How to start building a designer collection with very little money!

Is it possible to buy designer items, use them, and then make a profit?  YES!!!  That is exactly what I have done to build my designer collection.  Take these 4 pairs of shoes as an example.

Total retail value with my local tax:  $4107

Total I paid including my local tax:    $1163

Total estimate if sold pre-owned:       $1675

Total profit once I sell them worn:     $512  (if not more)


This is a post I have been wanting to do forever!  How I started building my designer collection with very little money.  It all started in January of 2014.  Before that time the only designer shoes I owned were Tory Burch and Burberry.  No Chanel, Gucci, or Louboutin shoes were in my closet.  I did have designer bags that were gifts from my husband. I am definitely the more practical of the 2, if you can believe that.  He had Gucci shoes and Louis Vuitton but I was wayyy too cheap to pay full price. Hahah. I have always been a deal hunter, but at the time I was not a designer deal hunter….YET!  Of course, those Tory Burch and Burberry’s were bought on sale!  I had taken a few pairs of Tory Burch to a local consignment store and they paid me 50% of the profit.  That didn’t seem like enough, so I started to search where I could sell and make more of a profit.

Ebay!  I had never bought or sold anything on Ebay before then.  I thought why not, seems easy enough.  I threw up 2 pairs of Reva’s and my daughters old Burberry bathing suit (I found at the Rack for a steal.)  They all sold that day!  What I realized is I way under priced them because I had no idea what I was doing.  Looking back that was a good thing.  In order to gain trust and positive reviews selling lower at first helped. Buyers are willing to take a risk on a new seller if prices are lower.  After those sold I was hooked! I went through my closet and sold everything that had been sitting there.

You all know I am bargain hunter and I was not about to take those profits and buy something full price.  After selling out my closet I had about $375. It was game on!  I wanted to see how far I could stretch that $375.  I went to the outlets and found some items. I know not everyone has access to outlets but there are so many good deals online as well. I spent all day shopping, and toward the end I went into the Burberry outlet.  Score!  The manager showed me a whole closet of boots that had been marked down to $99.  These were $1000 boots down to $99!!  That changed everything for me.  I now realized designer deal hunting was a thing. I bought 2 pairs.  One to keep and one to sell.  I know, I know, some of you don’t like resellers but its a big part of how I built my collection, and learned HOW to score deals.

I came home and put the boots on Ebay and they sold for $350. BOOM!  The rest is history.  I did Ebay for years part-time to make extra cash and cover my own habit that was starting to grow.  My kids were 4, 3, and 1 at the time, so I did this very part-time. I wasn’t a huge seller, only if I found really good deals here and there. I did eventually learn that designers don’t like, and are not allowed to sell to resellers.  I had no idea that was an issue until a few years later. I learned the hard way when I got a letter from Burberry saying I was no longer allowed in any of their stores, or it would be trespassing.  Hahaha…Whoops!.  That’s another story but I am allowed in now.  Hahahaha.  I don’t resell anymore.  I now spend my time sharing with all of you what I have learned.

You don’t have to resell outside of your own closet in order to build a collection either.  You can take profits from your own closet and keep flipping.  Those $99 boots I kept and wore for about a year.  I then sold them for $199 and made about $50.  That was mind blowing for me, that I could buy shoes, wear them, and then sell them and make a profit.  I became my own Rent the Runway.  Even now when I buy something I do a quick resell value in my head.  Take for instance those Jimmy Choo booties I bought the other day for $146.  I will wear them and when I’m done sell them for about $150. After fees and shipping its like I paid $49 for the boots.  See how that work in my crazy mind.  Sometimes, I make money off items I have worn and sometimes recoup almost all the cost.  Here are some examples below and estimates of what they might sell for. Depending on if you consign with places like The Real Real or Thred Up Luxe, or you sell on your own on Ebay, Poshmark, or Tradesy.

Gianvito Rossi Plexis are $330 on sale with code BYEWINTER. Average current commission return of pre-owned is about $200-300. Those Louboutin sneakers would get a return commission around $300-400 for pre-owned. Those you would about break even or make a little money on those after you were done wearing.  Now, buy them before I change my mind they are a size 38.  All of these are good prices and retain good resell value. Click these links to shop.

When I say my closet is in constant rotation this is what I mean.  I am constantly selling to fund new purchases. I know it must seem like I have a million things in my closet but I don’t.  I try to keep my shoes around 75 pairs.  That is a lot but I don’t think super crazy….or is it?  I try not to hold onto items before they lose their value.  Styles come and go and I don’t usually keep most items over a year.  If you wait the value goes down.  Classic styles like my black Loubs I keep.  Unless, I see new pair for a steal. I really love the thrill of the hunt and shopping, so being able to sell items from my closet allows me to keep doing what I love.  Bags are another story.  I don’t buy them as often and tend to not sell them.  Bags I buy and use for years.  I’m not a trendy bag kind of gal.

I do this with clothes as well, but not as much. I don’t have a ton of designer clothes because even on sale they are crazy expensive.  I am starting to buy and have more quality clothes. Buying more contemporary designers at really great prices.  They hold their value and can be sold and recoup most of your cost as well.  Not all brands are created equal. To get a gauge on how much an item will sell for check Ebay and Poshmark’s sold section.  Search for the item you are wanting to sell, then hit the sold button option. You will get an average of what that item sells for.

It didn’t happen overnight but slowly I kept buying, wearing, and selling.  I am to the point where my closet is self-sustaining for the most part.  I know it seems like I spend a ton but I am also constantly selling to fund new purchases.  Start slow and clean out your closet first.  Take that money and buy new designer items at a steal.  Keep repeating the process and your collection will start to build.  The better you get with deal hunting the more your collection will build.  I know Ebay, Poshmark, and Tradesy can all seem overwhelming to buy and sell on.  Also , where to consign, The Real Real, Thred Up, Fashionphile?  I am working on a long overdue post about where to sell/buy with pros and cons for each, as well as how to start.  You have so much value sitting in your closet!!!

13 thoughts on “How to start building a designer collection with very little money!

  1. How do you know something on eBay is not fake? I am always too afraid to purchase on there for fear of getting a fake and wasting $ (or getting a fake and. It realizing it). I currently use poshmark, and I am always wary, but I think people point out the fakes more on that site.

    1. I wan to do a blog post on that too. Same general rules apply. Seller has to have an established store, lots of positive reviews, and I ask a ton of questions. Always seems like shady sellers hate question and get annoyed when you ask questions or for more pictures. 🙂

    2. Hi! Sorry, I just saw this. That is always a risk. I will be working on a blog post about how to reduce the risk on this sites. Stay tuned. 🙂

    3. Hi, I sold really authentic vintage bag on Ebay and buyer told me, that she didn’t get it. It’s normal. I seen her website and saw my bag.

      1. Ugh! Sorry, it does happen. Always use signature confirmation. That way they can’t say they didnt get.

      1. Hi, i have question, if you sell on Ebay and then buyer tell you, that didn’t get anything from you 😏 what can i do. It’s problematic for sellers.

  2. Thank you for sharing. How do you keep track of the cost so you know how much you can resale for? Do you keep track of all your buying’s with an excel sheet? Also, do you keep all the tags and receipt for proof of authenticity when resaling?

    1. I don’t keep track of cost I usually remember what I paid. When its time to sell after wearing I look at what the market price is for selling. I do keep receipts for bags but not shoes. I keep boxes and dust bags. 🙂

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