How to Buy Authentic Second-Hand Designer Bags with Confidence

Buying a second-hand designer bag is one of the easiest and smartest ways to get the bag you want without putting a serious dent in your bank account. As long as the previous owner has taken good care of the item, it will look just as good on your shoulder as one that’s brand new. There are so many great luxury items that make good sense to buy used: cars, watches and jewellery, and designer bags. When it comes to high-end bags, we love them, we want them, we admire celebrities wearing them, and every so often we browse the net to check out prices. However, you may not want to spend thousands of dollars. There is a simple solution to this problem: Buy your dream bag second-hand. A well cared for luxury purse or briefcase can last for many years and will look just as good on you as one that came directly from a store. 

Smart Kijiji shoppers know that when it comes to buying anything designer, it’s important to know the markers of a genuine item. To help make sure you buy a real designer item, here are a few tips on what to look for in a used bag and what to ask the seller before you buy.

Look for the “Obvious” Clues First
  • Check for spelling! Knock-offs sometimes spell a word incorrectly and if you’re not looking carefully, it’s easy to miss.
  • Take a sniff! Designers use real leather. Real leather smells like leather. You shouldn’t smell glue, rubber, or any other synthetic materials no matter how used the bag is.
  • Take a close look! Genuine handbags have a consistent colouration throughout the bag, and if it’s a printed bag or one with a logo, they should be consistent throughout the bag. Also, the stitching on designer bags is almost always with real stitches, not glue or other adhesives.
  • Don’t forget about the hardware! Genuine handbags use quality metal for their hardware so there shouldn’t be severe rusting or discolouration. Any sign of deep damage could be a big hint that the bag isn’t authentic.

Know Your Bag Inside and Out
Before you purchase the second-hand bag, go to a store that sells verified new handbags and take a look at the details. Don’t be afraid to get handsy. Get a good feel of the leather, the weight of the bag, and the smoothness of the stitching and lining so you can compare it to the second-hand bag you find online. 

Be Realistic About Pricing
A true, genuine bag (even a second-hand designer bag) will be expensive. If someone is offering a high-end bag for a couple hundred dollars when the real bag retails for a few thousand dollars, that’s a huge red flag. It may be tempting to seize a deal but in this case, the old adage “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is” fits the situation.

Get the Proof
Ask the seller for proof of purchase or a card of authenticity that’s included with the bag when it was originally purchased.

So with a little bit of due diligence, you can have the bag of a lifetime on your shoulder in no time. Happy shopping!
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