Feature Image Credit – JacquardFlower
As I stated in my Introductory Chanel blog post, I decided to go down the less traditional route of buying my first ever Chanel bag and go via the preloved market. This blog post will be my experiences with this, along with pitfalls that you, as a reader, may experience.
What is the Preloved Designer Market?
As simple as the title says, its a specialised market for the reselling of designer goods. Along with other big names like Fashionphile and Rewind Vintage, Vestiaire Collective has been named the leading online retailer in this industry.
What brands like Vestiaire and Fashionphile do is they have a very rigorous quality checking system so that you, as the consumer, can be sure that your bag/designer good is authentic and you’re not being sold fake or replica items. As you’re paying upwards of hundreds of pounds – going into tens of thousands in regards to brands like Hermes and Chanel – you want to know that you aren’t being tricked. Sites like ebay don’t simply offer this protection for you as a consumer.
The preloved market can also be the place to get hard-to-find pieces that you can’t find in boutiques or online retailers like Selfridges or Nordstrum. This could be due to the fact that the piece in question is either limited edition or that it’s no longer in production.
The preloved market also is known to sell items for a cheaper price – just due to the fact they are second hand. For example, a Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM on the official LV website goes for £965 (March 2018 price) whereas, on the Vestiaire Collective app, there’s currently a second-hand version going for £561. (This is a very well-worn bag with some interior marks so that wear-and-tear does bring the price down)
All in all, the online preloved market is something to look at, especially when buying an expensive bag.
Why I bought my Chanel Jumbo Online?
As shown, there are a lot of positive for the world of online shopping. And when I decided to buy my first Chanel Bag, it came down to the fact that:
- I couldn’t get to London to buy a Chanel bag in person – Chanel don’t offer online shopping for their bags and I live about 6 hours from London on the train.
- I didn’t want to spend all my money on buying one bag when I could have my dream bag, and have some savings.
- I was curious about the online market – and heard good reviews about buying on the Vestiaire Collective.
My Buying Process.
As I said in my previous post, I spent such a long time deciding what bag I wanted. After finally deciding upon a Jumbo in Cavier with Silver Hardware, I took the website and my app and spent about a week avidly scouring the Chanel section of the website.
Top Tip I used – Having alerts pinged straight from my phone every day helped me immensely. I had ‘Chanel Classic Flap’ ‘Chanel Jumbo’ and ‘Chanel Bag’ sent to me every time something like that was uploaded to the website, so I felt that I could have one of the first viewings on the item before somebody else.
Sometimes you can get bogged down when you are going through the site. There is so much to look at and read, but what I found that you need to look at are:
Handy Pointers to Look For
The seller – Having them registered as a Trusted Profile is good when it comes to buying from them. You know they’ve got a good history with selling (such as their products go through quality control, they respond well to comments etc)
The description – Sometimes these descriptions have to be read a few times, as the image they supply with it may not match up with the description e.g colours/hardware. Another thing to note is if they supply dimensions of the bag. For me, when I was finding out my Chanel Jumbo – I didn’t want to get fooled into buying a Medium Large for Jumbo prices. Make sure you know the dimensions of your desired bag beforehand.
The seller’s location – For me living in the UK, I found this to be indispensable as getting something sent over from say the US, to France (where the Vestiaire Collective is based) to get authenticated and then sent to you can incur a lot of tax/custom charges. I remember looking at a Chanel Jumbo from the US, and for me to get it – the taxes would be an extra £500 on top of the price. That was insane. So, I recommend you either buy it from your own country or one that wouldn’t incur a lot of shipping.
The comment section – A lot of questions that you may have may have been already answered. Especially when it comes to what the items are shipped with.
The condition – I bought my Chanel in ‘Very Good Condition’ and when I do my full review, I shall remark on what was sent to me. But this can help when it comes to your decision making. As buying these things online, you’ve got to trust the seller as pictures can only show so much.
Whether it’s Ready to Ship – A very handy little detail if you’re not wanting to wait for it to be authenticated. These items already have been checked over and can be sent straight out to you.
Back to My Story
So after picking my bag, I paid for it and awaited shipping. Obviously, the seller is alerted to the fact that I paid for it, but it isn’t a factory line of processing. You as the buyer have to wait for the seller to ship it out. However, the Vestiaire Collective do send reminders out and if you don’t get your goods sent to the Vestiaire Collective within 30 days, you do get a refund.
I was lucky and bought mine on a Sunday, and by the Tuesday it had been received by the Vestiaire Collective for Quality Control.
Now comes the nerve-wracking bit. Waiting for authentication. I was very lucky and go my bag authenticated the day it arrived and it was sent out the very same day. However, every order is different and waiting times/shipping times can be up to a week (I’ve heard).
I had my shipped to me via DHL and given a tracking number so I could watch every stage of it being sent out. I finally received my bag on the Thursday afternoon, and was incredibly impressed by the speed. The bag was shipped in a Chanel box (supplied by the shipper) with a Vestiaire Collective leaflet/receipt and returns policy. Attached to the bag was also a Quality Control tag showing who had checked it over/what date and with a stamp. I’ve kept this in the bag, as I found it a very interesting addition.
All in all, my experience with buying my first Chanel bag from the Vestiaire Collective was a very positive experience. I didn’t have to wait long, or have any massive hiccups during the buying process (unlike when I bought from Louis Vuitton). But as I’ve heard both good/bad reviews of this brand, I’m curious to see what you thought of it? Let me know.
My next Chanel inspired post will be my four month review on the bag, and I’ll be getting into all the nitty-gritty parts for any curious readers.