Would you ever buy a bag that needed repair?

Robyn Loraine

Member
Jan 14, 2010
1,341
3
A question for all you vintage Balenciaga lovers, would you ever buy a bag you knew needed repair? And I don't just mean small things that can be fixed at home, I mean you need to send the bag away to LMB for $$$ to restore the bag? Is there any situation where you would be willing to do this and other situations where you wouldn't? Or is it just never worth it?
 

Catash

Member
May 3, 2014
2,490
854
Maryland, USA
Yes if it is a rare find and good deal, but the bag cannot have too much defect or sign of wear. For instance, I just got an Apple Green First for $570! The corners and tassels were a bit dirty (just a bit) and the glazing along the edge had a 2-inch crack.

She is with LMB now. I am hoping she will look new when she returns.

I much prefer buying new and do not like bags that faded. Fading is my deal breaker.
 

Conni618

Authenticator
O.G.
Mar 27, 2007
11,068
474
Such a good question! Everyone's level of tolerance is different. Some of us would not dream of altering a Balenciaga, even if it looked like it had been living in a garbage dump for a decade.

From trial and error, I've come to rely on a short list of flaws that help me decide whether to invest in an older bag. They are based almost entirely on LMB's ability to correct them seamlessly.

Deal breakers are most flaws to the body of the bag. Fading and/or stains can be made to look better, but at the high price of changing the leather irrevocably.

Most things "wrong," with handles can be corrected. Cleaning handles is fairly easy for them. Other flaws from use and age are also "fixable." Just sent in an oldie with handles that need to be restructured so that they are reinforced at the base. I've purchased 03s and even 04s that had handles that stretched beyond the inner tubing at the rivets. This is almost never apparent from photos, but can eventually effect the functionality of the bag.

Slightly rubbed corners on dark colored bags are also easily fixed and reinforced. (Not those that are worn through to piping).

Extensive broken edge coating is not really fixable. I avoid bags with broken edgcoating along the top edges. LMB can't patch it, and I can't ignore it.

Other small areas of broken edgecoating are not deal breakers for me. Between the stitching on handles and around the rivets and the leather that holds the rings to the long strap is common with any repeated use. I don't find it that noticable, so I can live with it.

Even after years of collecting, I still make mistakes, but almost nothing is more fun than finding a ten year old bag that still looks and feels gorgeous!
 

riiche

Member
Jan 11, 2014
132
17
Singapore
My first Bal was a Marron Twiggy that came to me more damaged than I thought.

In the listing, the bag's corner piping was actually 'painted' over... giving the impression that the corners were fine when the piping was actually showing. After I used it twice, the paint wore off and the white piping was exposed--I was furious! :mad: Plus, the main zipper was completely replaced by a new zipper because the previous owner damaged the original, a fact casually omitted from the listing. Worse still, the tassels were falling apart. Like literally. It was beautiful but in need of so much repair. I missed all these details because I got too excited about the colour... but I couldn't return it because I'm located in Asia, and it was shipped from the US. Well, lesson learnt!

I spent a good deal on repair (fixed the piping + handles, redyed it because the leather had discoloured, ordered tassels from Bal NY with huge shipping cost etc) and it cost me so much money that it was almost more worthwhile if I got a whole new bag. That said, even redyeing can't take away the luxurious feel of chevre leather... I love the bag now, but imagine if the restoration didn't work out and I hated it. All that money wasted. I'm not against restoring old bags, in fact I think it's great and should be done for chevre Bals, but make sure it's just one thing that needs work, and not everything. I agree with Catash when she says major fading is the dealbreaker, unless it's a Dolma or another colour that looks even better faded. Because you can fix everything else, but the colour is what draws you to the bag in the first place!

That said, nothing beats great restoration work and I just have to share her once more. :love: Once Marron and now completely something else, the leather is just fantastic. I don't want to buy anything but chevre now :lol:

 

Catash

Member
May 3, 2014
2,490
854
Maryland, USA
My first Bal was a Marron Twiggy that came to me more damaged than I thought.

In the listing, the bag's corner piping was actually 'painted' over... giving the impression that the corners were fine when the piping was actually showing. After I used it twice, the paint wore off and the white piping was exposed--I was furious! :mad: Plus, the main zipper was completely replaced by a new zipper because the previous owner damaged the original, a fact casually omitted from the listing. Worse still, the tassels were falling apart. Like literally. It was beautiful but in need of so much repair. I missed all these details because I got too excited about the colour... but I couldn't return it because I'm located in Asia, and it was shipped from the US. Well, lesson learnt!

I spent a good deal on repair (fixed the piping + handles, redyed it because the leather had discoloured, ordered tassels from Bal NY with huge shipping cost etc) and it cost me so much money that it was almost more worthwhile if I got a whole new bag. That said, even redyeing can't take away the luxurious feel of chevre leather... I love the bag now, but imagine if the restoration didn't work out and I hated it. All that money wasted. I'm not against restoring old bags, in fact I think it's great and should be done for chevre Bals, but make sure it's just one thing that needs work, and not everything. I agree with Catash when she says major fading is the dealbreaker, unless it's a Dolma or another colour that looks even better faded. Because you can fix everything else, but the colour is what draws you to the bag in the first place!

