How to Put Some Money in Your Designer Bags

Most women think of the dividends their handbag might yield in terms of looks and style. But a real power bag can also return some of the hundreds (or thousands) you put into it when you tap into the high-end resale market.


“Classic, covetable bags can be sold for approximately 30%-70% of their retail value on the secondary market,” says Elizabeth Bernstein, Accessories Director at Portero, a luxury goods consignment site.


How to buy with ROI in mind:


  • Buy from an established designer with staying power such as Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein or Michael Kors. Choose enduring styles that are sold season after season. Bernstein compares it to buying stocks: “Classics in neutral shades are reliable, like blue chips. But a funky limited-edition LV could be a high risk/high return: It may double its value years from now.” Or not.
  • Contact the brand for service. If your bag needs to be repaired or refurbished, take the extra trouble to send it back to the company to preserve its value. (In other words, nix the local shoe guy.)
  • Take care of it.  Keep perfumes, lotions, lipsticks, even pens in plastic bags to prevent leaks. And keep your bag off the floor, where it can get scratched or stained.

When you’re ready to roll the money from your old purse into the latest “it” bag, go with a consignment shop that specializes in luxury items. You could post your bag on eBay or Craigslist yourself, but then you’ll have to list the item, field questions, collect payment, and ship it to the customer.

A consignment shop, on the other hand, will handle the entire the entire selling process. You’ll either have to pay a percentage or split the selling price with the consigner, but it’s ultimately less hassle for you.


Don’t have a high-end consignment shop near you? Go with an online dealer, such as Portero, Resale Riches, Couture USA or Luxury Exchange.

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