Can You Sell Handbags at Pawn Shops?

February 02, 2020 - Clothing, Accessories and Handbags

Would you like to have a couple thousand or ten thousand dollars this month? That money could be yours if you have a designer handbag to pawn.

Designer handbags are lucrative pawn shop gems with huge potential returns.

But, not every designer handbag will bring in the big bucks. You have to have the right brand, style, quality, and proof of authentication. Without these things, your handbag is worth nothing.

Handbags are one of the items that gets the most money from pawn shops. Handbags are an item that many people need for day-to-day life, and they’re a one-size-fits-all type of fashion accessory.  Much how high-end watches get you lots of money, handbags get you money. If you’re wondering which items in general get you the most from pawn shops think of it like this:

Is this an item that anybody can use/is it sized for anybody?

Does it retain its value over time?

Is it made out of high quality materials?

Handbags fit these 3 criteria.

Before you try to sell handbags from your closet, check out these tips.

Pawning versus Selling

There is a difference between pawning and selling, even though you can do both at a pawn shop. When you are pawning a handbag, you are giving it to a pawn shop as collateral for a loan. The loan amount is the value your handbag is appraised at by the pawnbroker.

The loan will need to be paid back by a given date that you and the pawnbroker agree on. When you pay back your loan and by the given date, you should expect to receive your handbag back.

Selling a handbag at a pawn shop is very straightforward. The handbag is appraised and you either agree to sell it to them outright for that amount, or you don’t. You have negotiating power, but do keep in mind pawnbrokers tend to keep a good pulse on the current pricing of electronic devices.

Pawn shops are a reselling business so they need to be able to sell your handbag for a profit. It is easier for them to buy it from you than it is for them to issue you a loan. You will get more money if you sell it to them than if you pawn your handbag.


There’s plenty of fake designer bags in pawn shops across the country. But, real handbag buffs can spot fakes from a mile away.

If your bag isn’t real, don’t expect a big return if any at all.

Proving the authenticity is an important part of pawning designer handbags. If you’re lucky enough to have a real Hermes, you also want to the paperwork that proves it’s authentic.

Designer retailers will often sell new handbags with this paperwork. Including it in your sale can increase your asking price.


Some brands are commonly found in thrift stores and pawn shops. GUESS, Calvin Klein, and Ann Taylor aren’t rare brands. Brands that are affordable and inexpensive aren’t rare, either.

The rarer the brand, the higher the return. Here are some brands that will bring in the green:

  • Hermes
  • Chanel
  • Gucci
  • Prada
  • Coach

If you have an authentic handbag from one of these brands, you could sell them for thousands of dollars. You can make even more if the bag is vintage or from a limited edition collection.

Wear and Tear

Unfortunately, the brand and rareness don’t mean a whole lot if the bag’s in bad shape. Wear and tear are normal, but designer bag lovers take excellent care of their bags. They won’t buy yours at a pawn shop if its got rips, scuffs, and scratched hardware.

Assess your designer handbag’s current state. Is the interior stained from pen ink? Are there scratches on the silver buckles?

Some wear and tear can get fixed with polishing and dry cleaning. But, rips and tears might make it too far gone. It’s still worth pawning, but know that you won’t get as much as a bag in great condition.

Maintenance is a big part of owning designer handbags. They often come with dust bags and heavy-duty boxes. If you still have these items, include them in your sale.

How to Pawn or Sell Handbags: the Preparation Process

The preparation process for pawning or selling handbags is simple and involves three steps: removing your items from the inside, cleaning it and finding evidence that your handbag is legitimate.

Remove Items from the Inside

Before you pawn or sell your handbag, you need to remove everything from the inside. People want to by handbags for used prices, but they don’t want to feel like they are buying a used handbag. Additionally, leaving your personal items in the bag by accident can cost you.

Clean your Handbag

Make sure you wipe off any dirt from the external surface of your handbag. You want to be particularly careful with designer handbags because you can easily ruin leather and suede if you use a cleaning solution not meant for those types of materials.

The inside of your handbag is just as important. This is where everyone wants to store their personal items like their phone and makeup, so you’ll want to make sure you clean the inside as well. Don’t leave any makeup marks, food crumbs, etc.

Prove Handbag Authenticity

When you originally purchased your handbag, it should have come with some sort of card or certificate of authenticity. If you have that, bring it in to the pawn shop with the bag. If you don’t, try to find the receipt. It might take the pawnbroker a longer time to appraise your handbag if you don’t have proof of authenticity.

How to Pawn or Sell Handbags for the Most Money Possible

If you want to learn how to pawn or sell handbags for the most money possible, the first step is following the steps in the section above. Then, you need to know about how to use PawnGuru.

Follow the steps below to learn how to get the most money for pawning or selling handbags near you. This will help you avoid going from pawn shop to pawn shop to see who accepts handbags and who will offer the highest bid.

  1. List your handbag on PawnGuru— it’s free, quick and easy.
  2. Wait for offers to roll in online from nearby pawn shops
  3. Accept the highest offer (no obligation)
  4. Enter the pawn shop with your handbag
  5. Finalize the transaction
  6. Walk out with cash in hand

If you sell your handbag outright, the process ends there. But if you are pawning your handbag, there are some extra steps involved. Basically, you will need to pay the money back (plus interest and fees) by a certain date—usually within 30 days. You will get to discuss this with the pawnbroker while you’re at the shop and before you finalize the transaction.

If you don’t pay your loan back in 30 days, the pawn shop gets to keep the purse. This is a pretty straightforward process and it enables you to get cash in hand today, unlike many other means of selling your handbag.

Why Pawning Provides a Better Alternative to Short-Term Loans

Depending on the pawn dealer you visit and state laws in your area, you can receive an interest rate on a collateral loan anywhere from 2-14%. Obviously, the lower the interest rate, the more sense it makes to take out this loan. Interest rates from banks and other traditional loan institutions can mirror these rates and are often much higher than what you can get with a pawn loan.

Another huge incentive to pawning is there is no credit check. If your credit score is already plunging, the less hard checks on your credit report the better. Hard checks take ten years to disappear from your credit report and can be agonizingly damaging if your score is already low.

One last thing to consider when thinking about pawning handbags or any other valuable commodity is the amount of paperwork you will have to fill out. If time is of the essence, then taking off work to visit a financial institution just to fill out a monolithic amount of paperwork could be less worth it in the long run.

You can avoid all these inhibitions when you pawn your high-value handbags at a pawnshop! If you use PawnGuru, you”ll definitely know you’re getting the best deal by comparison shopping through offers. You’ll never walk into a dishonest shop or have to worry about what the competitor down the street would offer!

Pawning will never affect your credit score. The worst that can happen is that you would lose your handbag. You’ll never go through debt collection with pawn shops.

Remember you can pawn or sell. If you want your handbag back in the future, it is best to pawn. You can always get a better price when you sell your handbag!

PawnGuru can help you sell or pawn your handbag by giving you offers from different local shops. It’s a free, reliable and easy way to get the best from your collection.

David Stiebel

David Stiebel is one of the cofounders of PawnGuru. David was educated at MIT, where he studied Math. He subsequently worked at Bain as a data scientist before starting PawnGuru in 2015. He started PawnGuru to build a better tool for pawn shops and consumers to connect.

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