Let’s keep it real. When it comes to shopping, bargain hunting for your next designer purse is the name of the game. We all love to own purses. Our closets are full of all sorts of Designer Names like Fendi, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Christian Dior, Prada and Chanel. We even have some older Coach, Cole Haan and Dooney & Bourke lurking in our collection. Nonetheless, when it comes to making the final decision, we base the purchase on realistic factors, not whether or not we can refinance our home to own a new designer purse.
Here’s what the average shopper looks for when making a designer purse purchase: price, authenticity, style, color, design, functionality, craftmanship, versatility, availability, mood, impulse and status. The topics listed below are not arranged in order of importance or priority. They are just factors which come into play when a person gets ready to purchase a new designer purse.
In 2004, the average price tag of a high-end designer bag sitting on the shelves at Neiman Marcus or Saks Fifth Avenue was around $2000. Today, according to a Designer Handbag Sales Person at Neimans in Beverly Hills, the average ticket price has risen. As a matter of fact, there’s nothing on the shelves today with a price tag less than about $1800. That will make the average cost hit around $2500 – $3000 each or more! Wow! We need resources for discount authentic designer handbags.
Online shopping seems to be the best way to find what you want fast with ease and convenience. There are search engines like Google.com where a shopper can enter the search terms “designer handbags” or “designer purses” and receive a list of potential ecommerce sites for making an educated, cost-effective purchase.
An unlimited list of websites selling discounted brands have surfaced over the past several years like Overstock, eFashionHouse.com, Smart Bargains, and others. Sticking to sites like these with longevity is probably a bargain hunters best bet. These sites have been online for over ten years and are considered Internet Pioneers.
If price doesn’t matter, eLuxury sells many of the name brands at full retail prices. As does Neimans and Saks. And, there are sales to hit frequently throughout the year, but most of the time the full-retail sites’ prices are still out of reach for the average shopper.
We contacted some of the discount websites about price points. EFashionHouse.com’s average sale is about $200-$300, and the majority of discount shoppers spend around $200 – $500 for their everyday handbag.
Price points rise to the occasion, and when it comes to special events or certain brands even bargain hunters will pay a little more for brands like Chanel or Hermes. This includes some of the high-end Chloe or Chanel bags that range in an off retail price of about $900 to $1900 each. Keep in mind, full retail for the same items range from about $2000 to $4000 each. Chanel jewelry items sporting the iconic CC logo are also collector items. The jewelry items become part of the owner’s collection and are handed down through the generations just like the famous designer handbags.
Some people say the authenticity of a designer item doesn’t matter, but it really does matter. I’d bet 99% of the people who own a fake designer purse would say it doesn’t matter. In my opinion, 1% are being honest and the other 99% are telling a lie.
It also makes sense to assume in most instances, the person who purchases a fake designer item doesn’t know it’s fake until well after the purchase is made, if ever. Maybe the shopper does not know where to purchase authentic items at an affordable price. Or, thinks they can’t afford to buy a real designer item.
If all you’re looking for is something to carry your stuff, then authenticity doesn’t matter. If you are a true designer handbag appreciator, then it matters big time.
Anyone who owns a fake bag knows it’s a fake. So, what does that say about the person? Are they living a lie? Is their life a fake? Isn’t how we show up in life a statement of what we are about? We are what we eat. So, if we carry a fake designer handbag, then we must be a fake.
Counterfeiting is illegal. It defacing the image of the real designer, and most designers spend their entire career building their credibility and image. It’s not politically correct to deface the logo of a designer without the designer’s permission. Besides, fake designer products are made poorly and won’t last past one season’s wear.
Authenticity matters to the person who is looking for longevity, durability and integrity. Carrying an authentic bag makes a person feel a sense of esteem especially if the person saved their hard earned cash to buy it. Knowing it’s real and it was a small investment adds to the reassurance of value and values.
