This was a post I was going to do much later, but I might as well answer the big question first about places to buy vintage brand. Everytime I post a new buy on instagram or talk about my love of Chanel the first question I always seem to get is “Where do you buy your Chanel?”
And I get it.
Sometimes buying vintage is... like wadding through piles of hot garbage until you find a diamond.
Sometimes buying vintage is… getting sticker shock 40 times and then seeing something that actually looks affordable.
Sometimes buying vintage is… looking at a piece and thinking “Wow the designer had a seriously ugly season”
Sometimes buying vintage is… seeing some pieces so busted you start running through scenarios of what happened. Did a jealous boyfriend set fire to it? Did you own a puppy and no high shelves? Is that mud? I hope that’s mud.
But I always wonder if people think I know this like super secret vault of cheap Chanel and I’m just Gollum-ing all to myself. Presssshusssss The answer to that is nope.
Hahah you thought this post would just be one website. Suckers.
No way. I wish.
I should be packing. I should be doing my nails. I should be doing anything but making this hideous photoshop. If you’re wondering how I picture myself, add 80 cats and you’re pretty close.
Gollum looks like he’s posing for a 90s hiphop album cover.
In reality I wake up every morning, get coffee, drink 800 quarts of coffee then 600 quarts of green tea and check some of the sites I mention below. Coffee and Chanel, the addictions start right off in the morning. But sometimes it’s just all about timing, the right price, there’s no real tricks other than checking all the sites and knowing what you want
There are other sites that sell vintage brand and I know of them, like 1stdibs & NastyGal vintage but I’m not listing places that are hilariously overpriced.
Note: I am a Chanelstan but these sites are helpful for lots of vintage pieces, brand (Hermes, Gucci, MCM, YSL) and not.
Worldwide / USA
The Big sites
What can I say about eBay that hasn’t already been said about the Plague? The giant we love to hate and hate to love. I occasionally buy off of eBay. Much less than I used to. I do occasionally see good vintage deals on bags. A lot of Japanese sellers on here you can find on Rakuten for cheaper including shipping with the yen to USD conversion so be aware.
Recommended sellers: yuko, lindasstuff, standingpoint (Japanese seller but no Japanese online store)
Vestaire Collective is a French site in English that has been really pushing authentication and rare pieces. A lot more European sellers than eBay and a great landing place for rare items. I have yet to buy from here because the price/piece/time perfect set of circumstances hasn’t happened, but I check everyday and do love the items posted.
Discount for new users on first purchase.
This place has been trying to rival eBay and they do a nice job for sellers and buyers. I know some Purse Forum people sell their wares here. They guarantee authentication and are very quick in responding to issues. It’s often got the same eBay sellers hawking the same items and can get redundant, but I’ve found some lovely quality pieces here. (All photos from the second set above are from Tradesy)
Discount for new users on first purchase.
Etsy? The place more famous for handmade lace and knick knacks? Yup! A lot of vintage stores operate out of Etsy. I do find there’s more (blatant) fakes here than other places. However individual sellers often have really good deals on items and no bidding to worry about. I’ve scored a lovely rare silk printed top for $47 and a harder to find colored bag for $400.
Therealreal is a network of consignment stores across US. They have a large selection that occasionally goes on eBay. Prices are varied but good deals to be found. They do a wonderful job about sizing and measurements.
One of the more famous smaller resale sites on-line. They also sell on eBay but their prices are better at their on-line store. Prices often inflated because of the site’s popularity. Reading reviews from buyers and their webstore descriptions it seems they often don’t explain or show wear/damage as well as they should. They often have nice prices on rare vintage items, but it depends.
Lollipuff is a stickler for authentication and goes beyond the Chanel/LV market and is into Herve Leger and Christian Louboutin authentication. Lollipuff is a site like eBay but more intimate and has auctions and sales. I’ve purchased once from them and I’ve been satisfied. Often some nice prices.
Miley Cyrus’s stylist’s place to find the rare Vintage Chanel she often wears. Prices range from acceptable to inflated, but nice finds and rare items.
A store that specializes in used but has some vintage pieces. Some good prices on rarer items, but mainly so-so prices.
The clunkiest website of the bunch, horrible search feature expect to just click for hours to find something you like. But it is a collective of used and vintage shops that often have rare pieces. Prices are all over the place, but sometimes some good buys are up.
Note: Big vintage seller Ninafurfur sells on here, often a better selection
A newer store but a good small collection of vintage items. Prices are kind and wonderful pictures.
