Feeling a bit down about my bag collection choices

Jan 22, 2014
145
0
London
Sorry to be miserable but does anyone ever feel like they made the wrong decision when buying a pre-loved (or new) bal bag? I feel like I've made a couple of pre-loved mistakes recently and it's getting me down a bit :rain:

I know I'm really lucky to be able to have lovely bags at all but it just seems that I spend (and ££ spend!) lots of time thinking and worrying about purchases and my collection isn't going as I'd like it too. I suppose it's just a case of resell and carry on the hunt - has anyone ever felt like they're just not making good pre-loved decisions? Any big purchase regrets?? :shucks:
 
Dec 31, 2013
41
0
I can definitely relate! What started out as fun became anxiety filled and unpleasant for me.

I think my expectations got higher the more bags I began to have. My first few preloved bags went one of two ways - either clearly worn but "fantastic" (and I guess very fair) pricing, or solid pricing (while still a good deal) but way better condition than expected and/or a rare color/year that boosted my satisfaction.

For example: my first two Bals: a 2004 pistachio city - rubbed through corners and denim transfer...but got for $235, and a 2005 caramel city in very good condition (Aside from darkened handles) for $465. I had never paid that much for bags before but from then on, the ceiling was broken. I also then went on to score a like-new Dark Violet work for $465, and a very good 2003 mastic white first with pewter hardware for $299 all around the same time.

These all got me hooked and I was then a little blinded with the thrill for a while. Once I began collecting and having to hunt for specific bags, the amount I was willing (or "thought" I was willing) to pay went up. Since I had began as an extremely lucky shopper getting very good condition bags at excellent prices, when I laid out more money I expected a certain level of parameters.

My first stomach churner was actually receiving a preowned seafoam twiggy not from an independent seller but from an online consignment (The Luxury Closet) that I spent months paying off on layaway, sent from overseas. The bag finally arrived in very poor condition! None of which was reflected in the photos or description. I was out return shipping and customs, took quite some time to resolve and get refunded. It was honestly a nightmare and that was to date my most expensive bag purchase experience. The fact that I had received bags equally as rare, for WAY less in WAY better condition made this experience all the more frustrating.


I have learned that I am someone who can not spend past a certain price point, regardless of if I have the funds. I love Balenciaga, especially the rare oldies, but I am not comfortable paying beyond a certain point, period. I simply will not enjoy the purchase experience or bag, whether it is from spending guilt, condition received in, and/or anxiety while using.

The amazing deals are out there, and I just need to sit tight. Even if I find a rare color I have long searched for, if it is beyond a certain price point and/or a style I will not use, I need to pass. Color and leather are the biggest factors for me so for some time I was buying even if it was a style that had little functionality for me, or was a style I already owned several of.

I discovered I am not comfortable having a beautiful preloved makeup clutch sit in a dust bag in my closet (only after discovering I do not like the feel in my hand as a clutch, and that the alternative of it being a $300+ purse organizer is not for me), nor am I comfortable owning 5 cities. There is nothing wrong with any of this, but for me personally, it made me feel guilty and excessive. Five purse or first styles, on the other hand... I would be okay with because I use those styles far more than cities...it is all personally preference.

It is different for everyone but the whole collecting experience has been a process for me. I began about 6 months ago sitting down and thinking about my collection and figuring out what was going on here. It was getting a little out of control. This should be a fun hobby and since it is a hobby, kept within reason too!

I began being honest with myself and pinpointing where my negative feelings were coming from and why. From there I thought about collection criteria and parameters (style and how many of each, price, color, condition, what I am comfortable and uncomfortable with, what will actually be used). I have identified my "keepers" and slowllllyyy I am now sending my excess lovelies off to new homes. It is hard to let bags go, but I am feeling so much relief and much more satisfaction from the bags I have deemed keepers. I am back to enjoying using them, rather than feeling excessive and guilty knowing I have many more sitting in my closet.

I am someone who puts a lot of memories into my bags, so ultimately I realized I want to be left with a collection of bags that I have no inkling to ever resell, and that I can get a lot of use out. I worry too much over pristine bags, but I want the bags to last, so I like a happy medium in condition when purchasing.

