Buying and Selling Pre-owned Designer Handbags: How to Get The Most Money

Updated on

This post contains some affiliate links. Please see our disclosures for more information.

Preowned luxury designer handbag

Buying and selling pre-owned designer handbags and other leather goods has been established as it's own retail category in recent years. From an individual perspective, it's a great way to obtain a handbag you have on your wishlist. You are able to purchase your coveted bag pre-owned and in most cases, still in good condition and at a more affordable price.

You can also offload any expensive handbags you own but don't use, don't need or don't want anymore. And these funds can be put towards your financial goals or even towards another bag.

Essentially the pre-owned designer handbag market can be a win-win for all parties involved. However, this is only true if you know what you are doing and know how to navigate the market.

The preowned designer handbag market can help you obtain your coveted bag at a more affordable price. You can also offload any expensive handbags you don't want anymore and put the funds towards your financial goals.

My designer handbag collection

Personally, I've done my fair share of luxury handbag selling after downgrading my once large Chanel handbag collection. A collection I built up after saving over $100,000. I got to a point where I became overzealous with my purchases and stopped saving as much because I had a booming bank account.

I was buying handbags I was never using. My handbag buying experience taught me a lot of lessons. But luckily for me, I  got myself back on track and downgraded in a major way.

These days, I'm a more conservative designer handbag buyer. I have a small but well-used collection and I've even purchased a few preowned ones (or as I like to call them preloved) from online consignment stores in excellent condition. With all of that, I have a ton of experience with buying and selling designer handbags.

In this post, I'll be sharing key tips and tricks to help you navigate buying and selling on your own.

Contents

Let's start with the best way to sell your handbags and then we'll get into the best way to buy preloved.

6 Tips to successfully sell your pre-owned designer handbag

When it comes to selling your designer handbag, there are a few key things you need to do to protect yourself from scams. Unfortunately, the internet is rife with scams and scammers, especially in the pre-owned luxury market.  Your goals should be to find a great buyer (in other words, trustworthy and non-problematic) and to get the best cash value from the sale.

Here are my best selling tips:

1. Locate the box, dust bag, receipt and authenticity card for your bag

At face value, the packing that comes with a designer handbag, while usually very pretty, might not seem like a big deal. However, when it comes to selling your bag, having all of these items intact is very important. Not only does it help to ensure that you get the most cash value possible, but it also helps to support the authenticity of your handbag.

Don't have these items? Depending on how sought after your bag is, this is not a deal breaker. The core of the sale here is the handbag. And while authenticity cards and receipts help, your bag can still be authenticated without them (Professionally if need be).

2.  Be very clear in your handbag descriptions

Next, it's time to prepare your handbag for sale. In order to properly present your designer handbag and minimize the number of questions you get or issues down the line, you need to be as descriptive as possible.

This means going over your handbag carefully, taking note of any marks, scuffs, tarnishing, creasing, smells and other kinds of wear. Even if your bag is brand new or barely used, you still want to inspect it carefully.

Everything you discover should be highlighted in the description you create for your bag. You also want to list any things that make your luxury handbag special. Is from a limited edition collection? Is it a rare color or leather? What year was your bag made? Where was it purchased? Is it still being made today? etc.

3. Share tons of photos of every angle of your handbag

Once you've created your detailed description, it's time to get your handbag camera ready. Smartphones these days have amazing cameras on them, so if that's all you have, that will suffice.

What's key is to make sure you use really good natural lighting and your photos show the necessary details, like indications of wear, serial numbers, authenticity stamps, and codes, etc, with good clarity.

Take as many pictures as possible of both the inside and outside of the bag. This should also include any accessories that come with the handbag as well as photos of the box, dust bag, receipt and authenticity card. Be sure to block out any personal information that might be visible on a receipt.

4. Avoid selling to people or luxury consignment stores with no reviews or negative reviews

I'm going to get into where you can sell your handbag in the next section below but one important thing to keep in mind in order to protect yourself is to be mindful of who you sell your bag to. The last thing you want is to get scammed or have to deal with a difficult transaction.

