What make you choose one bag rather than another ?

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  1. I am the worst decision maker : if I decide to buy a new bag, I never know which one to choose. I am always afraid I will regret it, especially if the bag was expensive. So, for you experienced shoppers out there : what are you looking for when buying a quite expensive bag (around 600$) ? And how can you determine the quality when you buy online ? Would you buy online at all ? Thank you very much !
  2. I may buy online after having looked at it and checked it out in person first. At these prices I think we all have to be 100% sure before we buy.
  3. When I bought mine (I'm done now), classy, timeless and understated were at the top of my list of requirements. I don't want anything that screams DESIGNER. I have six -- a caviar etoupe Chanel hobo with tassel, LV Josephine PM in khaki, vintage British Tan Coach Madison satchel made in NYC, vintage black Coach Madison Copley made in Italy, vintage tomato red Coach Sonoma satchel made in Italy and pink Coach Kristin. All were bought online -- the Chanel and LV from Malleries, Madison satchel and Kristin from eBay, Copley from fellow TPF'er and Sonoma from Etsy in pristine condition for $1,600 total. Well, the Kristin was NWT so of course it was pristine.

    How did I determine the quality? I had a lot of help from fellow TPF'ers with that and authentication. Buying preloved was particularly great for me because of how much money I saved. I mean, I got my Chanel for $700 and my LV for $450. Vintage Coaches in great condition are easily found on eBay at a very affordable price and the leather is outstanding. The quality far exceeds modern Coach. Same goes for Chanel and LV. Both of mine are 10 years old when quality was much, much better than it is today.
  4. I keep a list on my phone so I know what I need. Each day I put a tick mark by the bag I wore and / or write down the color / style I would have preferred to have. After a few months it's clear the type of bag I should be buying. (And what I'm actually wearing in my wardrobe.) This really cuts down on impulse and regret buys. For example, if i see a fabulous orange tote I want, I write it in my list. If it gets enough tick marks I buy. If not, I don't.

    I also have a list of my ideal bag characteristics: dimensions, features, strap drop, etc. That way I can immediately tell if a bag is in my sweet spot for how I like shoulder bags or how I like satchels. And if a bag doesn't fit those specs I can understand if the difference is an issue or a bonus.

    Unlike most TPFr's, I don't live in a city that has stores that carry most brands - contemporary or premiere. For example, I love Dior but there is no Dior within a 6 hour drive of me. So I have had to do a combo of getting educated on TPF and trying bags when I travel. Early on I only bought when I could return a bag. Now I know the brands and materials I both love and can trust. So 70% of my bags are bought online and never before seen except for the photos on the web. And as I have gotten clearer on what I want most of those bags I can even buy without the option to return (except obviously in the case of a fraudulent seller).

    I'm a bargain hunter on all my bags from my most inexpensive Coach bag to my most expensive Chanels. So I prefer to buy on sale or like new preowned. In some cases I buy from a few retailers I trust. In all cases, I have gotten educated on how to spot fakes of the bags I love. But I use my so-so educated eye as just my first line of defense. I don't have the level of skill of an authenticator so I ALWAYS get my preowned purchases authenticated (90% of the time I get 2 different authentications) Sometimes on TPF, usually through a paid service. Luckily I've only bought one fake so far and it was easily returned to the now defunct MyHabit.

    Good luck. Don't be afraid of buying online. Just know your own style, what you want and get some insight from your TPF buddies. And I'm sure you'll have new bags you cherish!
    papertiger likes this.
  5. I look for class, versatility, style and quality. When shopping for designer bags I look for a variety of styles too, so one may be a crossbody, another a tote etc. I also look at the resale value because while you may want to keep a few, chances are your taste may change in a few years - good choices will retain or increase in value.

    It's fun for me to seek and find the bags that I love at reasonable preloved prices as well as previously suggested. I search through every detail. Hope this helps.
  6. #6 Jun 21, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
    First thing I look for is whether or not the bag will fit in with my day to day life. For example, is it something I'm willing to carry a lot on most days of the week? To me there's no sense spending a lot for something I will only carry occasionally.
    Second is practicality. Is it big/small enough to hold all my daily essentials? How comfortable is it to carry? Will it be hard or easy to get my stuff in and out of it?
    Third is style. Is it a classic that won't easily go out of style? Will the color work with most of my wardrobe? Does the size and shape suit my height and frame?

    As for quality and buying online, I prefer to go in store to inspect the item in person. The only exception would be if I didn't have a store near me or if the store didn't have the color/style I wanted. You can't really determine quality online unless it's a brand you're already familiar and had previous experience with. Even then, there could be unseen defects that you might otherwise not miss if you had the opportunity to inspect it before purchase.
  7. The only way I would buy online is if I know I can return it hassle free. You definitely need to know your comfort zones and needs for a bag. For example, I'm a stickler that I need a zip on my bags. I'm kind of paranoid about pick pockets. Those sorts of small things are important to be aware of yourself and your likes!
  8. All of my bags are bought online, mainly because there aren't any designer shops where I live, contemporary or classic, nada. Because of that, I have to do extensive research, seeing what other tpf members say about the bag, or watch a youtube review etc.

    With the exceptions of the more impulsive purchases.... my decisions are usually base on price & availability, value retention, whether the bag fits the void in my collection, the size in comparison to my frame, and if the style fits my lifestyle.

    If the bag is not on sale, and don't generally run out of stock, I'll wait and sleep on it.
    If the bag does not have good value holding power (Prada bags are good examples of beautiful bags with horrible value retention), I will have to be completely sure that I won't want to sell it later on.
    If the bag does not fit the void in my collection, I might not get it, or I might sell something that I don't use much, to make room for it.
    Most bags have various different chain/strap length, and depending on the size of the bag, sometimes they look silly on me, either too big or too small, so I'll skip, or get a different style/size.
    lastly, I try to get bags that I would use often, but I also have a section of my collection which is mainly for occasion bags and rare vintage items, so just try to balance them out and make sure that you have a good rotation, and no bags are left behind or forgotten.
  9. I look at a few things: the design, quality, price and features. The design would have to match my lifestyle - If I am looking for a travel bag, I will look out for something more functional with many pockets and a good hardy strap. I personally prefer full leather bags because I had canvas/fabric-lined ones in the past and the material started to disintegrate. Same problem for bags with PU outer material. The stitching, finishing and construction matters too. If I see the strap not stitched or reinforced to the bag, the bag will not last.
  10. Among the many factors to consider, pricing is a priority for me. Then I consider if it's a classic or seasonal, I tend to choose seasonal as they go on sale more, with the exception of LV, Chanel, Hermes. I also consider if I already have the exact same design or shape, if it's a new one, will I be comfortable carrying it or will I give up adjusting to it.