I am so so happy to have been able to do this interview. I adore Shian from Naughtipidgins Nest. She loves bags, knows so much about them, is always happy to chat about them and treats you like her very best friend. Her site is gorgeous, her descriptions are the best, and her multiple photographs of each and every item are epic. Just what you want from a purchasing experience, and a friend. If you let her know what you are looking for, she will let you know if one comes in. At the moment she has her eyes out for a Mulberry Annie and Phoebe in Oak for me.
How did Naughtipidgins Nest start and why the name?
I’ve always loved bags, but moving from London to Lancashire in 2005, it became very evident I’d amassed far too many for rural life! So, I started to downsize by selling on eBay, and both buyers and sellers seemed to like the way I took lots of photos and described things very honestly. It wasn’t long before people were contacting me to ask if I could sell their bags for them and it really went from there. In May 2011 I decided eBay had served its time for the ‘Nest’ and set up my own website which has been incredible fun and I’m loving every minute of it.The name of the business reflects my eBay ID which was fairly well known by the time I set up the site…..even though its a bit of a nightmare to type as a URL!
How many bags do you own and which one is your favourite?
Currently about 25, which is very much diminished from my collection’s peak, but it is true ….I really don’t need two different bags a day, every day of the week, each month of the year, any more! (At least thats what I try to keep telling myself when my collection creeps up in size. An occupational hazard of the job, so I’m not too hard on myself). I now tend to keep a core of classics that I rarely stray from and a varied collection of Mulberry (mainly older styles as it seems to take me a while to ‘warm up’ to newer ones). As long as they all still fit in my designated ‘personal-bag-space’ then I know I’m in control! My favourite bag still has to be a Chanel Classic Flap. Whether lambskin or Cavier, it just goes with everything and will never, ever date.
What are the most popular bags currently?
Definitely the most desired bag is the Chanel Flap 10″ in black lambskin. Ones with silver hardware seem particularly sought after and this bag could sell 100 times over, without a shadow of a doubt! Next, I’d say the Mulberry Bayswater is still a very popular bag and also the Alexa. Personally I do love the older Mulberry styles as the design and quality is unsurpassed, in my view, but these bags are becoming harder and harder to find in good condition.
What advice can you give people on how to store and care for their bags?
It depends on the bag, leather and finish because you’d treat a lambskin leather differently to an LV canvas, but generally the golden rules are:
- ensure you know how to care for your finish, (read its Care Card and / or Google the leather type)
- make sure you have the right products, such as Collonil, Lord Sheraton, etc
- remember to clean and care for them regularly (which again will depend upon finish and usage) and
- store with stuffing inside their dustbags to maintain their shape and air regularly to prevent any mustiness.
How do people sell their bags on your site?
It’s a very easy process to consign an item at the Nest. The seller just sends in photos and details of the bag, from which I provide a provisional resale price and the amount the seller will receive when its sold. The return will vary on a number of factors but most sellers receive between 70% and 80% of the sale price. Then, the items posted in to the Nest and I photograph, list on the site and market the bag to anyone relevent on the ‘Wish List’ (now over 2,000 Wishes long!) as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Once the bag is sold and the buyer is happy, the Seller will receive their payment just 14 days later, (which is the Distance Selling Regulations required timescale for Returns). Simple as that 🙂
How do you decide the prices ?
It depends on a number of factors but the main driver is condition. An item in barely used condition will always command a higher price than one in a more Used condition. Market influences such as designers’ price increases and inflation will also affect prices, as well as desirability, availability and demand. My aim is to achieve the maximum return for a seller that I can, whilst ensuring the buyer receives the most competitive price possible.
How do you authenticate items that come into the Nest ?
Authentication is a time-served skill and takes a great deal of experience, observation and research. You have to have reviewed, handled and examined a lot of bags, both genuine and fake, over a long period of time, in order to be able to discern the authentic from the counterfeit. Yes, some fakes are really rubbish and anyone can ‘tell’ but many are incredibly close to the real thing and those who haven’t the knowledge or skill to indentify the indicators can be very easily taken in. Its ALWAYS a complete waste of money to buy fake, whether knowingly or unwittingly as they will never match up to the longevity, quality and ultimately, beauty and craftmanship of a genuine item.
If anyone is ever in any doubt about any item then I’d always recommend consulting an Authentication Service. There are some excellent ones here in the UK and also overseas who, for a small fee, will let you know whether something is real or fake. Its a MUST for anyone who is thinking of buying preloved.
What small accessories do you find most in demand? Matching purses/wallets are lovely to have when you buy a bag, so I do get lots of requests for specific finishes and Vuitton ones are always in demand. Bag charms are also popular, (especially Mulberry ones), particularly to give as little gifts as I find quite a lot of men seem to buy these! Agendas and Planners are also still sought after and though I guess many people now use their phone as a diary, I still prefer my little black congo pocketbook to anything else.
Do you have a Day Job as well as running the Nest?
Not any more, thankfully! I’m a qualified accountant and ran my own small business consultancy for a few years when we moved to the North, but found the travel too much with a young family. Once the Nest was established I was happily able to ‘put all my eggs in one nest’ and though there are never huge profits to be made in recycling preloved bags, its a true labour of love and I couldn’t be more content.
What is an NPNP? The Naughtipidgins Nest Passport is a document that accompanies all Nest purchases (that have a serial number) and identifies the origin, serial number, care instructions and history of the item. If the item has a receipt, a copy of this is scanned in also and any details of previous repairs and ownership included. Personal details aren’t documented, of course, but is always nice to know when and where your purchase was first bought, how many owners its had and how to look after it. Its also useful if you ever want to recycle your bag as it helps reassure potential buyers that the item you are selling is authentic…..and if you decide to sell it via the Nest, the NPNP automatically qualifies an 80% commission return.
Thank you so much Shian! I definitely share your love for the older Mulberry handbags. Here is an article on my favorite era of Mulberry. Should add here that Shian has sold well over 5000 handbags so she really really really knows her stuff! Coming up is another article that Shian and I will be working on together about the Bayswater and Roxanne ‘families’ of Mulberry handbags. These two styles had larger and smaller versions with different names and shapes. Find Naughtipidgins Nest on Facebook and Twitter as well.