So my word of advice is to avoid selling your designer handbag to people or luxury consignment stores that have no feedback or negative feedback. While not everyone is a scammer and while not everyone or everyplace with no feedback means a bad experience, it's important to put your safety first.

You paid a lot of money for your designer handbag, and during the sale process, you want to ensure you have a smooth transaction.

Do your research online and ask questions about sellers and consignors in reputable forums like Purse Forum.

5. Pay for tracking and insurance

When you do eventually list your handbag for sale, depending on where and how you sell it, you need to make sure it gets there intact. Most online designer consignment stores will send you prepaid packaging to ship your bag to them with. However, you want to make sure that when you are shipping your bag it has tracking tied to it and adequate insurance.

A lot of times, insurance on packages can be a bit pricey but depending on how expensive your purse is, it's a good idea to get it. This way you can have peace of mind while your handbag is on its way to its destination.

6.  Take videos

Some folks might consider this as overkill but when I was selling my handbags I was pretty paranoid. They cost me a ton of money and the last thing I wanted was for them to get lost in transit. Or worse yet, for a buyer to say what was in the box was not what they paid for.

Why was I so paranoid? Well, I'd read horror stories online of people shipping their designer bags and buyers saying the box they received had a fake or was empty.

So each time I would ship a bag, I would take it unpacked to the shipping center, set up my camera, and film it being packed and handed over to the shipping staff. Yes, it's a little bit of overkill but it gave me peace of mind.

 

Where to sell your pre-owned designer handbag

How to save for a Chanel handbag

When it comes to selling your designer handbag, there are two ways in which you can do it. You can sell via online consignment stores or you can sell it on your own directly to the buyer.

Selling with designer consignment stores

Here are the pros and cons of selling your bag with a consignment store:

Pros 

You don't have to deal with the hassle of proving authenticity, determining price, dealing with buyers or dealing with returns. The luxury consignment shops will do it all for you.

They'll typically send you a shipping label, authenticate your bag, give you cash upfront or at the very least give you a fixed price of how much you'll earn when they sell your bag. It's a very hassle-free and convenient way to sell your bag.

Cons

The main con here is that you'll typically get a much lower offer price for your handbag compared to if you were to sell it on your own. And this is because the consignment stores have to turn around and sell your purse and make money in the process.

They have to factor in the costs to get the bag from you, to authenticate it, professionally photograph it, list it and acquire the buyer.

Other cons might include how long it takes for them to list your bag and how long it takes to get the proceeds from your sale.

Some reputable online luxury consignment stores include:

  • Fashionphile

Fashionphile is a popular destination with influencers. It's also one of my favorites because they have a really great online reputation and a great selection. While handbags are their main focus, they also sell designer small leather goods, jewelry and a small selection of unworn designer shoes.

They typically respond with offers within a couple of business days and their offers are reflective of how high in demand a bag is. They will also take seasonal / out of trend luxury handbags but don't expect a big offer.

  • The Real Real

The Real Real is another popular luxury fashion and accessories destination. Their site is stocked with thousands and thousands of luxury goods.

To consign with them you can send in your items for inspection and quotes and if you are within their service area, they will actually send someone over to your home to inspect and pick up your items. Your items will go through additional inspection and authentication at their offices.

  • Rebag

Rebag is another great online consignment shop to sell your luxury handbag. The inventory is not yet as vast as the prior two and they have stricter rules on the condition of the purses that they will take. However, stricter rules also mean buyers have a great experience.

 

Selling directly to a buyer

Here are the pros and cons of selling your bag on your own direct to a buyer:

Pros

The obvious pro here is that you have the potential to earn the maximum cash value on the sale of your handbag. You don't have to deal with the consignor or reseller fees and so basically every dollar made on the bag comes directly to your pocket.

If you are super picky about who you sell your bag to, selling directly to buyer helps you determine exactly who gets your bag.

Cons

The main cons here are that you are taking on the full risk of selling your bags and you are responsible for its listing, shipping, and insurance. If you are not an experienced seller, this requires that you do some research to ensure that you list your bag in the right place with as much detail as possible and only sell to a trustworthy buyer.

