What to Ask When Buying Pre-owned Designer Handbags
“I love this bag! It’s perfect, and everything I’ve been looking for in a handbag,” I said as I went to reach for the price tag. “Woah! That’s way out of my budget, time to look elsewhere.” With a face of disappointment, I dragged my body out of the Chanel boutique and carried on home. I couldn’t bare to spend over four thousand dollars on the handbag of my dreams! Luckily, my friend who helped me drag my body out of the store, suggested I search for the Chanel bag pre-owned. I looked at her with a disgusted face, as she laughed and told me to think about it long and hard, which I did. I did my research online, went to a few consignment stores and compared the prices and conditions. Though I had always purchased my handbags brand new from retail stores, the economy had other plans for me, which changed my mind about spending a fortune on retail prices. It was my time to start purchasing pre-owned but I had so many questions to ask when it came down to the wire. I realized these following questions were the most important to ask any boutique or online seller, even questions to ask yourself, before purchasing.
- Am I buying an authentic designer handbag?
There are millions of handbags out there that are complete replicas and now and days it’s harder and harder to tell a real vs. fake. Has the person from whom I am purchasing the handbag from guaranteed this bag to be 100% authentic? This is definitely the key number one question to ask when buying a pre-owned designer handbag.
2. How is the condition?
If you’re researching a handbag over the internet, pictures of the condition sometimes don’t do justice. If you can contact the seller to get detailed pictures of any particular blemishes, it would be best, because each imperfection can determine a better negotiated price. Some imperfections may not be eligible for repair. If you’re purchasing a lambskin Chanel bag that has a large tear in the leather, it may be difficult to seal or stitch the lambskin, especially if you’re purchasing a vintage bag. If there are visible stains on the interior or exterior of the bag, it’s important to know before you purchase, whether or not the stains can be removed, and whether or not the removal of the stains will cost you extra money.
3. Does the bag come with original receipt, box or dust bag?
This goes along with the question as to whether the handbag is authentic or not. If you’ve found a handbag that you love, you should always ask if it comes with the original receipt, dust bag or box. If the original receipt is present, you have a sense of relief knowing it is truly authentic because it was purchased at an actual brick and mortar store. The dust bag and box are just extra essentials which most buyers love to have in order to keep their bag in good condition when stored away.
4. What is the return policy?
Asking about the return policy is just as important as asking if the handbag is authentic or not. Sometimes we must have that bag so badly, we will buy it on the spot without hesitation. We get it home, transfer all of our belongings into the new bag, and begin our new journey. After a few days, we realize the bag is either too small, too big, or not a comfortable fit for us, so we decide to return it, only to find that the handbag cannot be refunded. Another reason to ask for the return policy is because there are cases where we purchase an “authentic” bag from a seller, and if you decide to have it verified as authentic and the bag happens to be fake, you just spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on a replica bag that was “guaranteed authentic.” Most boutiques have a policy of final sale, but there are also boutiques that offer a thirty day return policy which benefits you most.
5. What is the history of the bag?
When we say history, we don’t mean what is the date code, even though knowing where and when the bag was produced is very important, this goes along with authenticity. We mean, how many previous owners were there? Was the previous owner a smoker, and is there a smoke odor inside the bag? Was this bag purchased from the original owner? Did the person own pets and is pet hair visible on the bag? All of these questions about the history of the bag are beyond important especially if you’re a non-smoker, or allergic to animals. You wouldn’t want to carry a beautiful Hermes bag that has a serious cigarette odor if you don’t smoke and can’t stand the smell, right? You wouldn’t want to carry around a bag full of pet hair if you’re allergic to animals too. So knowing whether or not where the bag came from, could make or break a deal.
Asking a seller and yourself these questions will give you the knowledge and experience to purchase pre-owned handbags whether you purchase now or in the future. It’s all about acquiring the most knowledge while spending the least amount money.