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There’s a new designer handbag consignment shop online, straight from St. Mary’s County.

The Handbag Consignment Shop, set to launch April 9, is an online second-hand purse shop dedicated to giving handbag lovers an opportunity to sell, recycle and buy high-end designer bags, according to Kimberly Hoctor, 42, of California.

“I chose to call it Handbag Consignment Shop, even though it’s very vanilla, because if you think about it, when someone Googles ‘handbag consignment,’ what do you think is going to pop up? My site,” Hoctor said, who added she hopes to have a brick-and-mortar site within a year.

Hoctor has been working on the concept for about a year and a half, after comments from friends and family on her ever-growing “purse closet” that some had begun to refer to as “Kimmie’s Boutique.”

“‘I want to shop in your closet,’ they’d say,” Hoctor joked, whose personal purse collection, along with her shoes, takes up the entire guest bedroom closet in her home.

“I didn’t even know the extent of it until I went to visit her and I walked into the spare bedroom closet and she had bags to match every outfit you could imagine,” said Hoctor’s longtime friend, Nora Young. “I’ve never known anyone personally who had that much passion for handbags, and since I’ve never known her to fail at anything she’s ever tried — she has the energy of the Energizer Bunny — I know this will be a success.”

Hoctor’s younger sister, Aimee Ward, said she, too, was overwhelmed by her sister’s mammoth collection of bags.

“My sister has always been very fashionable, and when I walked into that closet I felt like I had walked into a high-end boutique,” Ward said.

Thus, the Handbag Consignment Shop was born.

Bags from big names like Coach, Dooney & Burke, Fossil, Guess, Juicy Couture, Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton and others adorn the website in a variety of styles and sizes, ranging from wallets and baguettes to clutches, totes and large handbags.

A bag’s authenticity is researched prior to being posted on the site, Hoctor said.

“I only accept authentic designer handbags, and I can’t emphasize that enough, because there are so many knock-offs and replicas, and it’s actually against the law for people to buy and sell those,” she said. “So I put a statement in the bylaws and in the contracts stating that if I find out that a bag is a fake, I will actually turn that bag in to authorities and the consigner will lose her bag.”

Hoctor added that many manufacturers also have 1-800 numbers people can call to ask authentication-related questions. She also suggests consigners save the receipt when purchasing a designer handbag in the first place.

Once a bag has been submitted for consignment, Hoctor has 10 days to assess its condition and value, after which she will call or email consigners with an inventory list to let them know how the bags will be priced. If a bag’s condition is not up to par, she will simply mail the bag(s) back to the submitter.

“I want to make them as much money as I can, while also making a profit myself, so they have to be in good condition,” Hoctor said, noting that consigners receive 60 percent of their sale profit.

After 60 days on the site, if a bag hasn’t sold, Hoctor said discounts of 10 to 20 percent will be applied. “I’ll give it until 90 days from there, at which point it’ll likely be marked half off, and after 120 days, if it hasn’t sold, I give the consigner the option to either have the bag mailed back to them or to have it donated.” Hoctor said.

jgoolsby@somdnews.com

To learn more

For more information on how to consign or buy handbags from the site email info@handbagconsignmentshop.com or visit www.handbagconsignmentshop.com.

Kimberly Hoctor also plans to host purse exchange parties at local hotels, country clubs and other venues. The first such party will be May 5 at the Wildewood Clubhouse.