Closet Confessionals

CC 155: The Previous Confessor

An early confessor shares her new outlook on buying and collecting bags

*Editor’s Note: As we’ve stated in previous confessionals discussing the super fake world, we do not condone the purchasing of fakes. However, we would find it counterproductive to deny the existence of high-quality counterfeits and to pretend that people don’t buy them.

In today’s installment of Closet Confessionals, we’re checking in with a previous confessor! CC 16 shared her confessional with us back in 2018, when we had just started the series. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been sharing these anonymous confessionals with you all for four years. Occasionally we hear from confessors after their submissions have been posted with follow-up information, but a confessor very rarely resubmits a confessional in its entirety.

When CC 16/155 submitted this updated confessional to us, she noted that she “decided to write an updated confessional since [her] perspective on luxury shopping has changed greatly.” At the time of her first confessional, CC 155 was looking to have a Chanel bag personalized, and below, you’ll see what she decided upon. A lot has changed in the last four years, and this vintage lover’s collecting and shopping habits have too. Read the full CC below, and don’t forget to submit your own!


The Basics

Age: 36
Gender Identity: Female
Location: Orange County, California
Occupation: Genetic Scientist
Industry: Healthcare
Salary: $120,000
Household Income: $120,000

The Bags

Are you a PurseForum member? Yes

How many bags do you own? Too many to count. I’m in the process of selling off most of them.

What bags are in your collection?

Personalized Chanel Flap Bag

How much is your collection worth? Between $30 to $40k.

What is your most expensive bag? The biscuit Birkin 25

What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? My Le Pliage bags are currently my ride or die bags.

What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? Does Coach count? I got the monogrammed signature shoulder bag in the early aughts when I was in college.

My first luxury designer bag was the cerise Prada mini Saffiano tote. I bought it when I was 28 years old, after receiving a huge promotion at work.

Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? An authentic one? Not really (I’ll get into more details later).

Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? Not really. Buying luxury bags was a phase for me; I’m liking the idea of stealth wealth more as I get older.

In hindsight, spending so much on bags (especially so early in my career) was not a great idea. I want to sell them off and invest the money more wisely.

Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Well my friends and coworkers probably think I’m materialistic and spend too much, which I won’t deny.

I don’t live in an area where people carry a lot of designer, so I don’t think the general public uses my bags to form opinions of me. There was one time though, when a doctor did a double-take when she saw my Hermès Kelly. That was thrilling.

Have your bag-carrying habits changed since Covid? Well since I couldn’t go anywhere, I didn’t use my smaller, cuter bags as much. I’m also less motivated these days to switch bags.

Hermes Orange Birkin

The Shopping

How often do you buy new bags? I was buying about 3-4 a year.

Has the Coronavirus pandemic changed your shopping habits or overall attitude towards luxury? I’m less interested in luxury, but I think that’s due to growing up, not Corona.

Which stores do you frequent the most? I mostly shop online. It’s easier to buy exactly what you want online than in store.

Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Most of my collection is secondhand. I’ve bought from Yoogi’s closet, Fashionphile, Rebag, Ann’s Fabulous Finds, and Christie’s Auction house.

Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? No, I sell them to recoup my losses.

Fortunately, it’s a seller’s market right now. Second-hand prices are insane. It’s easy to make some profit if one has patience.

I’ve had great success selling vintages on Etsy. The key is great customer service: be friendly, reply promptly to messages, give as many details as you can, and provide additional photos if requested.

Also, list bags way above the price you’re willing to sell them. Then give buyers a “discount”. Nobody buys anything at the listed price, and no one knows the true value of what they’re purchasing.

Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? No, nobody in my circle really purchases designer. Marketing is tempting, but nowadays I can’t fathom spending $2000+ on a bag.

Do you consider your bag purchases investments? That’s the kind of mentality that caused me to spend so much on bags. I’ve at least broken even selling my bags, but I would’ve had much better returns if I invested in the stock market.

Who influences your buying decisions? Instagram marketing. Scary how it knows what I like.

Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? No. I find the whole idea of building a relationship with an SA just to be able to spend more money to be pretty ridiculous.

Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? The only time I used shopping as retail therapy was when I got my wisdom teeth removed.

I’d say I have a shopping addiction (which is something I probably denied in my first confessional). I get a rush regardless of how much I’m spending, whether I’m buying a designer bag or drugstore eyeliner.

Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? Definitely when I made my first purchase at a Chanel boutique. I was out of my element, and the rude SA knew it. Without my asking, she stated the price of every item I eyed.

Chanel is stuck up; LV and Gucci are friendlier.

Hermes Birkin Bag

The Money

Who pays for your bags? Me.

Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? No. I never went into debt buying bags and was able to pay my credit card off in full every month. I just didn’t save up as much as I should have.

The Taboo Topics

Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? I have 2 fakes: a gold Togo leather Birkin 25 with gold hardware and a Goyard Senat MM (which I purchased after seeing the lovely header photo in PB’s article on document pouches). I have another Birkin 25 on the way: Gris Tourterelle Togo with gold hardware.

Both Birkins are high-tier reps costing $1,700 each. I purchased them after visiting ‘that’ Reddit subforum. I connected with a ‘trusted seller’ on WhatsApp.

It is insane how much the Birkin looks like the real thing; even the bottom corners are exactly identical. The fake bag industry is dubious, but considering how well high-tier reps are made, I don’t think factory conditions are that bad?

I have no good justification for buying reps; it’s just amazing that you can get near-identical quality at a 10th of the price.

Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? I don’t have one.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? I had to purchase my biscuit Birkin in 2 credit card transactions because my credit limit wasn’t high enough. So I made a deposit, immediately paid off the credit card bill, then paid off the rest.

Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? Definitely. I’m trying to overcome this by not being so impulsive. After I see a product, I wait a month or so to see if I still want it. I’m always going to want to shop, but giving myself some time to think slows my spending, and waiting sometimes helps me find something better.

The Rest Of It

Any other expensive hobbies or passions? I love to cook and bake, so lots of kitchenware. I also don’t mind spending a little extra on classic, quality clothing that will last a long time.

Anything else you would like to include? Buying and selling bags will not be a good financial investment for the average person. It’s ok to make ‘fun’ purchases, but don’t be impulsive.


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