It’s no secret that I am a big proponent of selling handbags I’m no longer using. Not only do I want to prevent my bags from developing a layer of dust, but I like to use the funds from my sale to purchase new bags. I am a firm believer that bags are meant to be used and loved, so when I no longer find myself reaching for a handbag, I know it’s time to think about releasing it into the wild.

I recently sold my Louis Vuitton Marignan, and I have been seriously contemplating selling my Gucci Marmont camera bag. If you’ve never sold a designer bag but are interested in the process, I am breaking down my process for you. I have successfully sold several of my bags, so I hope this will help. These are some of the things that have worked for me personally in the past, but as always, make sure you do what’s best for you and your handbag collection.

Step 1

Take time to identify whether or not you are ready to say goodbye to a bag. This one may sound dramatic, but there is nothing worse than selling a handbag and having seller’s remorse. Take it from me, I sold a beautiful purple Coach bag for a mere $100 in 2013 and I still have regrets over it. For example, I mentioned I am thinking about selling my Gucci handbag…but I have yet to pull the trigger. Since I’m thinking about it, I will ask myself the following questions:

• When is the last time you wore this handbag? Has it been over 6 months?
• If you haven’t worn this bag in awhile, are you excited to put it on and wear it today?
• Do you have any similar bags in your collection that you reach for more?
• Does this bag fill a unique void in your collection (a special color, a unique shape, a limited edition)?
• Is the design a fleeting trend that you are no longer excited about?
• Are you worried about damaging the bag and that is why you tend not to wear it?

These questions help me identify when it is time to let a bag go. For instance, I was very attached to my Louis Vuitton Marignan, but I was constantly reaching for my Pochette Métis instead. I was also extremely worried about damaging the corners, and it had been months since I wore it. For those reasons, I knew it was time to let it go. Although I had purchased the bag in Paris and it held sentimental value, I haven’t missed that bag since I sold it in December and I have zero regrets in my decision to sell it.

Step 2

Okay, you’ve determined that you are ready to sell. What’s next? If you’ve never sold a designer handbag before, it can be an overwhelming process to identify the best place to sell your bag and get the most money. In my experience, you will almost always lose money when selling a bag, so be prepared. Some designers hold their value better than others, particularly Louis Vuitton (at least in my experience), but it will vary by design and demand on the resale market. I sold my Damier Ebène Neverfull earlier in the year and was pleasantly surprised by how much I was able to get for it, so you never know how much you could get if you don’t ask for a quote.

There are many avenues to selling a designer bag, my best advice is to do a lot of research before selecting a place to sell. Unfortunately, there are many people who will try to buy your bag and scam you. I don’t say that to scare you off from selling your bags, but more to implore you to do your research and protect yourself. I personally have had my fair share of eBay nightmares and read far too many tales of difficult buyers to risk selling my premier designer bags to someone who may claim fake. In fact, I had an eBay buyer claim a Marc Jacobs Groovee bag I sold them was fake years ago. The bag was 100% authentic and the unpleasant experience made me realize the importance of protecting myself as a seller. The eBay forum is an excellent resource for anyone thinking about selling online, there are so many informative threads. The threads aren’t limited to eBay alone, there are hundreds of topics about selling through different websites.

I personally choose to sell my bags for a smaller sum through third party websites like The RealReal and Fashionphile. Third party websites will typically give a smaller quote than if I were to sell to a buyer directly because they need to make a profit, but I’m totally fine with that. Although I make a smaller profit, it’s worth it for me to have the peace of mind that once they receive my bag and authenticate it, the liability of being scammed by a buyer is removed from the equation. Unfortunately, that is one of the dangers of selling online, but if you do your research there are ways to protect yourself.

Step 3

Once you decide where you are going to sell your handbag, taking really high quality photos of your bag is imperative. I always make sure to take photos during the day or under a bright light so that the condition of the bag is clear in the images. I take photos of the interior, exterior, hardware, handles, and most importantly, the corners. Do you have pets or smoke? Does your handbag have a perfume odor? Do you have the original dust bag or box? These are things you will want to disclose when selling your bag. Being transparent about the condition of your bag is very important, especially if you are selling directly to a buyer who won’t be able to inspect it before purchase.

As I mentioned, I like to sell through a third party vendor to eliminate my seller’s risk. My past few transactions have been through Fashionphile and I really like their system because I send them photos of my handbag and they send over a free quote within a few days. Once I receive the quote, I can decide if I want to ship it to them or not. They provide a shipping label, so all I have to do is put the bag in the mail if I want to go through with the transaction. They also offer direct deposit, so payment is very quick once they receive my handbag. You can opt to consign with them as well rather than sell directly, which is a nice option if you are hoping to get a little bit more money for your bag.

Once I get a paycheck from selling my handbag, it’s time to find another bag to replace it— ah the beauty of selling!

I hope this was helpful, especially for anyone who has been thinking about selling but was not sure where to begin. If you sell your bags often, do you do anything differently than me? I’d love to swap handbag selling tips!

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