Let’s talk about one of the most popular and versatile casual bags on the market, the infamous Longchamp tote.
Pictured here is the Le Pliage Small Nylon Shoulder Tote Bag; this size generally retails for $125 almost anywhere. Admittedly, this isn’t too terrible of a price in comparison to many of the other items I’ve scouted here, but it’s over $100 for a nylon bag with leather handles. Admittedly a well-crafted nylon bag that folds over in a handy, travel-friendly way, but a nylon bag all the same.
LastCall has recently had a whole slew of Le Pliage and other Longchamp bags in stock; the small size is on sale for $105.
So, the question is – should you cop and drop a dime on this? Think it through – you’re essentially paying for a brand name, which can sometimes – but only sometimes – be worth it. I’m thinking more along the lines of resale value.
On to eBay!
The pricing runs the gamut here. The “well loved” listing has the most interest, but the active bidding is still only up to about $24. There is a preowned long-handled tote available to buy now for $22.95, with no interest (looks a bit battered)… and then there’s running interest in one with a starting bid of $50 that looks like it’s in solidly good condition.
Here’s a scan of what I found on Poshmark:
Pricing seems to be a bit more consistent for what’s on sale here, but I see fewer actual “unavailable” pieces like this on Posh- I suspect prices don’t drop enough for owners to feel comfortable selling, based on initial investment. But buyers don’t seem willing to go quite this high, generally, either.
Let’s think back on the material and composition. While this is heavy-duty nylon, it’s a type of material that scratches and scuffs easily. You cannot cosmetically repair blemishes in nylon. Think back on your other purses, especially those with lighter-colored leather – does your usage discolor the handles and corners of your bags easily? I hate to be blunt, but some people just have generally oilier/sweatier hands than others, which means that more dirt will stick to the handles and such. And though this leather isn’t beige, it is still a brown that is susceptible to dirt you’re unlikely to get out again – it’s not as forgiving as, say, the dark cowhide of a Damier Ebene Neverfull.
So… it’s not really something you’re likely to get in great condition if you’re buying used. It really becomes a question of whether or not it’s worth buying new, at this point, which will now be based on your ability to resell it, yourself.
The value that you’ll get back for a Longchamp seems like it’s going to be based on how clean you can keep it. If in good condition, you may be able to get up to $60 back for your small tote, which means a sunk cost of $45.
The reality though, is that the material itself will be working against you with regular use, and you’ll probably only average about $30-40 back, meaning a sunk cost of $65-75.
Don’t get me wrong, nylon totes are great – lightweight, water resistant, and malleable, they fit a fair amount (and are easily carried, even full to the brim)– plus you can use them for everything (diaper bag, gym bag, work bag, travel bag, etc.). Plus, no one can deny how classy authentic Le Pliage bags generally are.
But, paying extra for the brand name isn’t going to net you fair value, IMO. Get a Longchamp for the name and for the workmanship that the brand is known for, and for the warranty. If you’re looking for a workhorse bag, this is probably not it- it’s a little too pricey to trash without feeling guilty. So…
VERDICT: IF YOU NEED A NYLON BAG FOR FUNCTIONAL REASONS AND AREN’T JUST LOOKING FOR SOMETHING BRANDED, GET A DUPE.
You don’t need the horse and jockey logo for this bag; there are plenty of other bags that are largely identical and serve the same function(s).