Please be gentle on this intimidated newbie, but could use some pointers!

  1. Okay, I'm new to this whole nice purse thing. I buy ridiculously fancy perfume and have nice jewelry, but somehow missed the whole handbag ensemble thing growing up. It's been a catchall for disorganized receipts, with checkbooks and a bit of makeup (and always, always several perfume decants!) tossed in.

    I am ashamed to admit, that I've never spent more than $50 on a handbag. :blush:

    *deep breath* I'm Merricks_Girl, and I want to learn about nice handbags.

    There, I've said it! :wtf:

    The only bummer is, I'm in the midst of a horrible house renovation that is tapping all finacial (and mental and emotional) resources, so I'm going to have to spend the next little while just learning and figuring it all out until I have a bit of breathing room to do a bit of shopping. And...I always love good deals! I've noticed that ebags and eluxury, plus all the usuals like Macy's, etc have money back through some of the rebate sites so I'm thinking that is a nice way to get a bit extra off, too, especially for more spendy purchases.

    But what to do - where to look - how to start?! I don't think I can start off at the $800 level (unless that house sale goes *really* well! :lol: ) so I need something in the lower-end-of-higher, if that makes sense! I do like the Cole Haan Village Tote a whole lot.... I've seen a couple on eBay sold as "in used condition" by someone who has really good feedback for selling authentics - looks like they find things at garage sales or thrift stores...would that be a possible first step, given the stupid house situation, or should I just save up to get a brand spanking new one?

    Thanks for any help....
  2. Hi and welcome. I'm pretty new here too.
    Maybe you should check out eBay. You can get some really good deals. You just have to be very careful because there are a lot of fakes out there. If you find something you like on eBay, you can post it in the Authenticate thread (there's one for each designer like, LV, Chole, Coach, Gucci, etc.). The ladies here are wonderful and really, really, know their bags and they can help you determine whether the item is authentic or fake. It is such a big help when you are dealing with ebay. Have fun!
  3. :welcome::welcome: Check the 'Deals and Steals' Forum for good prices and websites like,,, and the dept. stores have great sales and the stores listed here that TPF recommends. You could def. find some designer bags under $500.00. Good luck and Welcome!!
  4. Hi and welcome! Keep an eye on Deals and Steals, but wait a little while before you jump in. Look at the pictures and read people's reactions to the bags. Ask questions. Get to stores and try them on. What I thought that I liked at first would have been a mistake now.
  5. Try discount stores first. At least you can be sure the item is authentic and the price will be lower, like Marshalls, TJMAXX, Nordstrom rack, off Saks.
    Second, try sales at regular store, like Nordstrom , Macy, Saks, Cole Haan, Banana Republic etc.
    All these recomendations are true if you want to save some money and want a nice bag, but not the hottest of the season.
    I would not recommend ebay. Too many people have too much troubles and if you are a person with doubts about authenticity, you would probably question the item bought on ebay endlessly... The other thing most of the items on ebay are used or purchased from retailers and not in the perfect condition. Some was stored in the houses where people smoke, pets and children are wondering near items. Are you OK to have a purse somebody already owned?
  6. Hi and Welcome! :biggrin:

    If you do go the eBay route, also be very careful to enquire about condition, as many, many, sellers exaggerate about the 'good' or 'excellent' condition of the bags they sell and/or say that they have been used once, or twice, or not at all; when, actually, they've been used for weeks, or even months... :s

    Also, ask about any issues the bag has - the onus is on the seller to include this info in their auction, but many don't, unfortunately.

    If you have any problems with a seller, or the bag you receive and aren't sure how to deal with it, please post a thread in the eBay sub-forum and the members there should give you good advice.

    The other route would be authorised store (whether bricks and mortar, or online) sales, of course, where you should be able to pick up many bags for 50% off, or less.

    Be careful though, designer bags are very overpriced for what you get, at the moment, so 50% off is often not really a deal, anymore, as it is still more than the equivalent bag would have been at full retail about 5 years ago; even allowing, generously, for inflation.

    Ridiculously, you often only really get a good deal, these days, at around 75% off, or more (which, depending on the brand, can still be as little as 35% off, in real terms). :rolleyes:
  7. First, since you are new to the whole handbag thing, I would just browse tPF under each designer forum just to see & learn the various bags. I collected bags before discovering this forum but never knew about half of these bags! I spent a good month just in the balenciaga forum. This way you can see what bags you are really into. Once you decide, browse ebay or deals & steals and take it from there. A lot of tPF members do put their bags on ebay so you know they are authentic and in great condition.
  8. Welcome.....we're so glad that you posted and we're all here to help!

    I wholeheartedly agree w/ mlinky (of course I would cuz she's my bag-sis!) that you should just take your time and do A LOT of reading and looking. Go to stores and literally "try on" bags, feel them, open 'em, close 'em....put all of your stuff in them and just talk around pretending the bag is's like taking a car for a test drive! It's only be "doing" and "feeling" will you get a better grip on what you LIKE and WANT in a bag.

    Most "bag mistakes" are based on two things: not seeing it IRL (in real life) and sale prices.....We can be SO influenced by price, that there are times when we make purchases that really don't make much sense and in the long run, are not good buys cuz the bags just sit there in your closet (esp. if they are final sale and not returnable).

    Steer way from ebay right now - there are way too many pitfalls unless you have the knowledge and experience.

    Good luck - have fun and be patient......
  9. TJMaxx, TJmaxx, TJMaxx You will find some seriously great deals on designer bags. I was there last weekend and saw some Cole Haan, Dooney and Burke, and Isabelle Fiore as well as Juicy and more that I just can't think of now off the top of my head. And before you purchase, if you like something hit as many in your area as you can. Put the one you like on hold for a few hours hit a few more stores and if you find that you still want the one on hold you can come back for it later. Good Luck!

  10. Ooooooh, yeah, I got my first Kooba at 50% off from!
  11. I just got a Posse that was originally 456 for 195. What a steal from the deals and steals forum!:tup:
  12. Also realize that most bags go on sale, so the (i.e.) Gucci you buy for full price will proably go on sale or to the outlet in 6 months. The one designer that never ever ever has there bags discounted is Louis Vuitton....resale is high on these because of that. If you are going to buy yourself one, might as well be a classic..My speedy is years old and still looks like new
    I would go to each designer and see what bag calls to you
    Good luck
  13. I totally agree with this for a first stop in your research project (and add Loemanns to the list). If for nothing else - you get to fondle/play with then - with out having to deal with a Sales Assistant.