How To Buy a Chanel Mini

I’ve done several videos on Chanel bags and how to score the Chanel bag of your dreams but I still get quite a few questions on Chanel minis in particular so I thought I would dedicate a whole blog post to it. Chanel minis are among the most popular styles that Chanel offers and they are notoriously difficult to get so here I’ve broken it down into the general information you need to know about Chanel minis and what steps you need to take to get one!

Why are Chanel Mini Bags So Popular?

There are a few reasons for this; they have the classic look of a Chanel flap but aren’t considered part of the ‘classic flap’ line by Chanel and therefore don’t carry the hefty price tag of the M/L flap for example. Chanel minis are far from cheap of course but at around £2000, they are much more accessible than some of the larger sizes that will run you around £4000 upwards. More than price accessibility though, the Chanel minis are just plan adorable and also fit a surprising amount. I have videos here and here showing exactly how much they fit. Due to the absence of a double flap, the minis can fit more than the small sized Chanel flap and only slightly less than the M/L sized flap.

Chanel minis are also available at Heathrow Duty Free because they aren’t considered ‘classic’ which means if you’re lucky, you may be able to nab one at a discount.

Are Chanel Minis Always Available?

The short answer to this is ‘no’. Because Chanel minis are not considered part of the permanent line (which really only consists of 4 bags: the small classic flap, the M/L, the jumbo and the maxi), they are released as seasonal bags. So even though to most people, a black Chanel mini flap may look like it belongs in Chanel’s classic line, it doesn’t – it’s a seasonal bag and is only released in batches whenever Chanel feels like it.

As far as I know, Chanel releases minis every single season though – usually in both the square and rectangle size, although nowadays the rectangle size is more common. The colours, material and finish though is subject to variation each season – and can also vary according to what country you live in. Black Chanel minis (which are the most popular) aren’t always included in seasonal releases, although they do seem to pop up fairly frequently – presumably because Chanel knows that they always sell well.

The exact release date of each season varies every year and different stores and different countries will all receive the new collections at different times. The best way to keep track of release dates is to visit the Chanel Thread on the Purse Forum. There are always ladies there who monitor when each collection is released and when they should arrive in store.

How Can I Track A Chanel Mini Down?

Again, this will depend on the country you live in. In the US, there are waiting lists you can join – in Europe, waiting lists are much less common and I’ve never come across one in the UK. Instead, you’ll just have to rely on phoning around each store to check if they have any stock.

In my experience, even though ‘seasonal collections’ are supposed to last through the season (so typically, a few months), the most popular bags will sell out in the first couple of weeks. For whatever reason, Chanel tend not to stagger the release of bags over a couple of months so if you want a mini (or any popular seasonal bag for that matter), then you should try and get one within the first few weeks of the seasonal release date.

What Steps Should I Take To Score a Chanel Mini?

I appreciate that all of this information may seem overwhelming if you’re new to Chanel so I have a checklist below to try and help break down all the points:

  1. Keep track of release dates for Chanel minis in the seasonal collections. The best place to do this is in the Mini Thread and also the general ‘shopping’ thread in the Chanel section on the Purse Forum. The Shopping section will always have threads for the upcoming collections and members will have intel there on release dates as well as what’s included in that particular release.
  2. When you have an approximate release month (you’re unlikely to get a firm date that is applicable everywhere), you’re going to want to phone a store or pop in to enquire about the new arrivals. Often SAs don’t have information about exact dates or what’s being included so don’t get disheartened if they’re unhelpful; they genuinely just don’t know.
  3. IG is also a good way to see when new bags are released – people always show off new purchases on IG so that’s when you know bags are arriving in store! I always look at specific Chanel hashtags (i.e. #chanelmini) or if you follow enough bag related accounts, the ‘explore’ section.
  4. When you know bags are arriving in store, phone around. In London for example, there are many Chanel boutiques to phone and I have been known to phone around them all in search of a bag! They may offer to search the ‘system’ for you to see if the bag you’re after is available in any of stores nearby – definitely take them up on this but take it with a pinch of salt. Often, the popular bags get sold so quickly on the day that they don’t get registered in the system so it’s not always that accurate.
  5. You can ask them to phone you if a specific bag comes in, but don’t rest all your hopes on this. Sometimes they do phone and sometimes they don’t. This isn’t about withholding a bag – it’s sometimes just easier to sell it to the person right in front of you than to phone and follow up a ‘maybe’ sale. Unless you have a solid relationship with a SA, it’s best just to phone periodically yourself to check.
  6. Be persistent. Deliveries happen most weekdays so try phoning between 10:00am and 11:00am before the store gets busy to see if they’ve received what you’re after in that day’s delivery. In my experience, individual boutiques are better bets than department store boutiques (in London anyway).
  7. If you do track one down, be prepared to go to the store asap (as in, same day in most cases…) to pay. The official policy is not to reserve but most nice SAs will hold the bag for you for a couple of hours.

I hope you found this useful! Please let me know if you have any questions below and I’ll either try to answer you or will update the blog post to include the info.

