Caring for Leather Bags to Get the Best Resale Value

An authentic leather bag from the world’s most luxurious brands is the product of skilled artisans and centuries-old traditions. As such, each designer piece deserves the utmost care, especially if you wish to use your handbag as collateral for a loan, or exchange it for cash here at Biltmore Loan and Jewelry.

How to Take Care of Leather Bags

When caring for leather bags and purses, your top three concerns should include:

  • Cleaning
  • Conditioning
  • Storing

Let’s discuss each one.

  1. How to Clean Leather Bags

    Did you know leather is prone to absorbing grease, oil, and colored liquids? Always handle your leather handbags with clean hands. After which, wipe your leather bags with a soft, dry, or damp cloth every other day. Avoid using too much water because leather takes time to dry.

    Once or twice a year, deep clean your handbags with a gentle cleanser made specifically for leather. Apply the cleanser in circular strokes, and then use a slightly damp cloth to remove any product residue, which helps prevent clogging the pores of the leather material. This vital step removes any dirt buildup on your bags.

  2. How to Condition Leather Bags

    Leather conditioner is a special moisturizer for leather bags. Without it, genuine leather goods can dry out over time. To stop undesired wrinkling and flaking, apply a leather conditioner to a soft cloth, and then gently rub the product over the entire bag. Note that some designer brands sell their own leather conditioners. Coach New York, for example, offers a set of product care essentials — including a Leather Cleaner, Moisturizer, and Fabric Cleaner — to be used on many of their handbags, purses, backpacks, and other leather goods.

    Depending on the humidity in your climate, use a leather conditioner at least twice a year or up to once a month. In return, your leather bags will remain soft and supple.

  3. How to Store Leather Bags

    Always stuff your leather bags with bubble wrap, parchment paper, or specialized “bag puffs” to maintain, hold, and restore their shape. However, never use newspaper as it will smear. This storage tip is most important for leather handbags that collapse, like the Louis Vuitton Neverfull.

Those beautiful leather bags from Nancy Gonzalez and other high-end brands? They are more than leather bags — they are the result of world-class craftsmanship. Honor those craftsmen by caring for their craft. After all, the current condition dictates a leather bag’s resale value.

How to Estimate the Value of Designer Handbags

Below are five factors to consider when determining the resale value of leather handbags.

  1. Brand and Model

    There is no questioning the fact that a handbag’s brand and model are the most important factors. Each designer brand competes in status and desirability. Plus, iconic handbag models and rare pieces will always command high prices.

    Some designer brands retain more than 70 percent of their original retail value. These include luxury fashion houses such as Hermès, Chanel, and Louis Vuttion, among others. However, a leather bag’s resale value is also dependent on condition.

  2. Condition

    Speak of the devil (wears Prada), visible signs of wear and damage will have a significant impact on a leather bag’s final value. To give a proper estimate, a professional buyer will classify your designer bag’s condition according to the following guide:

    • Fair.The bag has noticeable imperfections, which may include scrapes and scratches, discoloration, and/or tearing. Most bags in this condition have been heavily used for months or years.
    • Good.The bag has some visible wear, but remains in good condition. A leather bag in good condition often has signs of aging, such as minor scratches and/or discoloration.
    • Very Good. The bag has some signs of wear, including very minor discoloration and/or scratches, but is still considered in very good condition.
    • Excellent. The bag is almost in perfect condition and barely has visible imperfections.
    • Pristine. The leather bag is in perfect condition with no evident signs of wear or defects. A pristine condition handbag looks brand new.
  3. Material

    In most cases, leather bags command higher prices than canvas or synthetic leather goods. Exotic leathers are often more expensive and in-demand because of their rarity. For example, a Himalayan Birkin is one of the most coveted handbags in the world. In 2016, one of these rare Hermès bags sold for a whopping $300,168.

  4. Original Accessories

    Having the original complementary accessories that come with your leather handbag can sometimes increase its resale value. Such accessories may include padlocks and keys, pochettes, name tags, dust bags, boxes, and any other add-ons that came with the bag.

  5. Proof of Purchase

Always save your proof of purchase, especially if you intend to sell your leather handbag at some point in the future. These include any certificates, serial number labels, receipts, and other papers associated with a designer bag’s authenticity. Presenting these documents may increase the resale value of your handbag, as well as allow the appraisal and selling process to move along faster.

We hope that the information above provides you with a clear and descriptive explanation on how to care for leather bags, including how to estimate their value. Remember, preparation is the secret to a successful and profitable sale.

Looking for a Competitive Buyer in AZ?

These days, one of the most sought-after fashion accessories is a leather bag that expresses one’s sense of style and high social status. That said, the secondary market for designer handbags is thriving. Now is the perfect time to sell preloved luxury handbags for a hefty profit.

Here at Biltmore Loan and Jewelry, we provide our clients with the highest cash-to-value purchases in Phoenix, Arizona. Visit our locations or complete our form to request a free market appraisal of your designer leather bags.