Fashion trends may come and go but a designer handbag never goes out of style with some even becoming valuable collector’s items. From Mulberry’s Bayswater Shoulder Bag that was on everybody’s wishlist in the noughties to the Jacquemus Le Chiquito dangling from every influencer’s hands today, no fashionista’s wardrobe is complete without a little luxury.
Things to remember when buying a preloved designer bag
If you’re looking for your next designer purchase, browsing resale sites might be your ideal starting place. In fact, as of 2020, a huge sixty-two per cent of luxury consumers stated that they were interested in purchasing pre-owned luxury products, which is no surprise given the shift in consumer attitudes now favouring circular fashion as a more conscious shopping habit. Not only does shopping second hand open you up to an endless collection of rare and iconic handbags with unique stories to tell (we’re looking at you, Fendi Baguette) but you can also save a decent buck whilst you’re at it.
Jan Moncrieff is the Founder of Closet Porter, a website where you can both shop and sell second-hand luxury fashion. When purchasing luxury second-hand, Jan says, “A designer handbag is a truly special purchase and undoubtedly the most popular with our customers. But, consumers need to be careful when browsing for second-hand luxury goods as there are plenty of counterfeits on the market which are extremely similar to the real deal.”
Whether you’re new to pre-loved luxury or a second-hand seasoned pro, Jan Moncrieff shares her top tips when it comes to purchasing a second-hand designer handbag:
1. Make sure you’re purchasing from a trusted site
“When committing to a purchase with a higher price-point than most, you need to be careful about who you’re buying from. Not only do you need to think about the item’s condition, but, as with any designer item, you need to make sure your eight hundred pound handbag isn’t counterfeit and made in a factory.”
“From the minute details such as stitching and even packaging, some manufacturers of fake luxury have become craftily talented at creating fakes that look identical to the real deal. However, there are giveaways here and there which an expert can easily spot. At Closet Porter we take great care to source rare items and authenticate these in-house, examining the garment stitching, serial numbers, hardware, fonts and fabrics and investigating any flaws that could point to potential counterfeit issues. It is recommended that you source a trusted company with in-house authentication specialists so you can buy your dream handbag with confidence. Look out for a website with trusted online reviews and transparent details on their authentication process.”
2. Choose An All-time Classic If You Want Future Profit
Advising on how to choose an investment bag, Jan says: “If you’re longing for a luxury handbag because of the investment value, be sure to stick with classic brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior whose iconic handbags can retain their value for years. You need to look out for the condition, logo and any product codes for example. Bags with the original packaging, box, and purchase receipts are worth a lot more than those sold as a bag on its own.”
“Just take Chanel’s Medium Classic Flap Bag as an example – the retail price of these bags increase an average of three per cent each year – over double that of a standard ISA’s annual interest rate.”
“As well as Chanel flap bags, the Hermès Kelly bag and any Louis Vuitton monogram leather bags are all iconic models that are worth investing in.”
3. Check The Bag’s Condition When You Receive It
Jan tells us key lookouts when inspecting the condition of a second-hand handbag: “It’s always wise to thoroughly check the finer details of your luxury handbag and look out for any flaws. The key to not being disappointed is to purchase a bag that is lightly used, and looks good as new, meaning it will hold its resale value and last for many more years if looked after.”
“Be sure to look out for fabric stains, worn corners and scratches to metal. Trusted sellers should be explicit in describing the condition of the handbag, but always make sure to investigate this yourself as best you can.”
To browse Closet Porter’s collection of second-hand luxury fashion online or find out more about how to sell unwanted designer clothing and accessories, visit the website at www.closetporter.com
 M. Shahbandeh, Consumer interest in purchasing pre-owned luxury items worldwide, Statista, 2020.
 Penny Goldstone, These designer handbags are still increasing in value despite the lockdown, Marie Claire, 2020.