Friday, November 21, 2014

How To Buy A Chanel And Not Pay Retail

Chanel square mini flap bag
Slip dress: Walmart.  Trophy Jacket: Zara.  Boots: Sam Edelman. Bag: Chanel. Photo from this August post


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This post is for the: I'm maybe, possibly, eventually semi-thinking-about buying a Chanel bag but  want to pay less than retail.  

 I thought that it was only fair that if you see me wearing them on my blog, that I at least share my where did you get that intel and help anyone who is looking, rather than to keep publishing outfit posts and stay silent on the tips I picked up.  All mine (except one) are from eBay, trusted forums and online resell sites.

Years ago I thought that the only way to buy an authentic Chanel was at a Chanel counter.  However,  I learned that if you don't mind doing the research, you can find them for less than retail.   Don't get me wrong, you're not buying a box of cereal here so wait till it's the right time.  Note: Chanel increases their bag prices twice a year every year (which is ridiculous and even more of a reason to avoid the counter if you can).  

After several months of thinking about it (well technically years but months for the shopping part), then saving and researching for bloody ages I took the plunge.

Here's What I Found Out:

1. Do Your Research

 Get on the Chanel section of The Purse Forum (TPF).  I spent a long time educating myself on there.  The members are experts and any question that you have has probably already been asked and answered on there if not this year than at some point years ago.  Their archive of information is mind blowing.   Spotted Fashion is a reference guide for releases each season going back several years.  

2a.  Dealing with eBay

eBay is infamous for selling fakes but there are a handful of sellers that sell authentic Chanel bags and many allow you to return for a full refund.  These sellers are usually known in TPF.  Get their list of trusted sellers for more info.  If you are unsure if a seller's bag is legit, paste the link in the 'Authenticate This' section of TPF and the women will confirm either way for you.  Also for a small fee you can check with Etinceler who will authenticate any website links that you send to them.  For me,  eBay is the last resort (unless you really know a highly recommended trusted eBay seller e.g. Fashionhulu who I've bought from before), otherwise go straight to point 3. 

2b.  Photo Stealing

A listing can show photos of an authentic bag but the seller may use stolen photos.  If you are unsure, request that the seller send an additional photo of something very specific ie.  Asking them to point to a specific area on the bag. That way you know that they really have the bag vs stolen photos. If they refuse, walk away.  

2c. PayPal

For buyer protection never pay outside of PayPal.  Also if your PP account is linked to your credit card, many credit card companies will do a charge back to your card if you contact them to do so should anything go wrong.  If you receive an authentic Chanel but it's condition is a lot different to the seller's photos eg. there is a dent, large scratch, other damages etc that wasn't mentioned in the listing, you are within your rights to get a refund via PP even if their auction states 'final sale.'  

3.  Resale Sites

Sites known for selling authentic Chanel bags (and recommended by TPF) include: Fashionphile, AnnsFabulousFinds, Yoogiscloset, Malleries and Pursehop.  Their bag's range in years from today going back by several.  The conditions range from fair, good, excellent to never carried/brand new.  Most have a full refund policy and/or a layaway plan to pay in full later.  Double check that their prices are indeed below retail but many are MUCH less, by hundreds (if not thousands). 

4.  Try Before You Buy

Try on bags at a Chanel counter first to remember the style and size that you want.  Don't feel intimidated.  Bring a friend if you want company and an objective opinion. 

5.  Department Store vs. Chanel Boutique

IF you buy retail, get it from a Chanel counter at a department store e.g Saks, Selfridges etc. They offer return and/or exchanges.  Bergdorf Goodman allows a very long return time.  Buying at a stand alone Chanel boutique is FINAL sale. 

6. YouTube

There are tons of Chanel bag reviews online which really helped me.  Type in what you are looking for eg. 'Chanel classic flap bag' and watch the videos to see honest opinions of the bag that you are considering.  Once you know the name of the one you want (see point 1 or get the style name from the Chanel counter see point 4), type in that name to watch videos specifically on that one. 

7. Vintage

It's almost unanimous amongst owners that Chanel bags were better made before vs. now.  If like me you are open to pre-worn or used vintage bags, then consider them for the HUGE SAVINGS versus the prices of Chanels now.
See point 3.

Most of you know that I love to shop high/low: vintage, second hand, high street - nothing is off limits - including the odd designer thrown in.  I hope that this post will help those that are considering the latter.

ps. All of the above info applies to any designer brand - not just Chanel.

Karen x

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Blue Crush

Issey Miyake prism tote

I felt like a right prat for wearing a scarf and jacket a few days ago. What an idiot. 

Black leather biker jacket Bao Bao Issey Miyake Stan Smith sneakers
Velvet dress + jacket: H&M. Look at this dress from Anthro. Shoes: Stan Smith. Bag: Issey Miyake. Shades: Ray-Ban foldables. Scarf: Love Quotes.  Necklace: PANDORA. Watch: Gucci

This was about two weeks ago ish before it got stupid cold (and it was a drive in thank God).  Why can't more dresses be made from velvet?   It straddles the line between modern and vintage. 

ps.  A velvet trouser suit cut slim or oversized would be so badasss.

pps.  My fascination with metallics continues...

Where to get this or similar:

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Nike Blazer holographic sneakers

Being able to wear giant sized knits is addictive.  I've been low on neutral colored jumpers so I stocked up on a couple recently since I noticed that most of mine are plain black or grey.

Topshop faux fur clutch white midi skirt Nike hologram sneakers
Jumper and skirt: Zara. Try Topshop for this slouchy number and Asos for a midi skirt. Trainers: Nike Blazer.  Try Charles Shanghai or one of the trainers shown below. Clutch: Topshop.  Cat eye sunglasses: Kurt Geiger

This fur clutch brightens me up to no end every time I use it.  It's one of those things that you don't really need but love when you use it - especially after having thought about them for a good two winters.  The shape and size of this one was simple enough to cave on. 

As for the Nikes... They are tron-like high tops for the dark winter and later for when spring rolls around.  I first posted photos them on my Instagram.  Clearly I'm into reflective silver accessories at the moment.

Where to get this or similar:

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