Last updated on May 13th, 2022 at 11:20 pm
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I wouldn’t want to buy preloved goods before 2021 due to personal preferences. The idea of buying used items from a stranger? Nope, sorry, not for me. How will I know what they’re selling is real? Also, are sellers even honest with their descriptions and pictures? Pictures can be deceiving. Sellers can take pictures far away from the product or leave out major flaws to entice buyers.
To buy preloved luxury from strangers is something you could have kept on trying to convince me and my answer would still be a hard no. I wasn’t against ALL used goods. I would take hand-me-downs from my mom and my aunt because I trust them.
When I found out about Vestiaire Collective, a preloved website for cheap luxury bags, I remember thinking more people are accepting of the concept than I thought. It can’t hurt to check it out, right? See what the big deal is.
The idea slowly grew on me when I knew many of these preloved luxury goods go through an extensive authentication process. I don’t like that it takes longer for my order to arrive (the seller has to send it to Vestiaire first) but if it means a professional will check over my product to make sure it’s real and that it matches its description/condition before sending it to me, I’m willing to wait.
Soon after I knew how to navigate Vestiaire Collective, I started shopping there. I could hardly stop once I started and now browse the website daily. Vestiaire Collective completely changed my mind about preloved goods. There are so many reasons why I’m an advocate for people to buy preloved luxury goods now.
Reason 1 to Buy Preloved – Lower Price
The biggest reason for people to buy preloved is its price. I have saved THOUSANDS of dollars and I’m sure many have saved a lot of money as well.
Buying a second-hand item means it’s usually at a lower price than buying something brand new from a boutique. There could be a designer bag you want but cannot justify its retail price. Or you simply don’t have the funds currently. You don’t have to worry about that as much when you buy preloved. You can get what you want for a lower price.
Let’s talk about my favourite and first pre-loved platform, Vestiaire Collective. This is a company that already has many sweet deals and it gets even better. My favourite part about Vestiaire is that you can negotiate with most of the sellers (if they have this feature on). You can go down up to 30% of the original price the seller has listed. It depends on how flexible the seller is.
Reason 2 – Items No Longer Available In Store
If you’re a luxury bag lover, chances are, there’s probably a bag you want that they no longer have in store. Mine is the Chanel Diana bag. This bag came out in the 90s, which means it’s almost 30 years old. How are you going to find a vintage bag in store? You can’t! You’re going to have to look at the preloved market.
I don’t have a vintage Chanel so I’m not sure but many say that the quality of Chanel bags is not the same. Prices went up but quality went down. I found a post that compares the vintage Chanel Diana and the reissue edition that came out in 2015.
Vintage bags aren’t the only items that are no longer available in store. There could be seasonal bags or ones that have been discontinued such as the Diorama and the Chanel GST. They’re both popular bags but for some reason, they don’t sell them in-store anymore. Thankfully, there are still many sellers for both in preloved communities.
Looking into the preloved market means you have another chance of buying that bag. You might have missed out on a bag because you were iffy about it at the time or you didn’t have the funds. When there are bags you want that are no longer sold in stores, there’s not really any other option other than turning to the preloved market.
Reason 3 – Thrill of Treasure Hunting
Many luxury stores now have online stores. There is a shift in consumer preferences. More people are shopping online now than ever so companies must adapt to the times. When you visit their brick-and-mortar shop, the excitement is no longer there because you know exactly what will be for sale based on their online website shop.
When you buy preloved online or in stores, you never know what you’ll find in these places. It feels like you’re on a treasure hunt. These stores often only have one item. There isn’t more stock in the back so it feels good when you score on an item.
I love the feeling of not knowing what you’ll find in these places. The best feeling is finding something that you didn’t expect to buy and are really happy with. That feeling is addicting and makes me keep coming back. I do have to be careful with what I decide to buy because I only have a limited budget. I have to cut out unnecessary expenses to get the items I really want.
Reason 4 – Designer Brand Options
There’s a market for all luxury designers, even for ones you might think won’t have, like Hermes. Buying second-hand luxury items are becoming increasingly common. Basically, as long as you’re okay with buying preloved, you can find whatever designer brand you want.
