Ultimate guide to buying designer second hand

"The best things in life are free, the second best are very expensive" - Coco Chanel

Do they have to be though is the question? The answer? Absolutely not.

Buying designer items second hand at least in my opinion is just an absolute win-win in every single way possible - you're able to buy a certain piece that maybe you've been admiring for a very long time but you know that what it costs from new is just never something you're going to be able to justify spending your money on, most often you're able to save a very substantial amount of money and buying second hand is always better for the environment.

I have at this point in time bought 3 designer items second hand being - the Chanel Classic Flap, an up cycled Chanel necklace (practically speaking I did receive this as a birthday present from my mom and dad but I was the one who located it and told them that I really wanted it) and a pink vintage Chanel bag in the bowling bag style. I do believe I have a certain level of knowledge that might be helpful to you if you're just starting out in this or if you're just generally looking for some tips of shopping designer second hand. I will however preface this by saying that my experiences with buying second hand designer items exclusively has been done online so these tips might be more geared towards that than in person but I 'll do my best to make sure they can used either way.

Now with that said let's just get into it!

SAVING UP

So the first step in this process is obviously to start saving up. I would recommend that you decide a set amount to put away every month for whatever it is you're saving up for that way you'll know the amount of money you have to spend every month on whatever you need to and what amount of it you can't. In this I'm of course not talking about taking money out of the budget you have for things like rent, electricity, water, food and so on and so forth. I also don't know if this is obvious but just in case it isn't I'll mention it anyways - leave a certain amount of money on the account you're using to save up for, for the specific item in mind so that the account isn't just completely empty once you've finally made the purchase of your dreams. Another thing to note is that even if it's just a small amount every month at one point or another it's going to get you to your desired amount.

KNOW WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR

I realize this may sound a little vague but allow me to get a little more specific - know exactly what item it is you're saving up for down to the tiniest detail because if you have a clear idea of that in mind it'll be way easier for you in your process of looking for it wether that be in real life or online. I can provide an example from my first ever second hand luxury purchase - my Chanel Classic Flap. I knew precisely that I wanted a Chanel Classic Flap in the medium size in lambskin leather with gold hardware and one preferably made before 2009 because this meant that the gold hardware would be gilded with 24 karat gold - something that was important to me - and I wanted at least to have the authenticity card, dustbag and box included so it would feel as new as possible for me. I also wanted it to be in a very good condition. Something else to add to this is if you're one of those who also think about investment the bag will be easier to sell on and you can ask for more for the bag if it has a lot of the original packaging with it. So now when looking for it I knew exactly what requirements I had for it so it was quick and easy for me to either rule out a bag I found or add it to the contestants. I also find that having a clear idea of what you want in mind makes it easier for you to not settle for something rather than buy exactly what you want - I'm completely aware that sometimes this is very hard and it might feel like this isn't true and that you won't ever be able to find the item you want the way you want it within the budget you have set for yourself but believe and trust me you will.

REPUTABLE SELLERS (+ ONES I'VE PREVIOUSLY BOUGHT FROM)

I believe the most important step in the entire process is deciding what store you're going to purchase from whether that be a physical store you have access to or online. Regardless you need to make sure that you're buying from a reputable seller who specializes in luxury consignment and who guarantees authenticity. Please if you're going to do one thing out of all of the advice I've given in this entire blog post it is to look them up on Trustpilot and if you can't find anything on there my advice would be to google the name of the store along with "purse forum". Purse forum is part of a website where people who are interested in luxury bags for example share their experiences with shopping on different websites. If you can't find anything about the store on either of these sites be suspicious! Furthermore if something seems too good to be true it most likely always is.

I'll leave some suggestions of what I find to be reputable stores to purchase from depending on where in the world you live.. I'll also gladly share what the websites I purchased from are called because yes I decided to buy online because as you know I live in Denmark and the amount of stores that do luxury consignment in my area is zero. To my knowledge the closest and really only place close to me is Copenhagen and that's quite a bit away from where I live.

