Beauty, Fashion, Travel, Fitness, Wellness and Lifestyle Blog | Emtalks


Sunday 12 May 2024


Celebrities wearing vintage fashion

Ad affiliate throughout - Bella Hadid at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival wearing a Roberto Cavalli number that had been worn by numerous others

In the world of fashion, being able to buy luxury designer accessories is a dream for many but in reality the price tags are pretty daunting. 

Thankfully, as many shoppers move towards making a real effort to consume fashion in a more eco-conscious way embracing the circular fashion model has never been easier.  

So, buying pre-loved designer accessories not only makes those once in a life time purchases more accessible to more people but also promotes sustainability in to the bargain.  The even better news is that this is becoming a fast growing market so whether you are buying or selling (or even renting and hiring) there is now more choice around than ever and there are so many luxury resale / pre-loved sites and stores to choose from. 

In this blog post I'm going to delve in to the benefits, tips and considerations when navigating the world of second-hand luxury and share some of the most popular places to look for that longed for accessory. If you are looking for the best places to buy pre-loved, vintage or designer accessories at cheaper prices then I am here to help you with this guide to shopping pre-loved online. 

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Of course, buying and selling pre-loved isn't a new concept, it has been around for a long time.  However, it has gained popularity in recent years as part of a broader sustainability and conscious consumerism movement and I completely get that. As a young woman interested in fashion and one who spends a lot of time in restaurants, at hotels and at gatherings, I love to have a regularly changing wardrobe and I have always recycled my clothes through family, friends and through some of the on-line platforms where I can sell my clothes once I have had enough of them knowing that it's so much better that they are being re-used.  

What is pre-loved / pre-owned?

So, pre-loved, pre-owned and vintage are terms used to describe items that were previously owned or used by someone else before being offered for sale again.  These terms are usually used for items which have had a  previous owner but are still in good enough condition to be used by someone else.  

Iris Law wears a vintage Versace
Iris Law wears a 2003 Versace number previously worn by Queen Bey (Beyonce) 

What are the advantages of buying pre-loved?

Probably the most popular reason that someone would buy pre-loved is because of the price in comparison to buying the same item brand new.  Another consideration is that it can be environmentally friendly to buy pre-loved items as it reduces the demand for new production and minimises waste and gives an existing item a longer lifespan.  Many people love to buy pre-loved items because they look for uniqueness or vintage pieces that are no longer available in new product lines.  While it's essential to assess each pre-loved item individually considering factors like wear, maintenance etc it is quite possible that pre-loved items, when well looked after, can be better quality than their new equivalents bearing in mind the never ending search to produce new items cheaper these days.   
Bottega Veneta Cassette Padded Leather Crossbody Bag

Are all pre-loved accessories in good condition?

The condition of pre-loved accessories varies but many items are well-maintained or gently used.  Detailed product descriptions and images are available from reputable sellers and they can help make an informed choice before buying. 

What type of pre-loved accessories are available?

Pre-loved accessories cover a broad spectrum including handbags, jewellery, hats, scarves and much more.  

Neverfull Leather Tote Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton Neverfull Leather Tote, a beautiful vintage piece

Can I trust the authenticity of pre-loved accessories?

Reputable sellers often authenticate their products providing proof of the item's origin and originality.  Doing research about the seller, checking reviews and looking for sellers who offer authenticity certificates will ensure you are getting what you pay for. 


Many pre-loved companies have a very robust authentication process in place and offer certificates

How do I care for pre-loved items?

Proper care can differ depending on what material you are buying e.g leather may need conditioning, jewellery may benefit from a professional clean and other items may need gentle washing.  Many reputable sellers will make sure items are in perfect condition before selling them and will provide advice about on-going maintenance. 

Is buying pre-loved ethical?

Yes, buying pre-loved accessories is often considered an ethical choice.  It extends the lifecycle of items, reduces waste, and minimises the demand of new production contributing to a more sustainable fashion industry. I must admit, I have been selling my pre-owned things for years and it always just feels right that someone else is getting the life out of them rather than simply throwing them away. 

Are pre-loved accessories a good investment?

Some pre-loved accessories especially those from iconic brands or unique vintage pieces can increase in value over time or at least hold their value.  Always take in to consideration the rarity and desirability of the item when assessing its investment potential.
Can I negotiate on pre-loved items?

Some websites offer a bidding facility and a buy now option. 
Tory Burch Pumps in leather

Where can I buy pre-loved accessories?

Pre-loved accessories are available in many places now from the local charity store to online platforms like vintage marketplace or even swap events.  Trusted online marketplaces often provide a wide range of choices and secure transactions.  Here are some of the best ones I found: 

This is the world's largest online marketplace for luxury re-sale.  It has a rigorous authentication process overseen by experts and it has a safe and reliable platform for consumers to buy and sell their luxury items. 

Vestiaire is iconic for a reason. It's a global marketplace and has every single luxury brand that you can think of - you're literally spoilt for choice. As Vestiaire is so well known, this means that they carry a huge number of items so you will pretty much find everything on their platform.  A useful feature on this platform is that it allows you to set alerts for when you are looking for a specific item. 

They have a rigorous authentication process.

