February 15th, 2020
On My Mind

Resale Reluctance

I fully support the resale revolution, it’s great for a whole host of reasons. Then, why do I often hesitate to make a purchase, and when I do, hold my breath until the item arrives and is scrutinized for authenticity? I’m afraid of getting stuck with a fake. Fortunately, the few things I’ve bought are real — they were not marquee items, just ones I’d missed when in the stores and, thankfully, got a second chance. But, I’m not sure I’d buy a Birkin or Classic Chanel bag resale because what is the recourse if I suspect it’s a fake? Hermès won’t authenticate, and I doubt Chanel would either. And I don’t blame them. Hmm…


What's New


Belted leather biker jacket

Jil Sander

Gathered Knit Midi Dress


Cropped leather jacket


Triple Francois 18kt gold vermeil earrings


Jimmy Leather Puffer Jacket


Le 57 quilted leather shoulder bag


Belted wool blazer


Blade velvet slingback pumps


Silvia silk-twill scarf


Logo-embellished leather loafers


Crocheted Cotton-Blend Midi Skirt


Braided leather bangle


Delcie tie-detailed ramie midi dress


Gate knotted leather slippers


Postcard fringed crocheted straw bucket hat


Santos de Cartier metal shield sunglasses

  • Fashionphile has a very rigorous authentication process and a good reputation. They are the only luxury resale site I have 100% confidence in. I purchased a Chanel classic maxi from them.

    gail cFebruary 15th, 2020  11:11 AM

  • When I consigned a couple Chanel and Louis Vuitton bags with The Real Real, the agreement stated that if any of these items were found to be fake, they would be destroyed. I had to wait a couple of weeks for the authentication process before they were placed on their site. Still, I understand your concern. When time came to buy a classic Chanel flap, I bought it new. Not because of concerns as to authenticity, but because the bag holds its value and I couldn’t see paying that much money when I could have exactly what I wanted at a bit higher price.

    Elizabeth VelasquezFebruary 15th, 2020  11:22 AM

  • I have friends who received fakes from The RealReal, so I was not surprised by the investigation findings of their authentication process.

    NinaFebruary 15th, 2020  2:12 PM

  • What Goes Around Comes Around is a very reliable site and every purchase comes with a certificate of authenticity. You pay a bit more than other sites, but in addition, you can return a purchase for a refund, not a site credit. If I were to buy a Chanel, I prefer the older ones, when the quilting was less puffy. So there are reasons to buy resale besides just a savings of some money. I don’t like that The Real Real allows no returns on handbags only – I find that impossible for me.

    KathyFebruary 15th, 2020  3:38 PM

  • My feeling is buy well and buy less. For myself, I would be patient and but a handbag new. It’s carried close to the body, it goes with you everywhere, you can create a lovely history together! : ))

    PaulaFebruary 15th, 2020  11:46 PM

  • . . . buy a handbag new.

    PaulaFebruary 15th, 2020  11:48 PM

  • I totally agree with you. Some friends have bought fakes and they are impossible to tell from the real thing. Buy bags from their stores and just buy fewer!

    MMSFebruary 16th, 2020  6:05 AM

  • I like the idea of recycling but I have never been interested in purchasing what are basically used fashion items. Bags, maybe but shoes and clothing never. I can’t afford a Birkin bag, so I don’t have one.

    PFDFebruary 16th, 2020  7:38 AM

  • I’ve been buying and selling on The Real Real since they started ( there’s an article about the CEO in today’s WSJ). I think it’s true there are fakes and you have to be careful but there are also some wonderful deals to found. I’ve gotten some terrific pieces ( boots, jeans, knitwear, furs) I know from selling that for most brands you pay pennies on the dollar. And it’s the only way I plan to buy any fur in the future. With counterfeits on the rise ( or the AWARENESS of counterfeits on the rise!) I probably would be more careful with certain designer handbags. But, quite frankly, you pay top dollar for Hermes and Chanel , new Gucci, new Dior handbags on resale sites so it probably is more sensible to purchase these new when you can find them. The fun of retail is finding things you passed on new that are suddenly available when someone else else grows tired of them. I know I’ve sold some fabulous pieces on Real Real and I’m happy my items are making others happy. It’s a game and a way to make a little money on stuff you don’t need anymore. Not buying resale for fear of getting a counterfeit is a bit like refusing to eat in a restaurant because you might get food poisoning. It could happen but you’d miss some great meals !

