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Top Tips for Buying A Vintage Chanel Bag


If you love style and unique finds that are made to last then buying vintage could provide the perfect option. Regardless of whether it’s clothing, jewellery, or handbags, you can use your money to purchase something that is unique and classic over something that is temporarily popular and plastered all over the high street. A good example of this is a classic vintage Louis Vuitton bag, not only is it exquisitely made from quality materials but you’d be hard pushed to find someone else with the same bag.

As a style magpie I also enjoy collecting vintage Chanel jewellery and bags. I have years of experience researching genuine vintage Chanel bags. Whenever I come upon one in a consignment shop I will ask lots of questions. Over time I’ve learned the questions that should be asked and I have come upon the resources that are best to use before purchasing. Many of my followers have asked me for tips on buying a vintage bag. It has taken me a number of months mostly because I put off sitting down and getting to writing it but I have put together all my best tips and info and intel to help you when shopping for the perfect vintage Chanel bag.

Where to Look When Buying A Vintage Chanel Bag


Fashionphile is the seller I trust most out of the hundreds to choose from and they even have physical locations in Beverly Hills, San Francisco, and San Diego where you can go shopping in person. I’m also providing a list of those who resell Chanel and that includes sellers on eBay and other platforms.


This luxury retailer recently began selling vintage. They have a nice collection of vintage Chanel bags and they are a reputable seller. Their prices can sometimes be somewhat higher because they were the ones who put in the hard work of finding the best inventory. But this means you can get a highly unique piece.


This online shop specializes in luxury items from top brands like Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Bottega Veneta, Emilio Pucci, Hermes, Alexander McQueen, and Chanel. It’s somewhat like Etsy as there are a number of different sellers along with a wide selection of trendy and unique items including vintage bags.

Vestiaire Collective

This is a large curated collection of new and pre-owned items including luxury vintage products. They verify quality and authenticity before they send it out to you. This means you are more assured of getting what you expect.

Tips on How to Shop for A Vintage Chanel Bag

Research and Shop Around

One of the best tips I can give is to research and shop around before buying a vintage Chanel bag. This will help you decide on exactly what style you want and it allows you a chance to see the different types of bags that are available and what their prices are. When shopping, you want to use common sense and trust your gut. If you come across a bag that is underpriced when compared to similar ones elsewhere, there’s a good chance it’s fake. When you come across one that has consistent pricing you should still dig deeper just to make sure that it is truly authentic.

Get Familiar with Store Policy

Every bricks and mortar shop, as well as sellers on platforms like eBay, will have a return policy as well as their own shipping rates and other policies they have in effect. You’ll want to read those policies before making any purchase decision.

Know All the Details Before You Buy

Before making a final purchase decision you want to find out everything you can about the Vintage Chanel bag. You’ll want to know if it comes with the box and a dust bag. The seller should be able to give you a certificate of authenticity. If something sounds too good to be true then it probably is. For this reason, one of the best things you can do is simply to make sure you know everything possible before buying.

Ask Them to Show Pictures

Shops will almost always have some pictures included but they may not be the ones that you are hoping to see. For this reason, you should always ask to see extra pictures. If you can see the bag modelled in different ways then it can give you a better understanding of the bag. If it’s carried as the clutch, shoulder, or messenger it gives you a better visualization.

Know the Measurements

Pictures can often cause a bag to look larger than it really is. This is why you want to see as many pictures as possible but it’s also necessary to ask for the actual dimensions of the bag. This is the only way you’ll really know how large it is.

Here’s What You Should Look For When Shopping For A Vintage Chanel Bag


You’ll find Chanel bags offered in caviar and lambskin leather. The caviar has more texture and will hide scratches better whereas the lambskin is more supple. You want to know which type of leather it is and you don’t need to be wary of purchasing one that needs a bit of TLC. Regardless of whether the lining needs some repair, the leather needs to be cleaned, or the chains need some polishing, you’ll save substantially when picking out a vintage Chanel bag that is less than perfect.


You’ll want to check for stitching patterns. It should meet where the flap folds and it should line up and it’s these details that will make a big difference. If the bag has a small pocket in the back the stitching should line up appropriately there as well. If you find a bag where the stitching doesn’t line up then it’s a fake.

Serial Number and Authenticity Card

A genuine Chanel bag will come with an authenticity card and the hologram sticker should have matching numbers. If the bag is pre-1980s then it won’t have hologram stickers but anything produced from the mid-1980s forward should have an authenticity card and a hologram sticker. Fake bags can also come with authenticity cards and hologram stickers. To make sure this is not fake you can run a search on Google to see if anything comes up. If you find that it does and it’s not connected with an active listing then it’s a fake. The serial numbers are similar to fingerprints and each is unique to one bag.

The Cs Are Important

Chanel bags have what’s known is CC stitching and a CC lock and they have a distinct pattern. If it’s genuine then the right C will overlap the left C at the top. The left C will overlap the right one at the bottom.

Happy vintage shopping.

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