Here are some of my favourite vintage or pre-loved designer pieces that you can find on Vestiaire right now... 

Gucci Diana Bamboo Leather handbag

Dior Bracelet

This is an on-line marketplace that brings consumers extraordinary pieces from fine art to jewellery and fashion.  It features only items from trusted sellers and each have been vetted by experts.  There is a bidding and negotiation process in place and they add thousands of new items weekly. 

I used this platform a lot for rentals and it's fab and the good news is that they now offer a re-sale arm via the app.  Items like Dior shoes, designer bags and much more are available through this site. You can shop my designer wardrobe and rent my designer pieces on ByRotation 

Hurr again a site I use was predominantly opened for rentals in 2018.  It now offers customers who fall in love with the items they rent and opportunity to send an offer to the renter so that they can purchase their pre-owned item and keep it for as long as they wish. You can rent my wardrobe via Hurr.
Ralphie Mini Satin Bag

Ralphi Mini Satin Bag from Hurr where pre-loved items can be bought or hired

This online marketplace has a concierge service that provides a 48 hour turnaround including authentication and delivery.  Bags shoes and jewellery are amongst the highest for resale value. 

I'm super excited to see this brand which opened in the UK last year and was originally founded in Dubai.  This platform provides an exceptional white-glove concierge service, great customer experience and rigorous authentication process.  This platform has a staggering 15 million strong community so has a huge number of available products.

Originally launched in Milan, Lampoo is a second hand designer platform filled with so many accessories from most of the major fashion designers.  Lampoo also has its own store on Chelsea's King's Road which I've been in and is well worth a visit. 

Cocoon specialises in luxury handbag rental and launched its resale edit to help customers sell their pre loved luxury bags.  Payment received goes towards membership meaning your wardrobe can be refreshed endlessly. 

Chanel Classic Single Flap Bag

Sellier has both stores (London, Glasgow, Monaco and Liverpool) in addition to an on-line platform and promise super luxury in handbags, shoes and other accessories.  Their Knightsbridge store has a collection of authentic Hermes bags available for resale in London.  Artificial Intelligence (AI) is used to authenticate its pieces. We all know that Chanel doesn't come cheap, so if you're looking at getting a cheap Chanel handbag unfortunately the prices increased but generally you will get a higher quality Chanel bag if you shop pre-loved and get it older with the higher quality gold in comparison to newer Chanel bags, plus you will save money. Girl math.

Hewi is like eBay only limited to new or almost new pre-owned designer items.  Shoppers can watch items and follow sellers and choose 'buy it now' or make offers just the same as the eBay model with some additional features.

Chanel Rabbit Fur Hand Muff on Chain

Sign of the Times

Sign of the Times first opened in Chelsea London in 1976 originally selling clothes belonging to celebrities. It quickly grew to become a vintage store and has a great reputation for selling very stylish pieces. It is now store and online based.

Designer Exchange

With both and on-line website and physical stores Designer Exchange was the first company to offer instant cash payment and exchange on designer items. Authenticity and checks are made by in house experts.


Sell, swap or buy your luxury designer bags at Bagista. This company regularly posts on Instagram about new arrivals, keeping followers in the loop on the latest additions to their collection. Again authenticity check take priority making this a trusted site.


Finds uses online video and live streams to show their luxury pieces to customers with the aim of improving customer experience. Similar to Depop, Finds' edit predominantly caters for a Gen Z audience but there are some great designer finds on this app.


Rewind specialises in unique luxury vintage fashion from top designer brands and even offers a customisation service for classic luxury pre-loved handbags.


Not wanting to miss out, some major stores are offering pre-loved edits and Selfridges is one of them. This works by giving customers credit to spend at Selfridges in exchange for pre-loved handbags.

Pre-loved Prada Vernice Leather Cross-body Bag

H&M  while not luxury now offer a relied shop selling clothing items and accessories pre-owned by celebrities and bloggers alike to support their commitment to sustainability.

Black Laced Gloves

Black Laced Gloves from H&M's reliked website

Last but not least and possibly one of the most famous of all pre-loved online stores is eBay  which offers a wide range of used accessories.  It's auction model can also allow for competitive pricing and stealing a real bargain. eBay was arguably one of the first and actually they do have some really good vintage, designer and pre-loved handbags on there. 

While not strictly luxury, Depop is a global market place for buying and selling pre-loved items and is increasingly adding luxury brands to its mix.   Its social media style interface promotes a personalised shopping experience so that you can tailor it to exactly what you are looking for.  I have bought and sold on depop and have found the experience really good. 

While I'm not suggesting that you're going to come across an Hermes Birkin for a knock down price, as an absolute lover of designer handbags in particular, I feel like embracing the extensive pre-loved designer market will allow me to indulge in luxury things I would have never been able to afford otherwise.  Additionally it aligns with the growing movement towards sustainable and more mindful fashion choices so why wouldn't we look for some timeless pieces that tell a story all of their own and contribute to something so good?

To conclude, if I was shopping online for a vintage bag or a pre-loved designer piece like a Chanel bag for example, I would be looking at Vestiaire as my first point of call as I know all items are verified and I can get items from all over the world. 

Lots of love, Em x

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