Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lessons Learned in Luxury Purchasing/Sales

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about selling off my rouge garrance Birkin. I'm still on the closet purge, so I had to say good-bye to another beloved item: my aqua Christian Louboutin Poseidons. It was a hard decision to make, but as I got a decent offer for them, I decided to let the aqua ones go. I bought the aqua ones from the West Hollywood boutique, which carried it in that color, gold, and silver. I didn't even know the lavender ones existed until they were posted on tpf, but it was sold at other boutiques, and I couldn't afford to get 2 pairs at the time. Fast-forward a few months, when a dear friend and CL angel told me he found the lavender ones ON SALE! He fronted the money for me and even brought them to me, then they were mine! I hate to admit that I haven't even worn them yet :( .... but I promise to soon! The aqua babies went to a very grateful buyer in New York who swooned over them 2 years ago in the boutiques, but couldn't shell out the retail price for them. She was very grateful to find them again. I hope they find their way to her and she can have her Cinderella moment in them. Here's the one picture I took of me wearing them, on a Mexican cruise captain's dinner in 2010 (Wow! What a difference 2 1/2 years can make--that dress was a size 10--I now wear a size 2).
Anyway, in this closet purge, I learned a few lessons, which I will now share with you. These were some very expensive lessons, and by reading them, maybe I can save someone else from making the same mistakes. However, don't take my words as gospel. Do what's right for you and you alone. Also understand that your experience may be different from mine.
1) I'm not Victoria Beckham/Paris Hilton/Kim Kardashian/etc. I'm a single working girl with a limited wardrobe budget. Every lesson following this one is based on this premise.
2) No one needs designer bags or shoes. You buy them because you want them. You can carry your essentials in a no-name bag from Walmart or wear shoes from American Eagle and still look great.
3) If I buy a bag, I buy it for life. Today, I threw out an old Mossimo T-shirt I bought from Target years ago cuz I found a huge rip in the fabric. Designer handbags are different. It takes an AWFUL lot of wear and tear before throwing out should even be considered. Even if it becomes trashed, do you literally throw out the bag? Probably not. The next step would be to take it to Eddie's (see previous posts on my wonderful experiences with this man!).
3) Considering designer handbags last a lifetime, how many can you actually use in your life? The more you have, the more options you have for different outfits/occasions, but the more you have, the less each one gets used.
4) Brand names count for a lot. Rachel Zoe said that your bags should earn you money. I mostly agree with this statement. If you have extra money and find a bag that you want and know you'll love for a long time, then buy it. I will likely not be able to make money off my next birthday present, but goshdarnit, I will love and use it anyway, so it's worth it to me. However, if you're ever in a predicament like I'm in, you'll realize that certain brands carry more worth than others. I sold my Hermes Birkin bag for 96% of the price I paid for it, despite being used and with a few imperfections. The best offer I got for my Chloe Paddington bag was for 23% of the price I paid.
5) Classic bag brands above all else, classic styles above all else. Even though I sold my Birkin for 96% of the original price, I can't even sell my Hermes Paris-Bombay for 50% of the price I paid. Besides the money factor, classic brands/styles can be worn/used at age 18 or 98 or any age in between.
6) Shoes will not make you money, particularly if they're worn. Christian Louboutins are a very desirable brand, and of all designer shoe brands, they're likely to fetch you the highest price, but it's rare that you'll get the amount you paid back. If they're used, you'll be lucky to get 40% of what you paid. So buy the shoe only if you love it. Sell it if you have to, but be prepared to take a hit.
Bottom line: No more "it" bags, and I think I'm done with new purchases, save for the yearly birthday treat ;)
When all's sold and done, I will proudly post pics of my pared-down collection.

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