I often get asked “how do you do it?” and what people really want to know is… how do I manage to get the closet I do on the budget I have? (I mean, I do decently well, but I’m certainly no Kardashian and the vast majority of my wardrobe is self-funded)
The truth is I spend too much. 😉 BUT the second truth is, I find a LOT of items that I love for less. Way less. Often half or less…less. There are many different components to this, and I’ll get ya more #protips in the future, but the first one is how to find and spot a good deal on designer duds (specifically bags) on eBay.
The first thing I HAVE to warn you is this can be a VERY daunting task. It’s very important that you have some idea how to spot a fake. Now, this isn’t going to be an article on all of the specific things to look for because there’s a ton of specifics by brand and style BUT generally speaking I look for a few things:
1. Compare the photo against a catalog
- Ask for several photos of the bag – front, back, inside, under, hardware, serial numbers, lining, etc. Be confident that these look the same way they do in a retailer’s catalog photo, and try to look at several examples of authentic bags.
2. Collect information about the seller
- Find out their rating, have they sold other designer bags? If so, what is their feedback? If they are selling a lot of designer goods, try to figure out where the come from (i.e. NOT a counterfeit factory).
- Personally I like to get lightly used bags that come from another non-career seller with all or most original packaging and sometimes a receipt OR a verified consignment store with an online presence (this one came from a consignment store who authenticate prior to listing).
3. When in doubt, ask for authentication
- You can always get a bag authenticated. There are certain forums that will look at photos for you online (like the Purse Forum [note I am not a member and cannot verify the quality of the site, but know it is a popular one for authentication]). There are also certain brick and mortar locations you can take an item once purchased for authentication. Call any of your local retailers or designer stores to inquire.
Alright, now that the not fun part is out of the way – there are just a FEW simple easy tips for getting the bag of your dreams!
1. Know the brand you want AND the style name
- It is MUCH harder to find a bag under generic terms (Gucci embroidered bag, or YSL chain clutch, etc) – there are so many similar or varied types of these bags, you really want to know the proper name of the bag – i.e. “Gucci Sylvie Medium” or “Saint Laurent Kate” bag.
2. Start a search for the bag by style name
- I usually start with resellers and see what comes up! You may find what you’re looking for right away. If not, each of the following resellers are great to try depending on your needs:
- Pros – you can save your search! Search by style name and then click “Follow search” – you can opt in for both alerts via phone and email so that the bag of your dreams comes to YOU! (Which is actually how I ended up with this one!) You can also return almost anything to the site (so if you are worried something is fake, send it back right away and eBay generally makes sure you’re refunded regardless of whether you can prove it’s fake – also a con for sellers).
- Cons – there are a LOT of fakes to sift through and the site itself doesn’t offer any authentication services.
- Pros – offers posh concierge for anything over $500 – items are authenticated before they even get to you!
- Cons – harder to search and smaller marketplace. Also only have three days to make a claim once an item is delivered so careful ordering if you’re out of town!
- Pros – free authentication provided if you’re worried after getting something (even outside of return window if they find it’s actually inauthentic they will refund you as long as it’s not too far out).
- Cons – Higher prices generally, more limited selection.
- Luxury Garage Sale
- Pros – great customer service, will help you find your dream bag of choice (how I got my Celine!)
- Cons – newer consigner so slightly smaller selection.
- The RealReal
- Pros – Large marketplace and lots of availability in terms of items.
- Cons – still can’t find everything and it’s a larger company so there’s less hands on help.
- I also usually try a simple google search in addition to see if there are any other consignment stores etc. I didn’t think of that come up!
Hope this helps you find the bag (or other accessory) of your dreams! I know it always works for me 🙂