Sloane Square Boutique:

I've purchased from a website called Sloane Square Boutique. Sloane Square Boutique is the store I made my first ever second hand designer purchase from and that was my Chanel Classic Flap. I decided on this website because on Trustpilot it only has very positive reviews and nearly five stars. Sloane Square Boutique also has a channel on Youtube channel where they show how they package their bags and throughout the entire process right from when you first place your order until they ship it to you they update you via email so you know exactly what's going on. I also decided on this website because they had the bag I was looking for in my price range, it came with almost all of the original packaging and was in excellent condition. Furthermore the website had many very detailed pictures of the bag so you could really see what you were going to be purchasing before making the final decision. Consequently I can only speak positively of my purchasing experience with Sloane Square Boutique.

You can find Sloane Square Boutique's website here along with their reviews on Trustpilot here and their Youtube channel here.

I would also suggest that you make sure to find a store where they allow you to return the item you bought in exchange for a full refund especially if you purchase the bag online and it arrives and you're not satisfied with it. Furthermore if you're going to purchase online make sure that the website has insurance for the package so that if it for some reason gets lost in the post or stolen you can be sure you'll also get a full refund. Another thing to look into if you're going to make your purchase online is how the store packages their items - if they package them discreetly so no one would know that in that package is a very expensive luxury item the likeliness it'll get stolen won't be as high.

The Vintage Bar

I also want to mention the store and website The Vintage Bar. The Vintage Bar is a store based in Denmark so if you live within the EU you'll be able to order from them and not get any taxes or additional fees on your order. Regardless of this though they do offer international shipping so you should be able to order from them no matter where in the world you may live. If you're in Denmark they actually do have a showroom that you can visit so you can see all of the items for yourself in real life. I do however believe you have to make an appointment in order to do this as I don't think it's an actual store that's just open whenever. I mentioned this earlier but in this case it wasn't actually me who bought the item but my parents at my instructions as it was a birthday gift from them to me. I can't speak directly from a personal experience because of this but from what my mom has told me it was a very quick and easy process both in order of actually ordering the item but also in terms of shipping and receiving it. The up cycled Chanel necklace is what I received from The Vintage Bar and it came very nicely wrapped in a pink cardboard box with a pink bow around it and inside with pink tissue paper (something that obviously made my pink-loving heart very happy). You also receive their authentication certificate proving that the purchase you've made from them is guaranteed authentic along with a personalized note.

You can find The Vintage Bar's website here along with their reviews on Trustpilot here.

Moonstone Vintage LA

My latest second hand designer purchase was (another) almost vintage bag from Chanel - I'm a bit of an avid lover of Chanel in case you haven't caught on to it yet. In case you want to read more about that bag specifically I've done an entire blog post on it and you can find that here. Moonstone Vintage LA is the name of the store I bought it from and yes as you can guess by the name is precisely situated in Los Angeles, California in the US. Now they actually have their own website that they sell from as well as a physical location in the way that they're affiliated with the brand Reformation and because of this some of their inventory is available to view in person at the Reformation location on Melrose Avenue in LA. I bought my bag in their Etsy shop, now that might sound a little off at first but let me explain - I found their shop on there because I was googling to try and locate the bag I wanted to buy and no normally Chanel bags aren't exactly the kind of thing you buy through Etsy but after having a very close look at their page nothing raised any red flags to me and it was pretty quick to tell they were legit. In case you're wondering how that might be a few quick examples are the fact that they've sold over 2000 items, over 7000 people have marked them as their favorite shop and the average reviews they receive are entirely 5 star reviews. In case you were wondering it came very nicely packaged firstly in a plastic bag - I'm actually very grateful for that in this case because if the package has gotten wet during transportation the bag has been completely protected - and then in beautiful tissue paper with a Moonstone Vintage LA sticker and a personalized note. I can therefore all in all only recommend shopping from this boutique. Something else worth pointing out if you're shopping on Etsy is that after you've placed your order they take a couple of days to process it meaning they analyze it to ensure that everything is legit in order to both protect not only you the buyer but also the seller from fraud. In this process I also had some questions regarding my order and both Moonstone Vintage LA and Etsy were very quick to respond to my e-mails.

If you want to have a closer look at either Moonstone Vintage LA's website you can find that here or their Etsy store which you can find here.

