Although today is Christmas Day, Christmas came a month early for me. I’ve been wanting a Chanel flap bag for as long as I can remember, and I finally got a vintage Chanel tall flap bag from The Vintage Bar. I was initially saving up for a new double flap bag, but after doing some research, I wanted the craftmanship that doesn’t seem to be reflected in the way the new bags are made, so I decided to go with pre-loved. It also worked out better in the end for my bank account, lol.
I have been seriously preparing to buy my first Chanel bag since mid-2019. The original plan was to buy a brand new bag at the Chanel store so I could also experience the feeling of leaving the Chanel store with a new bag, but once it was announced mid-pandemic that Chanel was planning on raising their prices (and with less than half of the amount of a new bag saved), I began to panic. I started looking into whether it was even worth it to buy a new bag and started scouring the pre-loved market. I mostly used the Purse Forum for my research, as all of the information I have ever wanted to know about any designer is available there and many of the users are experts on fashion.
I already knew about resellers such as TheRealReal, What Goes Around Comes Around, and Yoogi’s Closet (which I have used for my first LV purchase). I came across The Vintage Bar on Instagram after I saw a couple of influencers I trust tag them in some of their vintage Chanel buys. Their selection was less overwhelming, and at the time, cheaper even with the Euro to USD conversion. I read the description of each listing and inspected the photos carefully until I narrowed down which bag was *the* bag. With the conversion rate and import fees, I ended up paying around $2300-$2400 for my bag (for reference, a brand new double flap is $6500 without tax at the time this blog post was published). You can also set up a payment plan through TVB if you’re not ready to pay in full, but I recommend having the total amount needed for the bag and duty fees set aside ASAP so you don’t miss a payment.
Shipping was lightning fast, and communication with the representative in charge of e-mails at The Vintage Bar was excellent. As soon as my bag arrived, I gave her a thorough inspection. I currently store her in a sturdy black box provided by The Vintage Bar, with cardboard and tissue paper to keep her shape (enclosed in an extra dustbag I had in my closet). There was an authentication certificate from TVB and the original Chanel authentication card was intact. Upon checking the serial number, I found that my bag is from circa 1997, making us both 90’s babies.
Although the lambskin is a little worn, the bag is in excellent condition – although I may be biased. I inspected the stitching, the chain, etc. and it’s really a marvel how well made Chanel bags are. Apparently, only the Chanel bags made prior to 2009 are plated with real (24k) gold; they’re now plated with gold-toned hardware. I do plan on working on the lambskin a little bit, but have been enjoying my bag to the fullest as it is.
While I do hope to build a solid bag collection over the years and am looking forward to an in-store Chanel experience, I am so delighted with my first Chanel bag. Feel free to share some CC love in the comments below!