What would you do - keep or return?

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Would you keep the bag or return it?

  1. Keep it and try to eliminate the smell.

    10 vote(s)
  2. Return it and try to find another one in equally good condition.

    15 vote(s)
  1. Fellow handbag aficionados, I bring you my dilemma:

    The Chanel Medallion Tote has always been high on my wish list, and yesterday I finally received one. This particular bag is discontinued, so I found one on eBay through a reputable seller in Japan. It's in absolutely gorgeous condition - the best I've managed to find online. It's the perfect color/hardware combo. And the price was good - not "too good to be true," but very fair and very good, considering the condition of the bag and the fact that it came with dust bag, authenticity card, and booklet. It's not so easy to find a second-hand bag that has all of these things going for it!

    So what's the dilemma?

    It smells like cigarette smoke. :shocked:

    Somehow I didn't notice right away when I opened the bag, and my husband swears it's not that bad. But the more I handle the bag, the more I cannot escape the smell. I'm particularly sensitive to smoke, and the smell of the bag gives me a headache and makes my throat feel icky. I smell it, of course, when I sniff the bag (what, don't we all sniff our bags??), but it's also apparent to me when I just carry it, or have it next to me. Not good.

    I did a lot of reading (on this forum and elsewhere) last night about how to eliminate smoke odor, and at first I was optimistic! I figured I'd try coffee grounds, baking soda, Lush bath bombs, airing it out with a fan, giving it some sunlight . . . and to be fair, I haven't given any of these much of a shot yet, since I've only had the bag for a little over 24 hours.

    So, I'm just wondering . . . what would you do? Would you return the bag and look for another one (hoping to score great condition + authenticity card + decent price)? Or would you keep it and try to eliminate the odor?

    I'm leaning toward returning it (and in fact, I've already contacted the seller, who has agreed to take it back), but when I scan what's available out there, I just don't see another bag that looks like a good substitute. Of course, new bags are being listed all the time, so just because it's not available now doesn't mean I'll never find it again. I just. Don't Know. Wah. :crybaby:

    Please help me decide!
  2. If it were me, I would keep it and try to eliminate the odor. But that's me.
    Summerfriend likes this.
  3. I'd keep it. I have a very sensitive nose so any "off" odor doesn't work for me.

    I have gotten two bags with perfume odor before. On the one with a light smell I just left it out and open for a week and the smell dissipated. On the one with a heavy, overpowering smell I used the baking soda solution - Put some inside. Put bag into a plastic bag with more baking soda. Took a couple of weeks but the smell was gone. I vacuumed up the baking soda ans everything was perfect.
    I'd be careful about sunlight. It can bleach your bag.
    Summerfriend likes this.
  4. That is good to know. My fear is that smoke smell, in particular, clings to leather. But I have heard success stories even with smoke . . .
  5. I am also very sensitive to smoke smell. I'd return it. I'd be afraid you'd never get the smell out completely, and if you don't, you won't use the bag. At least, I wouldn't. There will another medallion tote without the smell, it just may take some time to find it.
    dcooney4 and Summerfriend like this.
  6. This is kinda my fear too . . . and if I take so long attempting to "fix" the smell that I can no longer return it, then I'd be stuck with having to sell it . . . but who wants to sell a bag knowing that it stinks? I'd have to disclose it, of course, which would make selling it for what I paid challenging (I'd imagine). If I could be sure that I COULD fix the smell, I'd definitely hang on to it; there's just no guarantee. *conflicted face*
  7. This is why I never buy bags from Japan period ever!!! I would get rid of it immediately!!!
  8. Is this a common thing in bags from Japan? I was encouraged by the fact that there are so many reputable resellers based there, but I'm definitely more wary now, simply because sending it back is a lot more of a pain when it has to go overseas. :doh:
  9. What will the cost be to ship the bag back?
  10. Asia has long hot months and many don't store their bags there correctly. The humidity combined with smells like smoke or heavy perfume make for bags that are bargain prices, but bottom line stink. That is why ebay is filled with "cheap" Japanese bags, many people over look this and it's very common and can stand it. I could and would not. OP was not informed of the smells so should get her money back.
    Summerfriend likes this.
  11. That's a good question; I'm not sure.
  12. You could have the bag professionally cleaned. I had bags cleaned at Chanel and they did a wonderful job.
    Sparkletastic and Summerfriend like this.
  13. Oh, really? I hadn't thought of taking it to the mothership so to speak. Did your bags have odors as well?
  14. No odors, Chanel used to clean their bags for a relatively modest fee. Though, their SPA prices increased in the last years, so I became more careful with my bags. :biggrin:
  15. That would be one of my deciding factors.

    Sometimes smoke odors go away, sometimes they don't.

    My mom used to smoke and some of her bags would soak up the odor and some wouldn't. It was really weird.