Reason 5 – Range of Conditions
This reason ties in with the price. If you’re willing to pay near retail price, then your product will probably be in tip-top condition. I could barely tell my Chanel chevron light gold wallet wasn’t new. I did pay close to the store price though.
You could be dipping your toes into luxury for the first time and don’t want to spend much. On Vestiaire, there’s ‘fair’ condition which means the product has been used extensively but still has life in it. It also means these products are significantly cheaper.
The preloved community has a range of conditions but I do want to say that it’s important to be realistic. I was looking at the Dior Boston bag many times before I decided to buy it. This bag is more than 15 years ago. It would be almost impossible to buy the bag in perfect condition because of its age. It depends on your budget and what condition you’re willing to accept. I carefully looked at the pictures and decided that I was willing to accept the condition for its price (it was in ‘good condition’).
Reason 6 – Develop Unique Wardrobe
Doesn’t it seem like everyone has the same bags? When people are sharing their luxury bag collection, I always see at least one of the following in people’s luxury bag collection:
- Louis Vuitton Neverfull
- Chanel Classic Flap
- Gucci Soho Disco
- Dior Saddle
- Bottega Veneta Padded Cassette
- Prada Cleo
There’s a reason for these popular bags and there’s nothing wrong with people having the same bags. I have a black Gucci Soho Disco bag myself and there are other bags on my wish list that are common. But there are also bags that I want that aren’t splattered everywhere as well.
I don’t think anyone likes having the same wardrobe as everyone else. You walk down a street and at least 3 other people are carrying the same bag as you. Do you really want that? You might not be the trendiest fashionista (I’m definitely not) but that doesn’t mean I want to look the same as everyone on the street. Shopping preloved means more variety and looking unique since you can buy items that aren’t in-store currently.
Reason 7 – Tons of Second-Hand Platforms
These are just some of the MANY examples out there. Second-hand luxury platforms are IN right now. There are two I want to talk about in particular because I have shopped there before. I mentioned Vestiaire Collective earlier but I also like to shop at Fashionphile. I bought my long waited Chanel trifold wallet on Fashionphile and have been regularly browsing the website since.
There are even Instagram sellers now. I would be cautious about buying from them because there’s a lot of fake sellers out there. With all these platforms available, there’s a 98% chance you’ll find the bag you want. The 2% is for the extremely rare bags but honestly, I think you can find those in the pre-owned luxury community too. They might not be for sale right this moment but if you’re patient and looking at these places consistently, it will probably come up eventually.
Reason 8 to Buy Preloved – Authentication Services
When it comes to buying preloved, a big concern is that the product is fake. It’s a guaranteed real item if you buy it from the boutique but what about all these consignment websites? That was a huge concern of mine and one of the reasons I’ve abstained from buying preloved. Thankfully, the websites I mentioned above have authentication services. This means that they either have checked the products already before posting it online or the seller has to send the product to them, the company checks it before sending it to the buyer.
The worst is spending a lot of money on an item just to realize it’s fake. These authentication services are reassuring so you can shop confidently.
Buy Preloved Goods (Feelings Now)
I didn’t know how big preloved websites were before. My limited knowledge was people buying second-hand luxury items off of eBay so I was doubtful.
Now I know many of these consignment websites have professional pictures. They are transparent with the flaws in the pictures and description so they can’t ‘hide’ anymore thinking they’ll sneakily get through the process.
On Vestiaire, it’s a bit of an exception. The seller posts pictures onto the website. The company verifies the pictures and makes sure it’s okay before allowing the seller’s product on their website. Vestiaire also requests certain angles of the products so sellers can’t hide. If you’re not satisfied with the current pictures, you can always ask the seller to upload more pictures or ask them questions in the comment box below.
Poof! There go my old doubts about preloved bags!
I am so happy with all the purchases I’ve gotten so far from the preloved market. If I see anything that is within budget and something I really like, I will definitely add it to my collection. In the meantime, excuse me while I keep browsing these websites.
What are your thoughts on preloved products?