How you buy a bag: tricks, routines, tips.

  1. Hi Ladies -- Let's discuss how we buy a bag IRL in a store.
    Do you rip out the stuffing? Do you put your stuff inside it? Do you make the strap longer/shorter... Do you practice taking your wallet in and out to see if it is hard to get into?
    What are your routines? Can you share a tip or two? This is to help us make better purchases and not so many bag mistakes. (Handbag mistakes was my other thread!) Let's talk it out and share our purchase tests before we pull out the credit card.
    And while we're at it: how long does it take you to decide to purchase? 15 minutes? 1/2 hour while you walk around with it? Do you put it on hold and go to lunch? Or do you snap up immediately? Do you get pressured by a sales person? Talk to me.
  2. I take out the stuffing, put all my stuff in, and strut around in front of the mirror.
  3. I'd love to hear more about this too! When my boyfriend bought me my first nice handbag from Coach, the SA asked me if I wanted to check the bag out before the final sale and make sure it was alright. I had no idea what I was suppossed. What I did was put it on my shoulder for literally 5 seconds and then gave it back and said it was good. my boyfriend thought it was the most amusing thing ever after we went out of the store and i'm sure the SA did too! hahaha. :p I guess i was suppossed to check for any loose threads and inspect the bag and stuff. Oh well! And that concludes the experience of shopping for my first nice bag. :smile:
  4. A mirror is a must! It makes me crazy when I'm in a purse department and have to hunt for a mirror.

    I stand in front of the mirror and try the bag every possible way -- on my shoulder, in my hand, crook of the elbow, etc. I strike a variety of poses, and if I'm with a friend, I'll ask her to model it for me. :p
  5. I take out the stuffing to check the insides, but I don't put my things in it. I know how much I carry and I can tell if it will fit. I do inspect it for loose threads and damage, and I always check carefully the inside corners and the inside pockets. If the bag is a used return, there is almost always something left in those places.

    I put it on and there has to be a full-length mirror. I need to look at the bag on me and then I need to walk around and catch a glimpse of myself walking past the mirror to get the first impression the bag gives to others.

    I also usually wear it around while looking at the rest of the boutique or department to get a feel if it will stay on my shoulder and how comfortable and heavy it is.
  6. I agree that a mirror is a MUST. Just like when you try a ring on, you must see your hand in a mirror, not just look down at your hand. I check the weight, the opening. I've learned that a zipper closing often scratches my hands. When a handbag has little pockets, sometimes they are really only decorative, and you can't fit anything in them. I like to see the bag on a friend, or on the sales person. That really helps. And it is a must: take the stuffing out! Often a bag looks entirely different when you take the stuffing out! And I agree HauteMama -- I wear it around the handbag department for a little while to see how it stays on the shoulder, or doesn't. An SA will always tell you, "It's a nice handbag." Sometimes you get a good one who can really enter into the conversation about why it works or doesn't for your lifestyle.
  7. TropicalGal -
    You have posted such great threads - thanks!
    #1) If a bag interests me - I'll pick it up to see how heavy it is....if it is....than back it goes on the shelf.
    #2) I feel the leather to get an idea of the quality and give it a spin around in my hand to see it from all sides.
    #3) Then I'll let the bag hang down from my hand towards the ground cuz I'm a short girl and believe it or not, some bags actually touch the ground....not good.
    #4) I'll find a mirror and take a look-see at me w/the bag
    #5) Then the stuffing comes out and I put all of my stuff in the bag to see easy it is to put things into the bag and how if fills out. If this passes the test, then I'll strut around to see how the bag feel in my hand, on my shoulder (if it's that kind of bag) and in the crook of my arm. If it's not comfortable (shoulder strap doesn't stay on/up, etc) then it's time to say bye-bye:wlae:
    #6) and yes, then pretend that I am doing a transaction to see how easy it is to get my wallet and other stuff out of the purse
    #7) If the purse has passed all of these "tests" - then I'll do a quality check to see how well the bag is made. If the zippers aren't smooth, the stitching loose or uneven, or the lining is crappy - that's it.
    And somewhere along the line, I look at the price tag. Sometimes it's the first thing I do - and at other's the last thing I do - depends on my mood.
    Smell too.....the bag can't have a funky smell.
    So....was this too long? long does it take to make a decision.....usually, not long. If it takes too much time, then the bag is not for me.
  8. dcblam: excellent! now, with all that you you still make handbag mistakes? bags that you thought would be good -- but fail you in some way? or are you pretty good at getting it right?
  9. If it is a costly bag, I will put my stuff in it to be sure that the bag hangs well. Also, you should check it out inside and out before purchase. Take out all the stuffing and take a good look around the inside to be sure there are no defects, and that it has enough storage pockets.
  10. I carry the bags on my shoulder with the stuffing still in them. I check out in the mirror how it looks, spend about 1/2 hour - 1 hour choosing.
  11. i know a website that sells fakes..and I got banned
  12. Tropical Gal, I just love your threads but, boy, do they prick my conscience.
    The funny thing is I do all the things the others do before buying but I still make huge mistakes!

    I take all the stuffing out and put the bag on the counter to see how it stands.
    I put all my stuff in to see how it fits and I carry it around - in the crook of my arm, by hand and on my shoulder.
    Two straps are an instant no no and if the strap slips that's another no.
    I see how it looks in the mirror and if a friend is with me I'll get them to model it too.
    I check it over before buying.
    I do recognise that my biggest mistakes are 1. at sales. 2. when I buy quickly because I feel under pressure - usually because I'm worried about boring whoever is with me.
    So, I do all the right stuff but I still make mistakes!!!
  13. Sarajane -- I find it interesting that you said, "two straps are a no no." I have never considered this idea before... Why are two straps a no no? I'm now wondering if I don't like two straps either...but I have a Boogie, two straps. I have a Speedy, two straps. I have a Burberry tote, two straps. I have a Darel, two straps. Hmmm.... Talk to me!

  14. Two straps are fine when it's hand held. I think they are actually probably my favourite kind of bag. I, too, have a Speedy and I'm waiting for a denim pleaty to arrive - another hand held two strapper.
    Two shoulder straps are a complete no. I just find that one will slip off and end up halfway down my arm so I rule those bags out immediately.
    I tried a beautiful Gucci Pelham on Monday in Selfridges - the pink floral print one - and I loved it but it had two straps! As soon as I put it on my shoulder it felt awkward. Shoulder bags just have to be single strap.
  15. I'm pretty good at getting it right - since I have only purchased five bags! The only one that isn't "optimal" is my most expensive bag - an Etro that is so beautiful and unique - that it's okay that it only has one zippered compartment. Otherwise, I'm very satisfied. Believe me, I have returned many that I have purchased on-line because you can't get the "IRL" experience.
    Great thread - thanks again.