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Buying a Designer Handbag - 2 Important Things to Consider

Jun 21, 2008
There are many things to take into consideration when buying a designer handbag, but the two most important must be budget and heart-wrenching love. A strange combination, you might think, but buying a designer handbag must be both a head and heart decision.

Budget
There are thousands of desirable handbags on the market today (plus vintage handbags from specialist shops) and the prices differ wildly so it's important to set yourself a budget. DKNY Handbags usually come in at under GBP200 (US$400), but you'll be lucky if you can pick up a purse in Mulberry for that price. The price of bags rises steadily depending on the designer, bag material, desirability and the size of the bag, the ultimate possibly being the recently launched GBP1 million (US$2 million) platinum bag set with 2,000 diamonds (but if you can afford that you're probably not reading this guide!)

When thinking about a budget you have to consider any extras you'll be buying with the bag, namely a purse. The Mulberry Mabel costs GBP595 (US$1150) but if you want a purse to go with it at GBP250 (US$500) you're suddenly looking at a total spend of GBP845 (US$1650). If you're budget was only GBP600 then you've well and truly blown it (and you can't expect to have a cheap purse in an expensive bag.) So think carefully about how much you can afford and what you want. As well as the matching purse you might need a make-up case or even a beautiful Smythson notebook. It all adds up.

I would recommend a budget of GBP1,000 (US$2,000), but before you decide do a bit of research into your favourite designers and how much their bags cost, and be prepared to adjust this budget accordingly. Doing the research now will save you frustration later when you realise your budget just won't get you what you want.

Heart-Wrenching Love
Before you even consider buying an expensive bag you have to love it. Don't buy a so-so bag just because it's in your budget - put your money in a savings account and keep adding to it until you can afford the bag you want. Believe me, it will be worth the wait.

The best thing to do when deciding which bag to buy is consider the bags side by side and for this you will need a big designer bag selling department store (this is the fun part.) Pick up the bags, feel them, look inside them. Line up the bags you want and see how they compare to each other. The Chloe is beautiful and you love the pocket on front but the Mulberry is elegant in it's simplicity. Which one really appeals to you?

How do you want to use the bag? Is it for everyday use or special occasions? Do you like a shoulder bag, tote bag or clutch bag? Should it be big or small? If you've got a favourite purse you intend to use put it in to see if it fits. Do the same with a book or your make-up bag, whatever you normally carry around (just take care not to mark the bag in any way.) Does the bag work for you, and how does it compare to other bags?

Now walk away to think about it.

If you find that none of the bags are calling to you just carry on looking - don't waste your money if it isn't the right bag.

If you love a bag but it's out of your budget carry on saving. A well made designer bag will never go out of fashion. It might not be this season's it bag, but that doesn't matter if you love it.

You love it and it's in budget? Go and buy it and love it forever. Then start saving for the next one.
About the Author
Nicola Pedley loves designer handbags and doesn't own enough of them. Her current favourite designer bag is the Prada Fairy Bag
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