My First Time Buying Pre-Loved: A Fashionphile Review

"Sooner or later, everything old is new again"
- Stephen King

In my last blog post I shared my Mercari Guide and I hinted towards a new purchase with the "bag fund" I started with those earnings. I also recently talked about Chanel's latest price increase in my Chanel Classics Collection post, and I actually started looking for a new Chanel bag once I heard of the impending price increase. I knew that not only would the price increase affect new goods in stores, but it would also trickle down to affect the pre-loved market. I've browsed pre-loved for a very long time but this is the first time I actually pulled the trigger. Like I shared in my last Chanel blog post, I think the current prices for Chanel classic styles are extremely over-priced and I really don't foresee myself buying new from stores again for these styles - at least not anytime in the near future. 

I'm a crazy bag lady, so I actually keep a running list on my phone of styles I'm looking to add to my collection at some point. I like to keep a list so I stay focused on adding pieces that fill holes in my collection. It's also easier to give yourself a few different options as you browse the pre-loved market because styles are always popping in and you never know what you'll come across. I actually bought a different bag first but due to a variety of reasons ended up canceling the order before it shipped. One of the styles on my list has been a large Chanel flap bag. If you read my Chanel Classics Collection post, you'll know that all of my Chanel bags are on the medium to small side so for awhile I've wanted a larger bag that feels a bit more casual and everyday. 

In comes the Chanel 2.55 Reissue 227, which I think is SUCH an underrated bag. I actually started my search looking for a Chanel Jumbo Single Flap in black caviar with SHW. However, the more that I looked and the more that I thought about it, I felt like that bag would feel too similar to my current collection. I also have it on my wish list to add the Chanel 19 in black to my collection, and with that in mind it felt like those two bags would fill the same end use. I'll be honest, the Reissue 2.55 is not a bag I ever originally considered buying. When I first started buying Chanel I didn't like that it didn't have the classic Chanel turnlock. However, the funny part is, I now love this bag because it doesn't have the Chanel turnlock. It feels much more under-stated which I prefer for what I want this bag to be. If you're a true Chanel lover, you'll also know that the Reissue style is actually a bag that most collectors want to have in their collection.

The Re-Issue 2.55 was the original Chanel shoulder bag, designed by Coco Chanel herself and debuted in February 1955 (hence 2.55). The turnlock is called the Mademoiselle turnlock which was the original turnlock style (named mademoiselle after the fact that Coco Chanel never married). The cc logo we have all come to know and love was actually released in the 80s after Karl Lagerfeld created the Classic Flap line. The other main difference is the chain strap, which is a full all-chain strap vs. the Classic Flap which bears a leather-woven chain strap. 

There are also some other design differences which I can go into another time if I do a full Reissue breakdown/review, but for the purposes of this post - a key factor here is weight. I mentioned that I had originally wanted a Chanel Classic Single Flap in caviar because it's much lighter than the double flap version. Because I want this bag to serve as a good everyday bag, weight is important. So many people who own the Chanel Jumbo Double Flap in caviar complain that the bag is extremely heavy. The Reissue does not have this issue for a couple reasons: 1) the all-chain strap is much lighter than the leather-woven strap, and 2) it's made out of aged calfskin which is much lighter than caviar leather.

So let's jump into it...

Why Fashionphile

As I mentioned earlier, I've browsed pre-loved for a very long time (as in years). Fashionphile has always been my favorite pre-loved site to "window shop" but I also have looked on The Real Real, Rebag, Reebonz, Vestiaire, Yoogi's name it. If you're new to luxury and especially to pre-loved luxury, I think it's good to spend some time researching before you purchase. You'll notice that prices actually vary a good amount depending on the retailer, but the other important thing to note (in my opinion) is return policy. Fashionphile probably has the best and most generous return policy of all the sites (30 days as long as the tags are attached, free return shipping) which is one of the main reasons why it's my pre-loved site of choice. It's hard to commit such a large amount of money without 1) being able to examine the bag for its true condition and quality, and 2) being able to try the bag on if it's not something you've tried on previously in stores. On top of that, Fashionphile's website is just nice to browse - the site is laid out in a nice way and their photo quality is always consistent. Even before I was in the market of actually purchasing a pre-loved bag, I found myself browsing Fashionphile the most because of their site layout. 

The bag.

I started checking Fashionphile on a daily basis for Reissues, and being someone that has browsed pre-loved for years, I know that the Reissue 2.55 can come around at some pretty good prices. For a classic Chanel, it probably retains the least value in comparison to the other styles. I think it's mainly for the same reason why I didn't originally like this style - people want the cc logo. Despite that, this style is still considered a classic and it is priced in the same tiers as the Classic Flap collection though the sizes and corresponding prices don't entirely sync up. 

