A few weeks ago, I announced I would never buy a full-price Chanel bag again. Around the same time, I came across this gorgeous Chanel Caviar Quilted Jumbo Single Flap in Black listed on Fashionphile. The bag was deemed in ‘Very Good’ condition, and included the original dust bag, authenticity card, and box.
I took a chance and ordered it on a whim. (Fashionphile offers a return policy and a six-month buy-back program, so I knew purchasing the bag wasn’t a serious risk.) To say I’m pleased with this perfect pre-loved pick is an understatement. Here’s everything you need to know.
Let’s start with the obvious: This is a Chanel bag, after all, which means many of the desired attributes associated with the brand are very much present in this specific bag – even though it’s approaching its 10th birthday. Luckily, the style and look of Chanel Classic Flaps haven’t changed all too much since they were first released, which is why buying a vintage, pre-loved version is a more affordable and sustainable choice.
As for this specific bag, the stunning grained caviar leather, the gorgeous stitching, and the pristine hardware are all intact. Though the bag was listed in ‘Very Good’ condition, I would argue it’s borderline ‘Excellent.’ With the exception of a single frayed stitch along the front flap, as well as some wear on the handles, this bag is pretty much pristine. And think about it: Walk into a boutique and purchase the same style for nearly $7,000 (which includes tax), while this older version was priced below $3,000 (it was 30 percent off when I purchased it).
I always feel stylish when I wear it, and I also appreciate the bag itself is quite subtle, especially compared to some of Chanel’s most recent releases. Featuring the class of any Chanel leather good, the bag can be easily dressed up or dressed down, making it one of the most versatile pieces in my collection.
Usability + Functionality
I can boil this down to three simple (and semi-controversial) words: Single Flap forever. Though the use of single flaps has been widely discontinued, I must say: A single flap is So. Much. More. Convenient. Given the bag features a trusty CC turn lock, I don’t see the need to add a secondary flap on the interior.
Regardless, given this bag is a much older model, it lacks today’s double-flap phenomenon. Day to day, it’s a lot easier to pull my wallet, keys, and other necessities in and out of the bag, especially when I’m in a hurry. Sometimes I find the double-flap presents an unnecessary challenge when retrieving items, especially if I’m rushed in a store or flustered at an appointment. Though this is not necessarily a dealbreaker, I much prefer Classic Flaps with one flap versus two –– AKA a definite pro for this oldie but goodie.
Otherwise, the functionality is on par with all other types of Chanel Classic Flaps on the market, both new and old. This version is larger than the medium, allowing me to fit quite a few items inside. I appreciate the bag’s thin appearance (despite its roomy interior), keeping it close to my body when worn over the shoulder. In the photos throughout this piece, you’d never know the bag is actually loaded with a full-size wallet, a set of keys, a makeup pouch, sunglasses, and some other small miscellaneous items. That’s a definite usability win to me.
Quality + Construction
When the bag arrived (in its original box and dust bag!), it was in even better condition than I expected! As I mentioned earlier, it was listed in ‘Very Good’ condition, however I’d say it’s practically in ‘Excellent.’ With the exception of a frayed stitch along the front flap, the bag is pristine. It has even maintained its shape quite well, without any side slouching.
Considering it is nearly 10 years old, it’s comforting to know the bag has remained in such incredible condition. Of course, the previous owner(s) clearly took care of it; however, I think it is also a testament to the incredible quality of the bag itself.
With constant discussion on tPF regarding Chanel’s increasing prices and declining quality, I can understand the outrage from longtime Chanel consumers who believe the craftsmanship has severely declined in recent years. The way this 2011 flap feels compared to my recently purchased 2019 medium version is striking. The 2011 version is unbelievably sturdy, while my 2019 one feels delicate and even significantly lighter compared to the older one. So long as you find a pre-loved Chanel in ‘Very Good’ or ‘Excellent’ condition, it behooves consumers to consider the consigned route when taking into account the quality compared to the price (i.e. excellent 2011 quality for around 60 percent below today’s retail price).
Price + Value
About a year ago, I asked the PurseBlog community whether or not it still made sense to purchase a brand-new Chanel Classic Flap Bag, despite the frequent price increases and debate on quality. The post was met with a great deal of chatter, with many readers saying I should purchase pre-loved Chanel versus dropping $5,600 (or more) on a flap at a boutique.
I purchased this 2011 version for just under $3,000 (a price which included tax). Most Wallet on Chains are more expensive than that! In stores, the Jumbo retails for $6,400 (after the recent price increase). Because I purchased on Fashionphile, which graces buyers with a 30-day return policy and a six-month buy-back program (which will give you a cash amount of around 70 percent of what you originally paid. Not a store credit!), I think I got an incredible deal on this bag, especially considering its condition and inclusion of an authenticity card, box, and dust bag.
Like it or not, I don’t see Chanel going anywhere anytime soon. Prices continue to rise, and I think that is a testament to the power the brand has over consumers.
No matter the season, the Jumbo Classic Flap Bag (and other Classic Flaps like it) are always available. And though most bags aren’t investments, the classic look of it, coupled with its impeccable condition, leads me to believe it’ll stay in style for a long time.
I’ll make this short: I’m thrilled with this purchase. It might be one of my best yet. I can’t say the same if I had purchased this full price, though. In that case, I think I’d feel nervous about using it, and disappointed that I had spent all that money on a bag.
At this point, I think if your heart is set on Chanel, it almost always makes sense to go the pre-loved route – just like I did with this 2011 Chanel Jumbo Classic Single Flap Bag. Are you eyeing any pre-loved bags at the moment?