I'll also here leave a list of stores that specialize in luxury consignment that I've heard positive things about and I myself consider purchasing from in the future. I obviously can't guarantee anything with these stores as I haven't shopped there myself. I'll note where the store is located in the world so you can figure out if you'll get custom charges on your orders or not:

  • Designer Exchange (UK): https://uk.designerexchange.com
  • Trustpilot: https://dk.trustpilot.com/review/uk.designerexchange.com
  • Mentioned in Harper's Bazaar: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/fashion/what-to-wear/news/a34512/the-best-designer-resale-sites/
  • Bagista (UK): https://bagista.co.uk
  • Trustpilot: https://dk.trustpilot.com/review/bagista.co.uk
  • Mentioned in Harper's Bazaar: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/fashion/what-to-wear/news/a34512/the-best-designer-resale-sites/
  • HEWI LONDON - Hardly Ever Worn It (UK): https://www.hardlyeverwornit.com
  • Trustpilot: https://dk.trustpilot.com/review/hardlyeverwornit.com
  • Mentioned in Harper's Bazaar: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/fashion/what-to-wear/news/a34512/the-best-designer-resale-sites/
  • Xupes (UK): https://www.xupes.com
  • Trustpilot: https://dk.trustpilot.com/review/www.xupes.com
  • CPH Brandshop (Denmark, Europe): https://www.cphbrandshop.dk
  • Trustpilot: https://dk.trustpilot.com/review/cphbrandshop.dk
  • Designer Wish Bags (Belgium, Europe): https://www.designerwishbags.com
  • Trustpilot: https://dk.trustpilot.com/review/www.designerwishbags.com
  • Yoogi's Closet (US): https://www.yoogiscloset.com
  • Trustpilot: https://dk.trustpilot.com/review/yoogiscloset.com
  • Ann's Fabulous Finds (US): https://www.annsfabulousfinds.com
  • Trustpilot: https://dk.trustpilot.com/review/annsfabulousfinds.com
  • Rebelle (website's based in Germany but the listings are from individual sellers Rebelle only checks the authenticity of the item so custom charges probably depend on where in the world the seller you want to buy from is located): https://www.rebelle.com/en
  • Trustpilot: https://dk.trustpilot.com/review/rebelle.com

REAL VS FAKE

I can only strongly recommend to you to look up tips for authenticating the specific item you're looking at yourself. I can only speak for myself but this is something that helped me hugely when I was looking at different Chanel bags. You can easily find authentication guides for the specific item you're looking at online as the internet is full of them and by the end of it you'll probably almost be an expert. In case it's a really bad fake you'll almost always be able to tell right away but these days the fakes are getting better and better so as they say the devil really is in the details - it can be anything from the font used on something to the kind of screws or number of stitches on something.

I'll do my best at linking some of the (in my opinion) best resources for authentication on some of the major brands:

