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Should we trust Lovinmybags any more

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May 14, 2012, 2:54am   #31
LeatherDoc's Avatar
Originally Posted by Gator Girl
Thank you for your insight on repairs and restorations. I noticed you said there will always be some color loss on unfinished leather. Because of this, what should be used on vachetta like that found on Louis Vuitton bags? Is there any way to clean this? Or, should it be protected with something initially?
Thanks for your advice.

Vachetta leather is designed to age naturally with use and sunlight, which will cause it to darken and develop a patina. I appreciate that not everyone likes this and prefers the clean brighter look. To avoid it darkening you need to use a protector with an oil inhibitor in it, such as LMB for handles only or THBS everyday protect / THBS Denim SG. If used regularly then it will stop the oils from your hand penetrating the leather which causes rapid darkening. Its advisable not to use hand cream before you carry your bag as well!

If the leather is already darkened you may need a degreaser product, but these are usually professional grade products and not always adviseable for home use. You can try a mild leather cleaner with clean lint-free cloths. Several applications will remove layers of dirt and oil, and then allow to dry. It can be a long winded process as you need to allow to dry natrually between applications to see how much oil is left in the hide.

in conclusion, I would always recommend a protector for unfinished leather, well all leathers to be honest. A good quality protector will improve the life of all leather items. It will take minutes of regular maintenance per month, but will keep the item in good condition and could save you $100's on restoration costs.

hope this helps
May 14, 2012, 3:08pm   #32
Thread Starter
an update, after a few days, the bag is not as sticky as before. It seems they fold the bag and sent it to me before the protection is completely dry. I'm sending the bag back for them to fix. I included hard copies of photos and instructions, if they still ingore those this time then I really don't know what to do.
May 14, 2012, 4:28pm   #33
LeatherDoc's Avatar
good luck, i hope it works out. Sounds like they are trying hard to rectify the situation.
May 17, 2012, 6:10am   #34
Originally Posted by lovevision
Ready for the story?
I have a valentino bow bag in beige and it has a tiny stain (o.1in*0.1in) on front. I don't tolerate stains so I bought the most delicate set (cost $60) form LMB. It didn't remove the stain but removed the color and shine of the bag...(Btw, the LMB most delicate cleaner also took off some color from my black lambskin chanel, although the product is designed for chanel...)
I got scared so I sent the bag to LMB directly for a cleaning and color/shine correction and also a water/stain protection. I also sent her details about the stains and pictures showing the location. One or two days after the bag arrived at LMB,Barbara told me the work is done and charged me $295+shipping. I told her to make sure all stains I mentioned in my email were removed ahd she said her husband did the job and she counldn't see any more stains and sent my bag back. When I got the bag yesterday, I almost burst into tears. The stain caused by their product was not treated at all, the tiny water mark on the back of the bag got painted on (the water mark is ~0.1in*0.1in) and their paint is ~1in*1in and yes, you could tell which part was painted on. There is also a dent in the original water mark spot...

What's worse, when they ship the bag to me they folded my bag and when I unfolded the bag, I can feel the two parts touching each other was glued together, and when unfolded, some bad white marks was left....

In addition, a lot of dust (like black fibers, and also some red glitters...)was painted on my bag together with the sticky "water protection"

And they also added some small scratches(one on front, one on the back) and a lot of small stains to my bag!

My bag was perfect before other than the tiny stain. Their product made the stain worse. And their restore service... added scratches, stains, dust, stickyness without fixing the original stain.

I contacted barbara and she asked me to send the bag back. I will do that because the bag is trash to me anyway. But my concern is that maybe she and her husband don't have vision good enough to see the smaller issues? And maybe they have no idea they added scratches, stains, dust to my bag because they simply couldn't see those at their age???

But they apparently didn't read me email which tells them where the stain is...
I was pretty horrified by this story. Haven't had time to read subsequent posts. However, I'm very sceptical about most of the 'bag spa' firms I read about here. Some of the prices are totally ridiculous. I do hope something good has come out of this disappointing episode.
May 19, 2012, 2:07pm   #35
AngelaMM's Avatar
Personally, I would not send my bag to an online business. There is so much less accountability when you run your business online and you don't get any perspective of the shop conditions and qualifications.

Next time I would try Leather Spa in New York. They accept by mail too but they also have a physical locations and many more years of reputation. I've heard nothing but happy stories. Plus a brick and morter repair shop like leather spa can just be called at any time during business hours so you don't have to deal with any grief with communication.
May 20, 2012, 3:15pm   #36
LindaP's Avatar
I've used them twice, they beautifully restored a cream colored leather bag I had that had unfinished leather (from Elliot Lucca), it was filthy and they returned it to me like brand new, very happy!

I did send them a RM bag for rain and stain protection and did not like the odor it came back with, however I am sensitive to odors.
May 20, 2012, 5:50pm   #37
roey's Avatar
"at their age"? That's a pretty powerful and prejudice statement don't you think? Do you even know their ages??

This is only one side of the story. LMB has had many, many happy customers, myself included. Barbara has come to tPF in the past to defend herself and her business when unhappy customers unfairly trash her reptuation in a public forum. I hope she visits this thread to share her side.
Last edited May 20, 2012 at 5:57pm.
May 21, 2012, 4:49pm   #38
amandacasey's Avatar
Originally Posted by roey
"at their age"? That's a pretty powerful and prejudice statement don't you think? Do you even know their ages??

This is only one side of the story. LMB has had many, many happy customers, myself included. Barbara has come to tPF in the past to defend herself and her business when unhappy customers unfairly trash her reptuation in a public forum. I hope she visits this thread to share her side.

