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This year has been about buying preloved luxury. I’m still fairly new to the community but I have been hooked from the start. Thank goodness I have been good with saving my money and cutting out unnecessary expenses. Or else I wouldn’t have been able to buy a few designer pieces.
I also shop at Fashionphile, another well-known company that sells second-hand luxury goods. I promise that if you’re on YouTube watching videos about buying preloved designer goods, Fashionphile’s name will pop up. It has been consistently named as one of the best platforms to shop at. It’s been around a long time too, since 1999 and is based in California. Good, with its reputation, I don’t have to worry about buying fake items on here.
Fashionphile – Background Story
I started looking at Fashionphile because I was interested in buying a Chanel tri-fold wallet. I wasn’t into Chanel small wallets until late Jan 2021 when I walked into a Chanel store. A salesperson asked me if I was interested in buying a wallet as I was looking at Chanel bags. She showed me a picture of the caviar tri-fold black wallet saying that they have this in stock now. She says it’s rare it happens and asked me if I wanted to take a look.
The bags were too distracting so I turned her down. A few weeks passed and the wallet still kept popping up in my mind. It was one of those things that you didn’t know you wanted until you saw a picture. And then you couldn’t stop thinking about it. It grew on me so I went back to the Chanel store wanting to see the item in person. But, of course, it was gone already. I then made it my mission to find myself a Chanel tri-fold wallet. Unfortunately, Chanel doesn’t have an online store, unlike other luxury brands. So I thought ‘what about buying preloved?’ I tapped into their community and found Fashionphile.
Fashionphile – Chanel Wallet Selection
Fashionphile has quite the Chanel wallet selection. It sounds dumb now but I didn’t realize how many other colours there were. The picture I saw on the sales rep’s phone was black so I thought I was going to buy a black wallet.
I’m actually glad Fashionphile has so many other colours. I wouldn’t have known I had other options. I was scrolling on the website and came across the 2017 Chanel iridescent light gold chevron wallet. It immediately caught my attention because of the shiny and pretty colour. It looked more pink in some angles and gold in other angles. If the colour was this pretty on screen, it must be even nicer in person.
It’s in ‘excellent’ condition (Fashionphile has its own set of rankings) so I was tempted to buy the product NOW but I didn’t want to make any rash decisions because it is expensive. I had to make sure it’s an SLG (small leather good) that I genuinely love and colour I won’t get sick of. There have been moments where I thought I really like something just for me to change my mind a few months later.
I decided to take some time to seriously consider whether or not I should buy it. Sit on it for a bit. I couldn’t see the product in person for obvious reasons so I wanted to do my research. See if there are other pictures or videos of that colour. Then I can really tell how I feel about the product instead of solely relying on Fashionphile’s pictures. Fashionphile has extremely professional pictures but I still wanted to see the colour in a video or natural lighting so I have an even better idea of what it looks like.
Fashionphile includes the year the product was made. I love this because I can use this information to easily research more about the product. If I typed ‘light gold Chanel wallet’, the results may not have been the one I wanted.
(Here is also where it says if the items come with a dust bag and box. Personally, this really isn’t that big of a deal to me. But I know some people do care about this so it’s a little tip.)
I looked on Pinterest (go follow me!) first because it’s a great website for visuals. There were many different Chanel colour wallets but none I like more than the light gold wallet.
I then turned to YouTube and saw many bloggers/influencers talk about how everything from the 2017 iridescent collection is rare. People apparently go crazy for Chanel iridescent colours. Fair enough. They do make really nice ones. But I didn’t want something just because it’s a collectible. I need to love it.
Fashionphile – Decision Making Process
Okay, so I was set on the colour but what about other factors?
Chanel has two types of short classic tri-fold wallets (that I know of): the coin part in the middle or outside the wallet. When the coin section is inside, the wallet feels so chunky. I like that the coin slot is outside the wallet. It has a slimmer look, which is what I prefer.
The price was probably the biggest factor. The light gold wallet is more expensive than the regular black caviar tri-fold wallet. Then again, this is a collectible. I can’t expect a collectible and a normal wallet to have the same price. Is it worth it to me though?
Another issue was the style. I don’t even LIKE chevron that much (I prefer classic). Will I change my mind and regret this expensive purchase?