I would also suggest coming up with criteria for who you purchase from. For me, I have decided to no longer buy preowned from sellers who do not take returns.

Sorry this is so long (or if it comes across dramatic- but my collection was truly a HUGE source of worry and anxiety for me). It is getting better now, and my collection is on its way to where I would like it to be :biggrin:
 
Last edited:

kemilia

the boonies of illinois
O.G.
Mar 14, 2006
3,496
5,725
the boonies of illinois
All my Bals have been pre-owned and I guess I've been lucky since they were all great. I've sold the City and Day (just weren't me) and now have only Purses and coin purses. I just love those coin purses and have gotten pretty good deals on them (just lucky). And the coin purses have made me a regular organized person--at least in my bags! :lol:


Maybe my expectations aren't super high and I overlook some of their flaws, if they were perfect, I would make myself nutty worrying about ruining them. Just take a breather for a while and enjoy the lovelies you already have. :love: Your well-being is worth way more than any handbag. :hugs:
 
Jan 22, 2014
145
0
London
All my Bals have been pre-owned and I guess I've been lucky since they were all great. I've sold the City and Day (just weren't me) and now have only Purses and coin purses. I just love those coin purses and have gotten pretty good deals on them (just lucky). And the coin purses have made me a regular organized person--at least in my bags! :lol:


Maybe my expectations aren't super high and I overlook some of their flaws, if they were perfect, I would make myself nutty worrying about ruining them. Just take a breather for a while and enjoy the lovelies you already have. :love: Your well-being is worth way more than any handbag. :hugs:
Thanks guys for your kind words of advice, delusionsoflucy what you are describing sounds so similar to me at the moment - it sounds dramatic but I feel a bit like all I think about and obsess over is my bag collection! So sorry to hear about your experience with the twiggy, to save and pay for something for a long time only for it to not live up to expectations is so disappointing :sad:

I think your words of advice are absolutely correct, sit tight and don't settle and set a price. My disappointments have come from settling for a colour which is nearly but not exactly what I want as I think the exact style will never come along and then I end up selling it as I don't want to use it! So glad to hear that you are now happy with your collection :smile: it sounds like you've really got it sorted.

Kemilia, great to hear about your positive experiences with pre-owned. You are absolutely right too - I need to relax and enjoy what I've got - ridiculous it's causing me stress when it should be a lovely and exciting hobby! I think the trouble is I spent my 20s working hard and saving for my own flat and denying myself lots of nice treats like bags (Thank heavens for my trusty Longchamp totes and my workhorse mulberrys!) and now I have my flat and am in my 30s I feel like I have catching up to do so am going a bit crazy trying to pull together a collection which most people spend much longer compiling. For example I only let myself finally join this fabulous forum earlier this year to avoid all temptation!!

Think the answer is to relax about it all and give it time :smile::P
 

CeeJay

A BAL-enced Life!
O.G.
Dec 6, 2005
14,228
19,804
A Yank in SoCAL
Hmmmm .. very interesting read above, now let me weigh in as a very long-time Balenciaga collector (I started with the original 2001 Le Dix Gold Label and also had the prototype of the City bag).

First of all, I think there are some unrealistic expectations here. A excellent to very good condition pre-loved bag, especially one that was a rare or coveted color is going to cost more than a few hundred dollars/pounds. Some important points to keep in mind:

  1. In the earlier days (2001 - 2007), Balenciaga did not manufacture as many bags as they do today. As a result, they usually sold out pretty quickly, especially those colors that folks really loved ('03 True Red, '04 Red, etc.). So, if you find a pre-loved bag in Excellent or Very Good condition, you will likely pay MORE than it retailed for. Now mind you, everyone has their price point, but if you expect to get something like this for cheap .. forget it.
  2. Certain years/colors/leather - for instance, 2005 'A' or 'Z' Tag, 2007 leathers (like Jaune, etc.), 2004 colors .. again, if in Excellent to Very Good condition .. not going to get these for super cheap unless they are NOT in good condition. If the seller is selling them for a very low price, you can pretty much guarantee that they are likely not in great condition and will have to be 're-habbed' (sent to someone to fix).
  3. The old adage of "if it's too good to be true .." should be kept in mind, and that's not just for Balenciaga .. but for all brands. If the bag is prized, even though pre-loved, you are likely going to have to spend more than a few hundred $$$ for it.
Just trying to level-set some expectations here ...
 