  • Balenciaga:
  • "Authenticating Balenciaga handbags" -https://lovethatbagetc.com/blogs/the-preloved-pages/authenticating-balenciaga-handbags
  • "Fake check: This is how you recognize a real Balenciaga bag" - https://www.catchys.com/magazine/fake-checks/fake-check-so-erkennst-du-eine-echte-balenciaga-tasche/
  • "How to authenticate Balenciaga handbags" - https://e-glampot.com/pages/how-to-authenticate-balenciaga-handbags
  • "How to spot real Balenciaga shoes" - https://realstyle.therealreal.com/real-balenciaga-shoes-sneakers-triple-s-speed-trainer/
  • Bottega Veneta:
  • "Bottega Venetta: Codes and labels" - https://vintage.ophertyciocci.com/2019/02/19/bottega-veneta-codes-labels/
  • "Cloud or clone, authenticating Bottega Venetta the Pouch bag" - https://muttflapper.com/authentication-other-designers/cloud-or-clone-authenticating-bottega-veneta-the-pouch
  • Bulgari:
  • "How to spot fake Bulgari jewelry" - https://www.truefacet.com/guide/how-to-spot-fake-bulgari-jewelry/
  • "How to buy real Bulgari jewelry" - https://gemmabywpd.com/blogs/news/how-to-spot-real-bulgari-jewelry
  • "Bulgari Serpenti Forever: Real vs. fake" - http://cataclysm.cx/2018/07/09/bvlgari-serpenti-forever-real-vs-fake/
  • Burberry:
  • "Authenticate Burberry" - https://closetfullofcash.com/authenticate-burberry-2/
  • "Fake check: This is a real Burberry bag" - https://www.catchys.com/magazine/fake-checks/fake-check-so-erkennst-du-eine-echte-burberry-tasche/
  • "How to know if a Burberry purse is authentic" - https://www.leaf.tv/articles/how-to-know-if-a-burberry-purse-is-authentic/
  • "How to spot a fake Burberry scarf: 6 ways to tell real scarves" - https://scarf.yournextshoes.com/burberry-fake/
  • "How to authenticate Burberry jackets" - http://recycledrosesguide.com/how-to-authenticate-burberry-jackets/
  • "How to spot a fake Burberry coat" - https://www.leaf.tv/articles/how-to-spot-a-fake-burberry-coat/
  • Cartier:
  • "How to spot fake Cartier jewelry" - https://www.wpdiamonds.com/how-to-spot-fake-cartier-jewelry/
  • "Authenticate Cartier" - https://closetfullofcash.com/authenticate-cartier/
  • "How to spot a fake Cartier Love bracelet" - https://brilliancejewels.com/how-to-spot-a-fake-cartier-love-bracelet/
  • "Real or fake Cartier" - https://www.kahleappraisals.com/real-or-fake-cartier/
  • "How to spot a fake Cartier Love bangle" - https://raymondleejewelers.net/how-to-spot-a-fake-cartier-love-bracelet/
  • Celine:
  • "The Celine authentication guide" - https://bagsofcharm.wordpress.com/2017/08/12/how-to-authenticate-a-celine-bag/
  • "Celine handbags authentication guide: Real or fake" - https://monalisalikes.com/celine-bags-authentication/
  • Chanel:
  • "12 ways to spot a fake Chanel" - https://sabrinascloset.com/blogs/news/80091462-12-ways-to-spot-a-fake-chanel
  • "10 steps to authenticating a Chanel bag" - https://baghunter.com/blogs/insights/how-to-authenticate-a-chanel-bag
  • "How to authenticate a Chanel bag and spot a fake" - https://luxsecondchance.com/blogs/fashion-news/how-to-authenticate-a-chanel-bag-and-spot-a-fake
  • "How to spot fake Chanel shoes" - https://www.leaf.tv/articles/how-to-spot-fake-fendi-shoes/
  • "How to spot fake Chanel jewelry" - https://www.opulentjewelers.com/blog/how-to-spot-fake-chanel-jewelry/
  • Christian Louboutin:
  • "How to authenticate Christian Louboutin shoes" - https://blog.materialworld.co/blog/post/how-authenticate-christian-louboutin/
  • "How to authenticate Christian Louboutin heels" - https://luxity.co.za/how-to-authenticate-louboutin-shoes/
  • "How to authenticate Christian Louboutin heels" - https://www.therevury.com/blogs/news/how-to-authenticate-christian-louboutin-heels
  • Chloé:
  • "Fake check: This is how you recognize a real Chloé bag" - https://www.catchys.com/magazine/fake-checks/fake-check-so-erkennst-du-eine-echte-chloe-tasche/
  • "How to authenticate Chloé handbags" - https://closetfullofcash.com/how-to-authenticate-chloe-handbags/
  • "Three ways to spot a fake Chloé purse" - https://www.therevury.com/blogs/news/three-ways-to-spot-a-fake-chloe-purse-1
  • Dior:
  • "Guide to buying real Dior handbags" - https://lovethatbagetc.com/blogs/the-preloved-pages/guide-to-buying-real-dior-handbags
  • "How to authenticate Dior bags" - https://the2ndhandguide.com/how-to-authenticate-dior-bags/
  • "How to authenticate Christian Dior necklaces" - https://boutiquesecondlife.co.uk/blogs/the-blog/how-to-authenticate-christian-dior-necklaces
  • "How to spot fake Dior B23 Oblique logo sneakers" - https://legitcheck.app/guides/how-to-spot-fake-dior-b23-oblique-logo-sneakers/
  • Fendi:
  • "Fendi authentication guide: Real or fake Fendi handbag" - https://monalisalikes.com/fendi-bags-authentication/
  • "How to spot fake Fendi shoes" - https://www.leaf.tv/articles/how-to-spot-fake-fendi-shoes/
  • Givenchy:
  • "Fake check: This is how you recognize a real Givenchy bag" - https://www.catchys.com/magazine/fake-checks/fake-check-so-erkennst-du-eine-echte-givenchy-tasche/
  • "Real or fake? How to tell if your Givenchy Antigona is authentic" - https://www.my-closet.rocks/blog/real-or-fake-how-to-tell-if-your-givenchy-antigona-is-authentic/
  • Gucci:
  • "Gucci handbag authentication guide: Spot fake or real" - https://monalisalikes.com/gucci-bags-authentication/
