GUIDE TO BUYIING PRE-OWNED CHANEL BAGS ONLINE

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As you read this there's a 50% chance that you're on your mobile device and with that, you've probably shopped from it too. That's simply because it's easy and accessible. Imagine if someone approached the fashion house, Chanel one day and said their bags would be sold over the internet. They'd probably say you're crazy and good luck with that. But the year is 2018 and it's a you can access over 10,000 for purchase.

If buying pre-owned Chanel bags is new to you, here's a great list of places to start online without getting defrauded!


1. Check Return and Authentication Policies.

Most resale companies don't have return policies as generous as those of regular retail stores, so it's important to familiarize yourself with the rules of any particular site before you buy. Some sites only offer store credit for returns unless a bag turns out to be significantly different than it was described on the site (or an under-the-radar fake), and for multi-vendor sites, the return policies can vary by seller.

2. Know the Original Price of the Bag.

The best place start with any pre-owned purchase is with gathering information about what the bag would have been like brand new, including its price. Because of the number of resale sites that have popped up in the past couple of years, many popular bags will be available at pre-owned prices in multiple locations, and many of them will not disclose the bag's original retail value alongside their own pricing. Buying pre-owned bags can often set you up for a good deal, but if the bag you want was very hard to get at original retail, you can expect to find a significant markup.

3. Have Reasonable Expectations.

Luxury shoppers expect a lot from the things we buy, and we should--that's what the money is for, after all. When shopping second-hand merchandise, though, it's best to remember that if you find the bag you want at half its original retail price, it will probably have a scuffed corner or a hardware scratch or two. If that's unacceptable, pre-owned shopping just might not be for you.

4. Watch Out for Financing Offers.

Many of the sites we looked into offered payment plans of some sort, ranging from 0% to 30% APR, often through a third-party service called Affirm. These services can either make your purchase much more or much less affordable; make sure you read the fine print.

5. Trust Your Instincts.

If something seems off about a bag or a site, it's best to err on the side of caution. There will always (always) be another bag.

With that in mind, check out some of the most promising newcomers to the online resale scene (as well as some of our old favorites) below.

 

1. THE REALREAL

The RealReal is a luxury consignment site that also allows consumers to both buy and sell, and its stock goes beyond seasonal fashion to fine jewelry and art. Also worth noting: The RealReal does not allow returns on handbags at all, even for store credit.

2. VESTIAIRE COLLECTIVE

You may have heard of Vestiaire Collective because of the high-profile companies and investors who have kicked in money to make it grow. (The list includes Vogue publisher Condé Nast, among others.) Vestiaire's model is somewhat more decentralized than some of its luxury resale contemporaries; most of its bags are listed and shipped by their original owners instead of consigned to and then sold by Vestiaire itself. The site allows shoppers to ask public questions about a bag or seller and shows ratings and feedback for a bag's owner.

3. THE-COLLECTORY

The-Collectory is a luxury handbag curator for smart shoppers. They are driven by the strong belief that there is a smarter way to shop for luxury. You will find some of the greatest investment pieces, such as bags from Hermés, Chanel and Louis Vuitton. They gurantee that each and every one of their handbags listed is hand-picked, brand new and considered a hard-to-acquire piece - all at a better price compared to retail and other marketplaces. 

4. FASHIONPHILE

Fashionphile is one of the more high-profile examples of a new breed of retail site that crowdsources its stock from consumers. Not only is the selection of designer bags (and beyond) large, but it's a good place to get some cash back for bags you don't want anymore if you don't want to do the work of selling the bag yourself. The site also has three boutique locations in California and accepts returns for full refund both online and in person at its stores. Also, Fashionphile offers at least one unique service to shoppers: after 90 days, the website will buy back your bag for 70% off what you bought it for if you don't feel like hanging onto it forever.

 5. WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND

What Goes Around Comes Around is the leading global purveyor of authentic luxury vintage accessories and apparel. Since 1993, the New York City Soho flagship has remained an industry staple, frequented by celebrities and tastemakers from around the world. With an additional flagship in Beverly Hills and outposts in Miami Beach and East Hampton, WGACA continues to elevate the vintage store to a high-fashion destination with their unique curated vision and concept. Online orders may be returned within 14 days of delivery with the security tag attached (if applicable).

6. TRENDLEE

Trendlee is entirely handbag-focused, and the site is strict about only accepting items in "very good" condition or better. Also, even though Trendlee's return policy has some tight deadlines, it is among the sites that do offer a full refund on the purchase price of your item for any reason.

7. YOOGI'S CLOSET

Yoogi's Closet is a well-regarded purveyor of well-authenticated designer goods, with a focus on bags. They are one of the few websites with a flexible return policy with a full 30-day, no-questions-asked opportunity to get all your money back if you don't like your new (to you) bag. The selection, especially among big brands, is also quite good--the site is selective about what it takes from consigners, and not just when it comes to authenticity.

8. BELLA BAG

Bella Bag specializes in sourcing certified pre-owned authentic luxury handbags from heritage brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermes and more. For over a decade, this Atlanta-based store has been sourcing the finest authentic luxury handbags from around the globe to bring customers classic pieces, vintage gems and the must-have bags of the moment through a user-friendly e-commerce site, it's flagship store in Buckhead, and newly open shop at The Forum. 

9. DESIGNER-VAULT

Designer Vault became a go to source for rare and vintage Chanel that even celebrities like Rihanna started shopping with them too. They guarantee the authenticity and condition of every item being sold. If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it within 14 days of receipt for a prompt refund. No questions asked; however, just don't remove the Designer Vault tag attached to your item.

Saheedat Abdul