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18 Comments

  1. Chelsea
    December 20, 2017 / 11:27 pm

    Thanks for this post, Amie! I’ve wanted the medium classic flap since early high school but I’ve realized the square mini is a much better fit for me after watching your videos. I’m graduating uni next semester and have accepted a full-time job offer so hopefully I’ll be able to save up and purchase one in the next few years 🙂

    • amie1
      December 26, 2017 / 8:12 pm

      So glad you found it useful Chelsea! 🙂

  2. Loretta
    December 21, 2017 / 6:01 am

    Thanks, Amie for this blog post. This information is so helpful. I’ve been trying to score a Rectangular Mini for a while… but it is usually sold out in a day (either due to it’s popularity or limited stock in Canada). What is this Chanel Thread or Purse Forum that you speak of and how do I sign up for it?

    • amie1
      December 26, 2017 / 8:13 pm

      Hi Loretta! I linked the Purse Forum and the specific threads I was talking about in the post above or alternatively, you can google them and they should come up! 🙂

  3. Nur
    December 21, 2017 / 6:20 am

    Hi Amie!

    Lovely post! I’ve always wanted a square mini in black caviar but somehow I can never score them here in Singapore. I was wondering though if the minis are easier to get hold off in Paris?

    • amie1
      December 26, 2017 / 8:15 pm

      It depends on season and timing. I think in general Paris probably gets a bit more stock just because of the volume sold but while I can’t speak for stock in Singapore, I don’t think that Paris is particularly better stocked than somewhere like London for example. It will just come down to deliveries and when the collections are released 🙂

  4. taylah booth
    December 21, 2017 / 7:40 am

    Hi Amie I am in love with you red chanel mini and would love to buy one what season would red ones come out

    • amie1
      December 26, 2017 / 8:16 pm

      Chanel tend not to repeat exact colours and combinations so whilst it’s unlikely you’d be able to get my exact combination, Chanel does released red colours fairly frequently. That said, no one can tell what is going to come up in future collections so I’m afraid it’s just a case of checking back and keeping your ears to the ground!

  5. Anjali
    December 21, 2017 / 11:17 am

    Hi Amie, thanks so much for this info. Would you happen to know the current pricing of the rectangle mini at the heathrow airport? My mom is passing through next month and would love to get one if the price is lower than the US. Thanks

    • amie1
      December 26, 2017 / 8:17 pm

      Hi Anjali, I’m afraid I can’t remember off the top of my head but it’s usually around 16-17% cheaper. You can also just phone the Chanel boutique at Heathrow and they will be happy to tell you the exact price 🙂

  6. Amy
    December 21, 2017 / 7:02 pm

    Thanks Amie for this post! I am currently trying to get my hands on a black caviar mini square. Just wondering what you meant by the black minis popping up pretty frequently? Do they come out when each season release or just at random times of the year. I have found a beautiful, 90% new one asking for just below US retail price, but doesn’t come with a box. I’m torn about buying that one now as I have family traveling through japan and Hong Kong in January, and me myself will be travelling to japan and Hong Kong in April. So I may be able to get my hands on one with full set and slightly cheaper since the retail price is cheaper in Asia. Any thoughts?

    • amie1
      December 26, 2017 / 8:30 pm

      Hi Amy! So there are a set number of Chanel seasonal releases per year and they will always come out at around the same time but the exact date does vary from year to year (usually within a few weeks though). Black minis aren’t released every single season but they are released more frequently than other colours. Less so in caviar leather, although it does happen. If you’ve found your ideal combination of leather and hardware, I would say go for it – I bought my mini preloved and I’ve been very happy with it 🙂

  7. January 21, 2018 / 5:15 am

    Hey Amie! This is exactly the post I was looking for! I have been thinking about buying a Chanel bag but have always been discouraged due to the price of the classic Chanel bags. I do really love the Chanel minis and I will definitely be looking in to these.
    I have been following you on Youtube basically ever since you started your channel but never really got around to reading your blog (since it wasn’t something I normally would do). Once I discovered your blog, back in September of 2017, I got really motivated to look into starting up my own blog. I feel like a lot of bloggers have good content but what makes your blog unique is that you can tell how much thought and effort you put into every blog that you publish. Taking this post as an example, not only is the post very lengthly, but every little piece of information you have provided is useful! It is really hard to balance writing blog posts that are concise but detailed, and you do a great job of it! I am so glad that you are the person who influenced my decision to create my own blog. I also love handbags but I love fashion in general, so I am happy to be doing something that I love even if it is just as a hobby. Thanks for the blog post and also Congratulations on your engagement (better late than never). I am so happy for you and Dan and hope you guys have an amazing wedding!

  8. Rebecca
    March 27, 2018 / 11:14 am

    Hi Amie, where can you suggest to buy a preloved mini? I’m looking for a light beige one preferably cavier and it seems impossible to get in Australia!
    Any tips would be appreciated!

  9. Hailee
    April 22, 2018 / 9:15 pm

    Hi Amie,

    I love the exact model and style of your particular square mini (the outside stitching, the flap coming down lower keeping with the newer version of the bag). What series/year is your square mini, if you don’t mind sharing!

  10. Cindy
    May 31, 2018 / 5:37 am

    Hi Amie, I am going to Italy and London this July and really hope to buy a chanel mini rectangular. Where is the best place to buy one (price and availability)? And what do you think the best color for chevron leather aside from black? This will be my 2nd chanel bags. Thank you!

  11. Chloe
    August 11, 2018 / 11:31 pm

    Hi, I know this is an old post, but I’m from London and just managed to get a chanel mini in square, I was able to join a “wish list” at Harrods for this bag too, so it may be worth looking at this.

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