  • "How to spot fake Gucci shoes: 11 ways to tell real slides and sneakers" - https://www.yournextshoes.com/fake-gucci/
  • "How to spot fake Gucci belts: 9 ways to tell real buckles" - https://www.yournextshoes.com/gucci-belts/
  • Hermes:
  • "How to authenticate a Hermes bag and spot a fake one" - https://luxsecondchance.com/blogs/fashion-news/how-to-authenticate-a-hermes-bag-and-spot-a-fake
  • "How to spot fake Hermes bags" - https://baghunter.com/blogs/insights/how-to-spot-a-fake-hermes-bag
  • "Buying real designer bags: The Hermes guide" - https://lovethatbagetc.com/blogs/the-preloved-pages/buying-real-designer-bags-the-hermes-guide
  • "Hermes date stamp guide" - https://lovethatbagetc.com/blogs/the-preloved-pages/hermes-date-stamp-guide
  • "Hermes authentication and blind stamp guide" - https://www.yoogiscloset.com/authenticate/hermes
  • "How to spot fake Hermes jewelry" - https://gemmabywpd.com/blogs/news/how-to-spot-fake-hermes-jewelry
  • "How to spot a fake Hermes bracelet" - https://www.opulentjewelers.com/blog/how-to-spot-a-fake-hermes-bracelet/
  • "Fake check: This is how you recognize a genuine Hermes Clic Clac bracelet" - https://www.catchys.com/magazine/fake-checks/so-erkennst-du-ein-echtes-hermes-clic-clac-armband/
  • "How to spot fake Hermes Oran sandals" - https://brandsblogger.com/2019/08/25/how-to-spot-fake-hermes-oran-sandals/
  • Jimmy Choo:
  • "How to authenticate Jimmy Choo handbags and shoes" - https://closetfullofcash.com/how-to-authenticate-jimmy-choo-handbags-and-shoes/
  • "6 ways to spot fake Jimmy Choo handbag" - https://blog.theluxurycloset.com/2017/09/27/spot-a-fake-jimmy-choo-handbag/
  • "How to identify an authentic Jimmy Choo handbag" - https://www.leaf.tv/articles/how-to-identify-an-authentic-jimmy-choo-handbag/
  • "7 ways to spot fake Jimmy Choo's" - https://sabrinascloset.com/blogs/news/18195159-7-ways-to-spot-fake-jimmy-choos
  • "Authenticating Jimmy Choo shoes" - http://recycledrosesguide.com/authenticating-jimmy-choo-shoes/
  • Louis Vuitton:
  • "The Bible of - Louis Vuitton - Authentication" - https://thevintagebar.com/louis-vuitton-authenticity/
  • "Louis Vuitton authentication guide and date codes" - https://www.savvychicconsignment.com/authenticity/louis-vuitton/
  • "Checklist to authenticate a pre-owned Louis Vuitton" - https://legosinmylouis.com/checklist-to-authenticate-a-pre-owned-louis-vuitton/
  • "How can I know real Louis Vuitton shoes from fakes?" - https://www.leaf.tv/articles/how-can-i-know-real-louis-vuitton-shoes-from-fakes/
  • "How to authenticate Louis Vuitton bracelets" - https://www.therevury.com/blogs/news/how-to-authenticate-louis-vuitton-bracelets
  • Mulberry:
  • "How to authenticate Mulberry" - https://www.handbagclinic.co.uk/blog/how-to-authenticate-mulberry/
  • "Mulberry authentication" - https://e-glampot.com/pages/mulberry-authentication
  • "How to authenticate Mulberry handbags" - https://blog.materialworld.co/blog/post/how-to-authenticate-mulberry-handbags/
  • Prada:
  • "How to authenticate Prada handbags" - https://luxity.co.za/how-to-authenticate-prada-handbags/
  • "How to authenticate Prada purses" - https://www.therevury.com/blogs/news/how-to-authenticate-prada-purses
  • "The best way to identify authentic Prada shoes" - https://www.styledrops.com/blog/the-best-way-to-identify-authentic-prada-shoes/4554/
  • Rolex:
  • "How to spot a fake Rolex - the official guide" - https://www.bobswatches.com/rolex-blog/rolex-info/the-top-ways-to-spot-a-fake-rolex.html
  • "10 ways to tell if a Rolex is authentic" - https://www.thewatchcompany.com/blog/10-tips-tell-rolex-real/
  • "4 simple ways to spot a fake Rolex watch" - https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-spot-a-fake-rolex-2013-7?r=US&IR=T
  • Saint Laurent:
  • "Fake check: This is how you recognize a genuine Saint Laurent bag" - https://www.catchys.com/magazine/fake-checks/fake-check-saint-laurent-taschen/
  • "Yves Saint Laurent authentication: What to look for on vintage bags" - https://vintage.ophertyciocci.com/2019/04/20/yves-saint-laurent-authentication/
  • Tiffany & Co:
  • "How to authenticate Tiffany jewelry" - https://www.wpdiamonds.com/authenticate-tiffany-jewelry/
  • "How to spot a fake: Tiffany & Co jewelry" - https://www.truefacet.com/guide/spot-fake-tiffany-co-jewelry/
  • "How to authenticate a preloved or second-hand Tiffany & Co engagement ring" - https://www.catherinetrentonjewellery.com/blogs/news/how-to-buy-an-authentic-pre-loved-tiffany-co-engagement-ring
  • Valentino:
  • "Fake check: This is how you recognize a genuine Valentino bag" - https://www.catchys.com/magazine/fake-checks/fake-check-so-erkennst-du-eine-echte-valentino-tasche/
  • "Authenticating Valentino Rockstud handbags" - https://muttflapper.com/authentication-valentino/authenticating-valentino-rockstud-handbags
  • "How to spot fake Valentino Rockrunner sneakers" - https://legitcheck.app/guides/real-vs-fake-valentino-rockrunner/
  • "Can you tell the authentic $1295 Valentino heels from the $200 fakes? From the tags to the studs - expert lists the 10 signs to look for when shopping for designer shoes" - https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-6203845/Can-tell-authentic-1-295-Valentino-heels-200-fakes.html

