I have a confession: I can’t buy anything full-price. It goes against my moral compass. Also, purchasing an item for a fraction of the retail price simply makes me love it more.
For major retailers, sure, it’s easy to make a purchase with a discount (who else receives hundreds of promotional e-mails every day?!). What about those luxe items and investment pieces like designer apparel, shoes, handbags and jewelry? I’ve found that you don’t have to spend your entire month’s mortgage on classic or trendy designer goods. In fact, I’ve purchased pre-loved designer clothing and handbags at a fraction of the price from consignment stores and online retailing sites for years.
From a Chanel handbag to Kate Spade wool pants, here are some of my favorite luxe finds that I found on consignment or at a secondhand store which means I paid only a fraction of the original price.
If you’re not familiar with consignment, here is how it works.
A business agrees to pay a seller (the consignor aka you!) for merchandise after the item sells. Often times the payment arrangement is a specific percentage of the selling price (e.g., 50% – 80% of the sale price). As a buyer, you can purchase a designer good at a steal. On the flip side, as a seller, consigning an item that you no longer use is an easy way to free up space in your closet and make a little money at the same time.
Bold logos are one of the hottest fall trends (which I highlight in my recent post, “Five Trends for Fall and Beyond“) so I wanted to reveal my top consignment and secondhand retailers for purchasing those coveted luxury designer logo handbags – along with shoes, apparel and accessories – for less!
5 Ways to Buy Designer on Discount
- ThredUp – I’ve used ThredUp since they opened their virtual doors a few years ago (In fact, I talk about them in one of my first blog posts, “Fall Closet Cleanout: How to Make Room + $ At the Same Time“). *STYLE DJ TIP: While you won’t find the range of designer handbags like you would from other sites (read on below), ThredUp offers classic luxury styles and designers at discounted prices like this classic Fendi Zucca bag. (Bonus: Click here to save $10 on your first order).
- TheRealReal – This is my go-to online consignment shop for anything designer, whether I’m planning to buy something or sell/consign an item. Everything is authenticated and an item’s condition is described in great detail so you know exactly what you are getting. They have a huge inventory including a wide range of unique and vintage pieces. Items on my wishlist include this vintage suede Gucci handbag and Dior silk scarf *STYLE DJ TIP: On top of their already discounted prices, make sure to use a discount code to save even more on your purchase by creating an account and receiving their e-mail alerts. Also, here is a referral discount code to save $25 on your first order.
- Tradesy – This is an online marketplace to sell or purchase clothing and accessories. As a seller, you personally control your product listings (similar to eBAY). As a buyer, listings are reviewed/authenticated by Tradesy so you can feel confidant in your purchases. When it comes to designer goods, the range of new and vintage styles is never-ending. I could spend hours sifting through postings and admiring the designer listings! *STYLE DJ TIP: If you’ve noticed an item has been listed for a while, message the seller with a proposed sell price a bit below the asking price, but still fair. (I used this technique for the pink Chanel bag pictured above). Also, every purchase comes with a free return. If the item arrives and is not what you had in mind, return it to Tradesy for a full refund.
- Crossroads Trading – This store is my preferred place to sell on-trend clothing for a little cash and they also take designer handbags and accessories which they sell on consignment. *STYLE DJ TIP: Check to see where your nearest Crossroads Trading store is located! Sell any like-new items from your closet that you’re not wearing in turn for store credit which you can use to “buy” a fabulous designer handbag being sold on consignment at the store (I did this to get the round red patent Kate Spade bag pictured above). This is an easy way to swap out trendy clothing for an investment piece you’ll likely own and wear for years to come.
- ShopGoodwill.com *WARNING* There is a high chance of becoming addicted to shopping from this site! A fellow treasure hunter told me about this online version of the Goodwill stores, and since that time, I bought red Chanel sunglasses and a vintage Fendi baguette for each less than $100! (For reference, a pre-owned Fendi baguette typically retails for $200-$400+). The website offers eBAY-style auctions for everything from lots of antique buttons to designer goods. This site may be best for an experienced thrifter as you have to have patience to review pages of postings and have an eye for uncovering a treasure. *STYLE DJ TIP: Use the “search” bar to identify current listings for a designer of interest. Make sure to read the listings carefully as all sales are final. Before you bid on an item, make sure you’re clear on the condition by contacting the store selling the item (there is an e-mail contact button which makes it super easy!) One final tip, for an item you love, set your max price and get ready to submit your final bid a minute before the bid end time.
I hope my five ways to buy designer items on discount are helpful to you whether you’re looking to buy your very first vintage bag or plan to add to your growing collection. If you shop from the above retailers and have some tried and true shopping tips up your sleeve, please share! I always love to hear from you.