is it important to you to pick your bag out in person?

mutt lover

Feb 2, 2010
I'm a Bal newbie and stalking my first (Anthra City RH) to be acquired as soon as possible, but from reading so much on here and looking at eight zillion photos (which is SO helpful!), it's become clear to me how very widely the leather can vary and how specific people's preferences are. Do you insist on picking out your bags in person?

It seems to me in an ideal world that's what I'd do, but I'm not near many stores that carry Bal, so was planning to probably order from or Aloha Rag or or such when the time comes. When you order from Aloha Rag or call the Bal store in person to order, do they help you at least pick from among the stock they have, or try to pick one that matches your description?

One last question! (Sorry, and thanks.) I honestly love ALL the types of leather I've seen on here, both the very veiny/wrinkly and the smoother ones - I think I'd like a "middle of the road" for my first Bal so I can decide which extreme I'd lean towards in the future. How would I even describe that - is there such a thing as an average/normal Bal leather?


in circles.....
Feb 15, 2010

Yessssss, I want to pick my Bal in the store. I was adviced by my SA since it was my first Bal too. I'm petite, Bal have many sizes, different type of leather, beautiful, beautiful colors (would like to take 3 Bals at the time:huh:), to try and look what I really like. I was happy I did that since I was having a plan just to order online. Then you can really decide what you like if you see them IRL. From now on I will go to the a store to buy a Bal.


What, me worry?
Dec 30, 2007
The Cool Cool North
It would be interesting to do a survey but I wouldn't be surprised if more Bals were bought through online ordering vs in person. All mine have been ordered. It would be nice to be able to shop in person and have a choice of leathers in the colour and style I want but for many that opportunity doesn't exist. I know Erica of ****** will help with leather selection. I haven't bought from Aloha Rag but I believe they do as well. I'm not sure about but you can return and exchange if you don't like the leather.

Feb 28, 2007
the islands
I would LOVE to hand pick all my Bal's, but I've never been able to. I've ordered my bals from BalNY and recently ordered from RDC. i have described to balny what i wanted, but you do not always receive that. i also doubt that they go through the entire inventory when someone calls (unless it is a favorably client). perhaps they just pick 4 or so bags from the back and choose amongst those only - who knows? plus, the SA's idea of what is ideal may be different from yours.

if you go to a store in person you are at an advantage to see if they have what you want so that you are not left with a store credit. these bags truly vary a lot in leather and color. moreover, not all bal's are soft and silky (as i assumed when i first got interested in bbags)... some can be very dry and undesirable.


Sep 11, 2006
West Coast
I woulsd love to but my Barney never has very good bags I want to buy I have only but one in person but been really lucky with all the bags I buy over the phone.


Sep 28, 2007
I would prefer to pick them myself, but I have only done that twice. I would just recommend that you buy from a store where they accept returns (NOT a Balenciaga Boutique) until you get a feel for what you like. You can only exchange for Credit at Balenciaga (unless you order online through them).

Just be sure to ask for pictures if they will send them and this could help towards not having to return something if you can tell from pics you won't like it.

A good salesperson can be your best friend when it comes to buying Bal sight unseen. Many here have their favorites who learn what they like and who are honest about leathers and conditions of bags. Good Luck!


May 14, 2008
I would always prefer to pick my bags in person, but it just isn't possible. Sometimes you have to hunt all over creation to find the bag that you want and then you take it sight unseen and hope you like it when it arrives. If you buy from Barneys, Saks, or Nordstroms, or other stores like that, then at least you can return it if it doesn't suit you. But even if you get to the store in person, they don't always have more than one of a particular bag, so if you have your heart set on a particular color and style, you may have to take what they have.


Jan 4, 2007
Alberta, Canada
I would prefer to buy in person, but Holts here is SOOO expensive so I end up purchasing from afar. Usually if you buy from a store, etc., they should try to work with you to pick out one with the leather you like (if they have more than one), but then what you think you are describing and what they think you are describing might not be comparable!


Dec 15, 2009
It would be nice to always be able to pick out my own bags but I am unable to as there are no Bal stores anywhere near me. It really isn't important to me as long as there is good communication between me and the SA.


Jan 15, 2010
I prefer to buy all handbags and shoes in person. I might have to pay 10% tax but I'm guaranteed to walk out fully satisfied, and that's the best part of shopping for me :smile:


Jul 24, 2008
I definitely prefer to pick them out in person! Though I end up buying online as there are more choices in the big wide Out There compared to one little boutique!

Susan Lee

Double Trouble
Dec 1, 2006
Ive tried in the past to pick out Bals in person, but the stores that I have near me either dont have bags in the leather I like, or the SA's are not the type I would want to give my business to (undesireable attitudes....lets just leave it at that). I also dont feel like paying an arm and a leg for overseas shipping, or dealing with places that either wont send photos or if they do they are taken in horrible lighting/dont really show the true nature of the leather.

So, I do all my shopping online now. Luckily I found a wonderful online personal shopper/seller-I've bought all my bags from her and couldnt be more pleased-she's honest, knows exactly the leather that I like, hand picks incredible bags for me, and sends me tons of photos!
*Thanks J ;)*


Dec 24, 2006
It's not important for me. I ask for a few photos and then I pick a bag from the photos. It had worked out well for me so far:smile:


Apr 4, 2008
I would love to have the opportunity to handpick my bags like most other posters, but sadly it isn't really a viable option where I live. I've only picked out my own bbag twice! Holts has a pretty small selection, and either the SAs are incredibly snooty, or don't really want to show you the bag unless you're wanting to purchase ASAP. I've had way better luck buying online, and places like HG bags are great to work with in terms of leather preference.