. You wait wait wait for it to go on sale and as soon as it does – it’s too late. You have to keep in mind that the beautiful bag you have in your cart could be sold at any moment and there is only one. Well, there might be several of the same product or bag that you are looking for but each bag is unique in it’s condition, manufacturing year, etc.
If you have spent hours sifting through the Louis Vuitton Neverfull selections to find one that is in your budget, print, condition, and size – you may want to snag it ASAP. Heartbreak is a real thing when it gets sold out from under you.
Cost of Pre-Loved Handbags
There are many factors that go into the cost of handbags on the pre-loved market. The three biggest factors in my opinion are: Designer, condition, and rarity.
Designer: This one is self explanatory. Hermes has extremely expensive handbags, if the Birkin starts at $10,000CAD & up new don’t expect to find it for $2,000.00CAD on the pre-loved market. It’s not going to happen. This is also true for “Iconic Bags” such as the Chanel – Classic Flap which has been in style since its release in 1955, or the Dior – Lady Dior which was made famous for being a favourite of Princess Diana.
Condition: Fashionphile rates the condition of each item on their site: New, Excellent, Very Good, and Good. The prices of each item increase the better the condition. Don’t let the rating of the condition scare you away though. The bag I purchased was scored “Very Good” so I got it for a much better price than the ones scored “Excellent” and I must say it looks pretty darn new to me! (I’ll get into my experience shortly).
Rarity: A bag that is easily accessible new, is going to be priced much lower than a bag that is hard to find new. For instance, although the Louis Vuitton Pochette Metis (Monogram or Reverse Monogram) is of current season and listed on their website – it is extremely hard to find at the moment. The Louis Vuitton stores have wait-lists for clients that want one. They may be listed as $2,370.00CAD on the LV site, but because they are not in stock they are actually going above retail price on the pre-loved market. Another good example would be Chanel. They only release certain colours each season, so if you know you absolutely want a light pink Chanel Classic Flap you may have to search the pre-loved market because that colour may not be available new this season.
My Experience with Fashionphile
I bought my first pre-loved bag recently and it definitely won’t be my last! I decided to go with Fashionphile because of all the reasons listed earlier: easy to use, ease of mind, reputable, and great mobile app!
I also knew that the bag I wanted wasn’t considered a “classic” (yet!) I have I hopes it will be. It’s so beautiful! I knew I wanted the Prada Medium Cuir in the colour Cammeo. I kept my eye on Fashionphile for a few months and set up at alert so that whenever one came in stock is notified me! (So easy)
A few came into stock that were listed as Good condition, one even listed Excellent. But the pictures and price didn’t match up for me.
A month later it happened. I got an alert that a Prada Cuir Medium in Cammeo came into stock. It was listed as “Very Good”. When I looked at the pictures it looked brand new! No structure wear or stains or anything! And the price was a third of the retail value. I hit the pre-loved jackpot.
I placed the order, it arrived TWO DAYS LATER. I love fast shipping. I was very impressed.
When I opened the beautiful package I was delighted to find it filled with pink confetti! What a nice touch! Anyways I could go on with how pleased I am about the consumer experience but really, we’re here for the bag.
It was beautiful! Better than the pictures described! The pictures showed a lot of wear at the handle (and no where else?) but when I inspected it, it was hardly noticeable. That’s where I’ll be holding it anyways!
It’s a beautiful bag and I am extremely happy with my experience, the service and my newest addition to my designer collection. Paying a 3rd of the cost for an authentic Prada was the icing on the cake!
See for yourself! Pictures of my beautiful treasure are here for you.
Have you bought pre-loved? What was your experience like? Let me know! I’d love to hear from you 🙂