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Last updated 2 months ago.

The Ultimate Guide to Buying and Caring for your Handbag

Thinking of - or have recently purchased a new bag? These tips will help you choose your bag and keep it looking great for longer.

New or second hand?

If you’re in the market to buy a new or second-hand handbag, it's important to know the pros and cons of each. Read on to get the full picture!

Buying Second-hand - Pros

There are many benefits to purchasing second hand - some of which you may not have thought of.

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Obviously, they are much cheaper than buying brand new. Savings vary, but you will often beat the brand new shop prices.

It’s possible to purchase a bag that may look old or be in a bad condition and then have it restored by a fabulous bag restorer. This will still save money compared to buying new.

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Buying second hand is better for the planet. We’ve all heard about the ongoing environmental issues, however - every small decision adds up to help prevent further damage to our beautiful planet. Bagsamoré has sustainable pledges that you can read about here.

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Buying second-hand can lead to a profitable enterprise. Simply buying the correct bags at the right time can lead to profits quickly as some items' demands can fluctuate. Pair this with the ability to restore second-hand bags, and you’re onto a winner.

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You can get unique pieces that are not sold by brands anymore. If you’re looking to buy a sentimental piece from your past but it’s not stocked anymore - then it's always worth checking the second-hand market to see if it’s out there.

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Customised items are becoming very popular - items that have had prints or paints applied by artists. These look beautiful, fashionable and really stand out. You will have more options of these on the second-hand market.

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To summarise - the great thing about designer bags is that they rarely lose value when looked after correctly, so even if your item is second/third/fourth hand - if it’s had good owners - it will sell well.

Buying Second-hand - Cons

Despite all these benefits to buying second hand - there are some downsides to look out for.

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A bag may come with hidden problems. Issues such as a weak structure and a bad smell can be easily hidden when purchasing online.

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It’s difficult to know if an item is authentic. Even if the seller has authentication documents, it’s possible that they have been forged. Buying new from the shop is the only way to know for sure that a bag is authentic. If you want to make sure a bag is authentic, you can look to have it authenticated by an online authenticator.

We recommend the following companies for this:

https://www.luxuryauthentication.com.au/

https://authenticatefirst.com/

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When purchasing second hand, you may have purchased from overseas and this has its drawbacks - There can be unforeseen costs, such as import duties and taxes. Import limitations on exotic leathers and furs. Long transit times. Dealing with a seller in a different timezone can be frustrating if there are problems with shipping. Damage in transit. As with anything - knowledge is key, so it’s best to do as much research as possible before making that international purchase and mitigate risk by requesting/using shipping insurance.

More information can be found here regarding Australian imports.

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There are of course trust issues when buying from a private seller as opposed to a public brand - so always try and buy with a trusted payment merchant with a well-used dispute system such as PayPal.

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Bagamoré offers reports for disputes you may encounter starting at $50 per bag, simply call or email today by using the icon links at the top of the page.

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There is a solution to all these second-hand downsides. You can simply use a second-hand platform/marketplace for your purchase. These have buyer protection processes in place so that you can shop happy!

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We trust these sites for purchasing second hand from.

https://luxeitfwd.com.au/

https://hawkeyevintage.com/

https://www.vestiairecollective.com/

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What to look out for when browsing second-hand bags online.

Basgamoré 4 Key Steps

We wanted to list some of the steps to take when buying on a second-hand platform as it’s still possible to make a bad purchase.

  1. Authenticity. Ensure authenticity documents are listed and you can verify the existence of any third-party authenticator.
  2. Mentioned Damage. If you can see some mild damage on the bag and the seller has not mentioned these, then there may be other problems with the bag that they have not disclosed.
  3. Seller Reviews  Ensure the seller already has made sales to happy customers.
  4. Where The Bag Is. As previously mentioned it’s important to keep an eye out for where the seller is located as purchasing from abroad can have its downsides.

Buying new has its own set of benefits and downsides, read on to find out more!

Buying new - Pros

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Brand new bags will likely not have anything wrong with them but if they do you will be able to return them hassle free. You should have access to a warranty program too!

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New bags also have a better chance of lasting longer if cared for correctly. Purchasing the right care products and ensuring the bag is protected and cleaned on a regular basis will increase the life of the bag and also help it to retain value over the years. 

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If you are a trendsetter then you will be able to shop the latest styles much easier than second hand.

Additionally, a brand new bag will come with everything that makes the item authentic such as the box, care cards, authenticity card. All this should be kept to prove authenticity and add value if you ever choose to sell your item.

Buying new - Cons

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Buying new is not good for the planet. Doing so simply increases demand for items that may not be sustainably made and may one day end up in landfill.

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An important point to keep in mind is that as soon as you step out of the shop, buying your item will lose money straight away.

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Finally, if you are shopping the latest trends then these may go out of fashion sooner than expected, read below to find out how to counter this whilst still buying new.

Buying an investment handbag

When buying new or second hand - If you are purchasing for an investment then it’s important to purchase timeless classics these are items that shops have sold for a very long time. For example, you can buy a Chanel Classic Flap today, the same as you could 65 years ago!

Freya cleaning a Chanel flap bag

Second-hand items are highly likely to increase because Chanel will increase the cost of the first hand items in the shops due to inflation. Essentially, if your bag is sold in the brands shops - the price of your bag will go up. Another example of a timeless classic is the Louis Vuitton Speedy, first created in the 1930s.

Freya Cleaning a handbag

Maintaining your bag

First inspection

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After you have received your bag, it’s important to inspect it for any defects. Even with new bags, there are things that can go wrong.

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Check for scuffs and scratches and that the overall structure of the bag is correct. It’s also important to check for odours, especially if purchasing online. Sometimes new bags can have a fish oil smell, these oils are used in the processing stages but this is still an unacceptable problem.

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If there are issues that you were not told about with your new purchase then you will likely have the right to return your item.

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If you enter into a dispute with a second-hand seller, then as previously mentioned - we can create a professional report to verify the issues with your leather item.

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If a return is not possible then never fear - Bagsamoré is here! We are experts at restoring leather items, so simply send us your details using our quote form here. We’ll then let you know what the next course of action should be.

Louis Vuitton colour change

Clean your bag

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It's important, especially in the current pandemic - to ensure new items in your household are clean. Bags contain more bacteria than the average toilet and you never know how many hands even a new handbag has been touched by. Bagsamoré has an excellent bag cleaner that can be used on any material - giving you peace of mind to clean the most prestigious of handbags.

Handbag Cleaner Bottle on marble

If you would like an extremely thorough clean, then Bagsamoré offers an exceptional bag cleaning service. Fill in our quote form or simply email us today.

Protecting your bag

After cleaning your bag, we recommend that you protect it by using a professional protection product, so you can safeguard your investment. This will help protect it from all the following issues -

  • Dye transfer
  • Oil and grease
  • Liquid staining
  • Ink and paint
  • Day to day dirt
  • UV damage

Handbag Protector Bottle on marble

Storing your bag

It’s important to store your bag properly, even if you are using it often. One of the most important things to do is to make sure it is full so that the structure stays the same as the day you received your bag. You can use almost anything to fill your handbag, from tissue paper to bag inserts.

We love Kd Australias felt bag liners for helping keep the structure of your bag whilst keeping the lining clean too! 

https://kdaustralia.com/

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Always keep out of direct sunlight and keep in a dust bag if possible. Make sure it’s not touching other items as dye transfer can occur. For instance, jean dye often stains light coloured leathers.

..and that’s everything! We hope this information is of use to you and gives you the confidence to make that purchase. Have a great day! The Bagsamoré team x.