Shopping Guide To: Luxury Vintage Accessories

    ‘Oh, this old thing? It’s vintage’. There is nothing like a great vintage buy, especially when it’s designer.

    Louis Vuitton denim backpack

    The market for secondhand fashion is huge for a multitude of reasons. Whether it’s for ethical reasons, the thrill of coming across something unique, or the prices, the appeal of vintage shopping is undeniable.

    Over the years we have all started to live a little more online, and our shopping habits have followed suit. While vintage shopping in stores will always hold a special place in our hearts, it can be incredibly time consuming. The more time efficient way to shop vintage, is in fact to shop online.

    There are advantages to buying in person of course as you have the item right in front of you. That doesn’t mean though that you won’t miss any flaws and details if you are in a bit of a time crunch. The store's lighting can be dim or have a warm or cool tone, which can affect how you perceive the item.

    Shopping for vintage accessories online is only as good as the website you are buying from. You need plenty of information and photos to understand the item and its condition.

    What Is Vintage Fashion?

    A misconception is that anything that could be considered as ‘old’ qualifies as vintage. This is misleading for a number of reasons. The first is that ‘old’ means different things to different people. The second is that vintage only goes back so far, beyond a certain point you are dealing with antique.

    designer vintage accessories

    Vintage in the fashion landscape refers to items that date from approximately 20 years ago up until 100 years ago. Which, as of 2023, would mean that a bag that was manufactured only in 2003 would be considered vintage. There is some wiggle room with the dates and it isn’t a firm time period.

    What Do I Need To Know About Luxury Vintage?

    1. Vintage Doesn’t Always Mean Affordable

    Luxury vintage accessories aren’t always necessarily super affordable. It all depends on the condition, how rare the item is and how in demand it is.

    For example, vintage Chanel is renowned for its impeccable quality and so is higher in demand than some other designer brands. While it still might cost less than retail, you generally won’t find vintage Chanel for low prices, simply because of how coveted it is.

    2. Pre-Owned VS Vintage

    Everything vintage is pre-owned, but not everything pre-owned is vintage. If you buy a secondhand accessory that was manufactured in 2015, then it is pre-owned, not vintage. If you buy a secondhand accessory that was made in 1999, then it is both both pre-owned and vintage.

    3. Authenticity

    The best tip is to trust experts and those in the know. In the vintage market there are still a lot of fakes out there. It is not always easy to know if you are getting an incredible deal or being scammed.

    Discontinued handbags for example might appear to be fake because you have never seen this style of bag before. Or, because the logo used to be different. There is a reason why there are experts in authenticity, with in-depth knowledge about current and past styles.

    There are still tell-tale signs that an item is fake. Take note of the small details: Is the logo accurate? Does the stitching look comparable to the brand’s usual stitching? How has the hardware held up? What is the quality like?

    It isn’t always glaringly obvious. It is worth checking if the store offers a guarantee of authenticity. That way if you buy the item and get it checked, you can get your money back if it turns out to be a fake.

    When it comes to jewelry and watches, you definitely want to source them from a reputable source. An untrained eye would struggle to know the differences between genuine and inauthentic items in this category.

    luxury accessories

    How To Shop Luxury Vintage Accessories

    1. Vintage Shopping: In Person

    The real key to shopping luxury vintage accessories in person is to take all the time you need. 

    If there is a certain item you have in mind, or a brand or a style of accessory, it can take time. Start by looking up the best luxury vintage in your area. You might come across local markets, auctions, op shops, vintage stores, and more.

    There are specific luxury vintage stores, especially in big cities such as Paris and Tokyo, but you can also find designer accessories in smaller towns. They are more likely to be in general thrift and vintage stores, and in these smaller towns you can come across incredible prices for designer vintage. The only issue is finding these items in the first place as they can be few and far between. 

    One of the biggest joys in shopping is going to vintage stores when you are on vacation, either visiting another part of the country or abroad. So, if you are shopping for luxury vintage in-store, just be prepared to wait to be in the right place at the right time.

    2. Vintage Shopping: Online

    Luckily, over the last five years or so, vintage online shopping has gotten a whole lot more sophisticated.

    There are still auction websites and resale platforms (such as eBay and Depop) for buying luxury vintage, but the safest way to buy designer accessories online is on luxury resale websites. 

    Platforms such as eBay can be great for buying designer vintage, just make sure to check the reviews of the seller and if the item has been through any online authentication process. Reviews are incredibly helpful when it comes to figuring out if a seller can be trusted or not.

    buy designer accessories online

    myGemma has an authentication team and a stringent process to make sure each and every item that goes onto the website has been expertly authenticated. With both newer accessories and vintage styles, there is something on myGemma for everyone. 

    Selling across different accessory categories, such as handbags, small accessories, jewelry, and watches, myGemma has a great vintage edit. Each item has specifications and condition information to take into consideration.

    Check out what myGemma customers have to say about their experience.

    Where To Sell Vintage Accessories Online?

    As well as being able to buy vintage you can also sell your vintage accessories directly to myGemma. There is no middleman, so the price you are offered is the price you get, with no hidden fees.

    When it comes to selling, sometimes it can take a while to get paid. With myGemma, from price quote to payment, it can take as little as 24 hours. As opposed to marketplace where you have to wait for your item to sell, myGemma buys it directly from you so there is no waiting around.

    The selling journey is not only fast but easy. All you need to do to get started is to fill out the online form and a member of the team will be in touch with you.

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