Jan 22, 2014
145
0
London
Hmmmm .. very interesting read above, now let me weigh in as a very long-time Balenciaga collector (I started with the original 2001 Le Dix Gold Label and also had the prototype of the City bag).

First of all, I think there are some unrealistic expectations here. A excellent to very good condition pre-loved bag, especially one that was a rare or coveted color is going to cost more than a few hundred dollars/pounds. Some important points to keep in mind:

  1. In the earlier days (2001 - 2007), Balenciaga did not manufacture as many bags as they do today. As a result, they usually sold out pretty quickly, especially those colors that folks really loved ('03 True Red, '04 Red, etc.). So, if you find a pre-loved bag in Excellent or Very Good condition, you will likely pay MORE than it retailed for. Now mind you, everyone has their price point, but if you expect to get something like this for cheap .. forget it.
  2. Certain years/colors/leather - for instance, 2005 'A' or 'Z' Tag, 2007 leathers (like Jaune, etc.), 2004 colors .. again, if in Excellent to Very Good condition .. not going to get these for super cheap unless they are NOT in good condition. If the seller is selling them for a very low price, you can pretty much guarantee that they are likely not in great condition and will have to be 're-habbed' (sent to someone to fix).
  3. The old adage of "if it's too good to be true .." should be kept in mind, and that's not just for Balenciaga .. but for all brands. If the bag is prized, even though pre-loved, you are likely going to have to spend more than a few hundred $$$ for it.
Just trying to level-set some expectations here ...
Thanks for your comments and I get what you're saying. For me it's not really the 'bargain' element that I'm worried about, but rather getting the right bag at all - I totally expect that a preloved bag will be in a certain condition for the price and that's fine, its more than I'm in a 'want it now' mood and so tend to end up purchasing bags which perhaps aren't on my must have list but are near enough and then regret it, have to sell them again and feel annoyed with myself. I would buy them from the boutique (as I said it's not really a case of 'the deal')but I want to get colours which aren't available/are a bit more unusual and also I love the highly coveted leathers. An example is I had a beautiful condition 2005 first but I really wanted the city, so I haven't used the first much and feel a little guilty about it!

Thanks though - I think I'm just a bit miserable today - I'm usually pretty happy promise!! :biggrin::biggrin:
 

Catash

Member
May 3, 2014
2,487
950
Maryland, USA
Thanks for your comments and I get what you're saying. For me it's not really the 'bargain' element that I'm worried about, but rather getting the right bag at all - I totally expect that a preloved bag will be in a certain condition for the price and that's fine, its more than I'm in a 'want it now' mood and so tend to end up purchasing bags which perhaps aren't on my must have list but are near enough and then regret it, have to sell them again and feel annoyed with myself. I would buy them from the boutique (as I said it's not really a case of 'the deal')but I want to get colours which aren't available/are a bit more unusual and also I love the highly coveted leathers. An example is I had a beautiful condition 2005 first but I really wanted the city, so I haven't used the first much and feel a little guilty about it!

Thanks though - I think I'm just a bit miserable today - I'm usually pretty happy promise!! :biggrin::biggrin:
My suggestion is to take a picture of what you currently have, and then take a look at the pictures of other tPF members' bags in the Showroom or Bal collection threads to figure out what your needs are.

Don't get distracted by the low prices and make unnecessary purchases. Don't settle. If you like Cities, only get Cities. :cool:
 
Jan 22, 2014
145
0
London
My suggestion is to take a picture of what you currently have, and then take a look at the pictures of other tPF members' bags in the Showroom or Bal collection threads to figure out what your needs are.

