NWT John Romain vintage handbagJohn Romain Vintage Handbag $75 Katies Closet

We are all looking for a deal, and it seems like these days, we can all afford to be picky with what we buy, because there are so many options out there to choose from. Designer bags are beautiful, but at the same time, can be tough to justify dropping serious cash on a purse when you’ve got real bills to pay.  Today you can find so many great looking, inexpensive luxe-looking options out there if you are a smart shopper.

Experts weigh in on how and where to find the best deals on handbags, and here are some of their tips:

Nordstrom And Outlet Malls Do Cut The Prices On Their Designer Bags- WhatADoll23, spills that she has bought the majority of her handbags when they go on sale in Nordstrom.  She says that specific brands like Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, and Coach DO go on sale while many other brands do not.  She says to WAIT for the sale, as they eventually cut the prices.   Outlet malls or discount outlets are a great way to find a bag on sale.  You can find a Juicy Couture, Coach and Michael Kors store in these outlet malls.

Buy Bags With Noticeable Hardware– Heavier hardware always translates as upscale and valuable at first glance. Cheaper bags always seem to have lightweight hardware. The metal on your bag should feel substantial and heavy, even if there is only a little bit of it.

Expect To Pay Full Price For A New Louis Vuitton Bag- CupFullOfMysteries“The funny thing about Louis Vuitton is that they have NO outlet stores and their bags never go on sale, I am starting to believe they raise their prices SO high to actually ONLY cater to rich people!! But the strange thing is that they own so many other designers like DIOR who DOES have outlets!”

Poshmark Is A Website To Buy Used But In Your Local AreaWhatADoll23, tells us about a website called Poshmark, which sells real designer,  replica and inspired bagsThe difference between replica and inspired, is a replica is almost a fool proof copy of a designer bag, same logo, same stamps, basically a forged bag.  An inspired bag, is one that takes the general theme of a designer’s collection, and makes it their own.  They often have all the traits of a particular designer without outright copying every aspect of a single bag.   Poshmark is like a mini ebay, where you can shop through other people’s closets.  Every item purchased, you pay $4.99 shipping.  Be very careful with buying “authentic” items on their website.  The difference between Poshmark and Ebay, is ……if for some reason you buy a handbag, which isn’t what the pictures advertised, you can return it.  Poshmark will send a label through your email which pays for the shipping and handling fees.  As a seller, Poshmark works like a consignment store, – you pay them 20% commission.  Another thing to be advised of, is to not pay through paypal.  If there is any sort of problem, the seller can keep the money if paid through paypal.  Pay through the Poshmark site, which allows you to get your money back, if there is a problem with the transaction.  Paypal will not cover you in this instance, so avoid paypal for paying for an item purchased on Poshmark.  

Invest In Structured Bags- Floppy or unstructured bags don’t look as premium as the crisper heavier bags. Structured bags will look newer, several years down the road, than something that is floppy. In the stores, they stuff the floppy bags, but in real life, the don’t look as good when you put your valuables in them.

If The Pattern Doesn’t Match Up From One Seam To Another, It Will Be A FakeCity Shop Girl, tells us in this video that anything you buy off the street, chances are is going to be 100% fake.  One way to tell if a bag is fake right away, is if the pattern doesn’t line up on the seams, (two patterns separated by cording) it will be a fake.  Higher end designers, who make dress shirts, patterned dresses, or handbags which use patterns, will always go the extra mile to ensure the patterns match up.

Leather Ages, Fake Leather Does Not- City Shop Girl, tells us that higher end designers will use real leather, and so after buying a new bag, the leather visually will darken up.  Fake bags, use faux leather which will look new, bright and stiff.  Real leather relaxes a bit, feels softer, and will darken.

Check The Stamps On The Metal ZippersCity Shop Girl, tells us that the hardware is also a clear give away if the bag is real or fake.  While some knock offs will stamp zippers on the outside of the bag, the inside of the bag is where you can tell if the bag is authentic or not.  High end designers will use just as nice zippers and hardware inside the bag, as they do outside.  Check the inside tags – Are they stamped into leather or hand-stitched? An obvious fake will have no name on the inside tag. Check the engravings on the hardware, it could be another indication if you are buying something that is of higher quality.

REAL VS. FAKE: A Discussion and Comparison on Designer Goods (Louis Vuitton)

Buy Leather Over Soft Cotton For Your Outer Shell– Cottons and other fabrics just never look as expensive as leather. Real leather can make a tremendous difference compared to faux leather. From a distance, faux leather may look nice, but real leather looks and feels way more expensive. Synthetic leathers will wear out faster than real leather from stretching and pulling and regular use. Designers like Jimmy Choo and Chanel use a molded plastic called Lucite to make their glossy box clutches. To be honest, it feels the same as plastic, so who is going to be able to tell the difference? Work with leather if you are thinking about investing in a new bag.

Decide what you want out of a bag.  Do you want an every day bag that will last you for years, or do you get tired of styles, and need a new look quite frequently?

If you like change, then it hardly makes sense to spend $1000 on a bag with a designer label, when you can find a well-made leather bag for much less.

Check Etsy, Ebay, Poshmark, online consignment stores for the style, color of bag you are looking for.  You don’t have to spend $$$ money on a bag, if you can find it on sale, or used for much less.

Go for something you like, over a designer label.  At the end of the day, most people won’t know the label except for you.  If you enjoy looking at the bag, and it functions well, it is a clear winner.