I think nearly everyone knows I have a serious love of designer fashion and accessories. It may surprise you to learn that I have only ever paid full price for one designer bag and that was about 10 years ago.
That bag was my Mulberry Bayswater which I paid for with a bonus from work. Ever since then I have only made sale purchases or shopped pre-owned.
It will probably surprise you to learn that I am actually really careful with money. I have always religiously saved a potion of my wage every month, even when I was very young. I was able to manage that because of cheap nights out, a lack of holidays and not wasting money on things I didn’t really need.
If I ever really wanted something I saved for it. I knew my car wouldn’t last forever so I saved up and was able to buy one (that was a year old) outright. The point I’m making is saving up has always been a priority. It has varied a lot in the amount I can put away every month but the important thing is I have saved something.
Every so often (ok, pretty much all the time) there is something designer that I have my eye on. I obviously don’t have the money to be getting spendy all the time, especially with being self employed. So a lot of thought goes into any purchase that I make. Like with my latest handbag, the Givenchy Antigona.
Stop Paying Full Price
I have wanted to get my hands on an Antigona for about 3 1/2 years. I featured one in a wish list back in December 2015 and again in 2016. It wasn’t until August 2017 that I took things a bit further and rented one. I knew I really wanted one but would I get the use out of it? What size would I go for? I had read so many reviews that the only way I was really going to know was by trying one out. The Antigona I rented was black which is the colour I thought I would go for given that I don’t own a black bag. It came in the small size which actually turned out to be perfect. I loved using the bag so much that I knew I wouldn’t be wasting my money if I did buy one.
Fast forward to July 2018. I regularly browse pre-loved sites and this is why I think you should avoid paying full price if you can. Some of the items on these sites may have been owned by someone who has never used them. You can also get an amazing deal. I’m not going to lie, there are a few pieces that are ridiculously cheap because they have been pretty much used to death. But, if you have the patience there are also some amazing finds.
One of the sites I regularly check is Vestiaire Collective. Their team has been specially trained to authenticate items which takes the worry out of buying pre-owned designer. You can set up alerts for items which is what I normally do, but it was pure chance that I spotted this bag. I’ve always thought I would own the Antigona in black but when I spotted it in red it was love at first sight.
To be fair I have been after a red bag for ages. One of my favourite outfits is my navy Karen Millen dress, red boots and a red Gucci Soho I rented. The Antigona in red was absolutely perfect. It was in immaculate condition, the hardware still had the plastic protectors on the strap and it came with the dustbag etc. It looks brand new.
If you were to go on a site like Matchesfashion it is currently retailing at £1590. The seller originally listed the bag for £1000 and later dropped it down to £850. You may notice with some items on Vestiaire Collective that they are ready to ship. This means that the item has left the seller and is with Vestiaire, having already been authenticated. This makes the process much faster but it also means if you make an offer it is often more likely to be accepted. This is what I did. The total price of the bag was £688 which included the shipping from Paris. I realise this is a huge amount of money but by purchasing pre-owned I’ve saved myself a huge £902!
I think if I wanted to experience the whole designer shopping experience for a really special piece then I would head to a boutique, but if I can save myself some money then I definitely will.
If you were after a designer piece would you consider pre-owned?