    Paula BFebruary 16th, 2020  8:30 AM

  • Buy where you can return. And if Jane Fonda is not buying new, I am going to try to do the same.

    MarcyFebruary 16th, 2020  8:44 AM

  • I love The Real Real. Have bought and consigned several pieces. If Chanel and Hermes were smart, they would do their own resale. They can put their own luxury spin on it and keep their fans/customers within their own orbit, and bring into the fold fans who can’t afford the brand. Make it an experience. Imagine a small shop that’s resale and with a chic coffee counter and a beauty counter. Who wouldn’t go there? The jewelry brands could do the same. Brands can’t keep churning out new product. It’s not sustainable or modern. Also, let’s be honest—retail is boring right now. Stores are empty and closing for a reason and you can’t just blame Amazon. But every time I’ve visited The Real Real, it’s packed and buzzing. They’re onto something. Love Keep It Chic! Xoxo

    Kerry D.February 16th, 2020  9:17 AM

  • Such a great idea!

    PrestonFebruary 16th, 2020  10:01 AM

  • I’m also a big fan of the RealReal for items you saw but missed out on the first time around or pieces you’ve always wanted but couldn’t find in your area. I love Kerry D’s idea and find it nauseating how Chanel simply saturates the market and then takes disingenuous offence at those who wish to resell. There are plenty of experts like Cameron Silver or those who work in the resell market whose authentication skills can be trusted. I understand Paula’s comment about a bag and creating a history but I would say to her that is one of the things my sentimental heart likes about used handbags, that I am carrying on the story. ❤️

    SueMFebruary 16th, 2020  10:28 AM

  • I manage the archives of some designers you would know. I once purchased a vintage item one of my clients had designed for the archive. It turned out to be a fake, which I could see the minute I received it. The Real Real took it right back. 1stdibs fought me once in a similar situation, but took it back because really, how could a dealer be in a better position to judge authenticity than I was?

    I also found what I suspected was a faux Birkin in another client’s closet. It was purchased from a high end concierge service. I actually got Hermes to give me a verdict on it the bag! There are ways to do it if you are smart. But that’s a whole other tale! :). Moral of the story? I’d only buy very high end items directly from the house. Resale good for trendy items you missed first time around.

    JulieFebruary 16th, 2020  4:45 PM

  • I’m interested – how many Birkins and Chanel bags does one woman need to have?

    Angela SFebruary 16th, 2020  4:52 PM

  • Preston’s blog has great conversations – better than a book club! : ))
    I read about Ms. Wainwright in the WSJ this morning and so admire her hustle and entrepreneurship. She’s filling a need, and if it’s the hunt for an item that makes shopping fun, then that alone is a worthy reason to shop resale. It’s how I have always felt about furnishing my home. For myself, I prefer new when it comes to clothing and accessories since I don’t buy a lot and what I buy I keep forever. One exception might be if I could find a glut of old Miriam Haskell costume jewelry! That said, I have zero guilt about buying new – I’ve purchased ‘preowned’ for decades: we live in a 1930’s house (we are only the third owners); my parents picked up our dining room table and chairs at an estate sale for a song which came half way across the country from a lovely woman’s apartment in NYC, where she and her lady friends played bridge and had lunch!); I’ve picked up countless pieces of china, crystal, silver, and live with many inherited pieces (a nice way to say ‘hand me downs). I’ve had my sofa, slipper chair, wing chair, an upholstered headboard, etc., recovered 2-3 times (which I bought new and good quality to begin with). Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible now to find a good upholsterer. Our kids are now living with our old rugs and other hand-offs. I love antique furniture, so obviously all of it has been sold and resold for decades (centuries!). Unfortunately, the young set isn’t so interested in antiques, preferring new furniture that won’t last a decade. Our local antiques show isn’t doing so well because those of us who are older don’t shop as much – no room to add more. The younger kids aren’t so into refined antiques. Their loss! Continuing to buy new quality, specialized items is also worthy because it keeps the craft itself alive and employs people with specialized skill sets and supports their livelihood. If I were a young woman starting out, I would learn a beautiful craft and make things. Fortunately, we have a wonderful free market economy that offers every option we could possibly want.

