Chanel, Hermès, Louis Vutton, Birkin and Yves Saint Laurent. Any fashionista would like to get their hand on these brands’ designer handbags and accessories, but certainly not at their original retail prices. At Designer Exchange in Syosset, a luxury consignment shop that specializes in bags, shoes and jewelry, high-end shopping doesn’t have to break the bank.
Shari Berg, a long-time fashion enthusiast, opened Designer Exchange nearly four years ago. For much of her life she collected handbags, and one day decided to speak to someone about selling some of her pieces. This consultation inspired Berg to open a consignment shop of her very own and turn a beloved hobby into a serious business.
“Bags and shoes have been my thing for the past 30 years,” said the store owner and founder. “Here we have that and accessories and small leather products, all from upscale designers.”
The store operates by taking used accessories, and some clothing, and reselling the items at a reasonable cost to the consumer. They will accept a piece in any condition, so long as it is authentic. Since authenticity is the backbone of the business’ integrity, there is a lengthy process of ensuring that something is truly a brand-name item before it hits the shelves. If there is any question regarding authenticity, Berg will turn to outside auction houses and experts to confirm it.
When a seller comes to Designer Exchange, they have three options as to how they would like to proceed, depending on the bag’s condition. They may either sell it outright, exchange it for another store item or put it up for consignment, in which the supplier would receive their cut of the profit only after their product has been sold. Berg has encountered a range of types of bags and shoes, from those that have been untouched and are nearly brand new, to those that have been gently used over the course of a few years.
“Sometimes I’ll get things that are still in the original box and have never been used,” said Berg regarding her inventory. “But we have a whole backroom of bags that are in secondary condition, so we keep one of the best of everything we have in the front, and then depending on a person’s budget, we can find a bag in a condition that meets their price range.”
Prices range depending on the age, size and condition of the accessory at hand. Certain bags in the store may be as low as $250, while other more sought after items reach far into the thousands. No matter the type of merchandise, Berg strives to assign items the lowest price possible to maintain the store’s reputation for having competitive deals.
Though the prices are already hard to turn down, Designer Exchange is giving shoppers further incentive by offering special discounts until Saturday, Dec. 3. With a valid coupon, customers will receive $10 off any purchase of $100 or more, and $25 off any purchase of $200 or more.
Designer Exchange, located at 18 Jackson Ave. in Syosset, is open Tuesday through Sunday at varying times. For more information visit lidesignerexchange.com or their Facebook page @lidesignerexchange.