Home > How To Buy Designer Bags For Less

How To Buy Designer Bags For Less

I love designer goodies as much as the next blogger, but dayummmm. They are expensive. The first designer bag I ever purchased was a Louis Vuitton Musette Tango in 2002 – a medium-sized shoulder bag that I treasured. It cost $450 when I bought it which seemed like an absurd amount of money to pay. Fast forward a few years and here I am wishing designer bags still cost under $1000. Most It-Bags are now within the $1800-$3000 range, with classic Chanel Flap Bags coming in just under $7000. SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.

What’s a blogger to do? Buy bags from trusted consignment stores. That’s exactly what I did three years ago when I had to replace some of my designer bags that were stolen during a break-in. No one was hurt, thank God, but the sense of violation and having a bunch of your stuff stolen really shook me. On top of that, I loved those bags and the cold, hard truth was that I really couldn’t afford to replace them.

So, I turned to Fashionphile to replace one of the bags I really missed and purchased a couple of others that were on my wishlist, because it was so much more affordable than buying brand new.

Dominique Baker Sitting with Celine Mini Belt Bag

What is Fashionphile?

Fashionphile is a popular online designer consignment site specializing in handbags, jewelry, shoes, small leather goods and watches.

They have a team of authenticators on hand to ensure their goods are 100% authentic, most of which have experience working for premium brands. Fashionphile has become such a trusted designer resale destination that it recently partnered with Neiman Marcus, and in-store Fashionphile boutiques will start to open within their department stores over the next year.

Dominique Baker Standing With Celine Mini Belt Bag

Why Choose Fashionphile?

Like I said, they enlist a team of authenticators; therefore, the items you purchase are guaranteed authentic. No fakes, no surprises.

Also, Fashionphile offers two-month layaway which makes buying that Chloé Tessa Bag a little less painful. Simply put 20% down, and make as many payments as you need to over the two-month timeframe.

The Fashionphile selection is incredible too. In my opinion, it’s better than The RealReal and Vestiaire Collective (but do not discount these sites – there are some gems to be had). The pictures on the Fashionphile website are clear and sharp too, offering up a host of pictures of the item you want from multiple angles.

Dominique Baker Standing with Celine Mini Belt Bag

Fashionphile offers a rating system for the items they sell regarding the condition of the bag/wallet/shoes, etc. that you are interested in. An item will be listed in the following conditions: New, Excellent, Very Good, Good and Fair.

Personally, I will not buy an item that is listed lower than “Very Good”. It’s just a personal preference. In addition, the Fashionphile site offers up a detailed written description of items, including any flaws it may have such as pen marks in the interior of a bag, scratches on a watch face, perfume odours, etc.

Lastly, they ship internationally which is great for us suckers who aren’t blessed with a local Chanel or Hermès store.

Things You Should Know – Especially If You Are Canadian

This Canadian right here learned the hard way that import charges and duties must be paid before you accept your Fashionphile shipment. These charges are generally the provincial tax on the item you purchase. That hurts A LOT if you aren’t expecting to pay an extra $260 on a $2000 item.

If you want to avoid these charges, find a Canadian reseller. Some favourites of mine are Montreal-based Trendsavvy, Love That Bag and Alberta-based Forever Red Soles. Both are incredibly professional with a killer supply of designer goodies.

Always wanted a Louis Vuitton Carryall. Found one preloved for $500, about $1500 less than retail.

Items I’ve Purchased And Love

There are several designer bags, accessories and jewelry that I’ve purchased from designer consignment stores over the years, mainly from Fashionphile, such as my prized Céline Mini Belt Bag, Louis Vuitton Carryall, Fendi Baguette bags, gold Tiffany & Co. jewelry and more.

Dominique Baker in a white dress and Fendi Mama Baguette At The Andaz Rooftop Patio
Dominique Baker Wearing Mott & Bow Orchard High-Waisted Skinny Jeans and Harper Silk Blouse Fendi Mama Bag François Pinton Jacky Sunglasses
My beloved Fendi Mama Baguette. A vintage steal at $675 USD

The items I’ve purchased, I’ve researched heavily and ensured that I would wear them frequently. Since I’m just a regular gal, it doesn’t always make since for me to buy an expensive designer piece that’s too trendy or fragile to wear daily. My bags and accessories are used almost daily – as they should be. Most times, I opt for bags made of leather or suede, are neutral colours so that they can be worn with many different looks, or are in a classic shape in a great colour, such as the Louis Vuitton Alma BB bag I’ve purchased in Pomme d’Amour – an amazing candy apple red.

French Girl Style For Non-French Girls | Style Domination by Dominique Baker
A YSL College Bag found on Fashionphile. This beauty I borrowed from my friend Sam for this shoot!

Buy The Bag!

Well, I hope that you have found this post helpful and give preloved items a chance. It’s amazing the things you can find and it’s always great, especially for our environment to give things a second chance or repurpose them!

Got your eye on a designer piece, new or previously loved? Let me know what it is in the comments!

Dominique Baker
Dominique Baker

Dominique is a Canadian-based fashion and beauty influencer with a strong voice in Ottawa’s black community. Since launching her blog Style Domination in 2015, she has amassed a global fanbase. Dominique shares her life through beautiful imagery and compelling story-telling that speaks to her fans on a personal level. She’s been featured in The Guardian, Flare, The Kit and Cityline. She also hosts events for Dress for Success, the Gem Conference, and has been named a United Way Person 2 Know for the past three years.

Find me on: Web | Instagram


  1. Dorcas
    July 28, 2019 / 9:50 pm

    Since the video on your designer bags collections, I have had a piqued interest in bags, or investment bags as they say.
    I have come to appreciate them for being fashionable and pieces that can be sold and resold.
    The color suggestions you give are quite helpful and practical.
    For starters, I have my eye on a HERMÈS clutch I saw (1940s) on a certain website.
    Thanks for the tips into the world of fashion investment.

    • Dominique
      July 29, 2019 / 9:23 am

      Dorcas, I couldn’t think of a better brand to start off your designer collection. You reach for the stars, girl! LOL! I found an Hermès canvas and leather backpack on Fashionphile for $600. That’s about $8000 off. LOL! #seriously Let me know which bag you end up getting!

  2. Dorcas
    July 29, 2019 / 12:52 pm

    I sure do! And when I get it, you’ll be the first to know.😄😄😄 Hopefully.

    • Dominique
      July 29, 2019 / 4:18 pm

      Remember – don’t feel pressured. They are just bags. Gorgeous non-name brand bags are just as nice as designer ones!

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