An affordable luxury for some, designer items hold gravitas due to their craftsmanship and eyewatering price tag. For most people, such things are out of reach, but that doesn’t mean you have to do without altogether. Second hand luxury is a booming business that helps rehome treasured pieces instead of throwing them away.
Second hand luxury is making some of the world’s most exclusive products accessible to many more clientele. However, as with anything valuable, it’s good to keep your eyes open for scams and authenticity. Here are a few things to look out for when making your next used designer purchase.
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Use trusted sites
There are plenty of scam websites out there all promising you authentic pieces for suspiciously cheap prices. In order to avoid getting scammed, make sure you’re purchasing from a website that is known for selling the real deal.
High value items like pre-owned Rolex watches and designer handbags can usually be found at second hand brokers. If you don’t want to buy online, that’s understandable. By going into a shop, you can look at the item in detail, checking that the stitching is still in place and that the designer logo is in good condition.
If you want to buy an item that will retain or even increase its value, it’s best to stick with well-established designers like Dior, Chanel or Louis Vuitton. Pieces like the Chanel flap bag or the Lady Dior bag will never decrease in value; indeed, they can be sold for even more than you bought it for if you get the timing right.
Check for the serial code
Avoid getting scammed by checking the serial code. Most designer items come with a serial code to avoid knockoffs. When purchasing a second-hand item, make sure that the seller gives you the serial code which you can then compare to make sure it’s real. If the seller is hesitant to give you the code, you should probably look elsewhere.
As well as a serial code, most buyers receive a fair bit of documentation whenever they buy something of really high value. The seller should be handing over the documents to you, but if it turns out they don’t have any, it’s unlikely to be authentic.
If in doubt, research which designers use which mode of authenticity; some have completely different systems and some don’t issue documents or authenticity cards at all. If in doubt, ask for the original receipt. The seller should have this in paper or digital form.
Check the material
If you’re buying in person, make sure to thoroughly investigate the material and fabric. All designer handbags should be made of the finest lambskin or cow leather and should be soft to the touch. If the exterior is hard and shiny, it’s likely to be made of plastic.