An example of an “investment piece” is a luxury handbag. However, with its high price tag comes a lot of responsibility for maintenance and care. An adult purchase is, in reality, a bit of adulting.
A high-end handbag is a great investment, especially with the growing popularity of luxury resale. A great way to get into the luxury market is to buy secondhand. The barrier to entry is lower and the bag is already in good condition.
What if you decide to sell your bag? What is the limit of wear? Lara Osborn is the Senior Procurement Director of Fashionphile. She explains how to protect your purchase to ensure it lasts and to help you recoup costs.
What signs do you notice in consignors regarding the condition of resale property?
Fashionphile rates handbags to determine how they should be priced. Because I have seen the damage that can be done to handbags, I recommend selling them before they lose value. You don’t want to use your bag to the point of destroying the investment power. Don’t hang your bag on a hook. We will see or smell if you have used a product on a bag not designed for it. People have tried to clean bags before selling them, but ended up making water stains and shoe polish that just falls off.
How long does a luxury leather handbag last?
The bag is made by the designer. The best luxury designers have been making bags for 20 to 30 years. It all comes down to how the bag is constructed and what materials are used. Stitches hold. Fashionphile has bags that we have purchased in the ’80s and ’90s that are still available. As leather was once living, vintage will see evolutionary changes. A Chanel classic flap bag, for example, is over 30 years old. The quilting flattens and deteriorates with time, but it’s still a favorite look for some.
Is there a better material for long-term durability than others?
Full-grain leathers are a great investment. Cow skins tend to be stronger than goatskin, but goatskin can also be very weather-friendly and durable. Calfskin is the same MSRP price as lambskin, but will sell for more often because it is more durable. Hermes.com has a great quote in their instructions section: “Leather doesn’t like to live a lifestyle of excess.” Excesses is defined as “too much”, and if you do too many things every day, your wear will start to accumulate. These things should not be overstuffed. You don’t need to stuff too many things in your bag. Stress at seams will cause cracking and stress. Suede is among the most sensitive fabrics you can buy. Suede is prone to color transfer and moisture.
How can I condition my bag and clean it?
Getting it clean is one of the most important things you can do. An alcohol-free baby wipe will still pick up dirt, even though you might not be able see it with your naked eyes. It can be cleaned by simply cleaning it regularly. It is possible to moisturise areas susceptible to cracking. There are many great products on the market, but it is best to test them first. Many handbag lovers love the Apple Care leather conditioner, Cadillac shoe and boot cream. They can be used on all types of leather, but not on suede or crocodile skin.
What should you do if your skin gets scuffed or stained?
This is a difficult question, because it’s possible to make it worse very easily. Pat it on the stain, but don’t rub in. You can try your hand at a variety of things with a damp, white cloth. Professional help is needed if you have a stain. The magic eraser is not too strong and can be used on most leathers. It actually removes the scuff completely on Louis Vuitton canvas.
How do you store your bag best?
Keep it out of direct sunlight and heat. It is best to keep it in its original, upright position. You don’t need to do anything extravagant. It’s possible to use old T-shirts, butcher papers, or tissue paper. Bubble wrap and plastic can trap humidity, which could lead to mold growth. The top handles should be held in the same way as they were constructed. They shouldn’t touch or hang from anything and will cause distortions to the bag’s shape.
You can take the strap out and keep it in the bag. If not, you can let it hang loosely inside the bag or fold it in half. It’s best to store it in its natural shape, such as a bag that can stand upright on a shelf. If not, place it on its side in the box. A classic flap can be stored on its side. However, you should keep the chain in the bag. You can either secure the flap so that the chain is on the top, or use the felt provided by the designer to protect the hardware from moisture. This will prevent imprints and indentions from happening.
Low heat with a hair dryer will activate the leather to reduce indentation. In my career, I have smelled mothballs on handbags many times. I have never seen a handbag with any moth holes in it. They are not likely to be attracted to them, so keep your mothballs out!
Can a bag that is in poor condition be revived to make it resaleable, similar to “flipping” a house?
It all depends on the severity. It’s very difficult to get the hardware back if it has been damaged. The inventory is provided by the sellers when the product is being resold. The product’s authenticity is diluted if the hardware is replaced by someone other than the designer. We are very strict about getting them repaired only by authorized repair shops. If they have been replaced from outside of the designer’s control, we won’t accept them. We use great service providers such as Purse Rehabilitation in California and Leather Surgeons Pennsylvania quite often to rehab bags in high-wear areas, like the corners or the handles.