The Basics

Age: 46
Gender Identity: Female
Location: Toronto
Occupation: Director
Industry: Loyalty Marketing Agency
Household Income: $200,000.00

The Bags

Are you a PurseForum member? Yes

How many bags do you own? Approximately 20

What bags are in your collection?

I think for the most part my story remains the same with the exception that the addiction is real and it’s been a seriously big purchase year for me in 2019 because of YSL! I also don’t consider my YSL bags to be investment pieces but I really love them – and the fact that they are full leather for a decent price point. But I am looking to start pairing down my collection for 2020 to reduce some of the redundancy in my collection.

2019

YSL Med Envelope bag
YSL Med Loulou
LV Clapton back pack
Chanel boy bag
YSL WOC
Chanel burgundy mini
LV Crossette
YSL Small Loulou
YSL Toy Loulou
Chanel WOC

2018

Chanel Jumbo
Polene – Number 1 mini
Senrev cross body bag
Gucci small marmont bag
Chanel classic medium Chevron

2017

Ferragamo Vara WOC
Chanel reissue 227
LV Iena
LV Milla
LV Pochette Accessories Monogram

2016

LV Pochette Accessories Epi Electric
LV Neverfull mm
LV Favorite – deemed defective and subsequently exchanged it for the crossette

2005 LV Tall Lockit

1997 Gucci

How much is your collection worth? 25k-30k

What is your most expensive bag? New Chanel Jumbo

What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? Chanel, LV

What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? Black Suede Gucci bag that I purchased at a “Now or Never” sale at age 23 after working a year in my first full time “career” job. I still have it today.

Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next?

Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? Even though I was fairly young buying my first designer bag, I was very savings/investment oriented so I rarely splurged on luxury bags throughout my twenties or thirties. I bought the Gucci when I was 23 and a Burberry bag at 28 in NYC..but all other bags during that period of my life were contemporary designers (i.e. Coach, Kate Spade – and often at the outlets). But during the first year of my marriage in my early 30’s my husband bought me a Louis Vuitton Monogram Tall Lockit for Christmas. It was my first seriously expensive bag that I owned. (I think it was only about $600 back then – it so crazy how much the prices of designer bags have increased over the years). I was so afraid to use it or to get the vachetta leather dirty that I basically kept it shielded in its dust bag for years with the exception of a few special occasions.

Also, a couple years after getting the bag, I had a baby and a small top handle bag wasn’t really practical.

But this bag will always have sentimental value to me as it was such an unexpected and extravagant gift from my husband.

Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Not really but I don’t really flaunt my purses. I think there are lots of people who wouldn’t be able to tell a designer bag from a non-designer and couldn’t care less. Then there are the folks that just assume that most designer bags are all fakes, and then there are those who are into designer bags and appreciate the collection that you have.

My friends know that I enjoy collecting purses and although some of them would never purchase a designer bag, I don’t think they judge me for it. We all have different ways we splurge (some spend lots on sports equipment, or tech toys, fine dining or classes for themselves or their kids) so it really comes down to what your personal interests are and how you prioritize your discretionary budget.

I strongly believe that the purse or clothes you wear has absolutely no bearing on the person you are. My purse addition stems from the love of quality and craftsmanship, the joy of having beautiful items that makes my heart sing. Plus, I try to be somewhat sensible and tend to pick items that I believe will hold its value.

Perhaps the people who take most notice of the bag I carry are the sales people in the designer stores. Some may approach you if you have a recognizable bag… but then again, I have had amazing service and not so great service in the top brands regardless of what I am carrying.

The Shopping

How often do you buy new bags? I have only been really collecting designer bags for a handful of years so I’ve likely been averaging 3-4 per year but I feel like my collection is at its capacity now so I can’t imagine buying anymore without selling something first.

Which stores do you frequent the most? Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci

Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Yes. I have purchased a few LV small leather goods and a Chanel reissue bag on eBay after getting it authenticated. I got a Chanel card case with receipt and original box from a listing on Kajiji. I also bought something small on The RealReal.

Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? I have sold some of my contemporary designer bags on eBay, but not to fund a new bag purchase. But I am at a point where I couldn’t justify purchasing anything else without selling first. Not necessarily to fund the new purchase, but to ensure my collection of purses doesn’t get enormous. I prefer not to have too many redundant bags that all would serve the same purpose, outfit or occasion.

Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? I don’t feel any societal pressure but I have to admit YouTube reviews has influenced my purchase decisions from time to time.

Do you consider your bag purchases investments? Absolutely!

I had a LV monogram card case that was given to me by a couple of friends on my birthday in my late 20’s – I have the same initials as the monogram so it was the perfect gift even if I wasn’t really into the brand back then.

I would always have a few business cards or loyalty cards stored in the card case and it would always live in the back pocket of my purse that I was using. I carried that card case for about 12 years straight and was amazed at its condition. To this day, it practically looks brand new. It’s about this point that I started to realize the value in quality pieces and started to really invest in bags.

Plus, with the price increases every year and seeing that there is still strong value in the pre-loved market, it feels like the better overall option for the long term. I would rather have one amazing purse at $1000 that looks great over 10 years that I can still sell it for $500 then 10 purses at $100 that only last a season or 2 and have virtually no value at the end.

Who influences your buying decisions? The stage in my life influenced me to be a purse collector.

Just before I started to collect designer bags, my dad became terminally ill and it made me realize that you can’t always plan for everything.

I had always been really disciplined about money and was always saving for the future. It dawned on me that if I’m always planning for the future I’ll miss enjoying the present. In the past I wouldn’t allow myself to buy anything that extravagant even if I wanted it, as there always something more sensible that I could put the money towards. I realized that life really is too short not to take advantage of things that you want to do or to have now. (I say this within reason – I would never suggest that someone jeopardize their future or security for any luxury item – but there is a balance that can be had)

Truthfully, I think researching about the bags, mixed in with a little bit or retail therapy helped to keep my mind off things temporarily during a really terrible time in my life.

As for influencing my decision on a specific bag…I think YouTube and PurseForum have influenced me to some degree…mostly because a discussion thread or video will expose me to a new style or brand that calls to me. I’m not really influenced by the hype. Just because a whole bunch of influencers all love the same bag doesn’t compel me to want to buy it.

Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? No- not really. A few that I’ve dealt with more than once, but I wouldn’t wait or make an appointment just to deal with them.

Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? I love the whole process. I like researching about a product I’m interested in, I read and watch endless reviews before I pull the trigger, I love browsing in stores with beautifully displayed products (although half my purchases are online) and I like to look at new products and trying them on.

I am a shopaholic but within my means… I’ve never allowed myself to carry a credit card balance and religiously contribute to my retirement and daughters education fund.

I’m now trying to buy less but better quality. I try to be deliberate in my purchases rather than buying on impulse or because something is on sale.

Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? No, but I can say that it still amazes me when I see huge lineups at a LV or Chanel stores. I find that when the boutique is that busy, service levels go down for everyone except those who have a strong relationship with an SA.

The Money

Who pays for your bags? I have paid for all but a couple that were gifts.

Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? No. But I don’t buy it unless I have the funds already.

The Taboo Topics

Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? Yes. When I was young I bought some fakes in NYC but they were so badly made that I never kept any beyond a few months. A total waste of money!

Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? No because I pay for them myself. But he doesn’t understand why I need so many purses.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? Wait a decade to buy one??? The again, some would say that’s not crazy- that’s smart!

Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? Ummm…maybe?

I spend a ton of time deciding on buying something so perhaps some would say I’m wasting time. Also, my spending comfort level threshold on a single item feels like it increases with each purchase.

I feel like my collection covers all of the occasions and outfits that I need so I have consciously decided to contain my current collection from expanding. I am only looking to replace items rather than adding to it.

The Rest Of It

Any other expensive hobbies or passions? Travel – again for the same reasons that I started to collect purses. Traveling allows you to experience new things and live in the present.

Editor’s Note: Today’s CC was submitted late ’18, so not all questions were answered back then that you’re used to now. Don’t forget to submit your own bag-loving story at the link below:

Submit Your Own Confessional

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