Welcome back to New month on benpechey.com. In early January I asked if you wanted me to write you a guide about shopping vintage designer goods online. I got a resolute yes, and I will always do my best to give you what you want.
Designer items are obviously a lovely thing to own. However, the price tag of buying them brand new would be enough to make most people’s debit card faint. Just like buying a new car, most designer goods lose some of their value as soon as you take possession. Thus buying second hand or vintage designer goods is a safe way of getting the look for less. Aunty Gok would be proud!!
Shopping vintage designer goods also supports slow fashion and will cause less damage to the environment. Don’t forget trends always come back into focus, and something from 15 years ago will be loved once more. A great example of this is the Dior Saddlebag, the revamped bag was re-launched in 2018, with a subsequent surge in sales of vintage saddle bags.
I have taken some of the leg work out of buying vintage designer goods with this post. Giving you some great advice, where to shop and knowing your rights. This comes after a huge amount of research from purchasing my Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 in Borneo Green. So I am bringing you all the tips and advice I can give you.
Do your Research
Okay, this may sound obvious, but you really need to sit and consider your purchase. Coming across an advert or paid for post on Instagram for a handbag, is not a reason to buy it. First of all, you should consider what type of designer item you wish to buy, your budget and the age and colours you are willing to accept.
Look online for guides to help you identify genuine goods and how to identify each brand, using their age stamps, how they use their logo and the packaging. There are so many threads on sites like Reddit and designer brand forums.
An item without packaging is not a sign that it is fake, but means you will need to use more visual clues. If you feel like there are not enough images. You can always email the seller to ask for more images of specific things, such as labels and serial numbers.
My bag’s listing had 14 images, showing all angles of the bag, inside and the serial numbers and identifying characteristics. I was able to use these images, to date and authenticate this bag. Giving me peace of mind.
If you have not heard of Vestiaire Collective then take note. VC is like a super high-end eBay, with a HUGE selection of vintage designer goods at prices that will entice you. Okay so you are paying a premium, but this is for some very good reasons.
When you purchase an item on VC, the seller will send this product to VC. They then independently verify the goods, using specific knowledge of each brand to assess whether you have bought a genuine good. If the item is indeed authentic, VC will send you your purchase and pay the seller. If the item is found to be inauthentic, you are refunded.
VC although is not the cheapest, is a very trustworthy way to buy vintage designer goods online.
Now I know that eBay is full of fakes, and really dubious items. However, it is also full of genuine goods. My baby Louis came from eBay. I would only buy using some very specific factors.
Only buy something from the eBay Pre Authenticated Luxury Handbags section. These are guaranteed by eBay, meaning that the seller is genuine and that the money you will be spending is not at risk. The listings from sellers who are part of this scheme or super clear and very user-friendly. Indicating marks, damage and authenticity.
A top tip, I bought my bag from an eBay authenticated seller based in Japan. This is beneficial as the luxury market in Japan is HUGE, thus there is more supply than demand, which equals lower prices. You will have to pay a customs charge to import the goods, but in reality, this will only be another 10-20% on top of the price you pay.
Etsy is a grey area, but you can do a quick search and genuinely dig out some great designer goods. You will have to hunt for these gems, but they are out there. Be aware that there will be some inspired goods and repurposed items.
A quick search today I found 4 or 5 bags that I would happily invest in, with clear and genuine listings. Because the traffic is lower to Etsy, the prices are also lower, thus there are bargains to be had.
Know your rights
Darling, sometimes things just do not go well. Despite hours of research, and trying really hard, things can arrive not as described, not fit for purpose and not of satisfactory quality. If this is the case, contact the seller through the site you purchased it. If they refuse, know that you have plenty of rights.
eBay has a resolution centre that allows you to open a case against the seller. eBay usually rules in the buyer's favour so you will be in safe hands.
If the seller refuses to refund you, then take a look at the Consumer rights act, trust me there are more than enough points and clauses to protect you. Seek evidence of inauthentic goods, take the goods to a brand to be authenticated, and ask for them to prove your claims. Then submit this along with a letter (there are templates on the Citizen Advice website) to the seller. If you need more help, then the consumer helpline for Citizens Advice in the UK is 03454 04 05 06.
If you paid with Paypal, a credit or debit card, you can call them and ask to enact Chargeback against the seller. You are disputing the payment, explaining that the goods are not fit for purpose and the seller is refusing to refund your money. They will then seek a refund on your behalf. This is extra protection and can be used at the same time as using the consumer rights act.
So even if the worst happens, you will not lose your money.
I hope this helps and gives you some clear and honest advice from my personal experiences. I adore shopping for vintage designer goods because I have used the above knowledge to make it fun and safe. Let me know if this helped, and if you have any other advice.
New month continues at the same time and the same place next week, where I will be concluding the month with a round up pf the new things that have made my month!
Shot by Rachel Pechey
Shop My Lewk
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