We Dallas ladies love our designer accessories, but we don’t always like their price tags. For those who seek high-end style but must stay mindful of the budget, there is Keeks Designer Handbags, a resale shop founded by former Hockadaisy Kristen Donnell.
Donnell knows a thing or two about the pre-owned business thanks to her father and business partner, Mark Kane, who founded CD Warehouse; Movie Trading Company; and EntertainMart, a reseller of electronics such as cellphones, iPads and DVDs. Donnell joined the family business three years ago, after working as a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs here in Dallas.
The duo wanted to tap into the female market, and they figured selling handbags was a good way to do that. Besides, as Donnell jokes, she’s much more interested in purses than video games. And, unlike most resale shops that offer all manner of apparel and accessories, they decided to become the definitive resource for second-hand designer handbags.
“Rather than being a jack-of-all-trades, we would prefer to be a master of one,” Donnell says. “We like the idea of handbags, jewelry and accessories in that there are no sizes, and nothing needs to be tried on.”
Also unlike other resale shops, which operate on consignment, Keeks buys items from its customers outright. “When the customer brings us a bag to sell, we give her a claim check, do some research and call her back as soon as possible,” Donnell says.
Keeks typically pays 40-50 percent of its retail price and up to 60 percent for store credit. If the customer accepts the offer, her bag is then authenticated by an in-store expert or third-party professional. The buying process is quick, generally 24 to 48 hours.
There are currently two Keeks stores: at Preston and Frankford roads in Far North Dallas, which just opened a couple of months ago, and at Vista Ridge in Lewisville. Both offer handbags from designers ranging from Michael Kors to Louis Vuitton. Between the two, and an online Ebay hub, Keeks has around 2,500 handbags available for purchase, and 300 per location are typically sold per month.
Prices start around $60 for, say, a Coach bag and can go as high as $1,500 for LV. Most of the high-end designer bags fall within the $400-$500 range.
Donnell says the store’s goals are simple: to provide women with designer handbags that once seemed out of range and to give them a way to clean out their closets while making a little cash.
“Whether it’s Coach, Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Fendi, Chanel or even Hermes, we want to make that happen for our customers,” she says. “We hope to create long-standing relationships with our customers on both the buying and selling side of the business.”
Although there are bags available for purchase online, Donnell says most customers prefer to see and touch the bag to ensure authenticity. However, if the bag somehow fools the experts, Keeks makes up for the mistake.
“We guarantee that our bags are 100 percent authentic,” she says. “If for some reason we did buy a ‘superfake,’ we will either refund the customer 125 percent of her money or refund 100 percent of her money and cover the cost of her authentication by another source.”
Donnell says if all goes well with the new location — which has more of a high-end feel than its Lewisville sibling, as Louis Vuitton is the top-selling brand — then expansion is a distinct possibility. Keeks is open Monday-Friday, 11 am-8 pm; Saturday, 10 am-9 pm; and Sunday, noon-8 pm.