Shari Berg had no retail experience when she told her husband she wanted to open a store selling pre-owned designer handbags and accessories.
“My husband thought it was completely insane to embark upon a retail business, and he had no interest at all and thought I was crazy,” Berg says. “I became so busy he had to come and help me,” she adds.
Berg is owner of Designer Exchange, a consignment shop in Syosset where she buys and sells gently used authentic designer bags, jewelry and accessories.
“I have had a passion for high-end designer bags for over 30 years,” Berg, who grew up in Great Neck, says. So, she has personal knowledge of what others like herself want most. Designer Exchange “has something for everyone,” she adds, and it offers layaway so that “almost everyone can afford exceptional pieces.”
The store features a large collection of Chanel, Hermes and Louis Vuitton merchandise.
“We have a huge customer base ranging from people in their early 20s who are looking to start a collection and purchase their first designer bag or accessory, all the way up to 70- to 80-year-olds looking for a special place to complete their collection,” Berg says.
Berg notes she prefers to buy and sell items that are in excellent condition, but she says those that aren’t are still considered if in at least good shape.
“Although we love to offer pristine condition bags, and price inventory accordingly, we offer more used items at a lower price,” Berg says. “Essentially, on the very high end, almost every condition has a price or value.”
Prices range from $350 for a Gucci belt up to $20,000 for a Hermes Birkin bag.
The shop is located at 18 Jackson Ave. in Syosset. Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The shop is closed on Sunday and Monday; 516-422-2270, lidesignerexchange.com.