Cost per wear? Do you care?

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  1. On a few threads people have discussed cost per wear - do we look at a how much a bag costs us in terms of how much we wear it vs. just how much we want it.

    Early on I used to spend more on my "special" bags and spend far less on my daily work horse bags. My thinking was that the regular use bags would eventually get worn so I didn't want to spend "good" money on them.

    Then something clicked in my head and I decided I wanted the bags I use every day to be my best / favorite / highest quality bags so that I get the most happy most often. So I "forced" myself to make my daily use bags my most expensive bags and my special occasion bags my least expensive bags. As an unexpected side effect of this process, I realized that it not only made me happier but also was more cost effective.

    So now I spend the most on what I'll wear the most. And I monitor cost per wear although I don't yet have a metric that I measure against. Anything I don't wear often gets sold no matter how much I may love it theoretically. I obviously don't love it in reality because I'm not wearing it.

    Do you consider cost per wear? Do you have a set amount per wear your bags have to meet? Do you spend the most on your most used bags, on "special' bags, on something else? What makes your decision on how you spend your bag dollars across your purchases?
    Kendie26 and ms p like this.
  2. I think your logic makes absolute sense :smile: I also spend most on my everyday bags. I enjoy the quality and the feel of the leather and they make me happy every time I use them. If I need a party bag or something for a wedding say, I'd buy something pretty but inexpensive, because I know it wouldn't get much use afterwards. In that sort of situation it doesn't matter to me if the bag wears well either, but I expect my everyday bags to last and to look good for years. I don't work out the cost per wear though - perhaps I should!
    If I make a mistake and buy something costly that just sits in my wardrobe it has to go, and I'm quite ruthless about that, but these days I try to think carefully about what I buy, and avoid impulse purchases if I can.
  3. Yes, I do factor in the cost-per-wear for every bag I buy, even the preloved ones :smile:

    I carry a card inside my agenda, with a list of all my bags, their purchase price, and the number of times I have to use each (price divided by 5 Euros for the most expensive ones i.e. price above 300 Euros, and by 50 Euro for the cheapest ones) so that I can make sure each gets its full price use! Only after this happens for one bag will I even consider buying another one - and then only if it´s worn and torn without a chance of repair.

    Thus, in my case a 500 Euro bag has to be worn at least 100 times; a 1000 Euro bag, at least 200 times; a 20 Euro bags, at least 40 times. Every day I take out the "check card" and write a little vertical stripe beside the bag I have worn that day. Simple, efficient, and eye-opening as to the cost-efficiency of each piece.

    This, of course, means that for instance a hypothetical 8000 Hermès Kelly (definitely NOT an everyday bag, or a workhorse) would have to be worn at least 1600 times. Is that feasible or even reasonable, or would I get sick of it before that happens? By this (subjective) measuring rod, a lot of dreamy bags are automatically excluded, and I concentrate my expensive purchases around really usable, tough bags like LV Retiro/Speedy, Chloè leather bags, or classic Mulberries (and the more affordable, but equally undestroyable Liebeskinds).
    FortySomething likes this.
  4. Thanks for sharing! Your benchmark makes sure you get good use out of your bags!👍 I'm like you in that I have a list of all my bags in Evernote and I give each a tick mark when I wear it. I'm still figuring out my cost / wear number but have initially set my pace at 4+ wears a year. I'd like to get that much higher, but with 26 bags currently in my wardrobe, that only gives me opportunity for an average of 14 uses each per year. Just knowing that number (which feels small) has stopped me from randomly adding more bags to my collection and is encouraging me to cut, cut, cut what isn't being worn.
    I also do a post mortem. I keep track of what I buy and sell my bags for. Once I've sold a bag I check to see what the final cost was (buy-sell) and divide it by how much I wore it. Seeing a few "ouches" on some bags has made me more aggressive about getting all my bags at a good price. Doing so in a couple of happy circumstances has actually netted me a negative cost per wear when I sold the bag for more than I paid for it. But that is really, really rare.
  5. I'm also trying to get much better on the front end to save grief on the back end.
  6. That's a great way of putting it :roflmfao:
  7. Whenever I consider a new bag, I like to think of a price per wear of only 1 pound / euro... of course this is not always realistic, but it helps me think carefully about the bags I use the most.

    My everyday bags (e.g. Mulberry bayswater and Alexa) are at about this price per wear, but my "special occasion" gold sparkle lily is way above... but that's ok, since it's a lovey bag for special occasions and I only have one for those events. All others I AIM to get to 1 pound or euro per wear :smile:
  8. only recently... and i think it was maybe my mom that made me think about it. she saw me looking at a new bag to get and asked me - 'how often do you really plan to wear that?' although i've asked myself before - mentally - it didn't "click" until recently that ROI is very important to consider with clothes, especially. a handbag that is 1K that you wear once, it cost 1K, but a handbag you pay 1K for, but wear 100+ times, that's value. i look for value now and cost-per-wear, it really helps cut down on the impulse purchases and makes every bag i have more practical. i also sold about 10 bags b/c of this... they weren't a good value in cost-per-wear. so, yeah!:smile:
  9. I do consider such things. But not for handbags.
    And own far fewer than many here.
    Plus not a reseller.

