Wholesale Blog

Why Beat-Up Designer Bags are the New Luxury

In the spirit of past style revival, designer resale pieces in fair condition are a new luxury trend taking catwalks and sidewalks by storm. Driven by the desire to display both lived-in luxury and the opportunity to buy a highly coveted piece without dropping top dollar, bargain-hunters and connoisseurs alike are scooping up less-than-perfect luxury designs for less.

Mary Zubritsky

Everything old is new again. With Y2K still a thing, it’s no surprise fashion insiders are claiming grunge-inspired style is a trend all the cool kids will be sporting in 2023. Whether it’s baggy jeans, plaid flannel shirts, belly chains, combat boots, pleated miniskirts, or cargo pants, we’ve heard that tattered, torn and oversized pieces will be taking over street style for the rest of the year.

In the spirit of past style revival, designer resale pieces in fair condition are a new luxury trend taking over catwalks and sidewalks. Driven by the desire to display both lived-in luxury and the opportunity to buy a highly coveted piece without dropping top dollar, bargain-hunters and connoisseurs alike are scooping up less-than-perfect luxury designs for less.


Investing in pre-owned designer pieces is a big deal, but sometimes it can seem like a gamble. Sure, you can read the descriptions and spot tears, broken zippers, and discoloration in the photos, but what about the wear you can’t spot with your eyes? We’re talking about stains in pockets, stickiness, scents, and small hardware scratches, all of which are common in pre-loved pieces, but the usage isn’t always obvious from the get-go.


So, what are you supposed to do when you receive a less-than-perfect item? List it on your site or put it on the shelf! As the gateway drug for designer bags, these items are on many shoppers’ wish-lists these days. While the affordability factor is in play, so is celebrity style with Mary-Kate Olsen toting a well-loved Birkin, Julia Fox showing off her Birkin that was attacked by a machete, and influencers caught toting well lived-in bags, and others showcasing tips and tricks to repair or disguise the flaws on your own. With sustainability and wearability top of mind, many are simply wearing and carrying their bags until they need to be repaired or sold.

It’s no surprise we love fair condition items… they’ve been some of our top sellers recently. Whether it’s a B/C condition Chanel Diana or a C condition Neverfull, they’re selling faster than we can get them in stock.

As a quick recap, we use the following condition grades to rank the general appearance, age, and state of each item listed on our platform. The condition grades we list vary so it’s important to reference the description and images. And just remember that items below the “A” range of conditions are the most flexible and subjective in terms of wear and will require additional attention before you resell. Also, keep in mind that condition grades can vary from supplier to supplier.


Check out some of our favorites you can get right now.

Chanel Diana Patent Leather Chain Shoulder Flap Bag


Gucci GG Supreme Tote Bag


Hermes Birkin Ostrich 30


Louis Vuitton Stephen Sprouse Graffiti Neverfull


Chanel Lambskin Camera Bag



Presentation is key for your products, and whether you’re dealing with minor hardware scratches, cracking and flaking, or even tears in the leather, the shape of your items can make or break a sale—and we’re not even talking about returns because we all know how pricey they can be.

That’s why it’s so important you take care of minor or significant imperfections before you list them on your site or place them on your shelves. If you choose to take the bags to your local cobbler, you run the risks of further damaging the items and you may be presented with a huge bill simply because they’re probably experts in shoe repairs and belts but haven’t a clue about pre-owned designer bags by Chanel, Dior, and Gucci. And if you accept and resell items that are in less-than-good condition, it could negatively impact the reputation of your business.

While we’re not here to suggest you take on major restoration projects on your beloved bags, we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeve to help you prepare your new-to-you stock for sale. And if your prized possessions need more help than a little DIY project can offer, we strongly suggest you contact two of our favorite expert leather repair businesses that we love: Rago Brothers and Leather Surgeons.

Bag Cleaning Tips & Tricks

Remove oil-based stains: Use a mild solution consisting of one part dish soap to 10 parts water and gently apply it to the stain with a wet white cloth or a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Then rinse and let it air dry.

Remove scratches and marks in patent leather: Grab a clean Q-Tip and use it to apply a leather scuff remover solution to the bag and then buff it out with the Q-Tip. Afterward, use a clean cloth to remove any leftover residue.

Remove scratches in leather: For most leathers, you can easily buff out the scratches using a microfiber cloth, but you can also cut a small piece of Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and lightly scrub it out too.

Remove hardware scratches: While you’ll need to consult the pros to expertly remove hardware scratches, you can reduce the appearance with a polishing pen or apply a polishing solution to a microfiber cloth and gently buff the hardware a few times. Remove the residue with a clean cloth.

How to remove water stains from leather: Using alcohol-free and fragrance-free baby wipes, gently rub over the watermark in a circular motion for about 10 seconds and let the spot air dry.

Sticker residue: If you have sticker residue on either microfiber, suede, or similar textile interior, you may be able to remove some of it by brushing the material with a suede brush, but it’s important not to apply any moisture as it could stain the fabric.

Remove smells: To remove musty, mildew, or smoky smells in older bags, use charcoal or a bag of open coffee beans to absorb, rather than mask, these scents. Put a few briquettes of charcoal or coffee beans in a small bowl, or place inside pantyhose, tie it up and leave it in the bag for a few hours.

Pen and ink stains: Apply a mixture of one-part mild laundry detergent or gentle dish soap and 10 parts of water to a clean white cloth or use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Then gently rub the spot in a circular motion until it starts to disappear and allow it to air dry.

While you can try these methods at home, the pros at Leather Surgeons and Rago Brothers are still your best bet, especially if you’re dealing with tears, broken hardware, difficult stains, a slouchy silhouette, replacement parts, luxury vintage pieces, and more.