Buying a designer bag?
Maybe you’re thinking of picking up that cute little suede Chloe Faye or that stunning Givenchy Antigona for work.
Or maybe you’ve saved up to buy your very first designer bag like the Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 (always a good choice) or the Gucci Marmont flap (another good one).
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This begs the question:
Should you buy that designer bag new…or used?
I’ve gone down both routes – and there are benefits (and drawbacks) to each – including some you probably haven’t considered before.
So for this post, let’s dive in to the benefits of buying that designer bag new – or used.
Benefits of Buying A New Designer Bag
#1 Its New!
This is obvious. There’s nothing like bringing home a new bag – the smell, the feel, that first unboxing – so much visceral enjoyment (or is that just me?)
You know you’re the sole and only owner. You don’t have to deal with the previous owner’s food stains or leftover paper scraps or pen marks.
You don’t have to worry that the bag will come even more beat-up than the picture or listing described.
You can march into the boutique and get exactly what you want – and then have the pure pleasure of unboxing the bag yourself at home.
#2 The Boutique Experience
Some people love the experience of walking into the Chanel boutique – or the Louis Vuitton store – and buying the bag they’ve been wanting for the past several months.
The buying experience – especiallly if the sales associate is good at his or her job – can be extremely pleasurable. Plus you can lean on their knowledge and experience.
For example, I went into the Chanel store in Harrod’s several years back, looking for their classic ballet flats. I was so excited to finally be buying these iconic shoes that I’d wanted to own forever.
But for some reason the only ones I could find out on display were not the classic cream-with-black-cap-style. I ended up picking up a similar style with slightly different colors to try on – thinking that I’d just have to settle for that pair.
I was disappointed that they didn’t have exactly what I wanted. The sales associate – without me even saying a word – looked at the style I’d chosen and knew right away what I was actually looking for.
She went in the back and brought out the exact classic cream-with-black-capped-toe style that I originally wanted. For some reason it had not been out on the floor.
Because of her, I got exactly what I wanted, didn’t have to settle for something less – and I left a very happy customer.
So the boutique experience can be very pleasurable.
(However unfortunately sometimes it’s not – see below for the benefits of buying used.)
#3 Best Option for Resellers
Do you want the option of reselling your bag in the future for top dollar? If so, buying new has definite benefits.
Authenticity is everything these days – when fakes are getting harder and harder to spot. As more and more people get burned buying preloved – and getting scammed with a fake bag – they’re getting more and more suspicious.
People are demanding more ways to authenticate a bag – or they will look elsewhere.
If you buy your bag new and keep the receipt (and even the dustbag and other care instructions) – you can command top dollar when you go to resell the bag.
Not to say that you can’t resell the bag if you buy it preloved – but if you don’t have a receipt and other things to show provenance, you won’t be able to command as much in terms of price.
#4 Authenticity Guaranteed
Again, authenticity is everything these days. I was scammed years ago when I bought a fake Prada bag from a “trusted” online reseller. And it really made me super-cautious when buying preloved bags.
(I still do buy used, I just make sure to buy from only certain resellers like Fashionphile who have a stellar reputation and – as far as I know – have never been accused of selling fake bags).
From what I’ve been reading in the industry lately, the fakes are getting so good, even the sales associates at the actual stores are having trouble telling whether they are new or fakes.
At the end of the day, the only fool-proof way to ensuring that you’re buying an authentic designer bag is to buy brand new from the brand store or boutique. Then you know for sure that you have an authentic bag.
Benefits of Buying a Preloved Designer Bag
#1 Save Money
This is hands-down the biggest benefit to buying a designer bag used (or preloved as many sellers call it).
You can save from 30-70% off the retail price of your designer bag if you’re willing to buy used. And if you’re talking about a $2000+ bag here, that adds up to a lot of money.
In fact many times, you can buy 2 or even 3 preloved designer bags for what you would spend on 1 designer bag new.
And if you’re smart and only choose trusted preloved sellers (like Fashionphile or Vestiaire Collective for example), you know you’re getting an authentic bag. So it’s a win-win – save money and get an authentic designer bag.
#2 Indulge in Trendy Bags Without the Guilt
I’m very conservative with my money. I didn’t have a lot growing up. So my philosophy has always been that I work hard for it – so I just don’t want to throw it away.
Because of this I just can’t bring myself to spend a lot of money on a designer bag that I think might just be a today-trend – and die out after a few years.
I think a lot of women feel the same way.
So what if there’s a bag that you really love – but you know it’s a trend of the moment?
Well, if it’s been around for a couple of years, chances are you can buy it preloved and save 30-50% off it. So you can indulge in the trend – but not be out an unholy amount of money.
#3 Buy an Iconic Bag – Without Spending Your Retirement Fund
Let’s be honest – some designer bag prices (ahem, Chanel, Hermes) have just gotten beyond ridiculous. Honestly, some of these bags are the price of a brand new car (or at least a good used car). It’s insane.
Granted, if you buy smart, these bags will definitely keep their value better than a car – but you get my point.
If you’re the kind of person who really wants to invest in an iconic bag – but you just can’t bring yourself to empty your kids’ college fund to afford it, then buying that bag preloved is a great option.
There’s another thing to consider here as well if you’re talking about an Hermes bag.
As you probably know, not just anyone can buy a new Hermes Birkin. There is a PROCESS. You have to know a sales associate. You have to go on a waiting list. You have to have bought from them before.
Will it change anytime soon? Non.
So what can you do if you want a classic Hermes Birkin bag for example, without going through all of that hassle?
That’s where the preloved market comes in. There are tons of Birkin and Hermes Kelly bags for resale on sites like Fashionphile or Vestiaire Collective.
You have a large selection and chances are you can find something that you really love – without feeling like you’re inferior just because you’ve never bought from an Hermes store before or you’re not on some waiting list.
And that bring us to the last point.
#4 No Snotty Sales Associates
I’m one of those people who used to get really intimidated going into designer bag stores. It took me about 6 months to go into my first Louis Vuitton store and even longer to darken the doors of a Chanel boutique.
Remember that little scene in Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts and the snotty sales associates?
While I’m not as bad as I used to be – I still don’t like going into some of these designer stores. The last time I went into a Saint Laurent store (come to think of it the last 3 times I’ve gone into Saint Laurent stores), I was treated like garbage by the SA’s.
I was literally PASSED by – so the SA could get to the older woman carrying the Chanel Maxi Flap bag (I was just carrying a Louis Vuitton so I probably didn’t rank on her radar). They answered my questions with the bare minimum “Yes” or “No” and didn’t even try to help me find what I wanted.
While that’s probably the reason I’m not a fan of YSL bags – that’s not the point.
The point is that some people just don’t like the in-store buying experience.
Considering my own experiences, I don’t blame them one bit.
Every woman deserves to have the designer bag of her dreams if she wants one – why should we let a snotty sales associate stop us from doing this?
Buying preloved bags from an online reseller avoids this whole unpleasant process – and for that reason I’m a big fan of buying preloved.
(You could always buy used designer bags at a consignment store – but the SA’s at consignment stores can be just as bad sometimes).
So those are the main benefits of buying a designer bag new – or used. As you can see there are benefits to each.
It really comes down to what you want at the end of the day. Take your time and see what’s out there.
And then enjoy the experience to the fullest – whether it’s buying new or preloved! You deserve it my Lovelies!
What Do You Think?
Tell me what you think in the comments below – do you have a preference for buying new or used designer bags?
– Kate, XO