Don't get distracted by the low prices and make unnecessary purchases. Don't settle. If you like Cities, only get Cities. :cool:
Good advice thank you :smile: I've sat down and made a list of must haves from bal and other brands and have pulled out and organised my bag closet so am feeling much more in control now!! Basically I was being stupid and need to take control of my bag future hahaha :biggrin:
 

Catash

Member
May 3, 2014
2,487
950
Maryland, USA
Good advice thank you :smile: I've sat down and made a list of must haves from bal and other brands and have pulled out and organised my bag closet so am feeling much more in control now!! Basically I was being stupid and need to take control of my bag future hahaha :biggrin:
Sounds good. You can always sell the ones you don't like and use the money to fund new bags. You may lose some money but it is way better than having a bunch of bags sitting in the closet. Good luck. :smile:
 

sandicat3

Member
May 18, 2012
476
21
Los Gatos Mtns
Great thread. There are some interesting points to think about. My collection makes me anxious because
of my storage issues. I wish I had more room for my bags. Because of this I'm considering selling
quite a few of my bags.
 
Dec 31, 2013
41
0
Glad to hear you are already feeling better and more in control of your collection destiny!

Now keep that list you made tapped to your computer, or somewhere you can see it!:smile: I totally relate to the "want it now" urge you mentioned. I think when you are on the hunt for oldies it is even harder to resist because of the whole scarcity/smaller production/hard to find in good condition elements, as Ceejay pointed out.

If you find yourself about to deviate from your list , think about the feelings surrounding past purchases that you have made. Consider those that have made you the most satisfied (both upon receipt and in the long term), and those that have made you the most anxious or regretful. Then realize if this bag (or item) you are about to buy is a list substitute or pure impulse, you will very likely not be furthering your happiness nor ideal collection. On top of that you are potentially prohibiting someone else from receiving it- someone else who for them may find it to be their dream/list purchase.

The first few times you resist are hard, but it becomes satisfying in its own way and makes your ideal purchases all the more special. :biggrin:


Good luck and happy hunting!!
 

pradapiggy

Member
Aug 22, 2008
845
1
Toronto, Canada
I can definitely relate! What started out as fun became anxiety filled and unpleasant for me.

I think my expectations got higher the more bags I began to have. My first few preloved bags went one of two ways - either clearly worn but "fantastic" (and I guess very fair) pricing, or solid pricing (while still a good deal) but way better condition than expected and/or a rare color/year that boosted my satisfaction.

For example: my first two Bals: a 2004 pistachio city - rubbed through corners and denim transfer...but got for $235, and a 2005 caramel city in very good condition (Aside from darkened handles) for $465. I had never paid that much for bags before but from then on, the ceiling was broken. I also then went on to score a like-new Dark Violet work for $465, and a very good 2003 mastic white first with pewter hardware for $299 all around the same time.

These all got me hooked and I was then a little blinded with the thrill for a while. Once I began collecting and having to hunt for specific bags, the amount I was willing (or "thought" I was willing) to pay went up. Since I had began as an extremely lucky shopper getting very good condition bags at excellent prices, when I laid out more money I expected a certain level of parameters.

My first stomach churner was actually receiving a preowned seafoam twiggy not from an independent seller but from an online consignment (The Luxury Closet) that I spent months paying off on layaway, sent from overseas. The bag finally arrived in very poor condition! None of which was reflected in the photos or description. I was out return shipping and customs, took quite some time to resolve and get refunded. It was honestly a nightmare and that was to date my most expensive bag purchase experience. The fact that I had received bags equally as rare, for WAY less in WAY better condition made this experience all the more frustrating.


I have learned that I am someone who can not spend past a certain price point, regardless of if I have the funds. I love Balenciaga, especially the rare oldies, but I am not comfortable paying beyond a certain point, period. I simply will not enjoy the purchase experience or bag, whether it is from spending guilt, condition received in, and/or anxiety while using.

The amazing deals are out there, and I just need to sit tight. Even if I find a rare color I have long searched for, if it is beyond a certain price point and/or a style I will not use, I need to pass. Color and leather are the biggest factors for me so for some time I was buying even if it was a style that had little functionality for me, or was a style I already owned several of.

