Where do you navigate if you want a used men’s designer bag? There may be places offline locally, though they are typically aimed at women. Men’s best options are online, and there are four key operators: eBay, Grailed, TheRealReal, and Vestiaire Collective. How do they compare and which is preferable? This is a men’s luxury premium reseller comparison.
However small the market may seem, we fashionable males on a budget also want something of quality and durability at a significant discount from new, which can, on average, be near four figures. So where do we go?
As a buyer
#4 eBay (p2p)
The longest-established here is also the site with the widest range and selection, without much of a vetting process, so some listings are questionable; others look just fine. Prices vary, though deals can be had if a seller is aiming to sell quickly. I once caught a black nappa Prada messenger for $400 in pristine condition and missed it by a few hours!
Many listings do not allow best offers, and discounts or promotions are rare. eBay also has a robust system for feedback and fraud protection. The original format of eBay—bidding in a timed auction—is largely lost now in favor of listed prices in a take-it-or-leave it way that mimics other peer-to-peer sites.
What’s there now:
- Bottega Veneta black leather paneled briefcase, $475
- RRL Ralph Lauren Southwestern brown leather tote, $695
#3 TheRealReal (direct)
“TRR” is not a peer-to-peer service, so all inventory is held by the website before it is shipped to a buyer. This adds an overhead that makes TRR prices higher than average, and often overpriced considering the condition of the bags. Many of its items are well worn, scuffed, or scratched in a way that would diminish their specialness, even as a used piece.
Nevertheless, TRR has a huge selection of men’s bags, from a wide range of designers and brands (Coach to Brunello Cucinelli). It’s one of my favorite sites to browse, and often runs 20% off promotions.
What’s there now:
- Bottega Veneta plum leather messenger, $1,095
- Mulberry black grained leather backpack, $445
- Louis Vuitton Monogram Laser Clarkson bag, $745
#2 Grailed (p2p)
Grailed was born from a love of limited, streetwear, and cult designer goods, so it isn’t the place to hunt for a Louis Vuitton duffel if that’s what you’re after (unless it is super limited or “hot rn”). I have seen plenty of other interesting things. The peer feedback ability (if you’re dissatisfied) strikes me as less capable than eBay, so there is a heightened risk of fraud and ultimately a bad experience. I have seen more than a few fakes or grossly overpriced items on Grailed.
You can usually make offers to sellers in case you don’t like their list price.
What’s there now:
- Mulberry leather weekend bag, $546
- Tod’s striped leather shopper, $342
- Lanvin pink nylon and leather backpack, $405
- Yves Saint Laurent (pre-Slimane) leather North-South briefcase, $359
#1 Vestiaire Collective (p2p/direct)
Based in Paris, Vestiaire matches serious connoisseurs and collectors with potential buyers. I have written previously about my experience buying a bag I loved (nappa Prada bowler) and one I didn’t (Bottega Veneta tote). It’s a high-caliber site with an appealing mix, good price points, and strict quality standard, though there are no returns accepted. If you are unhappy, you can relist an item you’ve purchased and VC will waive their commission fee.
Shipping is expensive ($40), but VC runs promotions regularly for free shipping, rebates, and as a buyer you can negotiate with sellers.
What’s there now:
- Bottega Veneta tumbled duffel in taupe, cream, pink, and yellow, $2,214
- Prada black and brown leather portfolio brief, $638
- Dsquared2 blue leather tote, $386
A most fascinating part of many resale sites (including three of four above) is their partnership with Affirm, which allows buyers to pay in installments. Suddenly, a $600 purchase can be spread over six monthly payments of just over $100 (including interest). I tried this on my last Vestiaire purchase, and it worked nicely.
As a seller
I have sold on all of these platforms except TheRealReal. According to the website, it charges from 45% to 30% as the selling price increases.
The fees and commissions charged to sellers on the other three vary: Vestiaire takes a very hands-on approach, arranges shipping globally (from seller to their office and on to buyer), and tells you in advance what you will net from a sale. It charges between 50% and 18% depending on the selling price.
Grailed and eBay charge a percentage of the final selling price, around 10% flat. Logistics and authenticity vetting is left to the buyer and seller.
My suggestion to sellers: price items to move. Unless you are indifferent (could keep or sell), it’s better to list it, sell it, and move on, than have it sitting for months.
Bags for manly men have become a major and necessary facet of every fashion brand and designer line. Traditionally male-driven brands (Dunhill, Dsquared2, Rick Owens) have expanded their offer along with brands that originate in the female arena (Anya Hindmarch, Givenchy, Jimmy Choo), driven by sophisticated male shoppers across the globe.
Next to athleisure, the circular market of premium resale is the most formative development in luxury of the last five years. Whereas growth has slowed in traditional retail settings, e-commerce resellers have found strengthening business in buyers, sellers, and browsers of high-end used fashion.
There are other sites for high-end resale with occasional elements of men’s or unisex leathergoods. They are worth a cursory glance but rarely have compelling things:
- Fashionphile (Los Angeles)
- 1st dibs
- Sui Generis (San Francisco)
- Mosh Posh (Tampa)
- INA (New York)
I hope this premium reseller comparison was useful. As more consumers consider pre-owned an option, we may see the popularity of these sites increase and newcomers join them. It is an exciting space to watch!