How To Sell Your Designer Handbag For Cash

Hermès Kelly and Birkin in black, both with gold hardware sitting on an armoire.

There are many reasons for selling designer bags. Perhaps you have a Birkin and have decided a smaller bag would suit you better. Maybe you’re downsizing your collection or making room for new bags. You might want to jump on a new trend, or the trend you bought into just doesn’t work for you. Whatever the reason, if you want to learn how to sell designer handbags, there’s a lot to cover. You will need to determine the appropriate price based on your bag’s market value, find the best place to sell luxury bags, and learn to prepare your bag for sale. So, let’s look at what you need to know to sell your designer handbags for cash, so you can get a good price and avoid getting scammed.

Determining the Value of Your Designer Handbag

The first step in learning how to sell designer handbags involves a lot of research.

Know What You Have to Sell

There are many factors that determine a bag’s value. After all, no one spends tens of thousands of dollars just because a purse is pretty. Designer handbag lines like HermèsGoyardLouis Vuitton, and Chanel fetch the exorbitant prices they do because they represent extraordinary quality and craftsmanship. Further, these bags are collectible and on-trend. If you want to sell one or more of these designers’ handbags, you must know the specific features of your handbag, including the designer, model, type of leather, color, size, hardware, etc.

Model holding a Hermès Sellier Kelly 25cm bag with gold hardware.

For instance, there is no point in trying to sell a designer bag as a “pink Hermès handbag.” But an Hermès Kelly Sellier 25 in Rose Confetti Epsom with gold hardware in excellent or new condition would sell in a snap. The model is a Kelly Sellier (Sellier vs. Retourne), the size is 25 cm, and the color is Rose Confetti, a lovely shade of medium pink. The leather is Epsom, and the hardware is gold. Find the bag’s date stamp and learn everything you can about the bag. 

This level of specific detail is essential for selling designer bags from any atelier, not just Hermès. The more accurate and informed your description of the handbag, the better you’ll be able to determine a price.

Designer handbags can be excellent investments and often perform extraordinarily well on the resale market. In fact, some designer bags outperform investments in gold and the stock market for returns. The best include:

Condition Is Half of the Equation

Knowing the details of your handbag’s identity is essential, but so is its condition. When selling designer handbags, the better the bag’s condition, the higher the price it will fetch in less time. 

The following categories are used to describe the condition of designer handbags:

  • Pristine: A pristine bag is flawless, has never been worn, and shows no signs of damage, even from storage.

  • Mint Condition: The bag is nearly pristine. Perhaps it was worn once or twice but shows no sign of wear.

  • Excellent: This bag is in near-perfect condition, with minimal signs of wear. Any flaws are barely perceptible.

  • Very Good: These bags have been gently worn and cared for beautifully. They will retain their shape but show signs of a few scratches. 

  • Good: The bag has been used and has visible signs of age and wear. The imperfections are clear but mild.

  • Fair: The bag has several noticeable flaws, such as discoloration, scratches, tears, or loss of shape. 

As you consider how to sell your luxury bag, be dispassionate in evaluating the bag’s condition. Some of the best platforms for resale won’t even consider a bag in less than “very good” condition, and “excellent” or better are preferred. 

Once you know the specifics of your handbag and its condition, broaden your online search to discover how bags like yours are currently selling. Explore auctions as well as resale sites. If you have had your bag for a few years, the price you paid may bear little resemblance to the amount you can get for selling the designer handbag now. 

Researching the Market: Best Places to Sell

Once you have done your research, you need to decide the best place to sell your designer bags.  When learning how to sell your designer handbags, you have three primary avenues to consider:

  • Reputable Luxury Resellers: Trusted resellers like Madison Avenue Couture are the most straightforward and secure route for selling designer handbags for cash. You’ll have the option to consign or sell your bag outright. These resellers have the experience and expertise to authenticate your bag, store it safely, and market it professionally. They have an established customer base. Because the store does the heavy lifting, they take part of the profit from the sale.

  • Marketplaces: Marketplaces like eBay and Poshmark allow you to post your bag and wait for someone to purchase it. You will have to do all the work, including communicating with prospective buyers, and wait until the right buyer comes along. These marketplaces take a percentage of the selling price, and the profit may not be much greater than selling or consigning to a professional reseller. They also take returns, so you may sell your bag, but it may be returned and not in the condition in which you sold it.

  • Direct Sale: You can also try selling your designer handbags directly to an individual buyer through Facebook or another group. Again, this requires you to do all the work. It also creates the risk of being involved in a fraudulent transaction. Since you are doing all the work and selling your bag directly, you keep the total sale price.

Where to Sell Designer Bags: Pros & Cons

Each of these approaches to selling your designer handbags has its pros and cons. 

Resellers Pros & Cons:

The benefits of selling through a leading reseller are:

  • The reseller does the work, including the photography, marketing, buyer communication and shipping.  

  • You can sell or consign, if you are looking for a higher return then consignment is the better option, however, if you want the cash immediately and know that the profit is going to be less, than an outright sale is the answer  

  • You won’t get cheated. The reseller takes responsibility for selling and shipping the item.  If a buyer defrauds the reseller, you still get your money.  

  • You’ll get a fair price. Resellers know the market and typically offer prices that are fair to you while enabling them to sell the bag at a profit.

The downside is that the reseller takes a portion of the profits, typically 20%. However, since they know the industry, they will likely get a great price, far greater than if you sell the bag on your own. If you offer your bag for consignment, the better the selling price, the more money you make.

Marketplace Pros & Cons

The benefit of selling through an online marketplace is that you will keep more profit. However, you will also do a lot more work, and this route for selling designer handbags has the greatest risk of scams. 

