Buying Designer Handbags New vs. Pre-Owned

Purchasing designer handbags is SCARY, but I’ve found that it’s usually a good idea to purchase preowned designer bags!

Whenever I hit a cool business goal or just want to treat myself for a holiday or birthday, I typically begin looking at designer bags. I think I’m truly the definition of a bag lady, so I love buying designer bags for the purpose of being practical. Yes, I actually USE my designer handbags every day! I’m proud of my small, yet classic assortment. After getting some good feedback from you on Instagram, I decided to do a round up of my designer bags + list pros & cons.

But for today, we’re going to talk about PRE-OWNED DESIGNER HANDBAGS!

buying at full price/in-store

If you’ve ever purchased a higher ticket item, you know that (usually) the experience is pretty much a portion of the price. At least that’s how I look at it. When you purchase in store, you get the full experience — the packaging, the feeling of a new baby, the accomplishment of saving up for something and to be able to pick it up in the store — and that’s worth a lot.

And to be honest, that’s the only thing I can actually think of when purchasing at full price. Totally my opinion, but I think buying second hand is not only smart, but also a better choice!

buying pre-owned

Saves YOU $$$ This is VERY much so the most obvious reason for going the pre-owned route. While it’s still typically an investment, I feel AWESOME when I snag a good deal on a bag I’ve been eyeing. The bags that I’ve purchased second hand are all in nearly perfect condition — so it’s almost like you cheated the system;)

Less nervous Naturally, you want to treat your bags like the princesses that they are. Right? While I definitely handle all of my bags with care, there’s nothing WORSE than the first scratch, scuff, spill, etc. on a new bag. NOTHING WORSE. Since most pre-owned bags have a couple of imperfections, I feel SLIGHTLY better when a little oopsie happens. (But still, make sure to handle your designer goods with LOVE…especially if you want to resell it in the future!)

Sustainable I think 2020 opened a lot of people’s eyes when it came to purchasing. Most of us were shopping for loungewear, not handbags. In addition to people looking EVERYWHERE for deals, they also want to do better things for the environment. It’s, unfortunately, no surprise that the fashion industry is one of the most polluting in the world. People are becoming more aware that extending the life of an item actually has a huge impact.

tips to remember

Only use trusted sites There is a HUGE counterfeit issue when it comes to designer goods, and scams left and right. Don’t just go and purchase anything from anywhere. I’ve now purchased two designer handbags from Fashionphile – a Saint Laurent Small Sac de Jour and a Chanel Gabrielle Medium Hobo – and have nothing but great things to say about my experience. Not only do I often find really great deals, but I also love that they have a 30-day return policy. This allows you to check out the piece you purchased, make sure it fits within your life (obviously can’t take the tags off!!), and make sure you really want to make that purchase. I’ve found that they’re definitely more fair when it comes to the price/condition ratio.

Research, research, research Even though I LOVE Fashionphile, I do spend time on other sites like The RealReal and Rebag. If you live in a city where you can stop into a boutique or pop up (NYC has both The RealReal & Rebag locations), I recommend that! I actually ALMOST purchased the Chanel from The RealReal — based on the images, the bag looked in pretty decent shape. I noticed it was actually available in the SoHo location, so I decided to pop in to see it in person. AND GUESS WHAT? It was in HORRIBLE condition. I’m SO happy it worked out, but it also gave me the chance to try on the bag in person before purchasing.

photos by allie provost

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 1.6.21
    Alissa said:

    I am a HUGE advocate of buying used luxury handbags! It’s sustainable and honestly I think it just makes more sense. I’ve never once felt like it was less meaningful and honestly once you find places you trust it’s easy.

    • 1.6.21

      YES! Aside from saving YOU money, it really is so much more sustainable. It’s relatively easy for me to purchase from Fashionphile…and yes! Agreed that it’s still a special purchased even if it’s pre-owned.


  2. 1.6.21
    Karla said:

    Love this! Love that you are so open about buying second hand. A few years back this was taboo. I usually do the real real and had NO CLUE fashionphile allowed returns!!! I will definitely add them to my apps

    • 1.6.21

      Thanks for the comment, Karla!! So crazy that it was almost a taboo topic…now I think getting luxury pieces secondhand is totally the way of the future!

  3. 5.24.22

    It’s good ideas for designer handbag