Love high fashion but scared of the price tag? We get it. The word ‘luxury’ can be intimidating. It’s easy to feel like luxury is out of reach and only available to the uber-wealthy or celebrities. That’s where Vestiaire Collective comes in. We believe that luxury handbags should be accessible. In this trusty guide, we will show you that there is a luxury bag that fits for your price range, especially when you shop second-hand with us. Because today, true luxury is about conscious shopping and making sustainable decisions to save the planet. Luxury comes in many shapes and sizes and even the humble tote bag can be elevated into a symbol of elegance and high quality, all while being practical for every day. With a little planning and research, you too can take a dive into circular fashion when you buy your first luxury handbag on Vestiaire Collective!
Buying a luxury handbag doesn’t mean sacrificing your life savings and it certainly shouldn’t put you in debt. The number one thing to do when you’re looking to purchase your first luxury handbag is to set a budget. It doesn’t sound so sexy or fun, but a budget is an important and empowering step in realising how to attain that gorgeous bag you’ve got your eye on. And the great news is your budget goes even further when you’re buying second-hand on Vestiaire Collective.
When you’ve figured out what you can realistically afford, you can start the fun part: browsing for models that are within your reach. If there is a particular brand that you know you love, begin your search with their most basic options, which are more likely to be lower in price. And remember to always be practical. The best bag is actually the one that you will use so don’t get a tiny, sequined clutch if what you really need is a bag for work.
Think of bags in terms of price per use, rather than the initial cost. If the bag you are buying is one you’ll use every day for many seasons, then it might end up being a great deal. If you can’t find something new that works within your budget, you should know that vintage models are also a great option. Vintage pieces can be just as lust-worthy as new designs but without the new bag price. It can be so satisfying when you find a one-of-a-kind bag that has been waiting just for you. Whether vintage or new, think about a luxury handbag as an investment. Higher quality pieces from well-known brands like Louis Vuitton and Chanel will likely last longer than fast fashion brands because the raw materials are of much higher quality and the construction is flawless. Instead of participating in the throwaway consumer culture, you can be a more conscious buyer by purchasing higher quality pieces second-hand. So, first thing’s first. Crunch the numbers and find your target price range. Then, browse the luxury handbags on Vestiaire Collection that match your budget!
When it comes to choosing your first luxury bag, it might feel safest to go with a cult-status item like the Birkin bag because you’ve heard they’re a great investment piece. The only problem is that so many people are after the legendary Birkin, so it could end up being out of your budget. Fear not. There are new bag brands out there that are becoming the new evergreens, like Telfar, ATP Atelier and Coperni. If you find a bag that you love and that suits your style, well, you’ve found a winner! It should actually feel liberating to not feel tied down to choosing between the all-time classic bags. There are plenty of handbags that exist that haven’t quite attained peak popularity yet, but surely will in time. Even some of what we consider classics now weren’t immediately popular. The most important criteria is that a bag is excellently crafted with excellent materials, and that you love it. Fashion trends come and go but your personal preferences will remain. Honour what you love. Perhaps you like the logo-trend that is having a resurgence right now. Maybe the trend is here to stay, maybe not, but as long as you personally are a fan you will always be happy with your bag. And in the end, fashion is cyclical, so every trend comes back around at some point. It’s always only a matter of time.
Shopping second-hand isn’t just for your Aunt Muriel anymore. In fact, second-hand is all the rage right now. More and more people are becoming aware of the environmental effects of consumerism and fast fashion and turning instead to second-hand platforms like Vestiaire Collective. This has led people to realize the great treasure chest that awaits them once they veer away from their usual high street shops. A circular fashion economy makes good sense for everyone involved. For the first-time luxury handbag buyer, the second-hand market is a great place to get their initial designer piece at a budget-friendly price. And the lower price means you can get another bag in the future when you’re ready for your second luxury bag.
Another benefit to shopping pre-loved items is that you’re more likely to find a really cool vintage piece, something one of a kind, or a bag that has been discontinued. Sometimes second-hand is the only way to get these items. Be aware that counterfeit handbags flood the internet so it’s really important to be sure you’re shopping at an authentic retailer. At Vestiaire, all the bags sold by our community undergo a rigorous authentication process so you can be sure what you’re paying for is the real deal. We can even send you email notifications to let you know when the bag you’re looking for is in stock. You don’t have to be wary of second-hand buying. It is a wonderful way to dip your toes into the world of fashion without paying the full price. Plus, it’s so much easier to browse many different styles and brands all at once. Embrace the new way of shopping with Vestiaire.
You’ve done it. You’ve made a budget, saved your money, researched all the handbag options available to you and finally made the plunge. Only now you don’t use your bucket bag quite as much as you thought you would. Or maybe you do, but you decided you’d like a pochette better. No worries. A major benefit of buying a designer bag is that it is made to last, so resale is always an option. And today, it’s super simple to do, too, thanks to the Vestiaire community. With over 10 million members around the globe and a lower commission rate than other resale sites, Vestiaire Collective will connect you with a buyer for your bag.
Participating in resale can help you have a circular wardrobe so that you are always able to freshen up your closet at little or no extra cost to you. There is no need to buy newly produced items every time. Pre-loved handbags are a major force in the modern day fashion economy. While we hope you will love your first luxury bag for a long time, you can rest assured knowing that there is always the back-up option of resale if another style catches your eye.
An important factor in choosing a handbag is how you are going to use it. A bag will do no good sitting in your closet if you choose a bag that isn’t suited to your lifestyle. Imagine where you will wear your bag. Is it to work, to school, or to social events (...when they come back...)? Think about how you can futureproof your wardrobe. Do you need to carry a lot of items on a daily basis? Your go-to bag might be a tote. Do you prefer travelling light? Mini bags are undeniably cool. But are you ok if your smartphone won’t fit in it? And do you need access to your hands a lot? If so, a cross-body bag might be more convenient than a clutch. What outfits do you already have in your closet and will this bag pair well with them? Colours are an important criteria, too. What may catch your eye online might not make sense to wear IRL. It might seem a bit overwhelming to consider all of these details, but it can be really fun, too.
The best advice we can give you is to focus on the type of bags that truly match your lifestyle. You can’t beat having a luxury handbag that you will use every day for years. Also, it’s important to know that while luxury bags may have a long lifespan, they do require some care. And when you take good care of your bag, you’ll be able to sell it for a good price whenever you want. Sit down and make sure that you will be able to realistically maintain the bag according to its particular requirements. If you know you’re not the type to put leather conditioner on a bag, that’s fine too! You know you should veer toward bags that don’t require that step. At the end of the day, your luxury handbag is an extension of you— your habits, your activities and your personal style. No matter what your lifestyle may be, there’s a handbag on Vestiaire Collective to match.
We’re not going to pretend that luxury handbags aren’t an investment. Of course they are. But hopefully by now you feel confident that a luxury handbag is within your reach and know the steps to take to make one yours. Yes, they may be a leap from your average purchase, but it’s an exciting leap that can even be done responsibly. If you do your research, prepare a budget and select a bag you love, it will be worth it because you will get a lot of use out of it.
Think about it: You change your clothes practically daily, but you can carry a handbag every single day for years if you want. It’s one of the hardest working and most versatile items in your closet. Saving your money for your perfect luxury bag is a rewarding and empowering feeling. If you buy it pre-loved on Vestiaire Collective, the budget you’ve prepared will go much further, with a bag that has a significantly lower impact on the planet. And then you’ll be able to call yourself a Fashion Activist.