Landing a designer bag is now the mainstay of nearly every woman’s fashion desires. It began with a few boldface names and constant reminders of what we should be wearing by every budding starlet that now put ‘fashionista’ on their resume as well. After a decade of spending hundreds, and now thousands, of dollars on designer handbags, the fever has spread like wildfire. Everyone from the soccer mom to the urban high school teacher to the young professional wants a piece of the pie when it comes to toting a “good bag.”
Papierdoll.net brings you THE ultimate guide to shopping for a designer bag and scoring a deal at the same time. Understanding how to stakeout your prey and strike at the right time is similar to something out of Planet Earth, so keep this handy as heavy sale season approaches. As with any other sale purchases, understand that a vast majority of the time, sale handbags are final sale, especially when shopping online or from a high end boutique store, so shop accordingly. Of course if you’re a true steals-and-deals gal, you’ll have all season to scope what you may land come first markdowns.
On the web
Landing a bag online is probably the easiest, but that doesn’t mean it won’t come with tons of panic or several phone calls. A lot of this depends on what bag you’re looking for, whether it was an It bag or not, and how many are available once the sale hits. Often online stores do not replenish stock the way a major department store or boutique might, but because so many hardcore bag hags have gotten away from buying their bags online, there are many deals to be had. You could go the eBay route for a steal, but that comes with the whole is-it-real? song and dance, along with the notion of a good chunk of change going through the Paypal system. If you’re comfortable with this, go for it, but be sure to have the bag authenticated at a forum known for their handbag experts like thefashionspot.com or thepurseforum.com. Both sites have authentication sections where experts decipher a bag’s lining, hardware and leather to come to the conclusion of whether a bag is genuine. It isn’t always the easiest the process, but for every Marc Jacobs Stam fake that prowls ebay (and there’s a lot of them), there’s a vintage Chanel bag that’s authentic and whose owner has no clue of the starting value.
If you’re wary of eBay, I don’t blame you. Horror stories of real pictures and fake product paint the eBay forums, so opting for an actual online store is a far safer bet. Thepursepage.com is a designer handbag site devoted to designer handbag reviews and purses donned by celebrities. This site makes it easy to navigate upcoming designer handbag sales as well as sample sales, which usually take place in the LA or NYC areas, depending on the designer. Bookmarking the premier and designer handbag pages of major department stores like Saks.com and Barneys.com, also allows you to check back regularly to see if that beloved Givenchy Nightingale has been marked down yet. Most websites like these have newsletters you can sign up for, which will notify you of specific sales or promotional events. This makes it a bit easier, but know that, like you, a trillion other handbags lovers are signed up for this same email list, so pounce quickly if you see your bag available. Online boutique stores like shopbop.com, allow you to buy both contemporary and premier designers on their site, so you have a clear idea of what’s available. Other sites like aloharag.com (the only online site to purchase Balenciaga handbags) allow you to peruse the merchandise online, make an informed decision, and then call the store to make a purchase. This same policy goes for buying AR’s sale bags.