Vintage and Second Hand: How to Score Authentic Luxury Bags

I am a lover of all things handbags and, I am sure you are too, within the last decade I have cultivated an appreciation for vintage. One of the most intimidating things about vintage and secondhand luxury bags is the fear of purchasing something that isn't authentic. I know you've seen some horror stories but the name of the game is to take your time and do your homework. Once you pull the trigger you're going to be hooked. The risk of purchasing an inauthentic luxury bag will always be there. Don't worry there's hope.  After over a decade of purchasing luxury bags new, vintage and secondhand I've learned a lot. I wanted to pull a list together to help guide you through the process.

Vintage Leather Bags

Where to find luxury pre owned designer handbags…find a store you trust

I advise shopping locally, if you can, for your first vintage piece or with an online store you're familiar with. If you don't know of a store, go with a store that someone recommends. Starting with a store you're already familiar with will give you a comforting boost, because you've done business with them before. If you purchase locally you will have the unique advantage to see the vintage or luxury bag in person. Many times when you feel the materials, inspect labeling, stitching and engraving you can identify when something seems off. This is extremely helpful if you familiarize yourself with the brand first. You also want to pay attention to the return policy, especially when purchasing online. My first second hand luxury bag purchase was a Marc Jacobs Multi-pocket hobo. I purchased it from a consignment store through eBay. Prior to my purchase I researched everything for two reasons; I couldn’t return it and wanted to make sure it was REAL.

Side note: Now don't discount the little guy or a site without any reviews because everyone has to start somewhere. However, until you're more comfortable purchasing second hand and vintage it may feel safer to start with a company you know.

Luxury pre owned designer handbags

Start with a brand you're familiar with, if possible

I alluded to this earlier and it helps with the familiarity factor. It is especially helpful when you can compare engraving, stamping and materials of a previous purchase to one you're interested in buying. Even if you don't own a handbag from the brand try to check out a style in a retail store. An alternative option is to learn everything you can online. Starting with a brand you're familiar with means it is more likely you'll be able to inspect the handbag and use manufacturing details as indicators to help you determine the authenticity. Therefore, brand familiarity will lead you to become more confident in your decision to purchase secondhand and vintage.

Do your research

It all boils down being patient and doing your homework. The internet is really helpful to compare detailed photos of authentic items. You do have to be careful since some information is inaccurate or outdated. Blogs, reputable resale sites, actual product photos and YouTube videos are all sources for doing your research. Here are more practical research tips to guide you on scoring an authentic luxury bag


Pay attention to the details with luxury pre owned designer bags

If you've ever heard the saying the devil is in the details, know that it really is! Taking time to review small details will increase your ability to see red flags over time. I've mentioned this before and cannot emphasize the importance of taking time to familiarize yourself with what you're looking for. Stitching, engraving, and hardware are some of the details to inspect. has many threads where people have posted detailed photos or free authentication services from the handbag lover community. Many times you can pull these photos and compare them to the luxury bag of interest. Also, Facebook groups are helpful and can serve the same purpose.


Pay to have it authenticated

We're at the finish line! You've inventoried your wardrobe and figured out what works for you. You've evaluated styles that fit your lifestyle and you found the perfect vintage or luxury pre owned designer handbag. Now it is time to make sure all that time and money you invested doesn't go to waste. Pay a 3rd party service to have your luxury bag authenticated. I cannot stress the importance of this and you should do this regardless of where you purchase your bag from. Even if you purchase from us :)

If you're having trouble with searching for vintage or luxury pre owned designer handbags that we discussed in this post. Let the experts search for you! Contact us if you have any questions or would like to use our concierge services.

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