THIRD PARTY AUTHENTICATOR

Despite the many resources linked above you may still have your doubts and if that's the case it may be time for you to look into getting a third party authenticator. A third party authenticator is someone who's an expert in authenticating luxury items meaning figuring out if a specific item is real or a counterfeit. In terms of using a third party authenticator you have three different ways to go about it and those are authentication done online, via a send in or in person.

Online authentication can be used in two ways - either if you live far away and therefore don't have the capability of going there in person or if you're looking at buying a specific item and would like to have the reassurance before purchasing it that an expert has examined it and thereby vouch for the authenticity of the item. How a third party authenticator usually will go about online authentication is if it's an item you personally own they will usually have instructions of certain features on the item they want you to photograph along with a certain resolution and quality of the photos along with how you go about submitting them. Contrary to this however if it's an item you're considering to buy but just want that extra level of certainty usually you'll just send them the link to the item and they will have a look at the pictures and details provided and get back to you with an answer. In my experience looking at this online authentication is usually the most inexpensive of the options available. In line with the initial authentication most third party authenticators will then also offer you additional services ie. an authenticity certificate or assessment of what the item actually is worth were you to resell it later on.

Send in authentication I suppose speaks for itself as it is exactly what it's called - you mail in the item you want to have authenticated to the specific third party authenticator you have decided on. Obviously this option will only work for you if you already own the item you want authenticated. I can of course only base this off my own personal opinion but I would advise you to definitely be careful with this option and make sure you've looked into this very thoroughly before doing so. In my opinion I see two main ways this option can go wrong - the first one is that the third party authenticator you pick isn't reliable and therefore ends up tricking you into sending them your very expensive item and then they never return it to you. Despite this definitely being a valid concern I do however find this to be pretty unlikely since you hopefully will have looked into this authenticator before deciding on them especially reviews from other people who have previously used this authenticator. The other concern and one that I do however think is a valid one is that something might happen during the transportation to and back ie. the package becomes damaged and thereby possibly the item you've shipped or stolen so something to definitely make sure is that the package is insured. I'm however definitely not saying that you shouldn't or can't decide to use this option because obviously since it's an option people have been successful with it I'm just saying that if you do decide to go ahead with this one I would be particular and practice some caution when doing so. You could probably also argue that the authentication would be more certain if someone has actually looked at the item in real life and not through a screen but that's something entirely up to personal opinion and not something I'll be getting into today.