Fashionphile – 2nd Chance
I thought about it a lot but couldn’t make up my mind. Someone eventually bought the wallet. I was too slow to take action. I mentally kicked myself in the head. Why couldn’t I have been sure earlier? When you take too long to make up your mind on something, the opportunity will pass by. That’s why my dad always used to say that opportunities are for those who are ready. I missed my chance and I was so sure that this wallet wouldn’t come back in stock. If this collection is as rare as they say, they’re not going to be popping up the same wallet all the time, right?
Actually, I was wrong. It came back in stock a few weeks later! This time, I didn’t waste any time and jumped on the opportunity.
Fashionphile – Item Arrival
I was excited when I got a notification that my wallet would arrive that day via DHL. I was a little nervous because what if the item isn’t that great in person?
When the box came, you couldn’t tell it’s something expensive inside. My wallet was inside a plain cardboard box. I’m glad for this disguise or else it would be highly likely that someone would steal my package.
It’s adorable that Fashionphile has this little confetti inside the box. Buying from Fashionphile is worth celebrating! This minor detail makes me happy but I wish it had colour. There’s also a tag attached to the item (to prove that Fashionphile has checked this and it’s authentic).
I was amazed at how beautiful the colour is in person and I couldn’t stop staring. The wallet condition was amazing. It looked completely brand new! The description said there were faint scratches on the hardware but I could barely see it.
To be honest, I still don’t love the chevron look. I will always prefer the classic quilt but I liked the wallet enough to make an exception. They also have a zipped coin purse and a flap bag in the same colour. As beautiful as they are, I’m not looking to purchase anymore from that collection.
Fashionphile – Product Imperfections
I saw the description and the only ‘flaw’ the light gold wallet had was faint scratches on hardware. When it comes to buying preloved, it’s hard to find an item that is 100%. Faint scratches on hardware aren’t a problem but if there were more imperfections, I would hesitate more.
For example, I am currently eyeing another short Chanel wallet. This wallet is listed in excellent condition, the same as my light gold wallet. However, there are more imperfections (link to the black one). There are creases, imprints, scratches, and stretched card slots.
Uhh…why is the black wallet in ‘excellent’ condition then? It sure does sound like it has enough minor flaws to be demoted to very good condition. With all of this in mind do I really want to buy that wallet for that price?
I thought that if I bought the light gold wallet, I wouldn’t want the classic black wallet. Nope, still want it. Can you tell I have an obsession with wallets? I joke with my best friend that she’s a shoe person and I’m a wallet person. Haha. We both love bags.
The black wallet is a few hundred dollars cheaper in comparison because it’s on sale. Even at a discount, Chanel is still expensive.
Many bloggers have said that buying preloved from Fashionphile means the product comes in better condition than they expect. That should give me a sense of comfort, right? I thought so too. After hearing it so many times, I have set my expectation quite high because I know Fashionphile overstates its imperfections so people won’t be disappointed.
I looked at the description carefully and studied the pictures. I can hardly see these flaws they’re talking about but I keep thinking about those imperfections. Do I really want to take the risk?
Also, black is a classic colour. One part of me wants to wait it out because Fashionphile will for sure have this in stock again. Paying a little extra is worth it to me if it means I can buy it in a better condition. Or maybe I’ll see another colour I’ll like better and forego the black wallet altogether (I don’t think so because I thought that would happen with my light gold wallet).
Unless an item is vintage (15+ years), it’s pretty difficult buying preloved items that aren’t in very good/near perfect condition for me.
Fashionphile – Weeks After Item Arrival
My little Chanel is still sitting in the box. The wallet is so pretty that I don’t want to use it. I haven’t even taken out the tag yet. Once I use the wallet, there will be scratches and corner wear. I’m not ready for that yet. I can’t really baby the wallet either because it will be thrown inside my bag.
I will use the wallet…eventually. I mean, I bought it so why wouldn’t I? But just not right now. I’m the type of person to use the things I don’t like as much first so I can save the best for last.
Also, Fashionphile has a 30-day return policy. It’s well past 30 days now but even if I want to resell my wallet, Fashionphile will buy it up to 75% of the price. It’s good to know for people who care about resale value or if they change their mind later on.
My experience buying preloved from Fashionphile was great! I can see why so many people love this website and continue to buy from here.
What are your thoughts on preloved goods? Have you ever bought anything from Fashionphile before?