A Guide To Buying A Preloved Designer Handbag For The New Season - The Gloss Magazine

A Guide To Buying A Preloved Designer Handbag For The New Season

In the market for a preloved designer bag but unsure how to make the right investment? Read this guide … 

We all strive to do better when it comes to closing the loop on fashion and switching up our shopping habits is a great place to start. Especially given that shopping preloved reduces a startling 90 per cent of the environmental cost of an item (this is because the majority of fashion’s impact happens during the manufacturing process, something preloved eliminates.) 

While we once would have associated ‘preloved’ with flea market gems, the pre-owned luxury market has skyrocketed in the last decade and is now worth an estimated €32 billion – with the preloved designer handbag at peak popularity. The sky is the limit when it comes to brands, styles and price-points. One look at the marketplace would reveal it’s all about the bag: during the pandemic luxury etailer Farfetch unveiled Second Life, a preloved offshoot for designer bags; closer to home, and Arnotts now offers a preloved designer bag shop on its website.

Main image: Jason Lloyd Evans.

What should you look for when buying a preloved designer bag? Certain brands will always garner a high resale price – something to be aware of when making an investment. “Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Chanel are always the best investments by a landslide,” says Ella DeGuzman, owner of Siopaella designer exchange. This is followed, DeGuzman says, by Gucci, Prada, Saint Laurent and Celine as close seconds. 

The ‘it’ bag of the last while, according to DeGuzman, has been a Louis Vuitton bum bag, due to a scarcity in supply. “When they do come in we are selling them at record-breaking prices,” she says. “At one point, sellers probably would have been paid €1,400 cash for theirs even though they might have only bought it for €1,300.”

Tracking down the bag of your dreams does require patience. “It’s quite a slow game and if you can do a lot of research, it’s best,” says fashion stylist Marie Shortt (@mariestylestudio), who rates Designer Exchange on Drury Street and Lou’s Lot in George’s Street Arcade as top destinations for knowledgeable staff and unique finds respectively. One positive of going the secondhand route is that you can track down a one-off piece from a brand that is no longer in production, or indeed a brand that is no longer in existence. “I love preloved shopping for brands that I love but are no longer around. I got a Luella bag for €45 a while ago. It was like new; never used with snakeskin-style leather. It would have been worth around €700 originally,” Shortt says.

With sites like Vestiaire Collective offering authentication services, it lessens the chance of buying a fake but also means the overall standard is higher. It means you’re more likely to find a really special piece, too. “So many designer pieces are in mint condition: they may have been a collector’s item, or worn only a handful of times,” says Hannah Saunders (@hannahsaunderespr), a PR who counts a Louis Vuitton Speedy bag, in a hard to find shade of red, as one of her top investments. 

Found a piece you love? There are a few telltale signs that a bag has been well looked after. “Always look at the corners, the handles, the zipper, pockets and the area of the bag that would sit against the body when wearing it to make sure there’s not excessive wear. The lining should be nice and straight with no holes or major marks,” DeGuzman says.


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