In person authentication is the final option available and like with send in authentication this is of course only one possible if you're actually in possession of the item you want authenticated. In person authentication is also only possible if you live near a place where they offer this service or if you're willing to make the trip to the nearest place to you where they offer it. I don't particularly think there's anything to point out about this option especially since as with the previous ones as long as you have looked into the company you've decided to use as the third party authenticator then I don't see any reasons to worry. I think this option might be for you if you like the certainty of someone having seen the item not just through pictures but in person and you are slightly worried about the risks you might be taking with the send in authentication.

In terms of having an extra person authenticate the item you're either in possession of or looking to buy I know some people also consider going to an actual store of the brand of that item. I can just personally say that I would never have the guts to do that but if you do good for you and major props to you. Something to note however if you are planning on doing this is that some places the employees actually aren't allowed to authenticate items for you that haven't been bought from one its own stores. I've also heard stories of people going in and asking a sales assistant to have a look at their item and solely because it hasn't been bought from them from new they'll tell you it's counterfeit even if that isn't actually the case.

Something to be aware of when picking a third party authenticator is usually the authenticator will have either just one or a couple of select brands they specialize in authenticating items from so before you decide on one be sure that they actually offer authentication for the item you either own or are looking at buying. I'll do my best to leave suggestions of third party authenticators of some of the major brands:

  • Handbagclinic: https://www.handbagclinic.co.uk/authenticate-i52
  • Reviews: https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.handbagclinic.co.uk
  • Brands they authenticate: Every luxury brand with a speciality in Chanel, Celine, Dior and Hermes
  • Authentication options available: Online, send in and in person
  • Primarily authenticates handbags
  • UK based
  • Timpanys: https://timpanys.com/pages/designer-handbag-authentication-london-berkshire
  • Reviews: https://www.trustpilot.com/review/timpanys.com
  • Brands they authenticate: Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Celine, Chanel, Chloé, Coach, Dior, Fendi, Goyard, Gucci, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Saint Laurent
  • Authentication options available: Send in only
  • Primarily authenticates handbags and other small leather goods ie. wallets, suitcases and phonecases but they do also offer authentication for belts from the brands Gucci and Louis Vuitton
  • UK based
  • Dallas Designer Handbags: https://www.dallasdesignerhandbags.com/pages/luxury-handbag-authentication-service
  • Reviews: If you scroll to the bottom of the website they have links to their reviews on both Facebook, Google and Ebay
  • Brands they authenticate: Burberry, Celine, Chanel, Chloé, Gucci, Hermes (not exotic leathers) and Louis Vuitton
  • Authentication options available: Online, send in and in person
  • Primarily authenticates handbags
  • Texas, US based
  • Authenticate First: https://authenticatefirst.com
  • Reviews:https://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/authenticatefirst.com
  • Brands they authenticate: I'm not going to start mentioning them all but just believe me when I say that they authenticate an extremely large amount of brands so the chance that you'll find the brand you're looking for among them is very high
  • Authentication options available: Online, send in and in person
  • Primarily authenticates handbags, wallets, small leather goods, shoes, jewelry, accessories and clothing
  • US based

I believe those are the entirety of the tips and recommendations I have for you so therefore that's the end of the guide. I'll definitely be sure to add more tips in the future if I think of any additional ones. Please if you have any tips or specific recommendations for anything else you would like me to cover or think is worth doing to this comment them down below. I've done many blog posts on buying designer second hand and am planning to do many more in the future so if this is something that interests you definitely stick around.

I have a series on some of the best second hand designer bags for sale right now. Currently only one blog post of it is up but I have many more coming soon. In case you want to check that out you can find it here.

I've also previously done a guide on buying designer second hand however that one is mostly focused on Chanel bags but if you're in the market for that you might also want to check that out. You can find that here.

I will as usual of course also be uploading a danish version of this but I'll be doing that separately because otherwise this blog post is just going to be way too long.

I hope you found this guide and the recommendations helpful on your quest to securing you your dream designer purchase but at a discount.

I hope to see you again soon!

Love,

Maria Cecilie.

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