It’s hardly a secret that I’m a total bag lover. Take even the smallest scroll through my Instagram and you’ll see countless shots of my own bags and those I’m currently coveting. Many of those bags pictured are actually from LOVEthatBAG. It’s also hardly a secret that I have a major love for this amazing Montreal based site that sells a truly gorgeous selection of pre-owned designer bags. Since starting only a few years ago, LOVEthatBAG has quickly become one of the preeminent online destinations for a highly curated selection of some of the most coveted new and vintage designer bags. I myself am a loyal customer, I’ve picked up two bags in the past year and a half alone and have sent many of my friends to happily purchase from them as well. I’ve also had the pleasure of getting to know owner Alice and her dedicated and passionate team in this time as well. A true bag lover herself, Alice has a seriously discerning eye when it comes to designer bags. I’ve seen first hand her commitment to providing only the finest bags and service to her clients, guaranteeing their authenticity and quality condition. In fact, she worked with Darling Husband last year to find the perfect Christmas/Hanukkah gift in my stunning inky blue suede Céline phantom. Both of my bags (I also scooped up my amazing olive green Givenchy Antigona) from LOVEthatBAG not only came with their original dusters and authenticity cards, they looked as if they were never used by their original owners.
Since I’m so frequently asked not only where I source my bags from but also how I know I’m purchasing a quality item, I thought I’d sit down with Alice to learn her top tips for buying pre-owned designer bags. Who better to give advice on this subject then my bag guru herself! I’ll actually be sharing advice from her once a month going forward on this subject and specific designers in particular. In fact, if you have any questions you’d like answered or designers covered, shoot me an email and let me know!
Condition of the Bag
The most common things to look for on a pre-owned bags are wear on the corners and handles of the bag and light scratches to the hardware. Know what you’re comfortable with in terms of wear. A worn corner that only you will notice might be fine but a pen mark on the lining might not be.
Some bags end up being great deals at half their original retail value, while others tend to be more expensive. The general rule is: the more coveted a bag is, the less it’ll depreciate in value. Things like long waiting lists for Hermès, exclusive and hard to fine Célines, and rare colours from past seasons on Balenciagas tend to keep resale prices close to their retail price.
Know their return policy
Some boutiques offer store credit for returns while others will give you all your money back. Be wary of those that do not offer returns at all and do your research about prior listings. Love that Bag offers a full money back return, no questions asked.
Popular bags tend to sell very quickly, sometimes within minutes of being listed online. See if there’s a waiting list you can get on so you’re the first to know when your dream bag comes in.
Some designer handbags come with date codes stamped inside them, like a serial number. There are tons of online resources to look up date codes and find out exactly how old (or new!) the bag may be. This is particularly relevant for brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermès, and Balenciaga. It can also help with making sure the bag you are purchasing is authentic.