Would I Be Wise To Only Buy From The Designer Retailers As It Seems, The Only Way To Avoid The Fakes
I'm a newbie to buying designer bags, too. What I have done is when I am interested in a particular bag, I do research on it. TPF has some great threads on how to spot fakes. People post pics from eBay and ask other members their opinions. People here seem to be very knowledgable and helpful!
^^^good advice. If you want a 100% new bag with the tags, dustbag, etc., but from the designer's store or a department store. You'll be able to refund/exchange with the stores, too, which isn't always the case on eBay or consignment stores.
IF you want the beauty and construction of a designer handbag, but don't want to pay the price or CAN'T pay the price (for example, I love Chloe)
there is an online store I've found that uses very high quality leather and they do not represent their bags as anything other than wonderful leather bags. They are Lush Fashions
I have a Silverado "style" of a Chloe from Lush; it is luxurious and I love it. it says "lush" on the inside label and it comes with a dust bag which says "www.shoplush.com" . I also have a Fendi Spy bag "style" from Lush. Same thing. I have been to NM Saks etc. and examined their bags and I can say that the Lush bags are just as gorgeous IMO.
If you truly want the designer bag (and I have a couple) save up and look for huge sales.