Inspection Tips​

Use our helpful inspection tips and condition criteria to buy vintage online safely. Feel free to ask questions of your online vendor to be absolutely sure that the bag's condition matches your expectations. Do your home work to become an educated buyer, and then you won't be disappointed with your online vintage purchase.


  • Check the shape of the bag for damage. Does it stand on its own? Does it stand straight? Is there any deformity?

  • Check for missing or altered parts (handle, clasp, decorations, and accents).

  • Inspect the front and back skins for dry rot and surface damage (glaze loss, pealing or bubbling, rubbed spots, edge wear, cracks, tear, breaks, etc).

  • Inspect the skins for darker spots or discoloration. If you see obvious, massive darker spots on brown skins, it could be dry rot—leather cancer. Note: Old, dried-out glue often leaves darker residue on light-colored skins on the bottom or edges, which is acceptable if they are minimal and do not affect the general appearance of the bag.

  • Inspect the edges and corners for wear, separation, dye loss, cracks and tear.

  • Inspect the seams and stitches for strength, separation, or breaks.

  • While the bag is opened, thoroughly inspect the gussets (sides) from inside out. Major problems like dry rot or tear very often occur on those parts. Important! If you see bad wear spots, gently flex the skin to check for cracks between the scales. If the skin is torn, cracked or feels dry, most likely the bag is damaged by dry rot and cannot be “rescued.” Do not buy it!

  • Check the bottom to see if it is intact. 



  • Check the handle for wear, tear and cracks, especially at the base where it is attached to the body by D-rings. The handle that is visibly torn at the base undermines the value and must be repaired or replaced.

  • Insignificant wear (loss of dye) on the edges does not hurt the bag.

  • Thoroughly inspect every wear spot for surface cracks by gently flexing it. A handle with only one significant crack undermines the value and must be repaired or replaced. 

  • Check the rivets and D-rings to see if they are intact. 



  • Check the clasp to see if it’s in perfect working order. Open and close the bag several times for confirmation.

  • Thoroughly inspect the frame for bends, corrosion, or any other damage. Check the hinges to see if they work properly.

  • Inspect metal fixtures for rust and loss of plating.

  • Check if the interior is fresh. Musty and cigarette odors are difficult to get rid of.

  • Inspect it for wear, stains and spots. 

  • Check every pocket and zipper to see whether or not they are intact.

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