I discovered I am not comfortable having a beautiful preloved makeup clutch sit in a dust bag in my closet (only after discovering I do not like the feel in my hand as a clutch, and that the alternative of it being a $300+ purse organizer is not for me), nor am I comfortable owning 5 cities. There is nothing wrong with any of this, but for me personally, it made me feel guilty and excessive. Five purse or first styles, on the other hand... I would be okay with because I use those styles far more than cities...it is all personally preference.

It is different for everyone but the whole collecting experience has been a process for me. I began about 6 months ago sitting down and thinking about my collection and figuring out what was going on here. It was getting a little out of control. This should be a fun hobby and since it is a hobby, kept within reason too!

I began being honest with myself and pinpointing where my negative feelings were coming from and why. From there I thought about collection criteria and parameters (style and how many of each, price, color, condition, what I am comfortable and uncomfortable with, what will actually be used). I have identified my "keepers" and slowllllyyy I am now sending my excess lovelies off to new homes. It is hard to let bags go, but I am feeling so much relief and much more satisfaction from the bags I have deemed keepers. I am back to enjoying using them, rather than feeling excessive and guilty knowing I have many more sitting in my closet.

I am someone who puts a lot of memories into my bags, so ultimately I realized I want to be left with a collection of bags that I have no inkling to ever resell, and that I can get a lot of use out. I worry too much over pristine bags, but I want the bags to last, so I like a happy medium in condition when purchasing.

I would also suggest coming up with criteria for who you purchase from. For me, I have decided to no longer buy preowned from sellers who do not take returns.

Sorry this is so long (or if it comes across dramatic- but my collection was truly a HUGE source of worry and anxiety for me). It is getting better now, and my collection is on its way to where I would like it to be :biggrin:
Great response @delusionsoflucy - it's true, this should be a happy experience, not an unpleasant one where it gives you anxiety and makes you become obsessive.

Sometimes I get obsessive and have to step away from tPF and online shopping sites for a few days to really get back down to earth and realize that buying a bag isn't a priority, it's a luxury, and weigh the pros and cons to how buying this particular bag will benefit me.

I personally love the thrill of the hunt, so I'll continue hunting for that one item I had once let slip through my fingers and maybe be willing to pay a higher price for something that I've been waiting years for!
 
Jan 22, 2014
145
0
London
Great thread. There are some interesting points to think about. My collection makes me anxious because
of my storage issues. I wish I had more room for my bags. Because of this I'm considering selling
quite a few of my bags.
I know exactly what you mean about storage! That is another of my worries - it's so important to store bags well and yet often space just won't allow the ideal set up. I'm also really bad at not using my bags if they are stored away and not visible. So what I tend to do is have them at eye level on my wardrobe shelves and keep my 2 most used work and weekend bags out with their dust bags draped over them. Ytube is really helpful for storage ideas - Ive watched a lot of videos to get tips - one day it's my dream to live in a house with actual spare bedrooms but for now I have to make the best of my tiny space!! :biggrin::P
 
Jan 22, 2014
145
0
London
Glad to hear you are already feeling better and more in control of your collection destiny!

Now keep that list you made tapped to your computer, or somewhere you can see it!:smile: I totally relate to the "want it now" urge you mentioned. I think when you are on the hunt for oldies it is even harder to resist because of the whole scarcity/smaller production/hard to find in good condition elements, as Ceejay pointed out.

If you find yourself about to deviate from your list , think about the feelings surrounding past purchases that you have made. Consider those that have made you the most satisfied (both upon receipt and in the long term), and those that have made you the most anxious or regretful. Then realize if this bag (or item) you are about to buy is a list substitute or pure impulse, you will very likely not be furthering your happiness nor ideal collection. On top of that you are potentially prohibiting someone else from receiving it- someone else who for them may find it to be their dream/list purchase.

The first few times you resist are hard, but it becomes satisfying in its own way and makes your ideal purchases all the more special. :biggrin:


Good luck and happy hunting!!
Thank you :biggrin: really good advice. I particularly like the thought that if I resist it enables somebody else to get their dream bag. I now have a really edited list and am going to stick to it (unless something really amazing catches my eye on here!). Good luck on your next purchases too - I hope you track down some beauties :smile: :smile: