Enough of you have asked at this point, so I am answering your question: how do you buy consigned and vintage Chanel safely online without getting hosed? When buying Chanel is done the smart way, it retains its value and in some cases (with rare, in-demand and limited edition pieces), even appreciates in worth over the years. Here are my tried and true tips for finding and making the most of your chicest investment.
1. Especially if you are buying a bag, make sure serial numbers and holograms are present and that authenticity cards are included. This is not always possible with older bags (80’s), but is very important for value and resale should you choose to sell down the road.
2. Read the seller’s return policy thoroughly and do not under any circumstance purchase from a seller who is not willing to accept returns or exchanges. This is a huge red flag that they are trying to take you for a ride, and any reputable seller will stand behind their merchandise and allow you to send it back if you are unsatisfied for any reason.
3. Take your Chanel to a Chanel boutique or authorized dealer (such as a Saks or a Neiman Marcus with a Chanel boutique) to be authenticated. Don’t trust the authenticity guarantee of a seller’s word or even a printed document that you did not commission for yourself.
4. Pay with a source that will have your back. This is super important. In the event that you are sold counterfeit merchandise and the seller will suddenly not accept a return or ghosts you, you’ll be covered if you pay via PayPal or American Express or another card that offers fraud protection services.
Here are some of my favorite eTailers:
The online outpost of one of my most favorite vintage shops in Manhattan, this place is in a class by itself. The selection can’t be beat, the prices are right, and the staff is stacked with super helpful experts.
Vestiaire Collective has an excellent pre-vetted inventory of newer consigned and vintage pieces to choose from. The prices are fair, and they offer coupons from time to time. Right now you can get $50 off your order of $500 or more with code 50MAR.
Their prices are steep, but they are as reputable as they come, and there are deals to be found. The best time to shop WGACA is when Shopbop offers a coupon that works on Chanel and / or stacks on sale prices.
A note on eBay: I wouldn’t try going down this road unless you have some experience in Chanel buying under your belt, but once you have your wings and you’re ready to fly, do not under any circumstances abandon the commandments above!