Shortcut to Chanel

My bag sold to me by ! Photo credit:

My bag sold to me by ! Photo credit:

True fashionistas know that A list designer bags rarely go on sale…especially the classics. Louis Vuitton does not have a bag clearance rack, nor does Hermes, or Chanel. When someone tells you they got a deal on a NEW bag from the coveted top tier of handbag designers they either A) are full of monogrammed shit or B)got swindled by someone passing off a fake as the real McCoy. The only way to get a steal on the Mercedes of bags is the way you get a steal on an actual Mercedes…CPO…certified pre-owned.

Second hand designer merchandise is all the rage, and more people are getting their designer duds this way than they would want you to believe. I, myself, have no shame in sharing that the Chanel bag I am often photographed with was acquired this way. Just the other week Tamra Barney complimented my Chanel Madison limited edition handbag and I shot back “Second hand.” Why am I so quick to quip back that my silver chain trimmed baby wasn’t picked straight from the shelves of the boutique? Perhaps it’s the shame in the cost of these things new (used is still embarrassingly expensive enough). In these days of economic strife, plunking down thousands of dollars on a handbag is almost sinful…yet we are compelled, many of us, to do such a thing.

Now, let’s not all get pissy in the comment section of this post. In no way am I suggesting that you put a mortgage payment down on a purse, I’m only saying that, if you really really want one there is a way to make it hurt a little less. Here are my guidelines for purchasing a REAL designer bag for less money.

1. Don’t expect to pay bargain basement prices for the upper echelon of bags. Even a pre-owned Chanel, Goyard, or Hermes will most likely run you above the thousand dollar mark. Less than buying new, absolutely, but cheap? Not by any means.

2. Be careful on Ebay. Tricky language can have sellers making you think a bag is real only for you to find out it isn’t. If you are going to use Ebay, check the seller’s feedback and don’t purchase without the ability to return.

3.Get the bag authenticated. There are several sites that will do this for a nominal fee. If certain pictures are provided an expert can tell you “Go for it!” or “Buyer beware”. Two very popular bag authentication sites are and . I used Carol to authenticate my Chanel. Her prices are very reasonable and she is very friendly. If your seller balks at the idea of you authenticating…RUN, don’t walk, away from that deal!

4. Go to a second hand store or internet shop that specializes in designer resale. Businesses like these stand by their products and often know their sellers. I recommend . Diane Duckett, owner of the website, sold me my bag a couple of years ago. Diane has a passion and eye for great designer resale and is a pleasure to work with.

5. Most important…if a deal seems too good to be true, most likely it is. Designer bags retain a lot of value, and unless you know someone who loves you and wants to practically gift you their previously loved duds at a JC Penney’s price, getting the REAL thing for cheap probably won’t happen.

Bottom line, if you don’t have the money or the desire to spend a ridiculous amount on a handbag, go to Coach. They are designer, but won’t break the bank. If you are ready to spring for your top level designer bag, second hand will help take some of the sting out of it! Happy shopping…

Which Housewife is not ashamed to admit she does second hand designer?


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