5 Tips When Purchasing Secondhand or Vintage Luxury Accessories

Lux Accessories Totes

Introduction:

Thinking about purchasing a luxury accessory from brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci or a contemporary brand such as Tory Burch, Coach or Michael Kors? Have you considered thrifting it from the the pre-owned/secondhand market? If so, keep reading. I put together some tips to help find the perfect authentic discounted designer item you are looking for!

 

What this post won't tell you….I'll leave these topics for another post

How to identify a fake designer handbag or accessory

Where to find authentic designer pre owned handbags or accessories

 

What is preloved, second hand, used or consignment?

All these terms refer to the secondhand/used market for purchasing items after there has been a previous owner. Secondhand doesn't mean poor condition. This is considered high end thrifting. Many resellers and consignment stores find items in really good condition or even new. Tip #2 will give you pointers so keep reading :)

Consignment is a term used for companies that provide a service for a private seller. The company authenticates, photographs, research competitive selling prices and manages the transaction on the owner's behalf. These services are in exchange for allowing a company to do all the "leg work". Therefore, they take a cut of the profit for their services.

 

Now that we've got some basic terminology down, lets dive into the tips so you can be well equipped to purchase your next "new to you" designer item.

 

Tip 1: Know what you're looking for

In the simplest terms… have an idea of what you want and be honest about how "used" the handbag/accessory should be. With those things in mind it will increase your chances of being satisfied with your purchase. Let's break them down before moving on.

 

Make a list of what you want out of your accessory. Be as detailed as possible: type of material, size, with or with/out a detachable bag strap, brand, etc. Other things to consider are evaluating what matters more; something large enough to hold the kitchen sink, a neutral color, or brand. I was recently looking for a bag for my birthday and I decided to make a list of features that were important to me. Below is an example of the list I made before I searched for handbags that met some or all of the criteria. This list allowed me to determine what was really important.  You'll notice the second list references specific brands. The difference here is I filled in the first, then I searched based on the criteria set. Therefore, the second list became a list of options that fit the criteria I listed.

 

 

Next new bag

    • Leather
    • Multiple compartments
    • Easy access to phone
    • Classic/versatile style
    • Removable strap
    • Able to fit keys, lotion, chap stick, cards and cash

 

Possible Options

    • YSL Envelope Clutch/WOC (pre-loved)
    • Burberry Monogram Motif (new)
    • Burberry Small TB  (new)
    • Fendi Kan I (pre-loved)
    • LV Empreinte Twice Cerise (pre-loved)

 

 

Tip 2: Decide what is the worst condition you are willing to accept

There are many different companies and online market places available to purchase preloved goods. The intent here is not to go through tips on finding the right marketplace , but to help you determine what to look for and decide what is ultimately right for you. Before you decide on a marketplace you have to be okay with imperfections when purchasing preloved. You need to ask yourself one simple question.

 

What level of used are you willing to accept?

  • Minor marks on outside material
  • Small stains/dye on bottom
  • Scratches on hardware
  • Stains/marks on interior lining

 

Once you determine what condition of used you're okay with search the marketplace for products you like. Once you find a product you like review the details listed about the handbag. Some sites will provide a legend on their site and/or within the listing. This information will cover varying levels of used condition. Make sure to pay attention to that information and all the pictures provided. Take your time to review this information in order to clearly understand what you're getting. And don't be afraid to reach out to the seller to find out more details. Side note here….don't contact the seller unless you are serious about buying. Otherwise, admire from a distance because you don't want to  waste their time.

