Pre-owned handbags: a beginner’s guide to buying a second-hand designer bag

Reece Morgan, head of handbags at pre-owned luxury website Xupes, on how to find the perfect bag


There are many reasons why people buy pre-owned handbags. From financial savings to investment, more and more savvy customers are turning to second-hand every day.

Here are some tips on how to navigate the ever-growing marketplace for second-hand bags, when you are looking to buy, sell or exchange.


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The first thing you want to look out for is authenticity. This goes for not just pre-owned, but new handbags too.

Today fakes and replicas are better than ever with manufacturers in China and the Middle East upping their games in reproducing some of the world’s finest brands.

From detailing such as the stitching to the leather, it is becoming harder to identify the real from the fake for most people. But there are giveaway signs which experts can easily spot. Your best bet when looking to buy a pre-loved handbag is to buy from a trustworthy company which offers guarantees and a proven track record. Any credible company will offer a returns period, have a good online presence and receive regular reviews from customers.


Pre-owned and pre-loved is not a new concept. There are many people, websites and platforms out there selling used items. One of the things that you should look for is bags that are at best lightly used, many of which can often look as good as new.

This means they hold their resale value and will last at least another lifetime if they are well looked after. When browsing for a preloved handbag, it is therefore incredibly important to consider the condition of the item.

Does it have any scratches? Are the corners worn? Do the photographs and description tell you in detail about any damage? Any reputable pre-owned seller should be explicit in the condition of the handbag and go into detail.


Whether it is a limited-edition model, a runway piece made exclusively for a seasonal fashion show, or even a vintage item made over forty years ago, some handbags are extremely rare and hard to find. These pieces are often better quality than today’s equivalents and not only offer value for money, but incomparable craftsmanship which has been lost with the mass-production methods used today.

When looking for your perfect pre-loved handbag, consider rarity and maybe stretching your budget if you can because these items tend to hold their value better. Any reputable pre-loved seller should be able to guide you through your purchase and advise you on the items most suited to your desires. This means that if in a couple of weeks, months or even years you would like to sell or swap your beloved handbag, you could do so easily.

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