I agree...I actually recently got off the phone with Barbara and she did not exactly sound like an ailing senior citizen....quite the contrary and a very friendly personable person
May 29, 2012, 8:05pm   #39
Thread Starter
Originally Posted by roey
"at their age"? That's a pretty powerful and prejudice statement don't you think? Do you even know their ages??

This is only one side of the story. LMB has had many, many happy customers, myself included. Barbara has come to tPF in the past to defend herself and her business when unhappy customers unfairly trash her reptuation in a public forum. I hope she visits this thread to share her side.
Please make sure you understand people before you make an accusation. I said that is "my concern" and I said "maybe"... I never called them "senior" or meant so... If you sent them a bag and they just ignored the stains and added new stains, don't you wonder why? Isn't it normal to have "concerns" if you decide to give them a second chance?

In addition, if you have no idea whether I know their ages or not, isn't it also prejudiced for you to accuse me of being "Prejudiced"?
Barbara's husband, Gary, did the restoration. From their website, it says "Gary Crouthamel: Leatherologist with 35 years of experience in leather restoration, repair and conservation. Gary is the founder of Total Leather Care systems developed in the 70's"
What does this tell you?
From "Medical Dictionary", it says for Presbyopia, "Symptoms are usually noticeable by age 40-45". That means even if Gary started his career at 10 years old, a customer still may be concerned about his vision.

Maybe I was totally wrong and she and her husband are quite young and had no vision problems - is it better if they are able to see the stains but simply ignored them? Is it better if they are able to see the damages they made and still sent the bag back and charged me 300 bucks? If they are both competent and responsible for the first time, then why I got my bag back injured?

It is one side of the story. I also hope Barbara can stand out and tell me what happened since she got the bag a while a go and hasn't responded to my question yet.

I also read lots of positive reviews on LMB in this forum and the first time I saw a bad review, I was like that must be a competitor or a very picky customer or someone who got really unlucky, it won't happen to me. Now you know what? I hope I never read those positive reviews and had listened to those "unhappy customers". There are all kinds of reasons to say the unhappy customers are biased but the happy customers are biased by the same token.

By no means stating a fact in a public forum is equal to unfairly trash her reptuation. In addition, lots of people believe what they want to believe so I don't think my post will stop people from believing the good reviews and sending bags to LMB...

The bottom line is, I still have hopes in LMB and I have given them a second chance to make things right. I'll definitely update here if LMB fix my bag in the second round!

I'm banned from internet for a week from now...
Last edited May 29, 2012 at 9:36pm.
Jun 18, 2012, 12:07am   #40
CPA's Avatar
I just order some products from LMB and Barbara have been very helpful in helping me select the right product to use on my Chanels and LV bags. She is very responsive on emails also.
Jun 18, 2012, 7:03pm   #41
Originally Posted by LeatherDoc
I dont know LMB personally but as a leather technician of 10 years I can answer some of these points from a technical perspective.

Products causing colour loss & gloss level reduction - almost all leather cleaners will cause a certain amount of colour loss on unfinished leather. The only leather tehy wont remove colour from is finished/corrected grain (automotive), but since we wont find that in handbags, its to be expected to a certain extent. However, causing dulling of the gloss level - this shouldnt happen on a new bag! If the bag is used for any length of time the leather will 'buff' to a higher shine than originally, so any cleaner will reduce that gloss level back to the original level. Because the higher shine would of been buffed gradually over time you wouldnt necessarily notice it increasing, but when it reduces quickly from a clean it becomes very noticeable.

With regards to poor restoration - there is simply no excuse for that. It's better to turn the job away or advise the client as to what is possible to restore and whats not, therefore managing their expectations. If you tell a client all will be perfect, they expect a new bag back, but if you tell them you may see a scar or blemish, then they can decide whether to live with it as it is or take the 80% or so improvement. Leather repair and refinishing can only be taken to a certain point, as you are repairing a finished article not a flat piece of leather. The repairer has to take into consideration stitching, buckles and hardware, zips, handles, etc and cannot risk getting top coat into the stitching or zip, and so on.

the point I am trying to make is that LMB could only do so much, but it sounds like where they went wrong was in not advising you correctly on what can be done with the repair. I dont know what they write on their product labelling but it should give you clear warnings on possible risk of colour loss (which is normal) and any other risks.

Hope this goes someway to helping clarify.
helpful. thanks
Last edited Jun 18, 2012 at 7:05pm. Reason: wrong place to post
Jun 18, 2012, 7:07pm   #42
I used the LMB set for vachetta leather to use on my mulberry east west tan bayswater was assured by the team it would be fine. cleanser seemed ok as did the moisturiser although not very moisturising and dries abit whitish although rubbed in properly, my main problem is with the protector it darkened the bag about a shade or two although its not meant to and also made the bag very dull. not very pleased especially as the set costs £60 also microfibre cloth provided in the kit is not def. just a regular flannel (quite rough). hope this helps anyone thinking about buying
Jun 22, 2012, 2:25pm   #43
Good to know, I was planning to send several bags to LMB Dubai next week. Thanks!
Jun 23, 2012, 3:36am   #44
i feel so sorry about that~~~~maybe you should talk with them face to face~~~~if it possible~~~~
Jun 25, 2012, 3:30pm   #45
Thread Starter
An update:

I received the bag. The second round fixed the issues that concerned me most. The bag is back in good condition now. The only issues are that there are still some tiny fibers/dusts under the protection and that the leather has a little bit "washed" look so it does not look as flat (or even) as before. But overall it looks nice and clean now.
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