If you’re an avid follower of the blog, you know my motto is always to go vintage. Whether it’s handbags, jewelry, or clothing, I’d much rather spend my hard earned cash on classic and unique than what’s popular at the moment pieces. For example, my vintage Louis Vuitton cosmetic bag that I’ve had for years is probably the most popular bag I have because no one else has it! One of the pieces I love to collect is vintage Chanel especially bags and jewelry. Over the years, I’ve learned from experience and bit of research about buying authentic vintage Chanel bags. Every time I’ve walked into a consignment shop, I’ve studied vintage Chanel bags and asked a lot of questions. Plus, I’ve done the shopping myself and have learned the questions to ask and the resources to use before I buy. You guys asked me for the best tips for buying a vintage Chanel bag. After months and months (part of it was me lagging actually sitting and writing), I’ve pulled together all the intel, info, and tips to help you shop for and buy your perfect vintage Chanel bag.
WHERE TO BUY VINTAGE CHANEL BAGS
Fashionphile. Fashionphile is one of the OG eBay sellers that I trust that has since launched its own online shop and brick and mortar stores in Beverly Hills, San Diego and San Francisco that you can shop in person. They have a great selection of vintage and second hand Chanel bags and are one of the most trusted resale shops.
What Goes Around Comes Around. For nearly 20 years, WGACA has been the go to for rare designer vintage finds and they’re known to have those hard-to-find vintage Chanel bags. While their pricing is on the pricier side, they do have a beautiful and curated collection.
Farfetch. Farfetch is a luxury retailer that recently started selling vintage. They have a great vintage Chanel bag collection and are a reputable seller. Note that their prices are higher since they have done the hard work of finding the most unique vintage pieces to add to their inventory.
Vestiaire. Vestiaire Collective is a curated collection of thousands of new, pre-owned, and vintage luxury items. They check every item to ensure quality and authenticity before it is sent to you.
eBay. There are thousands of sellers on eBay so you need to really get to know the top sellers that are legit and offer eBay’s authentication guarantee. I have used this service and have always received an authentic bag (cross authenticated by Leather Surgeons or Zeiko). You can also check out this list of Chanel resellers, which includes eBay sellers as well as other online retailers.
HOW TO SHOP FOR VINTAGE CHANEL BAGS
Shop around. If there is the best tip for buying a vintage Chanel bag, it’s to do lots of research and shopping around before you buy. This helps you narrow down the style you want, but also gives you access to various types of bags and prices. Trust your gut and use common sense when shopping. If a certain bag is way underpriced as similar bags on other sites, then it’s likely a fake. But if the pricing is pretty consistent, then dig deeper to ensure it’s authentic as well as check the store policy.
Check the store policy. Each shop and even each seller on eBay will have it’s own return policy, shipping rates, and other specific shopping policy. Be sure to read every store policy before you buy. I think Fashionphile offers a great return policy.
Get all the details. Find out everything you can about the vintage Chanel bag including if it comes with the dust bag and box. All resellers should provide an authenticity card or certificate of authenticity. This is one of my other tips for buying a vintage Chanel bag; find out everything about the bag that you can. If it sounds too good to be true, then maybe it is.
Ask for pictures. Every shop will include pictures, but they may not be exactly what you want, so ask for additional pictures. For example, I always want to see a handbag modeled so I will ask for images with the purse carried as a messenger, shoulder, and also carried as a clutch.
Double check measurements. Pictures can be deceiving and sometime they make a bag look larger than it actually is. In addition to asking for more pictures, ask for exact dimensions of the bag.
AUTHENTICATION OF A VINTAGE CHANEL BAG
Chanel Boutiques do not authenticate bags; I rely on Leather Surgeons or Zeko for authentication of my designer handbags. If you’re buying from an online store that doesn’t offer returns or you’re looking for an online authentication, then turn to The Purse Forum community as a back up. You can submit information, links, and images here and The Purse Forum community will review and authenticate for you. Note that not all requests are answered. TPF is also a good resource for tips for buying a vintage Chanel bag, although you’ll have to read through threads and threads of various comments to find tips.