    However, a good friend does something similar.
    To motivate her to rotate through & use what she owns.
    That seems fun. And helpful.
    May try that.

    Possibly my brain is too small to keep a running mental math total? Especially near shiny things & leather.
    Or, I feel zero justification guilt about owning bags?
    Either way, probably deeply bent character flaw involved. ;)
  10. #10 Jun 8, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
    Very good question. We've had similar with someone asking whether generally we did cost per wear on all our bags but this adds a new dimension.

    Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't :biggrin:

    1. Sometimes I carry bags that are years old, or even older passed-on from my mother so they would be pennies per wear. Some of my vintage prizes that don't get out much because they really are precious, survivors from another age, even if they cost a lot I don't mind, they decorate my room.

    2. Some of my bags are seasonal so you can cut the use by half if counting per wear

    3. As we came across in another thread quality materials does not always equate with durability. I really love to have an amazing bag for special occasions but equally a good quality, durable one for everyday too.

    As for buying with cpw in mind. If I look back over just around 2 years I've bought for various reasons (just thinking aloud).

    My BV woven Cervo Hobo is an everyday bag as is my H GP and I wear them regularly. My Gucci New Bamboo Top-handle Bold cost less than both the BV hobo and the GP, but in cream leather it will be a special occasion bag (its intention) but my H Plume cost more than twice the price of the GP and the BV hobo, it's also for more special occasion, lunch out etc, I wouldn't find it useful for work or going to the supermarket. That's OK, I will have the Plume 'forever', perhaps it will be my everyday bag when I'm in my 80s ;)
  11. I use too and i completely agree on using the good bags for the day to day, no sense in rarely using the ones you've invested the most in.

    Unfortunately, when my pinched nerves occurred, the majority of my bags are no longer used so my cost per wear concerns have well, sunk.

    Admit the one bag i am using day to day is getting loads of use, so it should be well worth the investment overall, as it's my daily go too.
  12. #12 Jun 8, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
    I already have planned (sometimes deviate) on which type of bags I want in my collection. I mainly check the bags off my wish list like a lot of people do here. I want a small collection and every bag will have its place. No, I don't have a set amount per wear my bags have to meet. I buy the best made bag and the one I loved the most with the amount of money I plan to spend. I love a lot of different styles; however, I can't take them all home with me. :lol: So, I sometimes use cost per wear for a tiebreaker in figuring out which one to choose on expensive bags. :smile:
  13. First I look at how much I want/love a particular bag. I then figure out how this particular bag will fit my lifestyle. Is it something I'm willing to carry most days? Is it practical? Will it hold all my daily essentials? How will it fit into my wardrobe...etc. When these criterias are met, cost per wear factor falls into place.

    I no longer spend the big bucks on something I will only wear occasionally (made that mistake before), but will do so for something I know I will get a lot of use from. Like some posters here said, it helps cut down on unnecessary spending and impulse buys.
  14. Great insights everyone. I'm learning a lot. Keep it coming. 😊
  15. I can't be bothered to look at cost per wear alone. I think more about "Do I need this?" than "Has it carried its' weight?". I might think about cost per wear after I sell a bag - how much money I made/lost. If I thought about it when I still have the bag, I'd go mad.

    My job is one where my bags get the worst treatment; they get shoved into closets and kicked around, have coffee and other liquids spill on them, carried through busy stations and crowds and also the weather will hit the bags full force.
    This is why I only carry cheap bags for work; one of the most expensive ones is a Le Pliage which I got for -40% off. Another favorite is the cursed Boss, bought preloved for ~40 €. I did briefly carry a Mulberry Euston to work last year, but I just couldn't be bothered to look after my bag like a baby so it got moved into my free time rotation. The bag cost me 80€ so not expensive, but worth alot more to me.

    I can't remember when was the last time I ever got anything at full price; I nearly always go for preloved or discount items. This kinda blurs everything. Is a 1,000€ bag bought for 600€ the same as a 600€ bag bought at full price? IMO, no. There are things that change the game, and one of them is how much do I need for a bag to be in my collection. Cute and pretty are nice to have, and most likely will get alot of wear, but then there are bags that I just can't live without, even if they are only for special occasions.

    F.e. I got a new Lumi Supermarket XXL this spring for -30% and I've only carried it on 5 trips plus my week at the hospital. And some shopping and a couple of meetings. It's still something that will end up paying back its' price; Lumi bags wear like iron and I don't think I'll ever sell the bag. It will have its' place in my permanent collection as a go-to robust but gorgeous travel bag that also does double duty as an everyday tote for when I have to carry files, or anything heavy and big for that matter.
    The same goes for my Longchamp Roseau which I got NWT for 200€, so paid over 30% less than retail, only carried it a handful of times so far but it's still worth the money I paid. Sometimes I look at it and think about selling, but it's such a beautiful bag that it's a keeper. It was a bit of a HG as well. LC Penélope would be more up my alley for everyday use, but Roseau is that one piece in my closet that will polish any outfit in a snap. I need that. I'm easily the most laid back person there is, with more sneakers than heels in my closet. So to have something like the Roseau, no matter how little wear it gets, is priceless!