As we all make an effort to shop (and live) more sustainably, it might not surprise you to know that the pre-loved fashion market is booming. I'm not just talking about the rise of rental platforms and secondhand services, nor am I solely referencing the vintage sellers currently enjoying enormous success thanks to super-famous clients like Rihanna. It's designer handbags which are really having a moment, with some consignment stores selling bags with eye-watering price tags on social media.
But not everyone can, or indeed wants to shell out a cool few thousand pounds for a vintage Louis Vuitton Speedy bag. That's where eBay has always come in. The global online marketplace has long provided an easy-to-use, accessible space for bag lovers to buy and sell handbags from some of their favourite designers in the mere click of a button.
But with the pre-loved luxury bag market valued at £115.3 million to date (and growing), how can you be sure that what you're buying from a seller on eBay really is what it claims to be? You don't want to think you've, ahem, bagged yourself a Gucci Dionysus bag for less than £600 (they usually start at £775 for the smallest size), only to find when it arrives that it's quite clearly not the real deal.
This is exactly why eBay decided to launch its Authenticity Guarantee service for luxury bags that are over £500. Having already seen huge success with a similar service for trainers and watches last year (this saw a multi million pound uplift in sales), it's hoping that it will help to reassure the 32% of buyers that eBay identified, who hesitated to purchase a pre-loved luxury handbag from the platform in the last 24 months due to mistrust and concerns about authenticity.
This isn't just great news for buyers but for sellers, too. After all. if potential customers know for certain that the product you're selling is authentic, you'll be much more likely to earn some extra cash.
So, how does it work? Well, eBay will work with carefully selected authenticators who will undertake a rigorous physical inspection, as well as the use of specialist machinery. The handbags authentication process includes:
● Thorough Inspection: At first point, the authenticator verifies that the handbag’s condition matches the listing description. eBay's authenticators inspect the general quality of materials and serialization, and use magnification and measurement to inspect the brand logo, hardware, chains, zippers, and snaps, analyzing the engraving and checking the stitching.
● Proof of Authentication: All bags will have a unique Authenticity Guarantee card filled with information about the handbag brand and model to confirm its authenticity, and solidifying confidence in eBay as a platform for luxury pre-loved items.
● Verified Returns: Sellers who offer returns receive the same protection as buyers. eBay's handbag authentication program ensures the exact item initially sold is returned to the seller via a verified returns process. Returns are shipped back directly to the authentication centre, where authenticators verify each item and its condition before returning to the seller.
Incredibly, a handbag sold every 15 seconds on eBay in 2021. With this new guarantee in place, who knows how many will be flying off the shelves in 2022. And just think – all those pre-loved handbags will be given a new life in a new home. That's good news the planet, and so good news for us all.
BUY: Authentic Luxury Handbags On eBay
This is a classic for a reason – with its shiny gold YSL monogram and supple red leather, it's probably the ultimate shoulder bag that will never go out of fashion. This one's brand new with all its tags and is almost half the original RRP. Run.
Make sure you check the descriptions of each item so you know exactly what you're getting. This Prada bag is listed as being in excellent condition complete with dust bag and authenticity card.
There are so many amazing deals to be found, including this Ferragamo bag, listed for nearly £400 less than the price for which it was bought.
Gucci's velvet bag is ideal for special occasions but will also jazz up your jeans at the weekend.
Louis Vuitton's clutch can also be worn as a cross-body bag and bears the fashion house's famous monogram print.
If you're looking for an iconic designer handbag that's not too flashy, Chloé's Marcie bag is the one for you. It's instantly recognisable with its horseshoe shape and can be worn cross-body for added practicality. Pair with boho dresses and fringed boots for peak Chloé style.
Bottega has created some of the most popular handbags of the past few years, so it's no wonder it can be difficult to get your hands on them. This one in particular has nearly £500 off the normal price, so well worth investing in if you're in the market for a Bottega bag.
Sold out almost everywhere, Balenciaga's logo camera bag is compact yet roomy, with space for all of your essentials. Wear it with everything from jeans to dresses – there's nearly £100 off this brand new style that comes with all of the original packaging and tags.