As a Tokidoki aficionado, I’ve done 3 previous posts on their bags. One of my earlier ones was about my purchase of a Tokidoki Ecomondo Sorrisso. The post that seemed to generate a lot of emails and comments (both on this blog and comments on another blog) was on buying a Tokidoki bag on Ebay. Recently, AutumnAme from the Tokidoki Blog asked me, “Do you think it’s worth it to get the classic Tokidoki x Le Sportsac bags off from eBay, such as the L’Amore, Pirata, Inferno, Foresta, Eco Mondo, Paradiso, Spiaggia, etc prints?”
If you are a Tokidoki collector, then I think the answer is yes, but the problem of course is the cost. New, unused older versions of the Tokidoki bags are not inexpensive, and usually they sell for far more than their original retail price. This is partly due to several factors. In many cases, the bags were purchased for retail, as a collector’s investment. Selling on Ebay is not cheap, since they hit the seller with listing fees, selling fees, and then PayPal takes their chunk as well. Understandably then, sellers need to mark up their bags or else it doesn’t make sense to even try to sell them.
The most important factor in why Tokidoki bags, especially the ones that predate late early winter 2010, are so expensive is that they are “rare.” When the bags came out, after a launch of a particular print had made a run, that was it — no mas. This was how each pattern launch worked. Each unique print run was just that, unique and limited.
When buying a bag on Ebay, there is also the issue of whether a bag is authentic. The Tokidoki Blog has a great post on how to tell if an item is a fake or not. There is also a post of known sellers of fake and real bags, although I’ve come across sellers more recently who also only sell real bags but they aren’t listed. Still it is a good place to start, if nothing else, to make sure that a seller on the fake side isn’t one whose bag you are looking at buying.
If you are looking for a new bag, sometimes you can get a bargain, depending on the particular print. One of my friends, who has been both buying and selling for her collection, had decided to make room for some of the older prints during the LeSportsac collaboration. There were some styles that she also wanted, since she could use them for business functions. She basically sold all her Geometric Girl and almost all her Leo prints, all of them for below retail. She had purchased them at a discount, so her goal was to mostly recover the cost of the purses and make room. I think the only exception was the Serena, which she sold at a loss since it never auctioned up during the bidding process.
I’ve also given her some of my older bags to sell, especially if I knew I couldn’t use them any longer. I did this with some of my smaller Tokidoki purses, the cute little ones that barely hold my keys, wallet and camera, or anything that I couldn’t wear as a cross-body bag. One of them was a Bella Bella, and I was amazed to see it sell for what it did, despite the fact that I had cut off the carbiner (hey, at the time I just didn’t know!) and had lost the qee. I’ve also (through my friend) sold a Carnival bag for far more than I paid for it.
Now if you are new to Tokidoki, please don’t get the idea that any old, used bag will sell for a lot of money. There are factors to consider. First of all, the bags that are marked LeSportsac as part of the earliest collaboration launches. They have the LeSportsac and Tokidoki co-branding, and tend to be held in higher regard by the older collectors. Part of this is workmanship, and part of this is due to the print design. You can easily see this by doing a search on Ebay for one particular model and print, and compare the different bags by their print placement. The subsequent launches were rumored to have been made by LeSportsac but without the co-branding, and most of those prints, too, appear to be in demand.
Of course print placement is largely a personal choice. I may like cactus pups and the pink haired cotton candy girl on my Carnival bags, but you might like the hot-dog boy and prefer more lattes. However, anyway you look at them, some print placement is just better than others, so some tend to command a better selling price. This is relevant for the collaboration bags and the ones that were launched through the latter part of 2009.
The newer bags (2010) have taken a departure from what made their earlier collection a “must have” item, that being detailed, whimsical prints that had specific characters that fans identified as favorites (or not) as well as those fun rainbow zippers. Those are gone now, so the older Tokidoki bags seem to have become the prized items, and for obvious good reason. The design, construction and quality of the older bags made them more upscale niche, and the demographic of fans ranged from tweens to boomers, understandably due to their wide appeal.
I have to agree with Autumn Ame in her comment about their change in appealing to a younger demographic as a result of their product line changes. The move towards less appealing features to lower costs may change their demographic. The resulting demise of the higher end, artsy and fun bags may serve to only create more demand for the older ones. For serious collectors of the rainbow zipper Tokidoki era, this can be a good thing.