It has been awhile since my first post on How to Afford a Louis Vuitton Bag and it was so popular that I decided to followup and update the post as my collection has definitely grown from my single and original 1994 Alma Bag I bought from Ebay for only $200. I have certainly been bit by the luxury goods market and absolutely adore all of my purchases over the last few years! But, these babies costs ALOT of money and are no joke people! So, if you are considering a bag vs other necessary, definitely read my first post! If you feel that you want to splurge on something you adore, value, and will last and become an heirloom piece that you can pass on to your daughter, then read on!
Despite what most people think, luxury bags actually can gain value over time (such as an limited edition LV bags that was only released once). They become collectors items and can be sold for over retail. Chanel flap bags have increased in price so much over the last five years that a black cavier jumbo flap that retailed for $2900 are now $5900+! Insanity! But hear me now! Bags are NOT investment pieces so don’t put money in a bag instead of a 401K. But should you ever sell your luxury bag, you will get at least 50%+ back or more so it won’t be a total loss should you change your mind. Speaking of changing minds, here is how I decide on if a luxury bag is worth it to me!
Limited Edition LV Mini Pochette Christmas 2016 (this is my fave accessory of ALL time as it holds my chapstick, lipstick, receipts, and the tab is treated leather vs the vachetta so it will last longer). Don’t you love the new packaging :)
A few rules for myself when selecting a bag:
- Classic: I am a classic type of girl when it comes to fashion. So the bag must be considered a classic shape, color, material, and will stand the test of time. Meaning it cannot be a trendy color (like turquoise, orange, purple), a trendy size like a microbag or giant bag, delicate material (velvet although I LOVE the Gucci Marmont in velvet!), or too ornamental. I reserve those fun styled bag for less expensive brands like Michael Kors, Tory Burch, Kate Spade so when I get tired of the bag, I haven’t shelled out a ton of money for it. Or I buy fun wallets as I love seeing a pop of color in my purse!
- Make a Master Plan for Bags: This is my landscape designer self coming out but I know I am going to buy more than one bag and don’t want to rush into a bag and later regret it! So I have determined which styles I like and work for my lifestyle: handheld, crossbody, size (my ideal size is about a piece of paper 8 x 11 as I can get all of my necessities in) in advance and think about all of the bags I want for my collection. I love the LV Speedy 25 bags as they are the perfect size for my goodies and tend to like handle bags better. BUT I also love my new Gucci Marmont flap as a crossbody at a larger size and my Chanel Mini as a smaller crossbody and for special occasions! By coming up with your needs first, then you are more likely to hold on to this bag longer.
- Spark Joy: I was watching a snippet on Marie Kondo today and loved her ideas. At the end of the day when you see your next bag if it was meant to be, you WILL get butterflies-period! If you don’t, keep on looking. And when you buy that bag, you’ll be running out to your car like you are smuggling goods and looking around to see if anyone is watching because you are so excited :) Don’t settle for a bag when you can save up a little more for exactly what you want! You’ll regret it and end up selling that bag and losing money so HOLD out!! My holy grail bag (HG) is a beige chevron Chanel Reissue/ 2.55 with gold hardware. Honestly, I don’t think I could ever spend that much money on a bag but hoping one pops up in the pre-loved market in the next few years for a reasonable price :) I can wait!
How to Buy Luxury Bags (most expensive to least expensive)
- Buy new at retail: I have purchased at both boutique and department stores and prefer department stores as their return policies are longer-most boutiques have 14 days and department stores have 30 days. When I purchase a bag, I try it on at home, put my wallet, sunglasses, etc and it sits on my bookcase until the return policy is up. IF I am hesitate about the bag, it goes back to the store-PERIOD! Save yourself heartache and money by taking back a purse that is not perfect in every way!
2. Buy new in Europe: With the euro being down and the USD rising, now is a great time to buy your luxury bag in Paris or Italy! And all purchases in Europe have the sales tax already embedded in the price. So a bag that costs 1000 euros is all that you pay (no sales tax unlike here in the US) at the counter. All visitors are not required to pay for the sales tax and you file for a VAT refund in which you’ll get 12-13% refund cash or credit card. I LOVE this as you can imagine you are getting a bag that is NEVER on sale for 30-40% off!! I bought this LV Favorite MM in Paris and the money I saved I practically got this LV Denim Shawl for free! If you are heading to Europe, YES GO SHOPPING! You’ll thank me later!
Nothing beats buying your first Chanel is Paris!!!
4. Buy Preloved: I have definitely gone this route before and as my first bag, it was the only way! I am much more conservative now as where I buy preloved as I would just DIE if I bought a fake bag for ALOT of money (or even any money). So I only buy from shops I trust for authentic bags:
A). Fashionphile-California based company-MY FAVE!!, no sales tax if shipped outside of CA, amazing selection but tends to be pricier for newer and currently trending bags. I sold my white Chanel Mini to them and got the highest price-I actually made money on that bag when I had it for about 4 months :) They offer free shipping and returns. Bags than have been in the shop do get discounted 10, 20, and even 30%. You can create a profile and “heart” the ones you like and can see the date that it gets discounted. I LOVE stalking bags like this :)
B) Yoogi’s Closet-They have by far the best pricing for bags but you gotta be fast as fan’s snatch up new arrivals quickly! I check new arrivals daily! Included free shipping. Returns you have to pay for.
C) The Real, Real-I tend to buy designer shoes, accessories, etc (lower ticket items) although they do carry designer bags. Shipping is $11.95 so kind of pricey but I love their new arrivals and usually they have 20% discounts all of the time. I created an account to “heart” the items and like and get triggered when they discount to 30% of more. I am currently obssessed with heels especially Manolo Blahnik!!!
D) Ebay-I am hesitant to recommend Ebay unless you are a pro at looking at authentic bags. Then I would still pay for an authentication service such as Real Authentication for peace of mind. Make sure you review all of the stars of a seller before even thinking about it! I did purchase my Alma off Ebay but I did a ton of research and know that a bag from 1994 wouldn’t last if it wasn’t real!
I will make note that my budget includes 2 designer bags and 2 designer accessories a year. That’s probably a higher quantity of luxury items but it will probably change next year when my collection is larger and meets my master plan. As a side note, for every bag I purchase, the equal amount goes into my retirement account so I weigh heavily on my selections as it costs me twice as much :)
If you are full crazy into handbags like me, I adore these websites as resources and get me excited about new bags coming out each season, how a bag wears, showcasing bags, etc:
There you have it! My guide to buying designer bags! I hope it helps you in your quest for luxury goods. If you are trying to figure out how to afford a bag, check out my original post on How to Afford an LV bag!