Today’s confessor hails from Canada where she works as nurse, and like many of us, her very first handbag was a colorful Coach bag. She’s since graduated to brands like Louis Vuitton and Celine, though she mostly finds herself browsing Gucci and Saint Laurent as she feels the bags are an ideal mix of trendy and classic without being overly “hype-y”. Though snagging a pre-loved Speedy in excellent condition is one of the highlights in her 8 years of collecting, the most special piece in her collection is the Balenciaga City she snagged for her 25th birthday.
This confessor shops incredibly smart, limiting her collection to around 10 bags and abiding by a “one in, one out” bag buying policy. Being that she sells bags to fund new purchases, today’s confessor doesn’t spend money out of her own pocket for bags, rather she uses a sale to fund a new purchase. Unfortunately she’s been the victim of poor service at boutiques, which is frustrating considering she works in healthcare and treats every single patient, regardless of what they carry, the same. Our confessor wishes that SAs would do the same. Read the full confessional below and be sure to submit your own!
Gender Identity: Female
Household Income: $90,000
Are you a PurseForum member? No
How many bags do you own? 10
What bags are in your collection?
Balenciaga Metallic Edge City Small
By Far Rachel
Celine Nano Luggage Tote
Gucci Marmont Mini
Gucci Chick Children’s Tote
Gucci Canvas Pochette
Louis Vuitton Speedy 25
Louis Vuitton Toiletry Pouch 26
YSL Niki Small
YSL Niki Medium
How much is your collection worth? Around $17k cad in current retail prices but most of my items are preloved so I would say what I paid for was actually 50% to 70% of that amount.
What is your most expensive bag? The Celine Nano Luggage Tote and YSL Niki Medium
What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? Just like a lot of girls around the world, a Louis Vuitton is their first choice in dipping their toes to the addicting luxury designer world. Others go for the Neverfull… me? A Speedy. Most of the bags in my collection are preloved and this one is too. I’ve been saving money and had it on my wishlist for a while. When I saw it posted and in 9/10 condition, I immediately grabbed it! I was so over the moon when I received it, and I carried it everywhere afterwards. My excitement was just as strong if not more than, my first boutique purchase.
What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? My first designer bag was a Coach crossbody bag that is not even in the classic design. I bought in when I first moved to Toronto after getting my first paycheck working at Tim Hortons. I was 19. I still have the bag but I don’t use it anymore tucked away because of the very colorful colors and childlike design. Hope I can attach a photo so that you could see it, but hindsight is 20/20. I was young and wanted to be different from people who carry Coach with the classic C’s.
Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? No. As of now, I wanted to enjoy the bags that I carefully curated according to my needs and habits. I also only wanted a max of 10 bags in my collection which I have definitely fulfilled. I’ve been buying and selling bags since 2014, trying to see which will work for me and which will not and it has paid off.
Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? The Balenciaga that I got for my 25th birthday. It was the priciest one that I paid for during the time and I got it preloved in mint condition. It was the perfect silver birthday present for me. It’s the one I’m never going to sell in my collection.
Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Yes.
When out in public shopping or dining, I definitely get a better service when carrying a nice handbag. I’ve been in situations wherein I tried going inside a store with an unbranded bag/contemporary designer and getting ignored only to go in the next week with one of my pricier bags and get a stellar service. I sometimes call the people out regarding it but as a person, sometimes it happens. I work in a clinic and get patients who also carry nice luxury designer handbags but I always make sure to treat everyone the same. I hope SAs would also make a conscious decision to do the same.
How often do you buy new bags? I don’t really have a schedule but I must say around once to twice a year? I have a one in, one out system so I only buy one after I sell a bag I don’t use anymore or reach out as much. I must say that I don’t really spend that much on my bags now because the money I’ve “invested” into my collection since 2014 only really goes around the collection. Meaning, I only use the money I received for selling a bag, to buy another bag.
Which stores do you frequent the most? It might be because of my age but I find myself browsing a lot of Gucci and YSL online and in store. Some bags are too classic looking for my style (for example: Dior) and some are just trying too hard to be “hype” brands (like the recent Balenciaga designs) but I find these Gucci and YSL to have a good range of designs that fits what I’m looking for and is in the middle of the classic and hype-y styles.
Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Yes. I buy them from reputable online stores and sometimes consignment stores that I trust. There are a few here in Canada that are vetted well and have good return policies. I think buying second-hand is a good way to help the environment, buy a nice purse and save money. I also use them to sell my bags if I’m having a hard time selling it on my own because of their reach and amount of followers on Instagram for example. A lot of people might be scared of getting fakes but if you do your research well enough, not just about the handbag you’re about to buy but also the company you’re buying from, you can always get a good deal this way.
Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? Yes. As I have mentioned above, I also sell them through consignment stores where I also bought a majority of my bags.
Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? I follow a lot of influencers and read different fashion blogs and websites and it’s always easy to see which bags are currently being pushed as a trend. I do sometimes get FOMO like with the current Prada Re-edition bags until I remembered that I sold my vintage Prada nylon bag because I didn’t like how it gets dirty easily. Sometimes you just need to be conscious of what you have and what works for you and not. I also gave myself a few categories of bags that I wanted to fulfill and so that’s what drove my collection to what it is now. I plan to enjoy my bags for a bit and then re-evaluate when the time comes that my lifestyle changes.
Do you consider your bag purchases investments? I do think of my bags as investments to my happiness but no in the financial sense.
Who influences your buying decisions? I only really buy bags that speaks to me style and functionality wise. I only follow influencers for how they style clothes. My friends are not really that into designer items and it makes me feel lonely sometimes not having anyone to talk to about it but that’s what TPF is for. 🙂
Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Not really. I tend to research a lot online and usually will only go to the store to try it on.
Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? I just enjoy admiring beautiful, well-made handbags and having a piece of a story/history with it.
Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? Yes.
As a Filipino woman, there’s a lot of prejudice and generalizations regarding my country, countrymen and their jobs abroad. A lot of Filipinas work in hospitality, as nannies, maids, servers and of course, nurses. Just to share, I was browsing online when I came upon a post of another Filipina proudly showing her first designer item after 5 years of working as a cashier and a comment read that the person “cheapened” the brand. Ever since then, I wonder if that’s what other people think of me when they see me out and about with my bags..or maybe they just think what I have is fake. Nevertheless, I always make sure I look presentable when I go to such luxury boutiques. And if I ever do get ignored, then it’s fine. I’d rather shop in peace anyway than have a pushy SA.
Who pays for your bags? Mostly me. My SO sometimes gifts me half of the price of a bag I like for special occasions.
Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? No. I set aside a general fun money stash for myself and take out cash from there if needed although I haven’t done that for the past 3 purchases.
The Taboo Topics
Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? No. But I have been gifted a replica when I was still in high school back home (a Coach bag too, lol) and only used it twice. The quality was so bad.
Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? No. I do not need his permission to buy anything but I share my purchases with him because he works from home and receives the boxes!
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? None.
Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? There was absolutely a time in my life when I was earning some money and I have no bills to pay at all so I got used to buying anything I wanted. After realizing some of my items weren’t thought out as much, I started to give myself limits to how much I can own. Doing that has helped me become a more rational buyer than buying impulsively like I used to.
The Rest Of It
Any other expensive hobbies or passions? Traveling.
Anything else you would like to include? P.S. The Coach bag was a Poppy Graffiti. I just googled it.