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Tips for Buying a Designer Bag on E-Bay

I will be the first to admit that I have an obsession with designer bags. Before I started this blog, I literally carried the same Louis Vuitton bag for ten years. There was no incentive to buy a new one as Louis Vuitton kept selling it. But when I started blogging, I realized a single bag just wouldn’t do. Of course, I didn’t want to go too crazy and I certainly didn’t want to break the bank. There are certain bags I won’t buy on Ebay. I won’t buy Chanel because there are just too many fakes and the ones that aren’t counterfeit aren’t really priced any better than a brand new bag. If you are looking for the latest Chloe bag or the newest Gucci bag, E-Bay probably isn’t the best place. But when you are looking for a bag that you know has been and will be around for years, E-bay can be a great place to look. I will say that I have purchased bags from places like the Real Real and Tradesey, but I find them to be overpriced, and the quality isn’t quite as good as a brand new bag. I have had such success finding designer bags on E-bay, that almost half of my designer bag collection was purchased from the site. 

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By, far I have found the best prices for designer bags to be on E-bay. I can see why this is the case, as the commission charged is so much lower than other consignment sites (around 12% on E-bay compared to up to 55% on The Real Real). So if you are a small independent seller you are much better off selling your designer bag on E-bay. And this is why the selection is so much better on E-bay!

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Buyer Beware

Now I know what many of you are thinking when you read this. “How can I ensure I’m not getting a counterfeit bag?”. That is an excellent question, and one I ask myself all the time when looking at designer bags on E-bay. The saying, “If it is too good to be true, it probably isn’t” is especially true for buying designer bags on E-Bay. If the price just seems too low, don’t go for it. It is low for a reason (and not a good one). If you are looking at a bag that has been around for several seasons, there should be several auctions for the same bag. Are they all priced similarly? If they are, that is a good indication that you are buying the real thing.  If you are really concerned, make sure that the seller offers refunds, and you can take the bag to your local store that sells the bag to have it authenticated. 

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Pictures are Everything

When it comes to buying a bag on Ebay, good quality pictures can make or break my decision. Are there multiple pictures of the bag? Is the bag in good shape? Are there close-up pictures of the bag that show the serial number? Even better, is there a picture of the authenticity card or the original receipt? If you see all of these things, then you increase your chances that you are buying a genuine, designer bag. If there is only a single picture, and it isn’t even representative of the bag you are considering buying, stay away from it.

Petite Fashion and Style Blog | Madison & Berkley Laced Sleeve Sweater | Express High Waisted Straight Ankle Jeans | Steve Madden Stecy Heels | Louis Vuitton Pochette Mettis Bag | Click to Read More...

Petite Fashion and Style Blog | Madison & Berkley Laced Sleeve Sweater | Express High Waisted Straight Ankle Jeans | Steve Madden Stecy Heels | Louis Vuitton Pochette Mettis Bag | Click to Read More...

Buy Local

When I say buy local, I mean keep it in the United States (or the country where you live). There are so many sellers in countries such as Germany and Japan, but they don’t usually offer returns, and there is little recourse for purchasing a counterfeit bag. With so many sellers in the United States, that I can usually find a pretty good selection. There are plenty of E-bay “Stores” that sell designer bags, but even those bags tend to be higher priced. I’ve had the best luck purchasing from individual sellers who are selling a bag they no longer want. I haven’t been deterred by someone who has few reviews (as long as they are positive). I do want to buy from someone that has been on E-bay for a relatively long period of time. As long as they have detailed pictures and offer a guarantee of authenticity, I have found it is usually safe. They usually keep the receipt too. 

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Choose Buy it Now When You Can

I much prefer the “Buy it Now” auctions over auctions where I have to place a bid. More often than not, I end up in a bidding war and I pay more than I want to. Or I’m busy when it is time to put in a final bid. By choosing a buy it now auction I know exactly what I am going to pay. Often times there is a “Make Offer” option, and I will make an offer that is usually $100-$150 lower than the buy it now price. More often than not my offer is accepted.

Petite Fashion and Style Blog | Madison & Berkley Laced Sleeve Sweater | Express High Waisted Straight Ankle Jeans | Steve Madden Stecy Heels | Louis Vuitton Pochette Mettis Bag | Click to Read More...

Louis Vuitton Pochette Mettis Bag

I had wanted the Louis Vuitton Pochette Mettis Bag for the last two years. When I was finally ready to buy it, much to my dismay it was unavailable from Louis Vuitton. What was I going to do? There was no other Louis that were appealing to me, and I had my heart set on this bag. Because this bag was not longer being sold, there were plenty on E-bay, but many were being offered at a price significantly higher than the retail price. I put a bid on one, only to find that I was going to have to pay significantly over retail price if I wanted to have it. I found a small individual seller who was offering the bag (see the original listing here) very close to the retail price. Her reviews were good and her pictures were detailed, so I placed a bid and won the auction! When the bag finally arrived, I couldn’t be more pleased. Shipping was prompt and the bag came as stated, with the original dust bag and original tags. And the bag was as good as new!

Petite Fashion and Style Blog | Madison & Berkley Laced Sleeve Sweater | Express High Waisted Straight Ankle Jeans | Steve Madden Stecy Heels | Louis Vuitton Pochette Mettis Bag | Click to Read More...

In Summary

  • E-bay is a great place to buy a designer bag, and often is the first place I look when deciding to purchase one.
  • Buy bags that have been around for multiple seasons, as you are more likely to have a good selection to choose from.
  • Expect to pay a reasonable, fair price for a designer bag. It shouldn’t be significantly less expensive than the retail price (but at least a little lower).
  • Pictures are everything. Look for auctions with many detailed pictures, including the original receipt and/or original box.
  • Choose “Buy it Now” when you can. If you can make an offer, do so, but make it reasonable. You don’t want to insult the person.
  • Buy local. If you are in the United States, stick to US based sellers. Small, individual sellers can be a great resource for designer bags.

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14 thoughts on “How to Buy a Designer Bag on E-Bay…

  1. These are such great tips! I remember buying and selling designer bags on eBay 10+ years ago and they had no authentication processes so too many fakes were being bought and sold. Glad the times have changed some!!

  2. I love this bag!! If I am able to get another LV I would choose this one! It’s so pretty and classy! I always get nervous about buying bags on eBay but you make some good points on how it could be a great place to look for a designer ha s last lonv as you know what to look for! Thanks for the tips!

    XO, Steph a a

  3. These are some seriously helpful tips. I have yet to own a designer bag, because I’m so stingy with my money, but this sounds like a really creative way to save money and still get a beautiful handbag. Thanks for sharing your insight!