Shopping Chanel: Vintage vs. New

shopping chanel2

A few days ago I gushed about a new purse in my life. I cannot tell you how in love I am with her and how happy I am with my decision. Chanel is a timeless, classic brand and I know this bag will be something I carry for many years, and will pass down to future generations.

After deciding on the bag I wanted (more on that in a later post), I spent a good year researching and determining where to actually purchase the purse. I listened carefully to Jean and Tiffany‘s advice about shopping vintage, and wanted to share my thoughts about the process:

The vintage resellers I perused (like a madwoman…):

Malleries (pictured below): This online vintage reseller is sensational. With a site of hundreds if not thousands of pieces, there is surely something for everyone. Almost daily I would visit this site and search “chanel woc” to see if any new treasures appeared. The site gives details of every bag including measurements, year the bag was manufactured, and information as to any defects. They also supply some tidbits about the reseller the bag originally came from: how long it has been on the site, the number of bags this particular reseller has sold, etc. Like most resellers, they have an “all sales final” policy, another reason I chose to buy from a store.

Portero Luxury (pictured below): This reseller is known for upping their prices. With a more limited selection of items they often showcase more unique bags + jewelry. One thing I appreciated about Portero was the detailed “rating” they gave their bag. They use a Good, Very Good, Excellent, Pristine rating scale and give details as to what each of these notations mean. They also tend to provide more detailed and specific pictures of the bag itself which I found helpful. Also non-refundable, I felt slightly more comfortable purchasing from this reseller as I saw many more pictures of the bag.

A Detailed Price Comparison of Vintage vs. New:

Vintage bags: I saw vintage WOCs range in price from $1300 to $2400. More unique colors and textures (patent, snakeskin, etc) were more expensive in price while black tended to be less expensive. However, on occasion I did see a black caviar WOC priced well above retail price. This inconsistency in pricing and the huge shipping charges (Malleries was often about $30 alone in shipping), the prices of these bags hovered around $1600 to $1800 after all was said and done. To top it all off, as you can see in the Portero picture above, a basic black caviar WOC was priced at $1330 + $30 shipping + $7% taxes AND was only a “very good” rating, meaning the bag had some serious wear and tear.

New Chanel WOC purchased from retailer: Currently the Chanel WOC retails for $1500. I purchased it for this price about 3 weeks ago, though I have heard that another price jump is coming in March. I bought the bag from a Chanel Nordstrom boutique over the phone and had the bag shipped for free. After paying North Carolina tax the bag came to a total of $1625 and was never touched, worn, tried on, etc. It was completely 100% new and absolutely stunning. It also came with the box, authenticity card, in its original packaging.

My Decision: For about the same price as vintage, I got a brand new bag that had never been touched and had a 100% guarantee that it was authentic. It was shipped to me by a retailer I trust (Nordies for the win), and got all of the fun accessories like box and card that come with it. Finally, the process with Nordstrom was entirely seamless. I called a few Nordstrom Chanel boutiques around the country and put my name on some wait lists, and three weeks later I was called by the one in Topanga, CA, paid for the bag over the phone, and it was shipped to me within 3 working days.

This was just my personal experience and choice in purchasing Chanel. I would love to hear your stories! If anyone has any questions please leave them in the comments below.

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  • imperfctconcept

    Nice post. I actually have several vintage Chanel bags. I guess since I run a vintage store its easier for me to source them. Some times it is best to buy new. You are the first to love it. =) congrats on the purchase

  • BB

    This is a great post! Thank you! Were you able to order by phone even though it was your first purchase with them? or have you bought anything from them before? I’m actually looking for the same WOC and since I don’t live near a Nordstrom or any other department store (not to mention a Chanel boutique which they do not have in the state that I live), I can only order by phone or online. I’ve heard that you can only order from them by phone if you’ve ordered from them before. Do you know if this is true?

    • thepearshape

      BB: I was able to order by phone. I put myself on the waitlist and the woman from that particular Chanel boutique within Nordstrom called me when my bag was in stock. She took my credit card information over the phone and shipped it directly to my home for free. I had never ordered by phone before so I assume it works for everyone!

      Just call the Chanel boutiques within a few Nordstrom’s and get on some wait lists and it’ll be yours soon enough!


      • BB

        Thank you! I will try that. =) By the way, I’m new to your blog and I love it!

        • lhaber

          Thanks BB! welcome!

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