Each year, I like to treat myself to one big bag purchase. In a way, it’s my motivation to save money and curb my spending on other nonsense throughout the year. Last year, all of you helped me make a decision between a Chanel Wallet-on-Chain Bag or the Saint Laurent Monogram Satchel, and this year my indecision was between Valentino’s signature Rockstud pumps and a Céline Phantom Luggage Tote. Even after buying the Rockstud pumps, I wasn’t fully satisfied with my purchase, and after much internal debate and contemplation, I realized my heart was set on the Céline, which I ended up purchasing through FashionPhile. Now that I’ve owned the bag for a while and had some time to reflect, it’s time to look back on the experience.

Buying a new handbag at a boutique is great, but saving up over $3,000 (plus tax!) takes time and financial sacrifice for almost anyone. After I return my Rockstuds, though I was determined to find a way to buy the Céline. I considered selling some bags I no longer use, and I also hoped my boyfriend might surprise me for my birthday. (I even left him not-so-subtle hints, but he wasn’t budging). My solution, however, came while I was doing my handbag duties here at PurseBlog. While looking through some older posts, I came across this informative guide from Amanda: The Beginner’s Guide to Buying Pre-Owned Designer Bags Online. I took a step back and read through the post with an entirely different mindset: as a reader ready to learn about making a pre-owned bag purchase for the first time.

I’ll admit, the thought of buying a pre-loved bag had never even crossed my mind, but after checking the recommended websites, I knew I had found my Céline solution. Out of all the sites listed, I personally fell in love with Fashionphile because it was easy to navigate and the selection of designer handbags and accessories was massive. As I’m sure many of you can understand, buying a luxury handbag isn’t a one-and-done process–there’s lots of looking and shopping and considering–and I quickly began to learn that buying a used luxury bag can be even lengthier. Now that I was on the hunt for the Céline of my dreams and browsing Fashionphile’s Céline offerings, I finally found the bag I’d been looking for: the Phantom Luggage Tote in corc-stamped black leather. The best part, of course, was that the lower (used!) price was within my existing budget.

You would think my story would end here, but not quite. Like the old saying goes: if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. With that in mind, I began to second-guess myself. I found the bag of my dreams and that was the problem–why did I find the bag and no one else beat me to it? Why was this one still available? Was there some sort of problem I hadn’t noticed? I decided to wait a couple of days and think about my purchase. Any spare second I had went to stalking the site, researching client reviews and practically memorizing the return policy. After talking about it with Amanda in the office one day, she helped calm my nerves and assured me that I was making the right decision. The next day, the bag was still on the site and I pulled the trigger; the Céline of my dreams was mine!

Anticipating the bag’s arrival felt like the longest wait in history, but when the package finally arrived at my doorstep, I was so excited to have a Céline to call my own–something I never thought would happen. After inspecting my new bag, I didn’t have any doubts about its authenticity, but just to be on the safe side of things, I decided to have the bag authenticated on our PurseForum. (If you want to authenticate a bag of your own on tPF, all you need to know is right here.) Within a day, one of our knowledgable members assured me my new Phantom Luggage Tote is authentic.

I’ve owned the bags for six months now, and I truly love it. It’s big enough to carry everything I need for work, and it never feels cumbersome to me. I’m also happy to report that my next possible bag purchase in 2017 may just be another pre-owned handbag treasure.

P.S. Please consider supporting our small, bag-loving team by clicking our links before shopping or checking out at your favorite online retailers like Amazon, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, or any of the listed partners on our shop page. We truly appreciate your support!

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