Maybe you are a handbag addict and need to get some cash to fuel your next investment, or maybe have a bag in your closet that you haven't been using. Whatever the reason may be, it’s always a good idea to purge the old and make room for the new! Keeping true to our values here at The-Collectory, we want to make sure you get the most money back when you decide to sell a piece of your handbag collection. After all, this is one of the cornerstones of Smart Luxury.
In this guide, we will go over the most popular selling channels, how to create a listing, and other things you should look out for - all to make sure you can sell your bag in the easiest, safest, and most rewarding way.
The first decision that you need to make when starting this process is where you wish to sell your item. Since some channels will require you to put in more effort than others, and some will provide you with a higher profit on your sale, it is important for you to understand what your options are.
The rise of online marketplaces has revolutionized the concept of buying and selling luxury goods as it has allowed for millions of people to resell their items. There are many different options to consider when you find yourself ready to sell, and making the best choice will all depend on what works best for your needs. Ask yourself how much work you are willing to put in and how much money are you hoping to get from your sale.
The RealReal & Fashionphile
If you are looking for a business that will do the work for you, the best options are Fashionphile and The RealReal. The great thing about these services is that they do all the heavy lifting, from taking pictures to finding a buyer. The downside is the high fees associated with the whole process, which range from 30% to 40% of the sale. Also keep in mind that they determine the sale price for you, which is usually far below the market price.
If you are looking for a place where you can get the most money, and you don’t mind putting more of an effort, then one of your best options is eBay. eBay has very low fees compared to other platforms. With a 10% platform fee plus a 2.9% transfer fee, it remains as one of the most efficient tools to sell your handbag. The downside is that there is a large amount of scammers disguised as buyers. If you are comfortable at navigating the risk and avoiding scammers, eBay might be for you.
Tradesy is the eBay for fashion lovers. As opposed to eBay, the amount of scammers is very low due to their trust team, who do a great job at screening their users. Tradesy also offers an authentication service for free that allows you to make sure the bag is authentic when buying on their platform. Unfortunately, they have recently adjusted their commission fees to 19.8% on top of their 2.9% transfer fee.
Remember that there is also the ‘do it yourself’ option, which would include reaching out to your personal network and handling the transaction via PayPal or some other payment gateway. This takes the most effort, but we have seen great success from our clients who use social media to advertise their bag. This of course has the potential to getting the most cash out of your sale, and should be a safe option if you happen to know or have friends in common with your buyer. However, this takes a lot of work and a lot hustling, which is why most people avoid it. In addition, if you don’t know or have references of the buyer, the risk level goes through the roof, as you have no safety net if things go sour.
The best way to determine what a pre-loved bag should sell for is to see the price of what similar bags sold for. Ideally, you want to look at the same market you are selling on and make sure it’s the same brand, style, color and in the same condition as your own item. Most reselling venues give you the option to search for completed and sold listings. In addition, you can quickly search on Google Shopping to see a variety of listings across different platforms. You’ll quickly realize that the price you know the bag retails for often doesn't have any bearing on its resale price. If it’s a sold-out or in-demand piece, it can usually go above its retail value - that’s the whole idea behind the economics of Smart Luxury. Finally, when pricing your handbag, remember to factor the fees that the sale service will take from the final sale price of your bag, as well the shipping and any other costs.
To get the most out of your sale, be sure to do some prep work and prepare a killer listing. This is the ad for you bag and you want to make sure the pictures and the listing copy are attractive to the buyer.
Prepare Your Handbag
Depending on the condition of your bag, you might want to start by researching on how to clean it up. Even dusting it up often goes a long way, but you'll be surprised by how much information you'll find online about how to care and clean up your designer handbag. Youtube is a great resource if you want to learn some best practices. If you do realize your bag needs to be cleaned remember that now is not the time to experiment. You are dealing with a luxury item so make sure to be extra careful.
One thing I often notice that people tend to dismiss is how to keep the shape of their handbags. Before taking any pictures, be sure to stuff it up in order for the shape to reflect. You can use anything that can do the job like scarfs, clothes, or bubble wrap. Keep in mind that the better it looks, the more it will be worth.
