Are Designer Bags a Waste of Money?
Say, you’ve lusted after the gorgeous, supple leather of that expensive designer handbag you’ve seen while flipping through the pages of Vogue (or these days, more likely on an Instagram blogger). However, can you bring yourself to spend nearly half of your monthly paycheck on a bag?
And I know you’re asking yourself, “Are luxury designer bags a waste of money?” And the answer is – they don’t have to be.
If you can score a high quality, authentic bag at a huge discount (like, up to as much as 70% off – yeah, they exist!), I would say you’re getting tons of value for your dollar and they are NOT, in fact, a giant waste of your hard-earned money.
So, here we go – I’m giving you the real deal on where to get authentic designer bags discounted online – so you don’t have to feel guilty about that spendy purchase.
But – be warned – these bags do sell out at a speedy rate, so if you see something you like do not hesitate. It might not be there when you go back.
How to Buy a Designer Bag for Cheap Cheap
So, discounted bags generally fall into one of 2 categories: Brand new designer bags, and Pre-used designer bags.
Where to Get Gently Pre-Used Authentic Designer Bags at a Discount
Since the market for luxury designer bags is rapidly expanding at an exponential pace, there are tons of gently pre-used luxury bags on the market. But one man’s “trash” is another man’s treasure, and luxury reseller sites are a great way to score deals on gently used bags – of course, at a significant discount.
Fashionphile is one of the most sought after and highly trusted sites to buy gently used designer handbags. They carry all of the name brand designers including Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, and Fendi.
Each bag goes through an in depth authentication process before it is accepted onto the site, and they offer access to special programs including a BuyBack Program, Reserve Luxury Layaway, and Personal Shopping services.
They also recently entered into a partnership with Neiman Marcus, so if you have a bag you’d like to sell, you can list it with Fashionphile and earn credits towards your next brand new designer bag purchase at Neiman Marcus.
The unique thing about Bag, Borrow or Steal is that they allow you to “borrow” a bag for a monthly fee. If you end up liking the bag and want to keep it, they offer it to you at a discounted price.
They also offer bags strictly for purchase in their ‘Buy” section. These bags are each evaluated and placed into one of the following 5 categories: “New”, “Pristine”, “Gently Loved”, “Well Loved” or “Vintage”.
Vestiaire Collective and it’s a great site to purchase authentic designer bags from for cheap. Based in Paris, this site offers a curated collection of authentic designer bags, sourced worldwide. Each piece goes through a rigorous authentication inspection prior to shipping, so you can rest assure that your designer bag is indeed authentic.
And, not only does Vestiaire Collective sell luxury handbags, but they also sell a curated collection of designer jewelry and watches, as well as new and vintage clothing items.
The Outnet is a sister company to Net-a-Porter, so you should feel safe & secure purchasing brand new, discounted, authentic designer bags here. They basically have access to last season’s designs, some overstocked items, and any other bags that didn’t sell for whatever reason. They also have handbags from a HUGE range of designers available including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Prada.
Rebag was founded in 2014 by a team from Harvard Business School, and offers some great options for getting your dream designer bag for a significant discount.
- BUY – You can buy from their extensive inventory of gently used luxury bags, including brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and every other high end designer you can think of.
- SELL – If you have a bag that you used to love, but is now just sitting idly by in your closet, you can trade this bag in to Rebag. If you opt for Rebag credit towards your next bag, you’ll get an additional 20% in its value added to your account.
- EXCHANGE – If you purchase one of Rebag’s high quality used bags, you can wear the bag for up to a year, and then trade that bag for 70-80% of its value. For your initial investment you can continue to update your bags on the reg without any guilt.
All of these options prove that buying a designer bag does not have to be a total waste of money!
I’m going to be honest, authentic designer bags are hit or miss on Etsy. There is no verification process in place, so you do need to be very careful with which sellers you buy from. But, you can score great deals on vintage designer bags, belts, and jewelry if you do your research!
Where to Get Brand New Authentic Designer Bags on Sale
An often overlooked retailer for buying discounted authentic designer bags, TJ Maxx sells a pretty decent selection of them, all with guaranteed authenticity. Their range of styles expands as it gets closer to holiday season, but they often carry 100 styles or more on their website.
Usually, these bags are discounted up to 40% off retail prices. You can find designers including Dolce & Gabbana, Stella McCartney, Moschino, and Gucci (they have tons of Gucci right now!). Plus fabulous deals on contemporary designer bags like Marc Jacobs, Tory Burch, Kate Spade, and Rebecca Minkoff.
The only unfortunate thing about the TJ Maxx site is that they do not allow users to search by designer. The best technique to find designer bag deals on their site is to go to > Shop All Handbags > then sort from High to Low. This will show you all of the designer bags at the top of the page, and you can continue to scroll down to see them all.
Nordstrom regularly has authentic designer bags, and during their annual Nordstrom Anniversary sale you can score some for up to 60% off retail. They also have some bags on sale throughout the year (like this Burberry bag for 40% off), but the selection is much better during their annual sale.
The selection changes frequently, but you can click here for their latest selection.
Similar to TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack sells brand new designer bags for a fraction of their retail cost. They do allow sorting by brand, and you can definitely snag some great deals for up to 70% off. They have a TON of Moschino right now, such cute totes and shoulder bags. I especially love this tote bag that’s 40% off, and this Longchamp satchel that’s 50% off.
The discounted site of sister company and luxury retailer Saks 5th Avenue, Saks Off 5th has some major discounts on designer bags. Although the don’t usually carry Louis Vuitton or Chanel, they have tons of styles from it-labels like 3.1 Phillip Lim, Proenza Schouler, Off White, and a few really amazing Prada bags, too!
Overstock carries a pretty good selection of pre-used bags, however, a lot of them are listed through Overstock Marketplace Sellers. These third party sellers will often have different return policies, so make sure to double check before you buy.
Rue La La is another site that curates daily boutiques featuring deals of up to 70% off retail prices. Some of their sales last several days, and some only several hours, so if you see something you like, don’t hesitate. These deals are so good, the products are not advertised to the public, so you must log in to view prices.
Gilt is a members-only site that serves up daily deals on luxury goods, and each collection is meticulously curated by its buyers. These fabulous deals are too good to advertise to the public (like up to 70% off!), and you can only see the deals and prices once you sign up for their site and log in (it’s totally free, don’t worry!). Trust me, it’s worth it – and you can always opt out of daily emails after you sign up.
Are Designer Bags Worth It?
So, I hope this helped in determining if designer bags are a waste of money OR if they’re worth it for you to buy. I think in many cases they can be considered an investment piece instead of a splurge – especially if you score one of these great deals.
If you want to score more amazing deals this season, be sure to check out my giant list of all the Black Friday sales happening this year. They are seriously giving the stuff away!
I would love to see what you ended up buying, so be sure to tag me on Instagram, or send me an email showing off your new purchase!