Why is My Designer Bag Selling for Less Retail?

Thrifting, resale and consignment have been gaining popularity over the years. Along with that, prices have drastically increased. If you've been a long time thrifter and vintage designer lover (as I have :)) I am preaching to the choir. I am always on the hunt for designer bags and vintage designer bags. Now moving on to what you came here for! If you've ever wondered about resale value and what impacts the prices keep reading.
In the simplest terms, resale value is the future sale price. This price fluctuates based off several factors and changes year-to-year. This concept is nothing different from selling more valuable items, like a house or car.

Five Main Factors that Impact Resale Value



Brand recognition matters! It is all about who you know and is the main factor in establishing the resale price. The fashion house or company manufacturing your luxury bag, shoes, jewelry, etc. People like to feel like they're a part of something or are in the "in" crowd. That's one of the reasons you see success and longevity with many of the main fashion houses that still dominate today. It is one of the reasons Louis Vuitton can charge the prices they do and can continue to increase prices on the same item multiple times a year. They have the reputation and brand recognition to do so.


This is going to be the factor that fluctuates the most and is completely dependent on trends, in addition to brand recognition. Fashion trends change over time and now a days they seem more short-lived than ever! However, whatever is deemed popular at the time dictates everything in fashion. And the resale market is impacted by popularity as well as fashion trends. Back in the early 2000s, Christian Dior released the saddle bag. With 90s inspired fashion trends making their way back into the limelight, the demand for the vintage saddle bag drastically increased (so did the prices). If you were looking for the original version a few years prior to the relaunch the resale price was a fraction of the price it is now. All of that is due to popularity and trends. The vintage CD saddle bag sold for 50-75% off retail now they're selling for more than double the original retail price. The price increase is also due to the current selling price but I don't want to over complicate things. Timing is key when you want to save or make extra money.


Pretty much the "shape" or current state of the items matters. Let's take a second to break that down. What this means is if there are any signs of wear, stains, scratches, scrapes, etc. will impact your starting resale price. Also, the existence or lack thereof original packaging matters. Brand and style make up the largest percentage of the price. Thereafter, is condition. As the condition moves further away from new the resale price for your designer bag will decrease. Having some or all of the original packaging does help since it allows the new owner to have more original accessories that came with the item from the store. Think of it as giving them more of the "retail experience" without them having to pay the retail price.

Everything I've mentioned above is the reason you can see two of the same items from the same seller with different prices. Condition is the 3rd most important factor in resale price of designer bags, shoes and other accessories.


Accessibility (retail and secondhand) dictates the price as well.  Hint: If you haven't guessed already it is like a puzzle and everything stacks on top of each other.  In addition, items that are extremely popular or desirable and are hard to find will demand a higher price. Think about the popularity of the Christian Dior saddle bag relaunch. That made the vintage designer saddle bag price skyrocket. Not only were they hard to find, but they were also popular. Just because something is hard to find doesn't mean you can expect a higher price.


Color matters for designer bags and accessories because it is a factor, similar to style, that determines the amount second hand luxury goods can sell for. As a general rule, neutrals like black and tan sell for a higher amount than  the same item in a different color. Neutrals are more desirable because they are versatile. Now your unicorn colors made popular by some fashion houses (like Chanel or Hermès) will command top dollar because they are rare and desirable by the masses. Just know that not all colors resell for top dollar. It depends on how many people want it.

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