I love to online shop. Love it love it love it. I especially love to shop for handbags. You can dress up a $12 basic tee and look both glamorous and expensive alllll because of the right handbag.
Designer bags are a statement. They’re ultra luxurious. And also ultra expensive.
Unless you’re like me and cheap AF and OBSESS over finding the best deals. Which is exactly why eBay has become my latest fave shopping site for pre-loved designer handbags.
I recently posted on Instagram about my new (to me) Balenciaga Town bag that I bought pre-loved on eBay and I got so many questions about it. Everyone wanted to know who I bought it from, how much I paid, how I chose this bag.
I’ve decided to share my unsponsored real life love for eBay…and purses. Because I am seriously a crazy bag lady.
Scour for scuffs, scratches, & stains.
I’m all about shopping pre-loved (clearly), but not all pre-loved handbags are created equal. No matter the price, it’s not a good deal if the bag is damaged beyond reasonable repair.
Most listings on resale websites like eBay, Poshmark, Mercari, etc have plenty of photos. But if they don’t – ask for more. I typically like to see photos of:
- Front of bag
- Back of bag
- Bottom of bag
- Up close shots of handles and hardware
- Up close shots of inside lining
- Up close shots of zippers
- Up close shots of the tag or authenticity code/card
- At least one “mod” shot (modeling shot)
I’m so obsessive when shopping for a pre-loved bag. I’ll open up each and every photo, zoom in, scroll left and right and up and down hunting for any sign of a scuff, scratch, or stain. If anything does look awry I make sure to shoot the seller a message inquiring and potentially asking for an additional close-up photo.
Now is totally the time to be picky! Pre-loved doesn’t mean damaged.
That being said – learn to embrace the imperfections. When I was shopping for my Balenciaga I was so concerned about the slouchy look of the leather. After hours of online research I came to terms with the fact that, over time, any Balenciaga will get slouchy and soft. I made sure to scout out a nice, worn, buttery leather with plenty of character but zero damage.
Pre-loved typically means AMAZING discounts. If you’re like me and have champagne taste on a beer budget, shopping for a pre-loved designer bag is about to blow your mind.
On average you can save anywhere from 20%-70% off the retail price when shopping for a pre-loved designer handbag. Louis Vuitton Neverfulls that typically retail for $1,400 can be found for $700-$1,000. My Balenciaga retailed for $1,900 – I paid $400. The deal was so good it should’ve been illegal.
While you can get a good deal on plenty of sites, eBay really is the way to go. This post isn’t sponsored – it’s just the truth.
Other pre-loved sites like Poshmark and Mercari take a cut of sales, meaning the seller has to pad their price to account for this in order to make a decent sale. Because eBay takes less of a cut, the prices are typically way lower.
But back to the main tip.
The best way to evaluate if the listed price is fair is to compare to similar listings. I shopped around for Balenciaga Town bags for weeks. I started to notice that Balenciagas in newer and near perfect condition would run close to $1,000 while Balenciagas over 2 years old with a little wear ran in the $400-$600 range. The seller I bought from originally had the bag listed for $500, but thanks to my hours of shopping I was able to assess that because of the age of the bag – even though it is in great condition – there was room for negotiation.
So I negotiated. And bought my bag for 20% of the original retail price.
Learn to spot a fake – and authenticate.
The most common question I get when I talk about buying designer handbags on eBay is about fakes. People are crazy afraid of buying a counterfeit designer bag – and for good reason. eBay is absolutely home to plenty of fake bags, but it’s alllll about learning to spot the signs of a counterfeit and avoiding those listings like the plague.
The most commonly knocked off brands are Louis Vuitton and Chanel. Do your research. Each brand has tell tale signs that will help you spot a faux. Louis Vuitton, for example, is very particular about their monogram placement. You’ll rarely see uneven monograms or upside down monograms. A wonky monogram is the quickest way to call out a fake Louis.
For higher end designer brands like Louis or Chanel, I also recommend having the bag authenticated. For a small fee you can have trusted websites like Authenticate First or My Poupette authenticate a listing – even just via photos.
Trust me, peace of mind is worth the little extra cash.
My trusted eBay sellers.
Almost all of the best designer eBay sellers are in Japan. Japan is known for high quality resale items and counterfeiting is baaaasically considered a sin.
You go, Japan.
Some people are super secretive about their fave eBay sellers. Which is honestly stupid. I want ya’ll to have all the bags of your dreams. Some of my most trusted sellers are:
Blazer by Two Feathers // Jeans // Classic Vans
Happy shopping, babes! Definitely leave me a comment or send me a message if you end up buying any bags!
Totally living vicariously through ya’ll…
Have you ever shopped on eBay or purchased pre-loved? Tell me in the comments below!