    PaulaFebruary 16th, 2020  8:01 PM

  • Really love the idea of Hermes and Chanel opening their own resale stores.
    What are they waiting for?

    Angela RinaldiFebruary 16th, 2020  9:30 PM

  • When I have sold high end accessories or shoes on eBay I was able to provide my original receipt to prove authenticity. Of course someone could fake that but I am more likely to purchase with that kind of assurance.

    karenFebruary 17th, 2020  7:56 AM

  • I’ve promised myself that I’ll try to only buy high-end handbags from resale sites. I’m so hard on bags that even new bags always look used after three days of carrying them. I’ve bought several great Celine bags at resale sites like Vestiaire Collective or Celebrity Owned, but I would be reluctant to buy a Chanel or one of the more iconic Hermes styles from a resale site for fear of fakes. Although, honestly, those styles wouldn’t be my first choice anyway.

    CatherineFebruary 18th, 2020  12:43 AM

  • My issue with resale handbags–such a personal item. who knows what was inside, unless you have it relined. Prefer pristine..

    cindalaFebruary 18th, 2020  1:54 AM

  • Julie, such good tips. Yes, you have to be truly smart for yourself.

    KarinaFebruary 18th, 2020  12:08 PM

  • Totally agree with @Kerry D—buying resale is more modern AND sustainable way to shop. Many times you can buy new in the site. Trust those resale sites that have elaborate and reliable authentication processes. I’ve sold Chanel, Hermes and Bottega Veneta on the RealReal, eBay and at my local resale boutique. Conversely, I’ve bought bags, shoes and certain clothing (new with tags) from resalers. How many of us live in homes that were inhabited by others before us? Was all your furniture purchased new or was some it passed down or bought old? I have an antique drinks closet that was my parents. I store linens and photos in it. I bought a lovely patio set from a high end furniture consignment shop. I do wonder and imagine about the family that used this set before me. I don’t get creeped out it though. Resale is going to be the future. @Kerry D is right—when are the luxury brands going to get with the program and open up their versions of resale? Neiman Marcus is doing it. On another note—the clothing and handbag subscription model is also exploding. Many brands are offering this form of sustainable reuse. Something to noodle on.

    RonicaFebruary 19th, 2020  4:08 PM

  • Having worked for Coco for 8 years, specifically in RTW, handbags and accessories, I’ve had only 2 clients in my entire book buy resale and both were fakes. And it was heartbreaking to tell them that they were fakes (I had to send them to be checked internally which takes several weeks), and when they returned, they were proven as fake. Even for women who have oodles to spend, its just not worth chancing it if the companies aren’t authorized to prove its real. And trust me, there are tons of really incredible fakes out there, but to me it’s not worth the stress of wondering. When you buy direct from a luxury house, you’re not just buying the bag- it’s a relationship and experience that is built into the purchase. And to me, peace of mind is priceless. NOW, if they had their own boutiques for vintage, that would be smart. But aside from experts like Cameron at Decades, I wouldn’t part with my money on resale.

    SéverineFebruary 21st, 2020  11:54 AM

  • Today’s WSJ has an article on the unintended consequences of Hermès’ tight supply strategy: frustrated customers being pushed to secondhand markets, and resale items selling for 50%+ over store prices. They’re leaving money on the table!

    These issues will be covered in a forthcoming book called – wonderfully – “Moneybags”.

    NikFebruary 29th, 2020  10:38 AM


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