It’s no secret that sustainability and second hand shopping are top of mind for many right now and that our society has seen a shift over the last few years in the direction of a more sustainable future. Let me preface this post by stating that I am in full support of the sustainability movement and try my best to be mindful and contribute where I can. I’m not an expert on sustainability, but I am really interested in the topic and try to learn as much as I can about it. This post is focused on my perspective of selling my handbags versus whether or not sustainability is a good thing (of course I believe it is!).
I’ve been reselling my handbags for over a decade and have always found that certain brands hold their value better than others. In my experience, Louis Vuitton was one of the brands that consistently held its value, one of the few I could count on to make a decent return and take a minimal hit when I sold off my beloved bag to a new home. In fact, some of the rarer Louis Vuittons even came at a premium. It’s one of the reasons I consistently purchase from Louis Vuitton to this day, if I were to grow tired of a bag, I could sell it for a decent price. That may no longer be true.
Last week I sent images and descriptions of two Louis Vuitton bags of mine to several well known luxury consignment websites for quotes. I should mention I have sold and purchased bags with two of the three sites I requested quotes from and have always been happy with the value of the transaction as a seller. Both bags I am currently interested in selling are excellently cared for, they have no signs of wear to the canvas or the interior lining. Both bags have vachetta handles and trim, and one of them has not yet even began to patina because it has been used so infrequently. When I send in the various requests for quotes, I don’t expect to get what I paid for them because I understand that resale websites need to make a profit, and I certainly account for that, but the quotes I received were very, very low (shockingly so).
This lead me down the path of asking myself what has changed? Shoppers are driven to live more sustainably. For years it seemed that people sold their bags to make a profit, not to lessen their carbon footprint, but not anymore. In order to be more environmentally friendly, shoppers are flocking to the resale market both to sell and to buy, which means there are more bags available on the resale market. It’s excellent because the resale market has more selection and variety than ever before, but it also means resale shops don’t have to give their sellers top dollar anymore. From a sustainability standpoint, I think this is fantastic, and as a frequent shopper on resale markets, I get it. There is nothing better than scoring a designer bag at a fraction of the cost, I’ve been the person on the buying end many times and take great joy in it from a fiscal and environmental standpoint.
However, I am now on the selling side and I feel torn. I’m having an internal dilemma. Do I sell my bags for less than a quarter of what I purchased them for or do I hold onto them and hope I will fall in love with them again? At a certain point it feels as though I am bag hoarding a bit, and I’ve added quite a few acquisitions to my collection recently, so I feel as though there is room to let a few go. It’s hard to take such a big hit, even when I know it’s likely the right thing to do.
For now I have decided to take some time to think about if I am okay with letting them go for such a low dollar amount and perhaps try again in a few months.