Some popular places to sell on your own include:

  • eBay

eBay is the most popular online sales platform in the world. However, selling on eBay can be a stressful process if you don't know what you are doing. The key to success here is to be as descriptive as possible, post as many pictures as possible, be clear on shipping timelines and your sale policy.

Also, as I suggested earlier, avoid selling to buyers with zero, very little or negative feedback. Before you do sell to a buyer, even though their reviews are all positive, make sure you read through their feedback to see what people are saying about them.

Finally, you'll want to take eBay and Paypal fees into consideration. A final value fee calculator can help you make this determination.

  • Tradesy

Tradesy is another really popular selling platform and again similar to eBay you want to be sure to be as descriptive as possible. The one thing that's not available on Tradesy though is buyer reviews or feedback, so essentially when someone chooses to buy your handbag, you are taking a chance. And if they chose to return it then it can be a hassle to get your item back as they have to send it to Tradesy first.

One way to get past this is to look at the number of purchases a buyer has made on Tradesey and also ask questions about buyers on forums like the Purse Forum.

  • Poshmark

While Poshmark does not carry a large selection of designer goods, it's still possible to sell your designer handbag here. Again, list as much detail as possible, read buyer feedback and make sure you understand their process of handling things if a buyer chooses to return a purchase.

 

Pricing your bag for sale

Have you decided to sell your bag directly to the end buyer instead of going the consignment route? When it comes to pricing your bag for sale, ideally you want to price it competitively so you can get cash in hand as quickly as possible right? Here are some tips:

  • Look at trends

Do some research to see what handbags in the same condition as yours are going for online. This is a good way to determine a starting point to sell your bag. Pricing your bag competitively will contribute to how quickly you are able to sell it.

  • Classic handbags and permanent collection styles go for more

Bags like the Chanel classic flap, the Hermes Birkin, the Hermes Kelly, and the Louis Vuitton Speedy, for example, are considered classics and are part of their permanent collections. This means these handbags never go on sale, instead, the prices have constantly always gone up.

As a result, luxury handbags like these are always in high demand and preowned versions of them tend to command a high price. Sometimes they sell for the same price as a brand new bag and sometimes for much more depending on the condition and demand for the bag.

If you are selling a handbag that is a seasonal piece, keep in mind, that unless it's currently trending and in demand, it could go for a much lower price point.

  • Other things to take into consideration when pricing your preloved handbag

A few other factors to consider when pricing your handbag include:

  • Color
  • Rarity
  • Available packaging you have (Box, dustbag, authenticity card, etc)
  • Any accessories that come with the bag (e.g. straps, rain covers, pouches, etc)

 

What to do with the money you make from selling your designer handbag

Once you sell your handbag and have the extra cash come in, you want to make sure you put it to good use. This way it doesn't just slip through your fingers. Here are some suggestions:

  • Pay off your debt

If you have outstanding debt, especially high-interest debt, it's a great idea to take the cash you earn from selling your bag to make a dent in your debt. Once your debt is gone, you save up to purchase a bag you really want - guilt free.

  • Save for a goal or fund your emergency account

If you don't have any major debt to tackle, consider using your earnings to save for a goal you've been working towards or bulking up your emergency fund. This way you can accelerate how soon you are able to get to your goal. It can also help you create a backup in the event of an unplanned life situation.

  • Invest in the stock market, small business or real estate

You can put your money to work for you by investing it in the stock market, in a small business (like your own side hustle) or put it towards saving to real estate.

  • Invest in your personal development

Another great way to invest your money is to invest in yourself. If there's something you've been wanting to learn or specific goals you've been wanting to achieve, now is a great time. Purchase some personal development books or take some online courses and start achieving your goals.

  • Buy another handbag

If you are top of your financial goals, you can also take some of your cash to purchase a "brand new to you" pre-owned handbag that you want and will actually use.

 

5 Tips to successfully buy a pre-owned designer handbag hassle free

Louis Vuitton Bag

In the market to purchase a designer handbag preowned? Well buying preowned is a great idea because it can save you a ton of money. However, it's key to make sure you are purchasing authentic purses from reputable sellers. Here are some tips:

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.

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. 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. 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 be discounted

If you are 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 are 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.

 

Summary

Buying and selling 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!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *