Have you ever dreamed of owning your own very own luxury goods? Whether you’re in the market for a wallet, shoes, handbag, or designer clothes, I have you covered!
First and foremost, I’d like to disclose that I’m not a materialistic person and never have been. Of course, owning expensive items is nice, but I try my best to pick and choose what I want to invest my money on. My dad once told me not to buy designer items I cannot afford to lose. When I was 18 years old, Brandon got me my first Louis Vuitton Vintage Speedy handbag, but it was stolen when our house was broken into about a month later. I only got to enjoy it for a month, but it broke my heart to see how hard Brandon had to work, making minimum wage at the time, to break the bank and gift me the handbag for my birthday. As a result, I withheld from purchasing any luxury goods near a decade.
Fast forward, now being financially stable and understanding of the market, I’m aware of the luxury goods market and the value of reselling. So for anyone like me that wants to build their wardrobe capsule, invest and build your collection, pass it down to your kids, or enjoy it while you can, here are the best places to purchase your goods.
The first authentic and reliable source to buy luxury goods is through the brand in-store. If you ever make a trip to Europe anytime soon, take advantage and purchase anything leather goods. The current conversion rate is at the lowest of all time, even if it’s not a designer! Italian leather has been famous for its quality and durability since the Middle Ages when Florence became the capital of Europe’s artisan leather. When you do, make sure you have your passport with you or take a picture; with anything over $150, you can get back 10-21% at the airport. It only works if you let staff know that you will need a VAT refund, provide them with your passport, and they’ll do the rest. Make sure you keep your receipt!! This will be your token for a refund at the airport. I suggest you keep anything overly expensive with you when you travel; I’d be scared to check in my luggage with a new Chanel handbag worth $3,500. Once at the last airport, look for the VAT/Tax Refund Customs Desk before leaving Europe. Remember to bring your passport and flight details too. If approved, you will receive a stamp on the form and get a cash or credit card refund within a couple of days.
The Real Real is the second most reliable and affordable source, a brick-and-mortar marketplace for staff-authenticated luxury consignments. Based on the circular economy, RealReal sells and buys consigned clothing, handbags, fine jewelry, watches, fine art, and home decor from designers like Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, and Fendi (and many, many more). Lately, I’ve been obsessed with this site because I can buy luxury goods without breaking the bank. I recently purchased a Fendi FF 1974 Medium Baguette for $689 (originally $2,300); it was in fair condition. Still, I swear it looks in perfect condition! When you first sign up, The RealReal provides a $50 credit on your first purchase, and I bought this bag during their huge holiday sale, so I got a steal! I purchased some other “fair” quality items, such as Jimmy Choo, Gucci heels, and a few smaller known brand handbags. But WOW, if you ever want to buy designer goods, check here FIRST. You’ll always get at least a 10% discount, and they always have sales.
Thirdly, you can rent the items temporarily before deciding to purchase them. This, of course, comes with a membership price. My three favorite sites are Vivrelle, Bag Borrow or Steal, and Rent the Runway. Of all three, my favorite is Rent the Runway; I’ve borrowed so many things from there that ended up in purchases; it’s worth the membership!
Vivrelle brings together all lovers of designer bags. Vivrelle is a membership-based subscription service that allows its community to rent handbags and fine jewelry starting at $39 a month. From Chanel to Prada, you can rent your item for as long as possible. Working on a tiered system that allows customers to rent up to one piece from its couture collection and one from its Classique collection each month.
Bag Borrow or Steal allows you to borrow for an initial one-month period. Bag Borrow or Steal lets you choose between their wide selection of options that range from Gucci to Louis Vuitton. With free shipping and returns, you can rest assured that your items will be shipped and returned in pristine condition.
Rent the Runway is one of the most popular rental services available. Rent The Runway has thousands of bags available to be rented on a four-day, weekly, monthly, or unlimited timeline. They make it perfectly flexible to swap styles in and out of your wardrobe. In addition, you can either return your items or purchase them during or after your rental.
Aside from that, I don’t suggest buying through Poshmark, Facebook Market, Offer-up, or any other international sites that could be fake designers. No judgment if you decide to purchase luxury dupes; to each their own, however, you would not be able to resell. Make sure you research and compare items before purchasing, as some fakes are really noticeable and cheap and not worth spending on.