Updated on Wednesday December 4, 2019: Louis Vuitton stores are packed at this time of the year… At least every time I walk by my local store here in the Westfield Valley Fair mall in San Jose, California. It’s so busy most of the time that you need to take a number and wait your turn to even speak with an advisor. But what happens after Christmas when all the holiday crowds dwindle down, does Louis Vuitton start discounting some of the remaining 2019 inventory to make room for the 2020 collections?
Does Louis Vuitton Have An After Christmas Sale?
The quick answer is no, they don’t. They never do.
Louis Vuitton is one of a handful of premium luxury brands that never offers any kind of discounts; not on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Boxing Day, or any other day of the year, including after the holidays. The same goes for many of the other high-end brands such as Tiffany & Co., Chanel, Hermes and Prada.
Can I Still Find Louis Vuitton on Sale?
Yes you can, but it won’t be a new one. You can do a quick Google search and you’ll find dozens of sites that sell used Louis Vuitton handbags and accessories. Prices seem to range anywhere from around $500 for one of their more traditional smaller monogram bags all the way up to $4000+ for a larger bag in “like new” condition from a more recent collection.
The thing is though, can you be 100% certain that you’re buying an authentic handbag from one of these third party resellers? It’s not like buying a used car where you have a full history of when the car was purchased, if it’s been in an accident, the service records, etc.. Here the paperwork can be relatively easily falsified and the bag itself a replica. I personally wouldn’t risk it.
But What About Louis Vuitton 3rd Party Resellers?
Once in while you’ll see the ads on Facebook or run across a site that advertisers itself as a Louis Vuitton reseller, sometimes with almost too-good-to-be-true deals at 20%, 30%, 40% or more off. These are all counterfeits, also know as “grey market” goods, and you should never buy any “new” Louis Vuitton bag other than directly at a Louis Vuitton store or at louisvuitton.com.
In fact, Louis Vuitton does not have any independently run 3rd party resellers anywhere, worldwide. The only place you will find them in department stores are at dedicated boutiques located in select Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s stores. These are usually only found at a handful of larger metropolitan locations such as in New York, Beverly Hills and San Francisco.
There Must Be A Louis Vuitton Outlet Store
Again the answer is no, there are no Louis Vuitton Factory Outlet stores anywhere. Not in Paris, not in Abu Dhabi, not anywhere in the United States, nowhere.
Then you may be wondering what happens to any unsold excess inventory from last season. Well, the shocking truth is that most high fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton have been widely reported for destroying unsold bags. They do this to maintain high brand value.
But it’s not a total loss for them. Because their items are imported from France, under current U.S. law they are able to recoup nearly all the duties, taxes and fees paid on the merchandise and use the loss as a write-off in their tax return. This is part of Section 19 USC § 1313 of the Customs and Border Protection U.S. code. These taxes can be quite large depending on the materials used — anywhere from 16% to 60% of the value of the items sold — and part of the reason why Louis Vuitton handbags are so expensive. And with president Donald Trump just yesterday announcing a possible 100% tariff on certain French good, it’s possible that it can be even more than that in the near future.
When it comes down to it, if you really want a new Louis Vuitton handbag then you’ll have to pay dearly for it. For some of you it’s a no brainer. For others there’s no way you’ll be able justify the price. I understand the arguments on both sides.
If you can afford it then why not? You won’t find better craftsmanship or higher quality materials anywhere else. Life is also short — many times too short — and I’m all for fulfilling dreams today, no matter what they are. But if buying a new LV bag will mean you’ll need to take out a loan or drain your savings account to make it possible, it’s probably not the best financially responsible idea. And really, wouldn’t a new Tory Burch bag at 1/10th of the price, or something similar, also make you happy? It’s your choice, it’s your life to live.
Let us know what you think about all of this. Would you want Louis Vuitton to offer discounts and rebates on their products? Or do you agree with their policy of no offers ever as a way of maintaining the brand’s image and appeal? Leave your comments below.