When selling your designer handbags, beware of these common scams documented on eBay and elsewhere:

  • The buyer claims the box arrived empty and wants a refund.

  • The buyer claims the bag is fake, returns a different bag, and wants a refund.

  • The buyer claims the bag is fake and takes it to the platform’s poorly trained “authenticators,” who may damage the bag, prompting a demand for a refund.

  • The buyer wears the bag, perhaps damages it, then wants to return it.

Selling platforms may require you to allow the return or make the refund. Even if you successfully argue your case to the selling platform, the seller's credit card or PayPal may take their side, forcing you to refund, even after the platform’s window for refunds or returns has closed. Scammers love to prey on new sellers with no history or ratings to bolster their credibility.

Direct Sale Pros & Cons

Selling your designer handbag directly to a customer typically takes the most work and the longest time. Unless you know the interested customer, it takes a lot of hustle to market your bag. However, this is also the route that lets you keep all the profit.

Preparing Your Designer Handbag for Sale

Before selling your designer handbag, gather all the accompaniments you have. Buying a designer handbag is an experience. Your buyer wants to enjoy every one of your bag’s accompaniments, including the original box, dust bag, clochette, lock, and keys. Providing the original receipt, with your personal information redacted, is a plus, as it helps verify the bag’s authenticity.

Next, carefully clean the entire bag and its accompaniments. Only use leather conditioner if you know it would not violate the bag’s warranty if it is still active. 

When selling a designer handbag for cash, it is essential that you fully document its condition. Examine the bag with extreme care. Take pictures of it from every possible angle, inside and out. The photos should be as professional and clear as possible. Take well-lit close-ups of any flaws or signs of wear, no matter how small or insignificant. Make detailed notes of the slightest damage.

Be upfront about any issues, like if it was stored in a smoker’s home or with mothballs (the smell is impossible to eradicate). Transparency is key to a successful sale and a satisfied customer.

It is essential to accurately judge, describe, and document your bag’s condition. Study Madison Avenue Couture’s condition descriptions to help you determine the difference between judgments like mint condition and excellent.

Closing the Sale Successfully

Knowing how to sell a designer handbag, either to a reseller or on your own, involves a combination of marketing, presentation, and negotiation skills. These strategies can help you sell successfully:

  • Know Your Product: The first step is to know about the bag or bags you are selling, including the popularity of the brand and your specific model. Be keenly aware of conditions and accompaniments. You’ll then be able to answer any questions potential buyers may have and build trust.

  • Determine The Selling Mode:  Decide if you are going to a reseller or selling on your own on an online marketplace.  Do some research and select the reseller or marketplace that is best suited given the profit potential, the work involved, and the transaction risk.

  • Set a Fair Price: Your research on the current market value of your handbag will help you determine a fair price. Remember, your selling price should consider factors like the bag’s condition and whether you have the original packaging, receipts, and accompaniments.  Some resellers like Madison Avenue Couture will ask the price that you are anticipating selling the bag for.  Be realistic,

  • Be Transparent: Honesty is key when selling your designer handbag. Be clear about the bag’s condition, any damage, and repairs that have been made. If you are sending photographs, show the damage and signs of wear. Resellers and individual buyers prefer not to deal with people who say a bag is pristine when it shows clear signs of use.

  • Prepare to Negotiate: A reseller or individual buyer will often want to negotiate the price. Decide beforehand what your lowest acceptable price is and be prepared to stick to it. Be flexible, but don't feel pressured to accept an offer that you're not comfortable with.

  • Decide to Consign or Sell: If selling to a reseller, ask for both the consignment and outright selling price.  Many resellers will only consign so you need to consider their selling history.  Madison Avenue Couture sells more than 90% of its consigned bags within the consignment period.

  • Ensure a Safe Transaction: Selling to an established reseller has considerable advantages with regard to safety. If there is an agreement regarding the transaction terms, ask the buyer for a binding contract. Resellers, like Madison Avenue Couture, will provide an insured label for shipping the bag. If selling to an individual, the transaction should be in person in a public place, such as a bank. If the sale is online, use a secure platform for the transaction to protect both parties.

Once the transaction is completed and you have received payment, you can use the funds to buy a new handbag, take a trip, pay some bills, or something else.  Enjoy!

Selling or Consigning with Madison Avenue Couture

When you sell your designer handbag to Madison Avenue Couture, you are entering into an agreement with genuine experts in authenticating and selling these extraordinary pieces. You know you won’t get scammed and that your bag will be treated with white-glove care at all times.

We prefer to buy new bags and consign preloved bags. We offer a higher payout on consigned bags, but you will only collect payment once the item is sold.

The process for selling designer handbags for cash with Madison Avenue Couture is simple.

  • Visit our Sale/Consign page to start the process. We have a short selling form for describing your bag, including photos and any price expectations. We will contact you within 48 hours with an estimate.

  • If you like our estimate, we will send you a contract and a shipping label. We are happy to pay for the shipping and insurance. Securely package your bag and send it to us.

  • Once we receive the bag, we authenticate it and inspect it to determine our final price. We pay within five business days of the final evaluation and agreement by your choice of electronic check (ACH) or bank wire.

In terms of security, ease, and speed of payment, Madison Avenue Couture is the best place to sell designer bags in new/never work and mint condition. We look forward to doing business with you.

Judy Taylor

CEO & Founder of Madison Avenue Couture
Judy Taylor, the CEO and founder of Madison Avenue Couture is one of the most respected authorities on luxury bags and accessories. Her unwavering commitment to quality has cemented her as an expert in luxury retail, inspiring fashion enthusiasts worldwide.
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