Over the years I've scrimped, saved and gone without in order to have that must have bag or statement shoes.
There’s no denying I’m someone who likes to invest my money where I can see it i.e. in my closet! I’ve been obsessed with luxury and designer fashion since I can remember. I got my first Vogue subscription when I was 8! Over the years I’ve scrimped, saved and gone without in order to have that must have bag or statement shoes. Spending £100s, sometimes £1000s, is an investment and I’ve had some great buys over the years and others that have been a total dud.
High-end fashion is an expensive habit and designer goods are getting more and more ridiculously priced, so I’m always looking for ways I can save a few pennies. There’s two ways of doing this, holding out for the sales or buying second hand. Over the last couple of years I’ve really turned my attention to buying preloved luxury. However, it doesn’t come without its pitfalls, so I thought I’d share everything I’ve learned and a few of the best places to shop.
Having something turn out to be a fake is probably the scariest part about buying preloved luxury. My best advice is, know what you’re buying. Make sure you do your research and if you’re thinking of purchasing online then try and visit a boutique to see the item in question or at least something similar before you click buy. Pay attention to the details, such zips, stitching, interior pockets, etc. It’s these details which are the tell tell signs as to whether it’s authentic or not.
If you’re not an expert or you’re just dipping your toe into luxury items for the first time then ask a friend or feel free to email me with questions. I’m always happy to help!
This rule isn’t set in stone but as a general rule of thumb be cautious with eBay and Vestaire Collective. I’ve sold designer goods via eBay and I’ve always been honest and genuine but sadly not everyone is. Just make sure you shop smart, if something seems too good to be true then it is.
The only reason I’ve highlighted Vestaire Collective as one to be careful with is because I’ve heard so many horror stories from other people. I’ve purchased from them twice (one of the items was this Chanel backpack) and I didn’t have an issue either time. However, I do shop with caution and always make sure I’m 100% comfortable before I purchase with them.
For me, one of the hardest parts about buying preowned is the level of patience it requires as when I fall in love with something I usually want it now! However, the waiting game can really pay off as when the right item comes along at the right price it’s like hitting the fashion jackpot!
Where to Buy
These are just a few of my favourite dress agencies and preloved stores:
Deuxieme – I have to be honest, this is one I’m reluctant to share as Deuxieme is one of London’s best dress agencies for finding high-end pieces at VERY purse friendly prices. I got my Gucci clogs from there which were unworn and current season for less than half of RRP!
Decades Inc. – If you are LA based or headed there for a holiday, stop by this store in West Hollywood. It’s like a museum of incredible pre-owned and vintage designer fashion. Prices are high but if you’re eagle eyed you can spot the odd bargain. You can read everything you need to know about them HERE and HERE.
Buying at the Right Price
Deciding what you want to pay for something is very personal, as people value things differently. For example, I bought this Chanel Medallion Tote, which I absolutely love, from Designer Exchange (mentioned above) about two months ago. It cost £750 and as I was paying for it the girl behind the counter asked me why I went for this particular bag? I completely understood why she was asking this, as this shape has now been a discontinued and isn’t one of the classic Chanel styles. However, the first Chanel bag I ever bought myself was this exact bag in black (see what it looks like HERE).
I bought it with my student loan when I was 19 and I had no money to eat for about 2 months! Still to this day, it’s one of my most treasured possessions and I’ve probably used it more than 1000 times. In reality, I thought £750 was quite good value for this but because of the personal value I associate with it, I’d probably be prepared to pay a little bit more than most.
There are lots of factors which can affect the resale price such as it’s rarity, condition, age or the colour. Be realistic when you set a price in your head, you’re not going to get £2500 bag for £200 (unless it’s really battered and worn out). On the other hand, if you feel someone is asking over the odds, walk away. You always need to feel 100% comfortable with your purchase.
What if You Want to Resell?
If you think you might want to resell your items in the future the most important thing you can do is treasure them and look after them. Keep your items looking as immaculate as possible. This is something I’ve been guilty of not doing, I have the worst habit of throwing my bags and shoes all over the place!
Be one of those people who asks for a chair for their handbag in restaurants and bars! By looking after your items you’re increasing the resale value enormously. It’s amazing just how much some luxury bags hold their value, particularly the likes of Chanel, Hermes and in some cases, Louis Vuitton.
The other thing to do is keep your receipts. This is hugely helpful in proving authenticity and offers reassurance to potential buyers.
I hope this was helpful and if you ever have any questions about buying preloved luxury or just luxury in general, please feel free to reach out to me in the comment section, via email or using any of my social media handles below. I’m always happy to help!