Do's and Don'ts of Buying Secondhand Designer Purses | Thriftanista in the City

1.18.2017

Do's and Don'ts of Buying Secondhand Designer Purses

I was able to find two designer purses for approximately $20 in my last thrift haul. I'm very pleased with my purchases as they were both high quality and affordable. Handbags are that essential accessory that you absolutely should splurge on. I don't go anywhere without my purse. I carry the same bag practically everyday. It's totally worth paying more for but why do that when you can find a great purse for less in a thrift store.

secondhand designer purses


DO expect to pay more.
A good quality handbag in a thrift store will likely cost more than regular thrift store prices. Occasionally a few bags slip through the cracks but those finds are rare with the vast amount of pricing information available online.

dkny handbags

I was quite shocked by the $16 price tag on my DKNY purse find. I picked it for the lovely electric blue color. The leather is buttery soft and shows little signs of use. It's huge and I can fit all the things in it. I'm familiar with the brand but not as a maker of quality purses. I had no idea they have a retail value between $300 - $400 so once I recovered from the sticker shock, I realized it was still a pretty good deal.

DON'T invest without thorough research.

The DKNY purse was not a major investment. A bit higher priced than your average thrift store find but justifiable. Luxury purses with well known brands like Hermes, Louis Vuitton, and Prada are prone to fakes. You will want to educate yourself before you hit the thrift shop. Racked.com recently posted How to Spot the Difference Between Real and Fake Designer Bags. eBay and purse forum are also good resources to utilize.

luxury purses thrift store

I bought a humongous Louis Vuitton Speedy at an estate sale. There's no return policy or guarantee so as soon as I saw the bag listed on estatesales.net, I began my research and knew what to look for and how much I would be willing to pay. I found the $40 price tag quite reasonable for a $1000 bag.

DO step outside of the thrift store.

Open up your secondhand shopping possibilities by exploring estate sales and online consignment stores. Estate sales will usually offer up better quality. Online consignment stores like TheRealReal that guarantee authenticity. The prices will be higher but you know you're getting what you pair for.

I found the Bottega Veneta purse at an estate sale. It was a $20 find which I thought was a really great deal for $1500 portfolio. I ended up selling it on eBay as an oversized clutch and made a nice profit.

thrifting for purses

DON'T buy solely on name recognition.
You can find a great quality bag from designers you'd never heard of. Focus on quality and workmanship before seeking out large designer brands.

thrift style blogger

I bought this m0851 when I purchased the DKNY purse. All I knew about the pink knotted bag was that the leather felt great and it was well made. It was only $5. After a quick google search, I was able to find this Canadian brand's handbags are known for high quality and retail between $300 and $500.

DO check for damage.
Do a thorough check. Make sure all of the zippers work. Check for missing straps or details like grommets or studs that may have fallen off. Pull the lining out and look for holes. Smell it. Cigarette smoke lingers and it's next to impossible to remove the smell.

coach purse thrift store

DON'T take on a project.
For the most part, a dirty suede designer bag isn't going to do you much good. Neither is a purse with a broken strap. Some things can be fixed by your local cobbler but that comes with additional cost. I love a diy project but when it comes to purses, it's best to find one that you can clean and rock immediately.

DO clean your bags.
You're likely buying a bag that's clean and in good shape. However, you don't really know it's journey so it's best to give it a nice deep clean when you get it home. The inside may have few crumbs too. You never know.

Carefully remove any debris. An open safety pin or used ball of tissue could be lurking inside. I know. I've found both. Use a good leather cleaner for the outside to give a refresh and protect it for the future. Swab the inside with disinfecting wipes.

Do you buy thrift store purses? Have any great finds?

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