 

Tip 3: Do your research on current preloved selling price, popularity and retail price

Prices, relevancy of designers, styles, etc. are always changing. For the longest period of time there has been three top luxury designers dominating the market. And if you don't know who they are, I am referring to Chanel, Hermes and Louis Vuitton. Chanel and LV usually increase their prices yearly. In general, you can expect all luxury houses to increase their prices at some point. Some do it more often than others. However, the point of me mentioning price increases means it also impacts the resale price. You will get a general idea of current resale prices by searching reputable online sites i.e. resale/consignment sites, the designer's site, and retail sites. Luxury Fashion Blogs are good resources for reviewing information about a new style and current selling price. Also, expect that you may not be able to find the current selling price if the style has been discontinued. Also, know that for some very popular luxury houses you can almost be certain you will pay over or close to the original retail price if the style is highly coveted. I am sure you are thinking "why even mention doing your research on prices?" Simple, so you can be an informed customer. You want to make sure someone is not unreasonably over charging you.

 

Tip 4:Pay attention to the seller (authenticity guarantee, return policy, details of item)

Now that you've decided what you want and the preloved condition you're willing to accept, make sure you're comfortable (as much as you can) with the purchasing from the seller. The reason I added the small note is if it is your first time purchasing from a private seller/new company it is reasonable to have some sort of feeling of uncertainty. DAACONSIGNMENT.COM is my new site, I am thankful that people have taken a chance to purchase from me. You do not need to have certain number of reviews to be considered a reputable seller, because every company/seller has to start from somewhere. However, the seller should be responsive, provide detailed images and not try to pressure you to purchase. If a company is selling, pay attention to their authenticity guarantee, return policy and information they've provided about the item. This post is meant to provide quick tips so I won't go into too many details here, but I am considering doing another post to provide more details related to this topic because it is important! As I digress…….the company should stand by their product. The return policy is simply a business decision and doesn't reflect if a reseller is reputable or not. However, being on both sides (customer and seller) it does help when I know I can return an item when it doesn't work out the way I expected. I've purchased from resellers that allow returns and don't . Purchasing from a 3rd party seller market such as Ebay, Poshmark, Tradesy, etc. does offer some security. However, you still need to do your homework. Individual sellers may not have an authenticity guaranteed policy per say but by providing detailed photos, answering your questions, etc. you'll get a general feel about the seller.  Make sure you understand the seller's policy before your purchase. For sellers that don't allow returns you need to do as much research and ask as many questions as possible. If this seems very daunting I won't lie it is a given fact that fake luxury products are getting better all the time. Purchasing from a resale/consignment company or using a personal shopping service will help you wade through the murky waters of the second hand market. Also keep in mind, a 3rd party market like the aforementioned sites all have policies against fake goods. At the end of the day, make sure you review policies prior to purchasing.

 

Tip 5: Get a second or third opinion (A.K.A. have someone else authenticate)

The last tip, although not least, is to get another pair of eyes to authenticate your products. I do this with EVERY preloved purchase I make no matter who I purchase it from. It never hurts to have another person review your purchase to ensure your item is authentic. Authenticating is a mixture of art and science, rules change and like I've mentioned before fake luxury products are really good. If you haven't heard the term super fakes there's a reason they're called that. Also in general, you just want to be as certain as you can your item is real. You worked hard for the money you spent and you need to do whatever you can to get what you paid for. This topic can be an entire blog post as well, but there are several companies that offer authentication services such as Real Authentication, Purse Blog authentication posts, Authenticate First and Liyah's Luxuries. Pay attention to the services the company offers. Some will authenticate prior to your purchase and  some only authenticate specific designers. Also, you want to choose a company that is recognized and accepted by PayPal, eBay or other vendors to refund your purchase. Depending on the item you may have to mail your accessory to the company for in-person authentication.  I don't believe in purchasing/selling fake items. I don't judge someone else for spending money on something they know is fake, but what I am against is companies/people passing off items to buyers as real and taking advantage of people who are thinking they are purchasing a real item. I don't agree with the manufacturing of fake products, but that's an argument for another day.

 

Thanks for taking time out of your day to read this post. Please reach out if you have any questions and happy hunting for your next accessory!


 

Check out this link if you're interested in preloved goods

Check out these YouTube Videos if you're interested in preloved goods

For a detailed post on top bags to avoid if you don't want to lose money check out Chase Amie's article