Q:

What are some tips for buying second-hand luggage?

A:

Quick Answer

In many ways, buying second-hand luggage is much like buying new luggage: buyers should be aware of their needs in terms of price, quality, material and purpose of the piece. With used luggage, buyers should also be aware of the condition.

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Full Answer

Since modern airline regulations are more stringent than in times past, size is a particular concern for people buying used luggage. Pieces should be small enough to fit into overhead compartments if they are intended for carry-on use, and they should be of the proper dimensions to avoid additional "hard to handle" baggage fees. The website Independent Traveler recommends that carry-on baggage be no larger than 45 inches in total dimensions (length plus width plus height) and checked bags should be no larger than 62 inches in total.

Buyers of vintage luggage should also keep in mind that many older pieces were not designed with modern conveniences such as extendable handles and wheels. Though a piece may be attractive and interesting, it may be more of a hassle than first expected when rushing through a busy airport.

Finally, second-hand luggage has the potential for condition issues. In particular, it is advisable to ask the buyer how the piece has been stored (and what has been stored in it). If buying in person, it is a good idea to smell the luggage to check that it does not smell like mildew or other contamination that may damage clothes. There is also the risk of bedbug or other vermin infestation in used luggage, so buyers should check bags thoroughly whenever possible.

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