There are few great pleasures in life, but one of them—especially for fashion fanatics—has to be getting your hands on the designer handbag of your dreams. And what’s even better than securing the goods is doing so without breaking the bank.
But the clincher is that iconic designer brands don’t tend offer mark downs on their bags, meaning that it’s rather rare to find brands like Louis Vuitton or Chanel in the clearance section.
Surely, there’s a way around this fashion let-down, right? There is, and it’s shopping for a second hand designer bag.
Of course, this is surely far from the first time that thrifting has been mentioned when it comes to saving a buck or two. But for preloved designer items, it’s actually easier than you’d think to get your hands on a discounted couture handbag that is certified authentic.
Naturally, the potential to be scammed when splurging on a second hand luxury bag is possible. So, two things are necessary pre-purchase: an abundance of research and a trustworthy authenticator.
While, sure, the purchasing process might feel rather daunting, there is a way to shop smart. Below, we’ve rounded up the best ways to get your hands on your most beloved designer item, without compromising on price or legitimacy.
There might be a plethora of re-sale marketplaces out there, but it’s impossible to forget the original site for selling pre-loved items, eBay. And while we’re sifting through the online marketplace’s offerings on a regular basis, a major concern for thrift shopping users is whether their designer offerings are authentic.
With replicas seeming genuine, the internet can be full of misleading descriptions and downright fakes. Now, eBay is saving us from scams with their newly launched ‘Authenticity Guarantee‘ for designer handbags listed over $350. Logos are inspected, quality of design is assessed and leather is sniffed to ensure that the item you’re looking to purchase is as real as it gets—just keep an eye out for their blue tick of authenticity to make sure it’s been approved by the eBay team.
The Australian-based luxury fashion company has partnered with re-sale experts, Luxclusif, from beloved luxury retailer FARFETCH, to launch Azura Reborn.
With one of the easiest sales processes for those looking to sell their bags, sellers can have their designer bags shipped to Azura Reborn for free, authenticated and receive payment within a 72-hour window.
For those shopping from the site, you can rest assured the bag you’ve been eyeing has been authenticated and been given the tick of approval from experts with years of knowledge and experience in the field.
Curious? Fret not, you can check out Azura Rebborn here.
The RealReal has a history of authentication when it comes to designer items and are known for hosting brands such as Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Gucci. Over the years, they’ve earned a reputation for their simple processes. Its streamlined selling process does all the work for the consigner, from authentication to photography, merchandising and shipping.
However, the trick with shopping for a luxury item in online consignment stores is to keep a close eye out for the condition of the handbag. Look closely at the imagery and check up on their policy, in case the item you are purchasing arrives in lesser condition compared to what was originally specified.
Curious? Fret not, you can check out TheRealReal here.
When it comes to Vestiaire Collective, its community-driven platform is another go-to for pre-owned fashion pieces, especially since they promote secondhand as the sustainable alternative to fast fashion. Through their popular app, nine million members list more than 60,000 new items in any given week, making Vestiaire a solid choice for shoppers.
Just like TheRealReal, quality of product should be checked when purchasing designer handbags from Vestiaire. And while there’s a lot of confidence in their offering, the best deals to navigate from Vestiaire are more rare and limited-edition pieces, found through the ‘Exceptional Pieces’ section on their website. On the app, you can find pieces such as the Prada Tessuto, the Gucci Jackie or the Dior Saddle for up to 70 percent off their retail price.
Curious? Fret not, you can check out Vestiaire Collective here.
You might have heard of 1stdibs before, but likely because of how popular they are for their antique or obscure furniture finds. But what many might now know is that the online marketplace also serves as a middleman between you and screened shops and galleries all over the world.
Sure, there might be a plethora of home decor ready to be snatched up, but there’s also a bevy of limited-edition, one-of-a-kind designer handbags that are ready to be snatched up, like the Hermès Birkin Bag and the coveted Versace La Medua.
Curious? Fret not, you can check out 1stdibs here.
Having recently transitioned from being a solely sneaker-based company, StockX has decided to delve into the handbag marketplace. Sorted into a market-like format, once you find a handbag that makes your heart swoon, you need to place a bid below the price that’s being asked and wait for the seller to give you the tick of approval.
While, sure, losing the ability to buy the item immediately can feel like a downfall for some, we think that it keeps your buying experience on its toes. There’s nothing more satisfying then vying for an item you desperately want, á la the Teflar Shopping Bag, and getting it.
Curious? Fret not, you can check out StockX here.