Rice and Beans Vintage
There’s not a lot of smaller sites I list because there’s a lot of them and the selection is weak, but Dallas based Rice and Beans vintage really cultivates some great pieces. They just seem to have a great eye on hunting vintage pieces based on current trends and not pricing them too over the top.
Ann’s Fabulous Finds
As soon as they’re put up so many of Ann’s Fabulous Finds are snatched up. Good condition pieces at some decent prices. Not as much vintage as used items, but a good mix.
You will need buying services or shopping services to order from most of these sites. Please read several posts I’ve made about that online here and here. Chanel is super popular in Japan so prices can get high, other fashion house brands are much cheaper compared to US.
Unless I specifically say English, these places are Japanese only so buyer beware if you’re not fluent. Do not leave the fate of your paycheck up to Google Translate.
Rakuten moves a ton of vintage items through their web doors daily. A lot of brick-and-mortar Japanese vintage stores have Rakuten e-stores. I’ve bought often from sellers on Rakuten. Great deals are often snatched up within minutes of posting so check often.
Note: Rakuten has a Global site but it is smaller with less selection, messier searching and often horrible translations.
Recommended sellers: Rinkan (brick and mortar stores across Japan), Ragtag (brick and mortar stores across Japan), Hugall, Reference
Japan’s eBay. The biggest auction site in Japan. Lots of vintage for sale on Y! Auctions. I buy pretty steadily from here and have found some good deals. Since the buyer market is smaller than eBay it’s often easier to win the bidding war. Although Y!Auctions adds 5 minutes to an auction after a snipe bid so it’s not really a snipe type of place.
Recommended sellers: Ecoring, Brandear, Milkyquartz
Using Rakuten (Auctions or Site) and Yahoo Auctions you need to use a service. Recommended services: Buyee (more expensive but very easy to use), From Japan (cheaper but clunkier to use). Again if you are not fluent in Japanese, buyer beware.
Qoo has tried to be the leader of vintage brand in Japan. They work on having model/shop staff and making sure celebrities always buy from them. They try to shape this Qoo-look that is a young stylish vintage lover that has inspired a lot of stores. Since they are so popular their stock is often not as sharp and prices are over inflated. Unlike most Japanese places they are not as detailed about wear-and-tear of their vintage items. However they do have English assistance and deals can still be found. One of the great things about Qoo is they hunt down rare clothing from Fendi, Chanel and others.
Hedy is a rare store that is just on-line but has gained a lot of fans in Japan. Both Alisa Ueno and Momoko Ogihara are fans. My friends Nicola and Stella have both bought from here and both were very satisfied. It’s a place that does an excellent job in finding lovely vintage items and showing their wear. Their prices are often good for what they’re selling and they have go beyond the typical Chanel have wonderful YSL, Gucci, Fendi and other brands. They really seem to buy whats on trend (color/shape) for the season but in vintage pieces. (Photo above is some of the items selling at Hedy recently)
They also have a rakuten store.
E-Lady sells on Rakuten and Y!Auctions and eBay but the best prices are always on their website. It’s in English and global EMS shipping is included in the price. Great quality items. Bags usually a bit overpriced, jewelry is better. I’ve purchased from here and very satisfied with my item.
Discount for new users on first purchase.
Timeless Tokyo aka Paula’s
A longer running vintage store which occasionally really great deals especially on jewelry and clothing. I’ve bought from their brick and mortar store in Tokyo and I’m super satisfied.
It’s a giant list and you just have to search and find something you want. In the end of the day it only matters if you like it
Websites I’ve used most often this year: Y! Auctions, Rakuten, Etsy, Tradesy
This was part of a series…
Chanel Poverty or Mitsu’s Guide to buying Vintage especially in Japan
Intro to the Series
Where to Buy Vintage Brand online Worldwide (Japan concentrate)
Reasons I love Vintage Brand
Japanese celebrities, models and producers with vintage Chanel
A History of High Brands in Japan and Japan’s First Wave of Resellers
Japan’s Second Wave of Resellers store talks and reviews (multipost)
Popular Vintage Brands and key pieces from each brand (multipost)
Navigating on-line and in personal buying of Vintage Brand and learning market price (multipost)
related eating at the Chanel restaurant Beige in Ginza Chanel
possible… My full vintage Chanel collection
possible… Chanel vintage jewelry and clothing authentication guide
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