I’m so excited to share with you what I scored on eBay this week! If there’s one thing I love more than handbags it’s getting amazing deals on handbags, so I’m always hunting around on the pre-loved market. I’ve been wanting to add a tan bag to my collection to go with my spring/summer outfits and finally decided on a Mansur Gavriel mini bucket bag. This silhouette from this particular designer has definitely been trendy for a while, but I still see it coming back season after season in different iterations. Despite all the versions out there, this one is still my favorite. There’s just something so appealing about its sleekness and simplicity, not to mention the gorgeous mahogany color (aka Brandy). I’ll admit that there are still some more bags on my wishlist for this summer so I wasn’t looking to spend too much. The mini size will run you between $500-$600 new depending on the version. It’s not bad at all for a designer bag, but was still out of my ideal budget.
Wanting to stay under $300 I took to eBay to see what I could find. As a side note: when you’re buying pre-loved it’s always good to authenticate – visit Real Authentication here to authenticate any potential purchases. I found a bag in the color and size I wanted and figured I may as well bid on it. I use a free service called Gixen to bid. I’m not sure if the whole “sniping” technique actually raises your chances of winning, but I just like that it automatically bids for me so I don’t have to sit around right as the time runs out.
Because of the water stains on the bag, I put down a max bid of $150 and figured I wouldn’t be disappointed if I didn’t win and if I did win then I could live with the stains for such a cheap price. I was super pleased when I actually won and was smitten with the bag from the second I unboxed it. However, me being me, I wanted see if the water stains might come out.
Here’s what I was working with:
As you can see there’s a few water stains on the front that are noticeable, but blend in somewhat well with the bag’s coloring. The one on the back is much larger and more apparent, but seeing that it was the back of the bag I wasn’t too worried about it.
After doing some research over on the Purse Forum (which, by the way, you should totally check out for your designer bag questions), I decided to give Chamberlain’s Leather Milk a try – you can check out their products here. They have a whole line of leather solutions, but whenever I clean my other bags I always use a cleaning solution first and then a conditioner so those were the products I chose.
Before doing anything with the Chamberlain’s products I cleaned the bag with alcohol-free makeup remover wipes. It didn’t make much of a visible difference, but a lot of people on the forums said to do this first to remove any superficial dirt.
Next, I went in with the cleaning solution which I soon discovered was liquid magic. I applied a generous amount to the cleaning pad that came with the bottle and spread it evenly all over the bag, starting with the back just in case anything went wrong … which actually seemed to be the case because the stains got way more pronounced before they got better. Before the solution dries up, you’ll end up with something kind of scary looking like you see below. I also noticed that some coloring came off on the pad, but I didn’t see the color of the bag itself lightening.
Be patient, have a little faith in the product, and after it dries you’ll hopefully end up with something that looks like this:
Not bad right?! Having already accepted that the stains might not come out, this was the happiest surprise ever. I don’t quite know if these were water stains or something else so I don’t want to guarantee that this will fix everyone’s bag, but if you have nothing to lose like I did then I’d highly recommend giving the Chamberlain’s Formula No. 2 a try!
Two more side notes:
I unfortunately can’t really recommend the Chamberlain’s Formula No. 1 conditioner. I used this as a second step after the cleaning solution and found that it made the water stains reappear. Luckily, using the cleaning solution over the conditioner fixed them again.
I also thought I’d try using Cadillac Shield spray to prevent any future stains. I’ve used this before on lots of other bags and it’s done a great job. However, on this leather, it once again made the stains more apparent and I had to fix them one last time with the cleaning solution. While I do like this product a lot, I wouldn’t use it on Mansur Gavriel’s vegetable tanned leather.
All in all, while I was already thrilled that I got such a great deal, successfully cleaning the bag was a truly amazing bonus. If any of you are thinking of buying a fixer-upper bag for a better price, I say go for it. It might take a bit of trial and error and it’s still a gamble, but it’s so satisfying when it pays off! I’ll list some pre-loved Mansur Gavriel bucket bags below if you feel like trying your luck. Thanks for stopping by this week!
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