Burberry is an old, renowned fashion and leather goods house, founded in 1856 by Thomas Burberry in London, England. Burberry is well-known for its classic check print and authentic gaberdine fabric, and the company also makes a signature line of high-quality handbags. Collectors snap up the vintage bags for prices that range into the thousands, and forgeries abound. To grab a quality vintage Burberry bag, it's necessary to keep a sharp eye out and to do some thorough detective work.
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When shopping for any vintage bags, it's important to realise that the first obstacle is avoiding forgeries. A vintage Burberry handbag may command a four-figure sum, so there's every reason for a thief to mislead a buyer. Informed shoppers avoid scammers by talking to knowledgeable sources for referrals, educating themselves about Burberry handbag authentication and shopping with credible resale merchants.
Consignment and Retail Shops
One of the first places to check for an authentic Burberry bag would be a leading consignment or retail shop. Most upscale neighbourhoods have one, so check around. The best bets are shops with long histories of good feedback and commerce; these places wouldn't be around if they sold shoddy or fraudulent merchandise. They will also have experienced salespeople who can pinpoint authentic merchandise. However, Burberry is a high-demand brand, and there may be a waiting list of clients who receive calls when new merchandise is available. When visiting the store, ask to be notified of any fresh stock that arrives, but realise that these finds are first come, first serve.
The Internet and eBay are awash with merchants selling what they claim are "authentic" Burberry bags. However, these sellers are usually peddling fakes. The first thing to look for is the seller's location. Most vendors in Asia and Eastern Europe are scammers selling imposter bags. Credible sellers will have extensive feedback and high ratings from past buyers; check the buyers' feedback, too, for histories of purchasing expensive bags. Also, look into online shops like Bag Borrow or Steal for vintage Burberry bags. At the very least, they'll rent you a bag for a period of time.
If you're fortunate, there may be a Burberry outlet store nearby. Although outlet stores usually carry merchandise from early in the present season or from a season or two previous, you may come across a surprise find. Outlet shops get new stock on a pretty regular basis, so ask when the "new" bags arrive. This is an excellent way to get an older bag or an odd variation that is definitely the real deal. There's also the added benefit of a company warranty when buying from a company outlet, so shop with confidence.
The best Burberry merchants aren't necessarily in the big cities. Many hardcore collectors and sellers live in other sections of the country, and a good bag can show up just about anywhere. However, you'll have the best luck shopping in consignment shops in or near affluent neighbourhoods. New York and Los Angeles have excellent consignment stores with long pedigrees, and so do areas of New Jersey. For referrals, check the popular online Purse Forum or the eBay Purse and Handbag community.
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