Handbags and China

  1. After reading much of these threads on manufacturing, I have been taking notice of where many of the bags are made. Indeed China. Everything else just about too. I have Coach, Kooba, Isabella Fiori (sp?), etc., plus many cheaper ones. I cannot find any consistency between quality and price. In fact, my cheapest-looking (with broken Hardware) one was a Hayden-Harnett. (what I look for is loose stitching, strings, handles).

    I've come to the conclusion that many of these new "designer bags" are completely over-priced, and I think we need to be careful how we spend our $$. Many of these can be bought at sale prices at some point, which makes me realize even more how much profit is in this item. I want to remember who gains when we buy these bags, the consumer or the company?

    Am I crazy?
  2. I am usually a lurker on this board :smile: but thought I would come out to comment on this.

    remember that these companies are businesses with bills to pay - both the designers and the retailers. i have a close friend with a boutique and sells ella moss, true religion, botkier, those types of brands -- and even though the store seems to do really well and is always busy, etc., she struggles all the time to pay her bills and has worried about having to close her store down. yes, of course there is a markup, but it's not like when a bag is sold for $600 that cost the store $300...that $300 doesn't go in their pocket. it goes to pay rent, employees, marketing expenses, utilities, etc.

    i'm sorry to go on a little rant here, but i see these kinds of comments all the time here and on other boards, and knowing what my friend has gone through and how stressful she says that this business is for her and other storeowners that she knows....it's not as simple as evil designers and evil stores trying to make tons of profit. it's business, like anything else.

    my next post will be a little happier, i promise :smile:
  3. Let's face it... 90% of the stuff we buy we don't need, and we can always buy cheaper kinds of most anything. My first new car was a $6,000 Nissan Sentra in 1985. My current car is a $28,000 Saturn. Both cars went from here to there, why buy a more expensive one? Who really needs a handbag? Plastic, canvas, polyester, leather or otherwise? You could carry all of your stuff in a bag they give you with your groceries.

    However, there is nothing wrong with having things that appeal more to you. Life is short, and should be enjoyed. If buying a $2,000 handbag makes you happy, and you can afford it, then by all means you should.

    As for huge markups on items, well, there are a lot of hands in the till. The suppliers of the raw materials want money. The people who built the manufacturing facility want money. The workers want money. The designers want money. The executives want LOTS of money. The trucking company that delivered the stuff to the store wants money. The sales person wants money. You want to see the stuff when you go to buy it, so the electric company gets some money. Bathrooms are put in the stores for the convenience of the consumer. Those sinks cost money, as does the soap in the dispenser. The janitor who comes in to clean that bathroom wants to get paid too.

    As for China, let's not be too hard on them or their people, they are out to make a living just like the people of the US. ALOT of US Treasury bonds are held by the Chinese government. We import a huge amount of goods from China. If we were to cut that by a good margin, China would likely turn in a portion of those bonds, which would not be good for the American economy either.
  4. I agree with all these points. My point is though that we, as consumers, can be careful to get the best value for our $$. If that means buying a bag you LOVE, great, if you enjoy it, but what's wrong with being an informed consumer? It is, after all our money, and we work as hard as a store owner getting it.
  5. I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH MISSLOLA. I don't know if you read my rant earlier about the COACH bag being so expensive...

    Yes, we know there are a lot of hands that get a piece of the pie and I believe we all believe that they should get a fair pay. I think the point she is trying to make along with me is, just KNOW and understand where it is coming from, that's all. If that is not what misslola was saying, I appologize.

    As for comments about everyone having costs, like you said, that is the way of the business. It is extremely hard for small boutiques, etc to make money but that is the risk they face. But the point is COACH is not losing any money. Your friend might but COACH isn't. Meaning, COACH is out their for themselves. And that is fine, it's business, but what I don't like about Coach is their big words of how this company was built on American values and traditions, etc.... giving back to America's heritage, blah, blah, blah.

    I will bet my house on the fact that they were turning a profit before moving to CHINA. They are not a small business boutique struggling. Go to China, that is fine, make a larger profit, fine, but don't blah, blah, blah that it is for the Americans.... All they did was use the whole Americana feel good thing, built it up, then took away all our American workers job, meanwhile turning a bigger buck.

    It is your money. Spend it the way that makes you happy. Just be informed shoppers. If it doesn't bother you, no biggie.... but misslola is right, there are always sales and deals everywhere. :smile:

    Happy shopping!
  6. Many of the newer mulberry bags are assembled in china!
  7. If I like it and it holds up well, I won't feel bad spending the $ but it does have a limit.

    Like iliabags said, spend your money the way that makes you happy. I couldn't agree more.
  8. ITA! Coach, Brahmin, Stone Mountain and D&B were all making a profit before they went to China, and now they want a bigger profit. Unfortunately it's on the back of the consumer who may not be aware that the great American company shifted their production line to China while keeping the price point at the same level. Or worse, they were like Kooba. They started out being made in Italy with a retail price of around $250, and now it's China for $595 or so. It goes to show that these products CAN be made here or in Europe and still sell for a profit.

    And yes, be an informed shopper. I've always been an advocate of being a wise shopper when it comes to handbags, makeup, skin care, cars, computers...etc. At the very least you'll save a fortune. :p

  9. "Cheap and good" - that's my motto :biggrin:

    Which is why, if ebags ever decides to ship overseas, I'll get myself a Tignanello leather bag for under US$100 ...
  10. I like China, I dont mind supporting their economy.
  11. If you buy an expensive bag that's made in China, you're supporting the bag company more than the country of manufacture because they're the ones getting the hefty wholesale prices from the stores. I have problems with how China has behaved, but when the company cuts costs and doubles the prices, well, it strikes me as sleazy. Its a big rip off for the consumer IMO.

  12. Ammietwist is absolutely right. I work for a company (outside of fashion) that has moved almost all manufacturing to China. The only reason is to increase corporate profits. There is no thought to (or result of) helping the working people in China (or anywhere). The goal is to cut costs but keep prices high - knowing that, at least in short-term, people will continue "buying the name" - the result is that profits skyrocket and senior management gets a big bonus because bonuses are based on cash flow and earnings.