Selling Your Designer Handbag: Where Could You Net the Most Cash?

Find out where you can get the most bang for your buck.

ByABC News
February 10, 2015, 7:25 AM
A woman carries a handbag in an undated stock photo.
A woman carries a handbag in an undated stock photo.
Getty Images

— -- Maybe it was a gift or maybe you splurged, but if you have a designer handbag you’re not using, it’s like keeping a pile of money in your closet. But if you want to resell a nice bag, which resale option could net you the most?


Our test bag is a Kate Spade quilted tote that originally retailed for $458. It’s not new but it’s in immaculate condition. I take it to my local consignment store and they inspect it.

Lynn Nice, owner of Labels Luxury Consignment in Walnut Creek, California, explains, “Consignment stores usually set their own price and offer the seller a portion of the final sale amount.”

In the case of my tote, they price the bag at $140 and offer me a 50/50 split. If they were to sell the bag at its full price, I would walk away with $70. The massive upside for me is that I drop it and I’m done. All I would have to do is come back later to pick up the check. An added bonus is I do a little shopping while I’m there.

“Consignment shops offer buyers and sellers a community, people to talk to about the products, and a full circle experience – that’s the beauty of a consignment shop,” Nice says.


EBay has the largest reach of any resale site in the world, so I list my bag in an auction format, giving it five days to reach as wide an audience as possible. I research and see that this exact purse, a used Kate Spade Astor Court quilted tote (various colors) has sold for between $66 and $182 in past eBay sales.

Of the 15 sold listings I could find for this tote, the average price was $123. But there’s one problem, as Nice explains, “Consumers are wary about counterfeit purses on eBay.”

Sellers who have sold lots of items and have earned a great rating command the highest prices. People trust they are selling legitimate goods. But people who don’t sell a lot of items or who have a lower seller rating may not be able to command as high a price. I’ve never sold a purse on eBay and I haven’t sold anything in the last two years. Between that fact and my very amateur photos of the bag, my auction does not garner a ton of responses. Five people were “watching” it, but only one person bid and she won the auction with a bid of $75.

EBay takes a 10 percent cut of my sale and I net $67.50 for my bag. If I had a better seller rating and commanded the average of $123, the net, minus eBay’s 10 percent, would have been $111.

One note: eBay’s policy is to offer full buyer protection against counterfeits. If an item is advertised as being authentic and it is not, eBay will refund the buyer the full cost of the purchase.


Sites like Fashionphile, Twice, The RealReal and Poshmark offer a fashion only marketplace for buyers and sellers. I search Poshmark for my Kate Spade Astor Court bag and see that eight similar items have sold on the site for $95 to $250, with the average at $158. Poshmark takes a 20 percent cut (some of the others take an even bigger cut) so my final net, if I had gotten the average $158, would be $126. That’s $58.50 more than I got on eBay.

Bottom line, specialty consignment sites may net higher returns than eBay and likely more than your local consignment shop, but for the least hassle (and the most fun shopping), dropping a used bag off at your local store may be the easiest choice.