Photograph In The Best Light
A picture is worth a thousand words… and a great picture is worth cash money. Since your buyer most likely won't see the bag in person before buying, pictures is how they will fall in love. Just like Airbnb listings with great pictures are booked more frequently and for a higher price, the same applies to luxury handbags.
In order to get the best pictures, a few things are essential. First, natural light is your best friend. I highly discourage taking pictures at night and using lamps for light. And for the love of all that is holy, do not even think of using flash! The best thing you can do is position your handbag near the window to get the best lighting. Furthermore, a good camera goes a long way but it is not absolutely necessary. Nowadays, your smartphone will suffice. Finally, the more pictures, the more credible your listing will be and the more authentic your handbag will look.
Wordsmith The Listing
If you're selling the bag directly to an individual buyer, what you write in your listing helps determine who will be able to find your bag. Not only is it important to include the name of the brand and the design itself, but using a couple descriptive terms will help buyers who aren't as well-versed in handbag jargon find your item. Make sure to mention any attribute you would use to describe the bag to a friend. A lot of times, we see buyers searching for handbags without knowing the proper name, however, they saw the bag on Instagram or a magazine and they can only search for it using descriptive terms. For example, using ‘ medium size tote with monogram pattern and leather straps’ to describe a Louis Vuitton Neverfull. Some other details to mention on the listing are the material, color, type of hardware (gold, silver etc) and measurements of the bag ( length, width, depth, strap drop.)
Customer service is queen when it comes to closing the deal. This is the best advice I can give you for nearly any human interaction - if you want a stranger to act in a way that is beneficial to you, try to anticipate what they would need in order to feel comfortable doing that. Empathize with the people who are about to give you money! After all, they are buying a luxury handbag - and therefore, they will appreciate luxury service. This entails being able to provide clear photos, answering questions in a timely manner, being receptive to any additional requests for more photos or proof of purchase and authenticity, and making sure to ship the bag when you say you will. If you do all that, then a great sale is in your future.
Enjoy The Ride
There is no reason why you shouldn't be able to enjoy this process. Most of our clients report back surprised about how much they enjoyed going through with the sale. Everybody loves being smart their investments, and if you dished out $2, $3, or $5K when you first bought your item, there is no better feeling than being able to recover that investment. In addition, along the way you will most likely connect with a lot of other people who are as passionate as you about luxury brands and fashion, and these people will only contribute and make your experience a better one.
Beware of Scammers
We can’t say this enough - be sure to watch out for scammers! While most buyers can be trusted, you never know when you might run into someone who tries to game the system by claiming the item was faulty, and then returns a fake or damaged item back to you - especially if it's a popular style. And remember that platforms and online services are very sympathetic towards buyers, but not so much towards sellers. We wrote a post titled How To Avoid Getting Scammed When Shopping Online, with lessons to protect buyers and sellers from online scams. If you still have doubts about your buyer, you can do the following:
When you engage in conversation with your buyer, be sure to verify their identity (you can try their social media and make sure it's real). When you prepare the package for shipping, go as far as videotaping it, making sure to start by filming the bag's date code, and then film through the packaging process until the box is sealed with tape. Finally, when you ship the item, be sure to ship ‘signature-required’ so their is a record that the buyer received their order.
At the end of the day, it is a matter of economics - does your supply meet somebody's demand? Your bag may or may not sell right away. If it doesn’t, try bringing the price down until you find the right price point, but do it wisely and do it carefully. Check on the bag every couple of weeks and reduce the price in small increments until it sells, while at the same time, keep an eye on similar listings to see if your price is attractive. If you’re in a rush to get rid of it or to get your money back however, by all means slash the price as low as you are willing to go. Make sure to have clear expectations of how much you are looking to earn, and be patient.
Supreme is a company that made its start in the 90’s catering the youth at large. Come 2017, Louis Vuitton creates headlines with the Fashion news of the century: Louis Vuitton is partnering with Supreme on a collaboration.
This is a cherished story written by one of our favorite clients about her love for Louis Vuitton. Her story is unique to all of us handbag lovers, as it highlights how one cherished piece can keep alive those very stories that will never be forgotten.