5 Online Shops to Score an It-Bag Without Going Broke
An It-bag can elevate any outfit instantly, which is why investing in your dream purse is completely justifiable in our book. Perennial classics, like the Hermes Birkin, Dior saddle bag, or Chanel flap bag may never go out of style — but they never go on sale either. But, thanks to the flourishing resale market, you can now nab a previously-loved, new-to-you handbag at a price that won’t completely blow your budget. Read on to learn how to score some of the most exclusive luxury purses at a much more affordable price with the help of online retailers ModeSens, eBay, Rebag, Vestiaire Collective, and The RealReal.
What they do best: Just like using Kayak or Travelocity to book budget vacations, ModeSens scouts the best possible prices from hundreds of luxury retailers worldwide. “We aggregate product from hundreds of luxury stores into one place, so it’s easy to see who carries a particular product, at what price, size, color, etc.,” says Krystle Craycraft, chief merchandising officer of ModeSens. “We handle the research and leave it to our members to decide which store is the best option for them based on their individual preferences.”
What to look for: If there’s a specific style you’re after, you can track its price to find the most competitive deal before making the investment. When you’re browsing, the site’s filters let you see all available stock tailored to your exact specifications in color, price, condition, and more.
When to shop: Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best times to shop the site’s latest updates and new additions, just after new merchandise drops and the team finishes their website updates.
What’s popular: Classic designers like Gucci, Loewe, and Prada are among the most consistent top-sellers on ModeSens. However, the site uses customer search analytics and sales data to identify up-and-coming designers and styles. J.W. Anderson and STAUD are two contemporary labels for trend-conscious shoppers to note.
Brit + Co. Pick: J.W. Anderson Disc Satchel Croc Embossed Leather Bag ($1,077+)
What they do best: “eBay’s breadth of inventory reflects everything from the latest trends to the hard-to-find,” says Renee Paradise, senior director of fashion at eBay. You can bid on everything from clutches to totes via third-party sellers at the popular online marketplace, where sales data reveal a handbag is purchased every six seconds. eBay is fab for finding new, rare, and vintage bags using broader search terms and saved searches. “One of my saved searches is Jerome Dreyfuss,” Paradise says. “I recently purchased a tie-dye wallet to go with a near-perfect Jerome Dreyfuss Jacques bag I bought for $200 versus more than its $1,000 retail price.”
What to look for: The site’s vetted section of authenticated luxury handbags protects you from purchasing fakes. You can find special sale events which have, in the past, included deals with fashion houses including Prada, Burberry, and Fendi, offering a limited stock of in-season styles for up to 30 percent off.
When to shop: New merchandise is updated by sellers daily, but you can tailor searches to monitor prices during off-peak times of the season. To get started, Paradise recommends using a simple search term, like “Chanel flap crossbody.” Then, narrow down your search results using the website’s filters for the price range, condition, and color.
What’s popular: “Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermes, Prada, Fendi, and Gucci are among the most popular designer bags sold on eBay, with 126 Gucci bags sold on eBay every day,” says Paradise. That being said, MCM and Loewe are the top-selling new designers trending on eBay RN, with a recent surge in searches for Virgil Abloh, Frances Valentine, and vintage Kate Spade.
Brit + Co. Pick: Prada Women’s Studded Cahier Leather Shoulder Bag ($1,540)
What they do best: This e-commerce destination buys and re-sells handbags straightaway, with no third-party seller necessary. “We accept a curated list of luxury brands, which we developed based on demand and resale value,” says Charles Gorra, founder and CEO of Rebag. The site reads market trends to halt and resume the purchase of certain designers and handbag styles to reflect the most up-to-date customer preferences.
What to look for: Expect to see authentic styles of handbags that are priced competitively from the get-go, without any future price-drops or fluctuations. If you don’t see a style you’re looking for, you can request stock in a particular model by adding it to your wish list.
When to shop: Without specific drop days or scheduled times, you can spot new styles at any time. Because Rebag never discounts their buys, the need for price-tracking is eliminated altogether. But if you add a sold-out bag to your wish list, their buyers are alerted to begin scouring the resale market per your specific request.
What’s popular: Rebag’s data is so current that it identifies increased demand for particular brands and styles. According to Gorra, the contemporary label Delvaux has remained in high demand, while the luxury houses like Chanel, Hermes, and Louis Vuitton are consistent best-sellers.
Brit + Co Pick: Chanel Valentine Crystal Hearts Flap Bag Quilted Lambskin ($2,965)
What they do best: At Vestiaire, preowned handbags are consigned daily. In exchange for access to its platform, Vestiare collects a fee from the seller’s earnings. This allows buyers to purchase a lightly used product at much more reasonable prices with access to merchandise from around the globe.
What to look for: In addition to the most coveted designers and trending bags, evergreen models that maintain a high resale value — such as Chanel and Hermes — are constantly being bought and sold on the site. If you’re even thinking of selling your bag one day, Vestiaire Collective’s co-founder Fanny Monzant suggests selecting a brand that retains its value.
When to shop: Patience is a virtue: Waiting until the end of the season to shop is the best time to purchase. Specifically, March and April, and then again in October and November, are the most effective months for finding really good deals.
What’s popular: Chanel and Hermes are consistently top sellers. “Gucci and Balenciaga are [also] very popular right now,” says Monzant. Streetwear labels Off-White and Supreme, which have gained major catwalk cache of late, are rising in popularity too.
Brit + Co Pick: Gucci Sylvie Leather Handbag ($1,620)
What they do best: The RealReal lists thousands of new consignment arrivals every day. Their resale prices take both the bag’s condition and relevance into consideration before expertly-assessing list prices. Competitive price-setting is part of their strategy to ensure stock rarely sticks around long enough to go on sale.
What to look for: Gucci, Prada, and Off-White are the top 2019 handbag trends so far. You’ll find everything from couture classics to the street style staples here.
When to shop: Updated at both 7 am and 4 pm PST daily, the consignment retailer is always listing resale bags at head-turning prices. You’ll want to act quickly, though, as trending styles of contemporary labels tend to get scooped up quicker than your average Louis.
What’s popular: “Our two with staying power are always Hermes and Louis Vuitton,” says Sasha Skoda, women’s category director at The RealReal. “Over the past couple of years, we have seen the demand for Gucci skyrocket to being the number one top searched designer on the site.” As an alternative to the luxury market, she names Danse Lente and STAUD as two notable contemporary names to shop.
Brit + Co Pick: Chloé Roy Bucket Bag ($777)
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