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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 bags I was never using. But luckily for me, I got myself back on track and downgraded in a major way.
My handbag buying experience taught me a lot of lessons. 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 pre-owned 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 both buying and selling used designer handbags.
Whether you’re looking at selling your own collection of luxury bags or just one, you want to be sure you’re getting the most for it. This requires a bit more work before selling your pre-owned handbag.
There are three important steps:
- Price your luxury handbag for resale
- Research the best places to sell pre-owned designer bags
- Know what you need in order to sell it
Let’s get started.
1. How to price your luxury handbag for resale
When it comes to determine pricing your bag for resale, ideally you want to price it competitively so you can get cash in hand as quickly as possible, right? Even if you’re planning to sell with a consignor, it’s important to understand how much money you can potentially expect to earn.
Look at trends
Do some research to see what handbags in the same condition as yours are going for online. There are several websites (see below) you can check. This is a good way to determine a starting point to sell your bag. Pricing your bag competitively will also 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 pre-owned 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.
A few other factors to consider when pricing your preloved handbag include color and rarity. You should also take into account any available packaging (box, dustbag, authenticity card, etc.) and accessories that come with the bag (e.g. straps, rain covers, pouches, etc.).
A number of things can affect the value of your bag, so be sure to research thoroughly before committing to a price.
2. Where to sell your pre-owned designer 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. There are pros and cons for each method.
Selling your pre-owned handbag with designer consignment stores
|Shop handles pretty much everything||Lower return than if you sold it yourself|
|Cash upfront or fixed earning price||May be slow to list bag or pay out proceeds|
One reason to sell your used designer bag at a consignment store is how relatively easy it is. 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.
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.
Online luxury consignment stores
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 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 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 your designer bags directly to a buyer
|Earn maximum cash value on sale||A lot more work and responsibility|
|Can be selective with buyers||Higher risk|
The obvious pro of selling directly to a buyer 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 goes 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.
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.
Online selling platforms
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, 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 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.
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.
Pro tip: Avoid selling to people or luxury consignment stores with no reviews or negative reviews
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 every place 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.
3. Best practices for selling your pre-owned designer handbag
When it comes to selling your bag, there are a few key things you need to do to make sure you get the most for it. Unfortunately, the internet is rife with scams and scammers, especially in the pre-owned luxury market. Your goal should be to find a great buyer (in other words, trustworthy and non-problematic) and get the best cash value from the sale.
Whether you’re selling one bag or many, here’s what you need to do.
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).
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 it 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.
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.
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.
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.
Whether you’re downsizing your preloved luxury collection or just need to let go of one, selling pre-owned handbags is a great way to recoup some of the purchase cost while making space in your closet, too. It may take up a lot of time and effort to do it right, but hard work pays off when you find the right buyer for your high-end bag and see that reward in your bank account.
Interested in buying pre-owned designer handbags? Check out our guide here.