[updated July 2020]
There aren't many fashion brands who won't let you buy their bags online at this point—even Hermès has answered the siren song of online retail—but Chanel remains one of the lone holdouts. Although the French handbag powerhouse has taken to releasing increasingly long and elaborate handbag lookbooks each season, you still have to march yourself into one of the company's relatively scarce boutiques in order to obtain a brand new bag. Which in today's climate, is not possible for many. If "brand new" isn't the important part of that sentence for you, though, we may be able to help.
Over the past few years, the market for online sales of pre-owned designer merchandise (and especially things that don't have to be sized according to the purchaser's body, like bags) has exploded, and with it has come new ways to get your hands on bags otherwise only available at brick-and-mortar stores. Depending on whether you're most interested in price, selection or the ease of the overall experience, there's probably at least one website or service that can get you exactly what you want. Check out our breakdown of the biggest Chanel bag selections online, below.
If you liked this guide, we've also got other Chanel guides like our Ultimate Bag Guide to the Chanel 19, and our International Price Guide to the Chanel Flap Bag. Read up and go forth with confidence toward your new Chanel bag!
Shop Chanel Bags via Fashionphile
Fashionphile has a wide selection ranging from unique vintage to collectible special editions with a good number of bags being new with tags or gently used in excellent condition. Even though they aren't the cheapest reseller on the web, you can still walk away with a great deal on a solid bag that you know will be in good shape. They also offer "Fashionphile Reserve" on certain items, which is essentially a layaway program. If the item is eligible you can reserve it with a certain amount down and make payments over sixty days. After you've completed all your installments they send the bag off to its new home! So to sum it all up, if you're looking for security while shopping secondhand, with flexible payment options, they have plenty to offer.
eBay is the internet's single largest source of pre-owned designer bags, period, and it's currently home to thousands of listings for Chanel bags. If price is your biggest concern, eBay is likely your best bet to find the lowest prices since the auction service takes a much smaller cut of the overall sale price than consignment or other resale websites do, which, along with the decentralized listing process, can help keep things reasonable.
The downside of eBay designer bag shopping is the bags are not checked by a third party for authenticity before they're listed, so it's even more important to be an informed consumer than it is on other types of resale sites. There are a ton of real bags on eBay, though, and as long as you educate yourself, you can scoop one up for a great price. If you're wary of a listing that seems too good to be true or you have your eye on something and want some extra assurance, you can post an authentication request in our Chanel subforum on the PurseForum.
Shopbop deals almost exclusively in brand new, contemporary clothing, bags and shoes, but through vintage powerhouse What Goes Around Comes Around, it also lists a selection of previously owned bags from a handful of super-popular brands, and Chanel is chief among them. The upside of Shopbop is WGACA authenticates its stock and tends to carefully edit its selection to focus on bags that will translate well to current wardrobes, so you get the cream of the crop. Also, you can return your bag if you don't like it, just like anything else on the site. The disadvantage is that you pay a premium for that assurance and convenience, so the most dedicated deal hunters may prefer other avenues.
Rebag has definitely come a long way in the last couple of years, known for their poppy advertising and rainbow walls of Birkins, its pretty safe to say they have something for everyone. They are one of the more affordable resellers in my opinion, and I have definitely spotted some tempting deals on their site. They have a great selection of vintage Chanel, like the coveted XL hardware flaps and a fair amount of seasonal styles if you are looking for something a bit different. As far as modern classic flaps go, their range is a bit limited, mostly black lambskin. So if you're looking for a special color or material you may have to check their site frequently or sign up for email alerts. They also have a pretty good trade in program if you're willing to take a store credit.
Shop Chanel Bags via farfetch.com
In case you're not familiar with farfetch.com, the premise is pretty cool: the website aggregates the online inventories of and coordinates shipping and returns for the world's best independent boutiques, which means their website has a fantastically broad selection of mostly new merchandise. Though in the last couple of years, farfetch.com has been beefing up its stock from vintage-focused retailers, and that now includes Chanel bags from boutiques in the US, Europe and Asia, including some rare bags and runway pieces in addition to the crowd-pleasing flaps and totes. Each boutique sets its own prices, though, which means how much you'll have to pay can vary widely depending on the boutique and where it is relative to your shipping address.
Shop Chanel Bags via The RealReal
The RealReal is a true online consignment shop. Sellers can send in multiple items at a time from their closets to be approved for sale. Once approved, and authenticated the items are priced, photographed and listed for sale, making the process relatively seamless for sellers. Similar to eBay, buyers can sift through a multitude of bags, though the items are not bought through a seller directly. Because TRR has control over pricing items and not the seller, you can find some relatively good deals. The site also offers a financing option through affirm, so if monthly payments are essential to your pre-loved purchase, this is a way to go.
Shop Chanel Bags via StockX
StockX is unlike other resale sites. The company started as a spot for streetwear fanatics to buy and sell the best rare, new-condition streetwear and sneaker releases. They then expanded to facilitate the buying and selling of luxury handbags and accessories with a system that allows sellers to ask a certain price, but buyers can also bid on items to get the deal that they want. StockX has a large catalog of pre-owned luxury goods, many of which are sold out in stores and are often rare and hard to find. They also boast an impressive authentication process. For more see our guide to buying your dream bag via Stockx here.
Shop Chanel Bags via Vestiaire Collective
Vestiaire Collective is one of the biggest of a crop of designer-oriented resale sites that are essentially looking to provide lots of people the opportunity to buy and sell designer goods in a mostly decentralized way, but with a more high-end feel and a more explicit promise of authenticity than eBay. Like eBay, the stock is only restricted by what's in anyone's closet at any given time, so there are gems and rarities to be found, and the wide availability of the brand's classic bags is good for price shoppers.
Unfortunately, the photo quality can vary a lot, which is disappointing for a premium service. The site includes tens of thousands of Chanel bag listings, though, which makes it an excellent spot to search for the runway rarity that's been in the back of your mind for 10 years. VC also allows shoppers to make an offer instead of only allowing a purchase to be made on a non-negotiable price, so you may luck out if the bag you're eyeing has been hanging around a while.