The size I bought is the 227 (which Chanel calls the Maxi 2.55). Size-wise, it is roughly equivalent to the size of a Jumbo Classic Flap (however it is priced one size up from the Jumbo). Currently, this bag retails for $7700 after the latest price increase. That means with tax this bag is just over $8200! I actually ending up paying almost $5000 less than retail (after tax), a savings of nearly 60% and it came in excellent condition. Fashionphile rates their items as New, Excellent, Very Good, Good and Fair so this bag was pretty much as good as new. It came with the authenticity card and dust bag, as well as the hologram sticker still intact. This is a 14-series, which means it was from 2011 and cost $4000 brand new back then (see what I mean by retaining less value?). For being nearly 10 years old, it's pristine. There were a couple small spots/marks that Fashionphile had called out in their listing, but I just wiped the bag gently with a damp cloth and they all came out. 

I'm not too bothered by the fact that this bag doesn't hold value as well as its Classic Flap counterpart because I plan to keep and use this bag for years to come. I also picked it up prior to the price increase and have noticed that prices have crept up on these a bit since. I've also noticed there are a lot less of these on the pre-loved market post-price increase, and I think that is attributed to people wanting to hang onto them now that they are so expensive to buy new. And at the end of the day, with the rate that Chanel increases their prices, I think if I ever do end up selling this bag I will get back what I paid. 


The Reissue 227 measures 12.3" L x 7.8" H x 3.9" W vs. the Jumbo at 11.7" L x 7.6" H x 3.9" W.
The chain strap doubled-up is 10.5" and 18.5" at the longest vs the Jumbo's 12.25" doubled-up and 22" at the longest. 

I got this in a medium gray color, aged-calfskin leather (which is pretty durable), with ruthenium hardware. Like all Reissues, it's a double-flap with a gray, leather-lined interior. I'm around 5'5" and this sits perfectly on me doubled-up on the shoulder (which is how I prefer to wear this bag). However, it also is a great cross-body length - it hits me right around my hip. In comparison, the Jumbo has an extremely long strap, so unless you are tall it is too long on most people cross-bodied or worn long on one shoulder. This bag is extremely roomy and definitely has enough room for all the essentials and more. If you're going to be out for a day, I think it could easily fit a regular sized water bottle, a small umbrella, and all the necessities. It's also an extremely versatile neutral which was important for me. I wanted to step outside of my usual choice of a black bag so as my friends like to joke...I went for light black ;)

Buying experience.

As mentioned, the shopping experience on Fashionphile is great. If you have an account, it's easy to save all the bags you like with their little heart feature. You can see how many other shoppers have liked the item as well, and it also tells you how many people have the item in their cart. The other great thing about Fashionphile is that they do discount their items. I'm not sure what their timing process is, but the longer an item sits on their site, the deeper the discount gets. It starts at 5% off and moves up to 10%, then continues at 10% increments up to 30% off. If you heart an item, you will receive an email notification once these items go on sale. 

One of my other favorite things to do is filter by percent-off and shop their discounted items. This is actually a great way to see what kind of items go on sale so you know if you should be snapping something up quickly or waiting for a discount. I will say, though, that their items move quick. I've "hearted" many things, and often times I'll return in a couple days to see that it's already been sold at full price. So if you are in love with an item or it's something you've been searching for, I wouldn't take the gamble of waiting for a discount. 


Every buyer's biggest fear is ending up with an unauthentic item. I think with every resell site you will hear horror stories of someone ending up with a fake. Items are authenticated by humans, so I think human error is inevitable especially with the number of super fakes out there. However, Fashionphile is an extremely reputable brand (Neiman Marcus owns a minority stake in the company) with a few free-standing stores. They also have a lifetime guarantee of authenticity so if you ever do run into issues, you're covered. If you're paranoid like me, you can always get your bag authenticated once you receive it since there is such a great return policy. I personally had mine authenticated twice from two different sources even though I was pretty certain of its authenticity since I'm pretty familiar with Chanel bags both from owning and doing my own research. 

Would I buy again?

Definitely. It was a hassle-free process and I received my item in about a week despite the many shipping delays happening with Covid-19. The item was in immaculate condition even to my extremely picky standards. I would say it was in comparable condition to my other bags and I'm a stickler for taking care of my bags. 

While I didn't personally use this, Fashionphile also offers a really great layaway program - once an item has been on their site for 5 days it's eligible for layaway. You pay a 25% down payment, and then you can pay the remaining balance at your own speed across 60 days. I wanted instant gratification so I didn't do this, but if you prefer to pay things down slowly or and you're not in a rush to receive your bag or if it's a high ticket item I think this is a great option. 

Now I'm just waiting for somewhere to go so I can bring my (new to me) baby out with me...! Have you ever bought pre-loved and what are your thoughts? 

What I'm Wearing:
Vintage Max Mara Blazer - current here
Vintage Max Mara Trousers - current here

A few amazingly priced Re-Issues: 

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