Shopping for Vintage Luxury Handbags
There’s a trend in the world of fashion that can be best described as “old is back”. Vintage fashions are back, and a love for all things old appears to be here to stay. If you wear last season’s fashions, then you might look dated, but if you wear something from a decade ago or even older, then it becomes a fashion statement.
If you love vintage stuff, then it’s likely you are already saving up for a Chanel Classic bag or a Hermes Kelly. These beautiful, iconic bags are just a few examples of timeless luxuries that should be in any wardrobe. To own an original, however, requires some substantial investment and saving. The good news is that luxury consignment shops like thevintagebar.com allow people to find vintage designer goods at far more affordable prices.
It can be nerve-wracking to go and buy your first designer bag. How can you be sure that you are buying the real thing? How much should the bag cost? What if you get buyer’s remorse? There’s a lot to think about, and being armed with some knowledge before you go into the store can only be a good thing.
What you should know before you shop:
1. It pays to do some research in advance
When you are spending that amount of money, you should do your due diligence. Do some research on the history of the bags that you are looking at purchasing. Designer bags often have a history and a clear inspiration, and understanding that history can make the bag seem more valuable to you. If you love the beauty and the story then you are more likely to appreciate the bag in question.
Take, for example, the Speedy bag by Louis Vuitton. This bag was born thanks to a commission from Aubrey Hepburn. She asked the designer to make a scaled-down version of their popular Keepall travel bag. The Keepall was huge and unwieldy, and Speedy was their answer to the problem. Hepburn’s request led to the creation of a popular, faithful day bag which is still loved today.
Hermes came up with the Kelly bag after inspiration from the royal beauty that is Grace Kelly. Most brands have some interesting story like this.
2. Vintage Does Mean Used
Vintage bags will have been used before, and this means they will show some wear and tear. Of course you can be forgiven for not wanting something that has rips, cracks or other serious damage. Some wear and some signs of age are going to be unavoidable however. Be realistic with your expectations and accept that it is hard to find something that looks like new. Inspect the bag carefully and make sure that you are happy with what you are getting. Remember that you’re going to be using the bag, and you will add your own signs of wear to it over time.
3. Find Out How Much Similar Bags Cost
To value a vintage bag, you need to know how much it originally cost. That is your anchor so that you can work out how much you are willing to pay. Pre-loved bags will be cheaper than new bags, but prices of 50 to 70 percent of the original value are not unheard of. A Chanel crossbody could cost $1,200 on cotureusa.com, and that’s a substantial amount of money. A similar Chanel bag brand new, however, could be $4,000 which makes the pre-used bag seem more affordable. Go into the store knowing the approximate value of the bags that you are interested in buying, and you will have a better idea of whether you would be getting good value for money.
4. Confirm the Return Policy
A vintage bag is a huge investment, and you should make sure that you know whether or not you can return the bag, and what circumstances it can be returned under. Some stores do have a ‘final sale’ policy but others will offer a 30 day returns policy.
5. Learn the Key Ways to Spot Fakes
The market is flooded with fake bags. It is difficult to spot fakes unless you know the industry inside out. Reputable stores will verify the authenticity of anything they sell but if you are buying from a private seller you don’t have that luxury. Look at the materials, the hallmark stamps, and the hardware. Inspect the stitching. If anything looks wrong, do not buy. If you’re unsure, see if you can have the bag independently assessed by an expert. With such a large purchase, it makes sense to cover all your bases.