That said, nothing beats great restoration work and I just have to share her once more. :love: Once Marron and now completely something else, the leather is just fantastic. I don't want to buy anything but chevre now :lol:

She is so gorgeous! I will say it is worth the effort! :graucho:
 

PrincessBoaa

Member
Oct 12, 2014
147
50
I don't even know. ): I'll honestly say that I've been browsing quite often recently to buy a used Bal..but alot of them have coloring on the handles, etc which I'm not sure... how much it's going to cost to fix. I think if it was a bag I truly loved- like the 06 First, probably! Especially if it was in the red color.

I think it really just depends on you.
 

RightasRain

Member
Sep 11, 2014
1,288
115
Yes, I have a bag being restored by LMB right now. Its a 2008 Pale Magenta Part Time with gold hardware. It's $325 to clean the handles and repair the corners. I just purchased a 2005 Turquoise that I will be sending in for handle cleaning and repair on one corner. I love buying old items in need of restoration and that includes classic cars and furniture. I enjoy the idea of saving these well loved items for continued use and admiration. Funny enough, the part time came to my attention on another thread asking this exact same question. The person asked the question and posted pictures of the bag as an example. They passed on it and I snatched it up :smile:
 

Robyn Loraine

Member
Jan 14, 2010
1,341
3
Yes, I have a bag being restored by LMB right now. Its a 2008 Pale Magenta Part Time with gold hardware. It's $325 to clean the handles and repair the corners. I just purchased a 2005 Turquoise that I will be sending in for handle cleaning and repair on one corner. I love buying old items in need of restoration and that includes classic cars and furniture. I enjoy the idea of saving these well loved items for continued use and admiration. Funny enough, the part time came to my attention on another thread asking this exact same question. The person asked the question and posted pictures of the bag as an example. They passed on it and I snatched it up :smile:
Was that the pale magenta from realdealcollection? I think that was me considering the bag! I actually just recently got a 08 bubblegum ggh part time and sent it in to lmb for handles, corners, piping, cleaning, and a popped stitch. How quick were they at getting back to you? They confirmed they received my bag yesterday. Im just hoping everything is covered by the $375 full restoration. I got the bag for a really good deal and the leather is great. Im glad to hear youre finally getting that 05 turquoise! I remember you looking at it :smile:
 

Robyn Loraine

Member
Jan 14, 2010
1,341
3
My first Bal was a Marron Twiggy that came to me more damaged than I thought.

In the listing, the bag's corner piping was actually 'painted' over... giving the impression that the corners were fine when the piping was actually showing. After I used it twice, the paint wore off and the white piping was exposed--I was furious! :mad: Plus, the main zipper was completely replaced by a new zipper because the previous owner damaged the original, a fact casually omitted from the listing. Worse still, the tassels were falling apart. Like literally. It was beautiful but in need of so much repair. I missed all these details because I got too excited about the colour... but I couldn't return it because I'm located in Asia, and it was shipped from the US. Well, lesson learnt!

I spent a good deal on repair (fixed the piping + handles, redyed it because the leather had discoloured, ordered tassels from Bal NY with huge shipping cost etc) and it cost me so much money that it was almost more worthwhile if I got a whole new bag. That said, even redyeing can't take away the luxurious feel of chevre leather... I love the bag now, but imagine if the restoration didn't work out and I hated it. All that money wasted. I'm not against restoring old bags, in fact I think it's great and should be done for chevre Bals, but make sure it's just one thing that needs work, and not everything. I agree with Catash when she says major fading is the dealbreaker, unless it's a Dolma or another colour that looks even better faded. Because you can fix everything else, but the colour is what draws you to the bag in the first place!

That said, nothing beats great restoration work and I just have to share her once more. :love: Once Marron and now completely something else, the leather is just fantastic. I don't want to buy anything but chevre now :lol:

Oh wow i can't believe that someone would paint the corners like that. I'm glad you were able to get the bag repaired to a place where you like the bag again, it's so hard to tell if a restoration will work out. At least it was chevre so you can always use that as an excuse for the high repair cost! :biggrin: the bag looks great in your photo!

I have an 08 bubblegum at lmb right now. She has fading but if it will really alter the squishy soft leather I'd rather they not redye because it looks fine faded, like a big hunk of gum!
 

RightasRain

Member
Sep 11, 2014
1,288
115
Was that the pale magenta from realdealcollection? I think that was me considering the bag! I actually just recently got a 08 bubblegum ggh part time and sent it in to lmb for handles, corners, piping, cleaning, and a popped stitch. How quick were they at getting back to you? They confirmed they received my bag yesterday. Im just hoping everything is covered by the $375 full restoration. I got the bag for a really good deal and the leather is great. Im glad to hear youre finally getting that 05 turquoise! I remember you looking at it :smile:
Lol! Yes, it was you! Thank you for passing on the bag ;) They still have my bag. I think it takes any where from three to six weeks right now. I'm not expecting it to be done anytime soon. I told them on the intake form to absolutely not doing anything else without consulting me first. Hopefully, they listen to me!
 

Robyn Loraine

Member
Jan 14, 2010
1,341
3
Lol! Yes, it was you! Thank you for passing on the bag ;) They still have my bag. I think it takes any where from three to six weeks right now. I'm not expecting it to be done anytime soon. I told them on the intake form to absolutely not doing anything else without consulting me first. Hopefully, they listen to me!
When did they get your bag? Have they not contacted you yet? I wrote the same thing on my intake form, I wonder if they'll listen.