Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Experience with Bag, Borrow, or Steal

I have never been one to hold on to things past their usefulness. I participate in my community's garage sale twice a year and I am constantly purging my home of things I am not using. With that being said, I decided to sell a few of my designer handbags to make some money for home decorating projects.

Normally, I turn to good 'ole Ebay and Craigslist, but I just wasn't in the place to spend the time and effort needed to filter out the spam and such. Since designer handbags are not typically big sellers in garage sales, I decided to try out a online company called Bag, Borrow, or Steal (BBOS).
 BBOS recently launched a program where they buy gently used designer handbags to sell in a private sale. Sounds good enough, right?
I started off by doing some background research on the Internet (i.e. Google-ing) and didn't find any bad reports from people concerning the sale of their handbags, only a few minor complaints about rental handbags not being in very good condition. So, I decided to give them a try.
The first step was to take pictures of your bag and fill out an online form giving them some details about the bag (where you bought it, when, do you have authentication). I decided to try selling three separate handbags.

The brown leather coach handbag was instantly declined (which surprised me a little since it was in like-new condition and I had a dust bag/receipt to prove authentication). The other two bags were accepted. BBOS offered me $80 for the Kate Spade diaper bag. Not as high as I would have liked but considering the fact that they had to pay have it shipped to them and they have overhead costs - I figured it was an acceptable amount.

The third handbag, the blue-trimmed Coach outlet bag was also approved for $50. Pretty good considering I only paid $110 for it.

BBOS provides you with a prepaid mailing label for shipping. I popped the two handbags into two separate boxes, scheduled a pickup with my USPS postal carrier and off they went. I didn't have any tracking information since I chose the carrier pickup method (oops), but I could have taken them to the post office and been able to track them.

This is where I hit my first frustration with BBOS. It took them a little over two weeks to communicate that they had received the handbags. In my opinion, that is a pretty long turn around time. About three days later, I received another email stating that the Kate Spade diaper bag had been accepted, but they felt that it was not worth the original $80 quote and they were now offering me $60. At this point I felt that they were hoping I would say "Fine. Whatever." and just accept their low ball offer (I didn't). I also received an email stating that the blue-trimmed Coach bag was not accepted and would be returned to me asap.

In the end, I had my two handbags shipped back to me (free of charge) and lost about a month's worth of time that I could have sold these bags on Craigslist or Ebay. It wasn't worth the trouble. It made me uneasy to ship valuable items to a company that I didn't really know and I felt that they tried to low ball me at every opportunity.

Was it an awful experience? No. Would I do it again? No.

I sold all three handbags on Craigslist within a week for well over the quoted amount from BBOS. Now I have some extra cash for home decorating projects!

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