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In the market to purchase a designer handbag pre-owned? You’re not alone. More and more people are choosing to buy secondhand, and the resale clothing market is expected to double in the next five years.
There are many reasons why buying pre-owned is a great idea. Not only can it save you a lot of money, but it’s environmentally-friendly, too. (The fashion industry’s carbon footprint is larger than the airline industry’s and accounts for 8% of global climate impact!)
However, it's key to make sure you are purchasing authentic luxury purses from reputable sellers (i.e. not get scammed). As a former owner of a massive designer bag collection, I have a lot of experience dealing with both buying and selling pre-owned handbags.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your wallet, as well as your personal safety.
1. Compare prices across reputable sellers and platforms
If you are buying pre-owned, then you want to get a handbag in the best condition and at the best price. And that means spending some time looking to see what's out there for sale.
Compare prices across various platforms like Fashionphile, Rebag, The Real Real, Tradesy, eBay, Poshmark, etc. Once you've found contending bags, look at them closely to determine which one you like best and what price works best for you.
Be wary of too-good-to-be-true deals. If the advertised price is much lower than what other competitors are listing, there’s a good chance it’s a scam, fake or in very poor condition.
2. Authenticate the handbag if in doubt
Purchasing a fake handbag bag is not worth it. It can also be a complete waste of money and a nightmare to deal with if you find out after you've paid for and received the bag. So make sure that if you are buying from a luxury consignment store, they are reputable. Review the photos and description in details.
Also, read their reviews and feedback, and learn about their authenticity process. Be sure you are fully comfortable with what you discover. You can also leverage resources that help to authenticate designer handbags. There are many well known and reputable designer handbag authenticators out there that help save you from a ton of stress.
3. Ask for the lowest price
If you are buying directly from a seller on a platform like eBay or Tradesy, there's no harm in presenting an offer to the seller or asking for their best price. The worst thing they could say is no.
Many times they'll agree to a lower offer or might have a coupon to give you. This can be a great approach to getting a better deal especially if the handbag has been listed for a while.
4. Protect yourself when paying for your bag
Do not agree to make purchases outside the platform or make a bank account deposit or send cash. Learn how to identify potential scams when using seller sites like eBay.
Always pay with a credit card or payment platform, like Payal, so you can take advantage of any buyer protection you have in the event of an issue with your transaction.
5. Wait for the price to drop
If you’re not in a hurry to purchase your handbag, and it isn't a style that's hard to find, it's a good idea to find one you like and wait for it to be further discounted. Many consignment stores and sellers will make further discounts to handbags they've had in inventory for a long time. The risk here though is that someone else might buy it before you.
6. Ask questions
In doubt about your potential handbag purchase? There's nothing wrong with sending an email to ask specific questions about the bag you'd like to buy. If you’re not sure for any reason at all, keep looking. At the end of the day, you are spending your hard earned money AND you want to make sure you are 100% comfortable with your purchase.
Buying pre-owned designer handbags can be a great way to get the bags you love. It can also be a great way to sell the bags you don't. It's all about doing it strategically and safely. This way, at the end of each transaction, you can walk away happy with your experience.
Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below!
P.S. Learn how buying pre-owned goes hand in hand with a minimalist wardrobe.