Just like the assortment of jelly beans at JellyBelly.com are the style of designer handbags. There are shoulder bags, clutch bags, tote bags, wristlets, hobos, satchels, doctor bags, brief case bags, backpacks, everyday bags, dressy bags, sling bags, body bags, man bags, leather bags, monogram bags, studded bags, metallic bags, messenger bag, school bag, book bag, patent bags, evening bags, beaded bags, vegan bags, cloth bags, vinyl bags, etc. The list is endless and dynamic.
Style predicts functionality, construction and versatility. The majority of handbag users (there are women who do not carry a purse) own a variety of styles because a different purse is needed for every occasion. The average person’s designer purse collection consists of several basic styles like a shoulder bag, clutch bag, tote bag, satchel and dressy evening bag. The majority of people have several of each style. Why? Because they want to!
Shoulder bags are the most popular style of all. The shoulder bag has a strap conveniently long enough to carry over the shoulder with comfort and ease keeping both hands free (i.e., for shopping and clapping when a perfectly priced designer purse is found). Many shoulder straps are adjustable creating a different style for different needs. Usually, an adjustable shoulder strap can be carried on the shoulder, made longer to carry across the body as a messenger bag or made short enough to carry snugly under the arm.
Many styles are named due to familiarity like the satchel styled doctor bag or the baguette named after a loaf of baguette Italian or French bread. In Europe, a fresh loaf of Italian or French bread is carried home from the bakery snuggly under the arm and close to the body. Hence, the famous baguette style handbag was born. Some say the baguette is a style of the past, yet it’s a style that will live on for handbags like Elvis lives on for rock and roll.
Need we discuss the purpose of color? The seasons predict the handbag colors as do the designers. The design houses meet regularly to set trends and share color pallets. That’s why we see the new black each season.
Anyone who knows anything about fashion understands the importance of and owns a little black dress. The same holds true for a designer handbag. Black is the staple color and everything else is for enhancement, mood and pleasure.
In 2007, we can carry any color any time of the year to any type of event we desire. The rules have changed. We think and do what we want. Some follow no rules at all. The more conservatives stick to the basics, and the edgy fashion freaks pull off a lime green pebble grain Hermes bag with comfort and ease.
Matching shoes and bags is a thing of the past, too. The true fashionista doesn’t match because it’s boring. The striking eye catching habit of a fashion guru is sporting one glorious high end designer accessory to pull the entire outfit together.
We spend under a hundred bucks for our jeans keeping the color neutral making the background work nicely with an outrageously funky colored or multi colored designer purse.
Oh yeah, color plays a roll regardless of one’s conservability level. Even the more conservative dresser will pull it all together with a staple like a black or brown Prada bag.
Design and style are somewhat synonymous. However, design falls more closely within the areas of size and functionality creating a unique designer look with versatility and appeal.
All the talk about size doesn’t matter is not true when it comes to a new purse. Size does matter. The bigger the better for some, and small, petite for others. The design of a large bag will affect the price tag when it’s a high end designer purse. So, if you are making your first designer handbag purchase and want to start out slowly, buy a smaller bag.
Most of the designers use functionality as criteria when designing a bag. Pockets are inside and outside the bag. Today, cell phone and iPod pockets are an added attraction. External zip pockets change the design, look and feel of a bag as do studs which create a unique design.
A variety of factors go into the design of a purse especially its fabrication. You will be pleased with a hand crafted bag. That’s why we encourage shoppers to buy authentic items and stay away from the Made in China labels. The differences are obvious when inspecting the stitching, leather quality, hardware and linings. Even top designer Stella McCartney who never uses any animal products in her handbags uses top quality fabrics and expert craftsmanship. The non leather, pricey, vinyl, McCartney totes cost thousands of dollars!
Without sounding redundant, a touch on function is important when making a handbag purchase. School bags serve a specific purpose as do evening bags. So, it’s wise to select your designer handbag based on how you plan to use it.
Call me silly, but I wear a Gucci belt bag when I walk. Sorry, I admit I’m a brand horror. Functionality plays an important role for a purse. When shopping, it’s smart to carry a bag to keep your hands free. For evening or dress up, carry a small clutch bag because all you’ll need is keys, a credit card and a condom!
