A Good Time For Luxury Resale Buying (Update, 2017)

Sale PSA: Classic Tory Burch signature ballet flats, now 33% off, an organic linen crop sweater from Eileen Fisher, now under $90 (I tried this on and it’s a nice extra layer over dresses and tops), and kick flare jeans from The Great, now just $66 (75% off! I also like these slouch cargo pants). 

One of my more popular posts in 2015 was my update about it being a good period to buy luxury goods on resale sites. The luxury market was in a bit of a slump, prices hadn’t been raised in some time, and there were lots of deals to be had.

Two years later, in 2017, I’m finding this is still true, if not even more so. Prices are way soft, and there are some fantastic deals to be had. Especially since brands are no longer reliably raising prices every year (and thank goodness that has ended), I’m finding that resale sites are no longer daring to charge actual retail price, and actually have to provide good discounts to give deals. Which is how it should be, no? Although it’s painful on the seller side, as I have quite a few goodies now sitting unused after new baby which I mourn will not see the light of the day for some time.

One interesting aspect of the whole resale price slump is that it’s made me a lot more mindful of luxury purchases – prior to 2015 I knew that if I changed my mind or didn’t like a style, I could usually recoup what I paid (or close to it) for an item. Even though I didn’t necessarily sell very much (I’m all talk, little action), it still was a comfort that I wouldn’t take a huge hit if I was going re Kondo. But now? I’m super picky. I have to not only really love an item and be drawn to it, but also feel that it’ll immediately have a useful place in my wardrobe in order to pick it up. And sometimes I still decide to walk away…I’ve learned it’s more often that I’ve regretted buying something, than not buying it. And I hope that’s a lesson I can remember and take going forward!

How has the stagnation in luxury prices changed your buying (and selling?). I’d love to hear how, if at all, your thinking has been impacted.

Also – below – some of my recent finds. Tons of good deals to be had out there (but make sure you’re buying because you love the item, not just because of the price!)

Chanel Gray Reissue Camera Bag, under $1400: A classic Chanel that’s super useful and in a gorgeous shade of gray. I love this one!

Hermes Double Sens Tote in Blue/Black reversible, under $2500 : I find there are great deals on the Double Sens on almost every resale site right now, so shop around if you’re in the market!

Hermes Etoupe Victoria bag, under $2800: Another fantastic Hermes style, in a classic color at a great price. The Victoria hasn’t been as popular as it was when it first debuted, and that means there are some nice prices to be had out there.

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  • Em
    August 28, 2017 at 9:53 am

    Not sure if you’ve already written on this subject before but how can you be sure you’re buying a real designer bag? I’m very tempted by the resales but that question is what’s keeping me back. There’s no way to know for sure, given the boutique won’t provide verification. I’m terrified of throwing $$$ at a fake.

    • Jaime Stephens
      August 29, 2017 at 11:08 am

      Shop only from firms that guarantee authenticity: Portero, TheRealReal, Fashionphile, etc. These do provide a guarantee of authenticity and will take a return if you can prove otherwise.

    • Katherine
      August 29, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      I always get authenticated by a trusted source, but usually the first step is buying from a site I trust (Ann’s Fabulous Finds is my tops).

  • sydnee
    August 28, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    I’ve been wanting the Celine luggage bag recently and have checked out the resale sites. I’m glad I didn’t buy this bag earlier when it was really popular in the blogworld bc it seems it’s lost at least half its value! I wouldn’t mind picking up a resale now but like your earlier commenter stated, I don’t know if those sites are trustworthy.

    • Katherine
      August 29, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      That’s a huge discount! I would check with The Purse Forum for authenticity.

  • Wendy
    August 29, 2017 at 9:33 am

    I really enjoy buying from the realreal and Portero Luxury. I occasionally buy bags, but mainly jewelry. I purchased diamond and 18k Starfish earrings by Tiffany’s from Portero for $1400! Also, Temple St Clair earrings again for $1400 from . Those are outstanding prices! You just have to know what you are looking for. Conduct your own research before buying. I purchased earrings by Colette and verified with them.

    • Katherine
      August 29, 2017 at 2:49 pm

      Those are both fabulous pieces and prices!

  • Diane
    August 29, 2017 at 9:38 am

    I carry Bottega Veneta bags exclusively. I recently purchased another cabat. I bought from a reputable site. I also know the brand products well. The bag was listed without the specific color name but I knew the color for that particular style, year and treatment so I had no doubts. It arrived in perfect condition. I would not have had the knowledge nor confidence to do this in the earlier years of my purchasing BV. There are some good sites that guarantee their goods but even good sites can make mistakes. BV is the only brand I know well enough to purchase like this.

    • Katherine
      August 29, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      I LOVE the Cabat and a favorite activity is trawling for good deals on them! The pricing has been very good lately!

      • Diane
        August 29, 2017 at 4:34 pm

        BV doesn’t hold its price like some other brands but I love it’s “under the radar” position among designer bags. Although they are not as well known as some other resale sites, I have found Ann’s Fabulous Finds and 1st Dibs to be completely credible resale sites. Both have more Hermes than BV. Ann’s is pretty much about bags and I’ve had good luck with them. Handbags are a small part of 1st Dibs. Their antique furniture and art divisions are large and also excellent. All sellers on 1st Dibs are thoroughly vetted.

        • Katherine
          August 30, 2017 at 11:04 am

          Makes sense…I haven’t bought from 1st Dibs yet, but am a frequent browser!

        • Gigi
          September 6, 2017 at 7:04 am

          I agree. I love the fact that BV is under the radar. I love it when I spot someone carrying a BV bag. It’s not as common as LV or Chanel.

  • Jaime Stephens
    August 29, 2017 at 11:06 am

    I, too, regularly purchase (and consign with) TheRealReal. I have had only good experiences with them but beware of buying bags as they are not returnable. I’ve made more than one mistake there. Goyards are another brand that retain value. A word to the wise, though – if you think you will ever want to resale, shy away from the monogramming – these take forever to sell.

    • Katherine
      August 29, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      Good point on the monogram!

  • ahhhsoneo
    August 29, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Can you comment on how you think the Facebook groups are impacting the established resale sites. I recently joined a LV Facebook group and was amazed to see how much selling occurs on it and apparently similar groups. I’m sure it’s cutting into the consignment stores inventory.
    I’m glad to see resale prices drop, I think it’s quite ridiculous for people to expect 90-100% of their money back on used bags. Yes it sucks if you are trying to sell, but at the end of the day it’s still a used bag. I blame it on the popularity of the words “investment bags”😂

    • Katherine
      August 30, 2017 at 11:04 am

      You know I’m super out of touch on the Facebook groups thing! I’ve heard about it but have had almost no experience so I’m sorry that I can’t be of more help. I’d love to hear about what you see!

      • ahhhsoneo
        September 5, 2017 at 6:57 pm

        It seems to be a good place for folks looking for vintage pieces. I haven’t purchased anything, I am always weary about making purchases pre-loved items and I currently have purse-peace so I’m not really looking for anything at this time. Some of the prices seem wildly inflated to me, but good deals are also appear quite regularly. If I was interested in letting go of items and didn’t get decent offers from the consignment stores i would definitely try my luck with the groups. The groups also appear well-moderated. Would love to see comments from your readers who have purchased from there.

  • Mercy
    August 29, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    I think I’m happy that the prices have remained the same for a couple of years now as I feel I have time to keep up buying those I missed out. Thank you for this post, you are always relevant and make sense.

    • Katherine
      August 30, 2017 at 11:06 am

      Thanks Mercy!

  • christinebrightside
    September 1, 2017 at 1:40 am

    Some years ago I had spent several months researching on luxury online sites/reseller to find a Birkin bag, but I couldn’t get myself to spending so much money without the “ultimate authentic proof”, so I ended up ordering one at a Hermes store in Austria without knowing whether they took my order seriously (was my very first time ever entering a Hermes store!). They called me 14 months later that my Birkin had arrived. I promised myself to never buy a Birkin/Kelly second hand due to the prices! I live in Germany, prices for Hermes or Chanel are definitely higher in the US. Sometimes I check luxury online sites or even eBay, to find out that preloved Birkins are sold over the new retail price in the stores! Of course I see the point that if you want a Birkin “right now”, then there is no other option than finding one online, and of course I understand the rising prices on the second hand market (the so-called “investment” factor of Hermes) but I personally don’t want to support it. I have read that Hermes Faubourg Saint-Honoré has changed their system to buy leather goods at the store and even take passport details to reduce the number of resellers…. my husband said if we were living in Paris or nearby, he would queue in line every Saturday to buy a random Birkin to sell it for more money online *rolleyes

    I have placed another order in Austria for a Birkin earlier this year but if Hermes FSH in Paris is really continuing the new system, I think I am going to plan a trip to Paris to try it out. In the past this was never an option for me, neither buying from a reseller.

  • Gigi
    September 6, 2017 at 7:13 am

    I love browsing for good finds via reputable online resellers. I don’t see a point in paying retail anymore. I like the “older” or should I say classic style bags; I feel fairly confident in spotting fakes, it is more a matter of finding a good condition pre-loved bag at a good price.

    I am more mindful with each purchase. When I make a purchase now, it is usually a classic that I know will keep. The likelihood of selling my bags is very low now. It is work to sell bags sometimes!