We’re prefacing today’s confessional installment by saying that 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. Today’s confessional was chosen for the author’s story on his fake Birkin purchase, despite owning a real Birkin and a vibrant collection of limited edition bags from a variety of other brands.
If you’d like to submit your own story, hit the link below and fill out our CC questionnaire. Enjoy the read!
Gender Identity: Male
Location: Kansas City
Occupation: Radio Talk Show Host
Household Income: $165,000.00
Are you a PurseForum member? No
How many bags do you own? Couple Dozen
What bags are in your collection?
Hermes Birkin 40 Caramel
Hermes Birkin 35 Blue Jean
Hermes Jypsiere Blue Jean
Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 Giant Monogram
Valentino Roskstud Medium Burgundy
Bottega Veneta Knot Clutch silver satin
Louis Vuitton Keepall 50 Nomade
Louis Vuitton Pegase 55 monogram
Louis Vuitton Damier Infini 50
Chanel Double Flap 30 Black/shw
Louis Vuitton Monogram icare
Speedy 30 Dentelle
Hermes Kelly 32 Cacao/ghw
Louis Vuitton Damier Graphite Roadster
Louis Vuitton Petite Malle
How much is your collection worth? Last time I checked just over $100,000
What is your most expensive bag? Definitely the Birkins. But my wife and I only use the Birkins for travel. My daily is my large Fendi Black Peekaboo. (Peekaboy?) I absolutely love it and the eyes add a little bit of fun!
What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? The Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 Dentelle. It’s a limited edition with a metal lace. A lot of people have said they don’t like that version, but something about it is magical. It was my first ever special edition and it holds a special place in my heart. It’s practical, well as practical as you can get for a couple thousand dollar handbag, art. I don’t think I could ever get rid of it. The other special edition that I regret not getting is the watercolor Speedy.
What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? 20. It was a Gucci monogram duffel. It sparked a passionate love affair with these weird, highly priced, greatly designed bags. Fancy cars and fancy bags are my only spendy habits in life.
Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? The Louis Vuitton Armand Open Tote in brown. Mmmhm. That piece whispers quiet luxury. It screams silently, LOOK AT ME. I don’t like to shout my arrival, but if the spotlight happens to shine on me, I can perform.
I have my eye on the Louis Vuitton Prism Keepall… but its PVC. And over $3000. I can’t.
I won’t, I shouldn’t.
I hope I don’t.
I keep staring at on IG and my desires are growing.
I need to squash that.
Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? My Louis Vuitton Nomade Keepall 50 was one of the first pieces I ever traveled out of the country with. It was just released and I felt like a sophisticated badass. All the scratches that have occurred are each filled with a special memory and place. I don’t like to keep my pieces pristine. I like them to have a little life in them!
Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Sometimes. When I’m with family and friends I usually keep it subdued and quiet. It’s when I travel that I like to show off my pieces. I can tell they (hotel staff) seem a little more eager to help when they see my entourage of designer luggage. Maybe they are hoping for a tip or they think I’m someone special. (I’m not). It’s fun to put on a show when I travel and I love the looks I get when I carry the 40 Birkin through the airport.
How often do you buy new bags? Several times a year. I try to wait awhile before purchasing so I’m positive I want a bag and its not an impulse buy. Wanting a bag is slightly more fun than actually buying it. Every time I purchase a bag I love, there is ALWAYS something else I find that I want. So I make sure to make the whole experience last as long as possible for each and every bag.
Which stores do you frequent the most? Louis Vuitton always seems to be my first and favorite. Followed by Hermes, I love the way their stores smell and how perfect everything seems. There is usually some family that is dropping major bucks so I always love to bask in their spending while I linger and look at the merchandise. Bottega Veneta has the sweetest SA’s. Their understated style seems to translate to the personalities of the ladies helping me. Chanel, Prada and Burberry are always on my list as well, but LV will forever be the brand that started it all for me.
Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Not yet… I REALLY REALLY REALLY want a LV Speedy Watercolor. Buying second hand is the only way I’ll be able to get one now. I have no problem with buying used. I just haven’t yet. But if I do, You know what the first one will be!
Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? Nope. I like to keep all my bags. I’ll sometimes just stare and rearrange my closest to hold onto each piece and remember the moments I had with each one. The little bit of money I would get back for them isn’t worth it to me. I know it’s not healthy to store memories in things, but hey, at least my estate sale will be kickass!
Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? No. I have been able to … not live in society? I don’t feel any pressure to buy anything. I just feel the desire grow as I find cool and interesting bags, usually on IG. Only cause I want them, not because somebody is telling me I should. When someone tells me I should do something, I really don’t want to do that thing. Clean design is the best way to get my attention. Clean, quality design with no fancy fu-fu. I do have a desire to look at the LV prism as I mentioned earlier, but I could never justify dropping $3k on a plastic bag.
Do you consider your bag purchases investments? Only in memories and happiness. I think they will be quite the collection if I keep them in pretty good condition and my grandkids open up a chest of high end bags in the attic when I’m dead. They could be worth a small fortune then.
Who influences your buying decisions? My wife and me. She doesn’t like anything with labels so her daily is a Hermes Garden Party. If I see a popular bag on IG, it will peak my interest until I want to go look at it in the store.
Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? I love the small conversations with them. I understand they are just people so I will pretend I’m talking with a long lost friend. I don’t act like it’s something special to just be in a high end store which (in my mind) gives off a billionaire vibe and I’m always treated with the utmost respect and courtesy. They don’t influence a buy because if I’ve decided on a purchase, it’s settled long before I go in the store. I have no problem window shopping for months without buying. I just love looking at everything.
Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? I love acquiring art. Designer handbags are the closet thing to art that’s so publicly available while still being “exclusive”.
Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? I am glad to say I haven’t.
Who pays for your bags? I do. I never spend my saved money. I will always come up with a scheme or side hustle to make a few extra grand to I don’t feel guilty. It’s all extra money I’m able to create with either services or selling of goods.
Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? As long as I can make it from my side hustle* and not from my regular job, I can spend all of my side hustle money on bags. Which is about $10,000 a year.
The Taboo Topics
Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? Yes, I have a real Birkin and a fake Birkin. I can’t tell the difference from 4 feet away. I occasionally will buy a super fake. The quality is impressive. It’s not that I can’t afford it. Sometimes in my mind, I think for $4,000 I can buy two dozen super fakes. If I can’t tell the quality. What makes it a fake? I’m torn.
Can you elaborate on what made you choose to purchase a fake? I decided to go down the fake lane a few years ago. I had my one authentic Birkin that I miraculously snabbed back in 2007 in NYC. It was equivalent to walking in the clouds, that purchase made me realize how extremely lucky I am.
It made me feel as though I had made it. And then I pondered why buying an expensive bag made me feel complete. Was it me telling the world I had things figured out? Did I want people to wish they were me? That didn’t sit well.
The Birkin was put back in the closet to age gracefully.
I was browsing the web a few years later when I stumbled upon a website that sold fakes. I found a camel colored 40cm Birkin with silver hardware. It was beautiful. And only $179.
What the hell.
I took a chance and sent my payment to some guy in China. 2 weeks later a package arrives to my door step. My heart started to pound in a similar pace as it did when I was in the Hermes store in NYC. I opened the box and was greeted with a decent quality dust bag that was branded Hermes.
My heart beats faster.
I unravel the dust bag and hold the brand new Birkin in my hands. The stitching is almost perfect. The leather is soooooo soft. The smell is intoxicating! I felt all the good things I felt when I first purchased the real one and none of the guilt. I was able to carry it around and travel without worry. It gets me the same looks as the other and if they ask I’m happy to say it’s not real. Everybody who asks always follows it up with, where can I get one.
Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? At first I did. But then I started my side hustle to purchase bags and now I can buy all I want because it doesn’t come from our normal jobs.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? Maxed out a credit card. Now everything is purchased with cash.
Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? When I first started I would spend all my money on bags. Now I have found a sustainable way to continue to buy bags where I’m not using my income but my side hustle money.
The Rest Of It
Any other expensive hobbies or passions? Cars. I recently got out a lease on a Mercedes Benz GL 450. It was over a $1,000 a month. I realized how much I was spending on nothing. Now I own an older Lexus LS.
Anything else you would like to include? Buy what you love after wanting it for a while. Only use cash to buy. We don’t want our habits to cause us stress with too many monthly payments.
Tell us about your side hustle… For my side hustle, I resell items I find at estate sales. It’s a thrill and it enables me to fulfill my passion of treasure hunting, buying things and making money to buy more bags. I average about $1,000 a month doing this. It’s the only way I can justify these ridiculous bags that I can’t get enough of. I love researching materials and style and trying to detect trends. If I could write content based designer bags that would be another dream job.