Whenever you get a chance, pick up a Hermes bag and inspect it carefully. Hermes equates craftsmanship and are the leaders of pack. They are tradition and quality. Once you’ve had Hermes it’s hard to go back. If you don’t understand that statement, then you haven’t owned a Hermes.
Yet, we can’t all afford to carry a Hermes or save our money to buy one because most of the Hermes purses cost more than the blue book value of the cars we drive. The Hermes leather bags range in price from $5000 to $50,000.
However, we can save our money for other well crafted designer merchandise by famous people like Miuccia Prada, Maria Silvia Venturini Fendi, Louis Vuitton, CoCo Chanel, Bottega Veneta and Marc Jacobs. Of news lately is the announcement made by Chanel Creative Director Karl Lagerfeld who has signed a deal with Accessory Network Group to produce his own line of leather handbags. They are scheduled to hit the shelves in 2008.
Although versatility is a factor in making a designer purse purchase, the role it plays is probably not as important as you may think. Probably the most versatile factoring thought crossing our mind at the time of purchase is this, “Can I carry this bag when wearing blue jeans, a T-shirt and flip flops?”
All kidding aside, when we think of versatility we apply the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the time we’ll be using this bag everyday for work, school or play. Whereas, twenty percent of the time, we will not!
Versatility of a new purse applies to our everyday lifestyle. We can relate to the object as “my bag, my look, it’s me.” And, if putting out a hefty dollar amount, you’ll want to make certain it’s something you’ll want to keep around for a long time.
I hear women talk about spending the day shopping and not finding anything. That doesn’t happen to me. I may spend time surfing the net looking for bargains and not buying a lot of stuff, but spending the day at the mall and coming home empty handed doesn’t happen to me.
It’s true, supply and demand play an important role in availability of a new designer purse. But more importantly is the money you have available to spend for it, who you are and who you know. A good example is the Hermes Birkin and Kelly Bags. They are rare finds. Yet, every celebrity owns them. And, most people who shop Hermes regularly can get most anything they want.
Currently, Bottega Veneta woven leathers are difficult to source at discount prices. They rarely go on sale, and the supply is not as available as it was in the past. Maybe the value of the Euro has caused this phenomenon to occur. Almost all of the high end designer handbags made in Europe have steadily increased in priced and decreased in availability since the Euro hit the market.
Don’t laugh. I’m in my late 50’s and just recently purchased my first Louis Vuitton bag. I finally found a couple of styles I like, so I made the leap. I own Hermes Birkin and Kelly bags, and because I’m a minimalist, my favorites are simple totes by Goyard or Chloe. But the mood hit me one day and during my evening ritual shopping online I picked up two Louis Vuittons on eLuxury, and love them both.
Does mood affect your purchase? Oh, yes absolutely. Some even equate shopping for a new purse therapeutic and much more worthy of one’s hard earned dollars than paying a therapist’s hourly rate.
Whether impulse is a true factor in making a designer handbag purchase is unknown, but most of us have experienced an impulse buy. There’s really not much good when a purchase is made from impulse. It’s mentioned only because some of us make impulse purchases and regret it later. An impulse purchase is probably done for all the wrong reasons, and sometimes guilt or remorse follow. When that happens you may have a serious shopping problem.
If shopping is causing a problem in your life, visit ShopaholicsAnonymous.org.
The role of status and designer handbags is more important to some than to others. Just like driving a Mercedes vs. a Volkswagen is important when it comes to cars, carrying a Hermes vs. a Kenneth Cole leather handbag can be important for the person making a purse purchase.
Nonetheless, it only goes to reason the higher the price tag the greater status, the bigger the ego the bigger designer name, and rubbing elbows with Bill Gates at a party Saturday night vs. coffee with the church pastor Sunday morning all play a role in factoring in status for your next handbag purchase.
While trying to keep up with the Jones’ is not your style, maybe owning a status symbol as an investment is. Some of the designer handbags purchased years ago sell today for hundreds if not, thousands of dollars more today than their purchase prices.
So, status may not be your intention, but when digging through Grandma’s closet reveals a 1950’s Hermes Kelly Bag you’ll definitely feel like a million bucks!