This guide is for people new to collecting Radley. It covers the basics to get you started. As collectors ourselves we all started like you, so we thought a basic guide to help you get started would be a good way to start your new interest in Radley.
So, maybe an unplanned visit to a Radley store, or you walked past a Radley stand in a department store or you even saw a Radley bag advertised on Ebay made you notice Radley. Now you have have noticed the adorable scottie dog which is the Radley brand.
Here we have put together a bunch of questions we asked ourselves when we started collecting. This should help get you thinking on what type of fan or collector you want to be.
Radley sell many different products ranging from purses and bags to candles and slippers. As a collector it’s always best to decide on a product to start your collection. At a later date you can expand this. You may wish to start small or on a lower budget by collecting keyrings or dog tags. Make your collection about something you love. If you cant resist handbags or you have a obsession for keyrings, use that to decide on what you want to start buying from Radley.
Radley was established in 2002 (read our history of Radley here). When you start collecting Radley you need to decide if you want to collect Radley products that are from the past since Radley became established, or you wish to buy present day collectibles. There are pluses and minuses for both. You could decide you want to collect both which is good too. Remember it’s your collection, its can be anything you want it to be. If you wish to start collecting present day products, the best place to start is by having a look on the official Radley website. There you will find all this season’s products, sale products, limited quantity products such as the Radley picture bag which are released at least twice a year, and much more. (View our signature/picture bag guide for more details regarding signature bag releases each year) The Radley website also lists stockists of Radley products as well as their online store and high street branches. Take a visit to a high street branch of Radley. Have a look around familiarise yourself with their products. Also Radley sell in department stores and other authorized stores (see our where to buy Radley here). You can get great deals from different stores on this seasons and last seasons Radley products. Sales and last of stock sales are great but always remember if its limited edition or looks set to become a collectible, it can sell out fast and end up on Ebay three weeks later for well over the recommended retail price. So always decide what to buy and when.
If you decide to collect items from Radley’s past, a great place to start is with the signature bags. Started in 2002 and still released at least twice a year, these are great items and very collectible. They are fast becoming the bread and butter in the collectors world of Radley. Our detailed guide can be found here.
Be prepared if you decide to start collecting the Radley Signature range. This can be a pricey collection and the amount of fake bags and purses on the market is high. Ebay is a great place for finding previous years signature bags. You do however have to have your wits about you when collecting signature bags. Use our guide for each bag to check images, get the product codes and view pictures from sellers of their tags with product codes shown. A more detailed guide about buying on Ebay is here. You can also use websites like preloved and gumtree but be very careful to always see what you are buying and inspect it carefully.
Also down the historic route of collecting, there are limited edition bags and products. Our guide to limited edition bags is here. Again you need to buy through second hand shops such as Ebay and Gumtree.
As with any collection you need to learn about what you are collecting. The Radley Collector website is a fantastic source of information for you. We are constantly adding new guides and updates to keep our collectors informed. We constantly add fresh new content. We were the first, for example, to list a Radley signature bag guide with product codes so collectors can check with photos of items they are purchasing to help avoid fakes. To be a good collector you need to know about what you are collecting and avoid scams and people trying to con you with the classic “this is limited edition” spiel on sites like Ebay. Unfortunately some sellers on Ebay list many items that they themselves decide to call limited or signature, when in fact that is not the case. We are asking sellers that sell genuine Radley items on Ebay to use our descriptions and link to the Radley Collectors website to prove they at least know about the product they are selling, and to spread the word about Radley Collector to protect Radley collectors out there. The more information we can give you that’s genuine and as accurate as possible the harder we make it for scammers.
Collecting Radley can be expensive depending on the route you go down. It can cater for lower budgets if, for example, you want to collect keyrings or tote bags, but if you wish to collect something like a limited edition bag such as the Radley Signature Cottage bag from 2004, that one bag alone can fetch prices between £300 to £500 for mint, unused and factory packaged.
So don’t go mad, set a budget for your collection and stick to that on a monthly basis. We have our own collections at Radley collector and know how easy it is to get carried away with buying Radley. Just be sensible and your collection will grow at a good speed for you.
A great way to gain information and learn new things about Radley is to chat to other collectors. Radley collector has its own forums, a Facebook page, a Google+ page and twitter account. Connect with other Radley lovers it will help you get started or even as an experienced Radley collector you can gain new friends and help others with your knowledge.
Radley Classifieds: http://www.classifieds.radleycollector.com