How I scored this vintage Chanel tote bag for £600! + how you can too!

Chanel vintage brown leather tote bag handbag
How I scored this Chanel tote bag for £600!

Hello friends! Today I thought I would share how I scored my new-to-me vintage Chanel tote bag for £600!

As you know I have a pretty good collection of Chanel handbags, but this is one of the most affordable bags I’ve ever bought, especially considering the size! Plus, because it was made pre-2008, it has the coveted 24kt gold plated hardwear. I’m so excited to tell you about it!

Chanel vintage zip pull zipper

Once upon a time, I used to buy all my Chanel bags in the Chanel Bond Street boutique however, since the prices have gone up, I haven’t been able to afford them brand-new and I’ve been really enjoying buying bags preloved instead. Of course you have to be really careful when you’re buying preloved Chanel bags to make sure they are authentic, which is why one of my favourite places to buy them is at Bonhams auction house. Not only are they one of the most well respected auction houses in the uk (actually; the world!) and 100% trustworthy, but I also know that if I ever come to sell any of my bags on, their receipt is an incredible proof of authenticity. You can’t get a more trusted retailer!

Vintage Chanel label made in Italy handbag

Bonhams designer fashion & handbags

A few days ago, Bonhams Auction House had a pre-Christmas luxury fashion and handbag sale. They had some amazing items and honestly, I could have gone wild bidding on luxury bags and pieces of jewellery. Since we are still recovering from our house renovation costs, I couldn’t go to wild!

Chanel brown leather tote bag with hold hardwear

That being said, I did feel like treating myself to something, so, I selected a few items with low estimates and I put down a few cheeky bids. I knew there was a strong possibly I could get outbid on everything. But I also knew that if no one else bid, I would have a pretty epic bargain. So I went for it!

One of the things I love the most about shopping at Bonhams is their handbag and fashion specialist, Meg; she is so nice and fun to shop with. She has impeccable taste and isn’t afraid to tell you how amazing items are, as well as give honest feedback on condition, size and practicality. I picked out a few of the lower priced bags I liked, and she helped me decide which ones to bid on. I bid online and crossed my fingers!

Chanel brown tote bag price

Vintage Chanel bag – the final price!

The starting price on this vintage Chanel bag was £500 and I placed a bid of £500 on it. Admittedly it was a really conservative bid, but like I said, I’m poor. Well… poor for a chanel shopper! So I knew if anyone else was to bid, I would be out. It was a risk, but I went for it! I got lucky, maybe no one else wanted this beauty, or maybe they were busy fighting each other on other bags, but whatever happened… I won!!! I got this bag for the hammer price of £500!!!! Of course, I did have to pay the buyers premium fee on top of the hammer price, so it ended up being £668 all in, but still… amazing!!!! What a bargain!

I watch the Chanel pre-loved market pretty closely and it’s getting harder and harder to find nice Chanel bags for £1000 and under, especially in leather with the 24kt gold hardwear. So I’m really pleased with this one!
Chanel Brown leather tote bag handbag gold hardwear interlocking c’s Chanel bag vintage zip pull zipper

condition report

Each bag comes with a condition report and this bag was graded as a B-. In all honesty, I thought this bag would have a little more wear & tear, I assumed there would be a little more wear to the corners and handles, and a few surface scratches to the leather and hardwear. So I was thrilled at the amazing condition it came in; whilst it’s clearly not pristine and unused, it’s a beautifully cared for preloved bag. It’s obviously been well looked after and it’s super clean. There’s no obvious signs of damage or wear, there’s just a really light overall patina to the bag. I’m thrilled with the condition and the quality of the bag is impeccable. So happy!!!! And omg! The price!!!

Chanel leather tote bag with leather straps

can you tell it’s dark brown?

I don’t know if you can tell, but the bag is a really dark shade of brown, it’s so rich it’s the kind of bag you could wear as black or brown. It’s a stunning shade; really warm and beautiful! I love the hardwear and the Chanel branded zip pull is a lovely detail too – again, in great condition!

In a perfect world, I would have loved this bag to have a chain strap, but I think if it did, it would have cost a LOT more and caught the attention of more bidders. So I think part of the reason this bag was such a bargain is because it had a leather strap. That being said, thicker leather straps are SO much more comfortable to carry than chain straps. And I think it looks cute when worn!

Tips for buying preloved Chanel bags at great prices!

Finally, I wanted to share some of my best tips for buying preloved Chanel bags at great prices!

  • don’t take a gamble on buying from sources you don’t trust – if it’s not authentic. It’s not a good buy!
  • Look out for great items which have slightly out-of-favour details, for example, my bag has a leather strap rather than a highly fashionable chain strap. It’s still a great bag but cost a lot less than if it had a chain strap!
  • Keep an eye on your favourite sellers and auction houses; not only will this keep your hand in with knowing preloved prices, but you will undoubtedly see a great bag at a great price!
  • look out for bag colours and shapes which are emerging trends; it’s not long ago the vintage Dior saddle bags were being sold at a fraction of the price they are today.
  • Avoid bags which have been colour changed, repaired and recently spa’ed. This might inflate the value in the short term and lessen it in the long term. Especially if they have been done by a third party company.
  • Buying at auction is a great place for buy pre-loved Chanel bags. Don’t be afraid to ask the auction specialist questions about items and remember to factor in the buyer’s premium on top of your bid – this is often around 27% of the price of the bag.
  • Inspect the handles and bottom corners of the bag carefully before you buy, these are the places which see the most wear
  • Bags without dust bags and authenticity cards can often sell for a lot less than bags which have them. However, if you buy from a trusted sources, it’s less important to have these items as proof. As the receipt from the reseller or auction house will serve as authenticity proof
  • keep an eye on the Chanel retail prices; it’s good to know how they compare to preloved prices so you can make informed decisions

Ta da! And there we have it! My new-to-me vintage Chanel tote bag! How I scored it for £600 and how you can buy a preloved Chanel bag at a great price too! Thank you for reading. This post contains affiliate links

Chanel Gold vintage hardwear

Chanel Tote bag back of bag