Tips For Buying Vintage and Pre-Loved Items

Sometimes there’s no merit in spending an extortionate amount of money on just one designer product, when you can buy it pre-loved for half the original retail price.

While some of us might cringe at the thought of buying something that’s already been used before, you can really bag-a-bargain if you know where and how to look for one.

If you need some help making your first pre-loved purchase, then the following tips will really help you out.

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Be realistic

First rule of buying something on the internet; if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. This goes for any times that claim to be in ‘brand new’ condition but look more like damaged goods.

An item which retails at over $2000 won’t be selling for 1/4 of the original amount, unless of course it’s a fake.


There are a number of different websites which will authenticate your products free of charge. Although this offer only stands for current sales (not stock images saved to your computer), they are a good indication if something is authentic or not. Even though they might not be official sales associates, they know enough to spot a fake from a mile away.


Use certified websites which will take back your order (or exchange it) if you are not completely satisfied. This could be anything from a faulty chain, a broken zipper, or sometimes the item is not fit for resale. Take a number of pictures with natural light, and email customer service as soon as you can.


If you’re buying from a seller off eBay, always take into consideration their past feedback. If they have none at all (aka they’re a new seller) this is almost always a major red flag. Only purchase from sellers that seem reputable, and use PayPal to have your money protected in case of fraud.


The cost of an item is a big indicator of its quality. Items which sell close to their retail price are usually in mint condition, and hardly ever used.

Always ask for a number of photos from different angles, and request close-up shots of straps, zippers, and plated metals to see how the wear and tear is holding up.


While the seller might offer a signature upon delivery, always ask for a courier service. They are guaranteed to make their way to your doorstep, but take only a few days so you don’t have to worry about your package losing its way. Paying that extra bit of money will give you peace of mind.


If you are thinking about buying a vintage item, don’t expect the quality to be as brand new. For an item to quality as vintage, it needs to be more than 30 years old – so the leather might be a little worn in!

Again, stick with a reputable website which will inform you of the exact quality of the item, and provides you with that extra protection if something does go wrong. Websites such as Farfetch have a vintage section for those who want to collect designer pieces, but they do come with a heavier price tag.

Have you had any problems with buying pre-loved items?

Image via Vintage Pics