Since we start #pursechat last month (join us every Tuesday on Twitter, 2 p.m., use the hashtag!), we’ve gotten a chance to ask and answer questions with you guys in a way that’s gotten us thinking about a lot of fashion-related topics in new ways. A couple of weeks ago, we asked our followers whether they’d rather have one $2,000 bag or four $500 bags, and that sparked quite the discussion.

The question is one of quality versus quantity, but only to a degree. $500 bags are still quite nice, and depending on the brands in question, might be almost as nice something much more expensive. On the other hand, if you choose well, a $2,000 bag will far outpace the quality and finish of anything you’ll find at a far reduced price point.

Personally, I’d opt for one high-priced bag that I absolutely love. I hate switching my bags and rarely do it more than once every few weeks (and generally far less often than that), so I’m more likely to get my money’s worth in a $2,000 purchase if the yield is only one bag. If you’re a person who prefers to coordinate outfits and bags closely, though, I can see why you might choose the second option for its flexibility.

So, if you have $2,000 to spend (and in this mythical universe I’ve created for the purposes of this question, you can only spend it on bags), how do you do it? One $2,000 bag, two $1,000 bags, four $500 bags or something else? Would any of you try to bargain-hound your way into a new bag wardrobe for $250 each?

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!

Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • tata

    one $2k bag for sure!!!

  • Yazi

    I’ll take the 4 bags for 2000. Not only is the quality nice enough and will help with many outfits for work, but I will be less likely to commit suicide if something were to happen to 1 very expensive bag.

    • Patsy

      Your comment made me laughed out loud!

  • whottywho

    Depends on what my options are but personally I would invest in a great bag …that I can use everyday ..I don’t believe in the1- 2k mini bag..would only drop that money if I was rich or for an everyday bad or an evening bag that goes with everything in life .

  • Guest

    Luckily, this is the biggest dilemma of my life. I love so many handbags and I have a limited budget, so should I buy one bag per season or get a couple of lesser priced (but still good quality) bags. It’s so hard to decide.

  • ellavanw

    I have always always always found the single $2000 bag to be the better investment. The cost per wear is always lower. I am not sure whether that is because I think harder about the expensive bag and am less likely to make a mistake, or because the expensive bag is generally much higher quality. Probably both.

  • ellavanw

    Also, I am a big believer in buying expensive coats, bags, shoes, and jewelry – and then you can be a little less spendy on everything else and still look polished all the time.

  • Karina

    I used to go for the 2K bag hoping for a longer term investment. Sadly I realized that price does not equal quality. My 2k Prada tote unbuckled itself in a few months but my Roots tote (it’s a Canadian handcrafted and manufactured handbag brand that produces indestructible and reasonably priced lovely handbags) has served me all of 5 years of slogging.
    When I purchase expensive luxury handbags, I am ONLY paying for the expensive advertising campaigns and endorsements from the super rich models and movie stars, not for their quality, durability or artistry.

    • Christofle

      +1 This article also seems to equate price with quality. I’ve bought LV bags that retail over 5000$ and they are inferior in quality to some handcrafted bags retailing under 1000$. There are still leather artisans out there that charge reasonable prices for their handiwork. Although if people value brand name over quality then that is a whole different ball game.

      • Guest

        I’m interested which LV bag did you buy at 5K that was inferior quality? What was wrong with the bag?

      • Christofle

        I didn’t state that the LV bag was inferior quality, but rather indicated that it was inferior in quality when compared to some bespoke handmade bags which are in the 1000 and under pricing bracket.

        For example, the robusto 2 in Nomade (6,300$) while being a great briefcase has a textile lining which to me is inferior in quality to a full leather lined briefcase.

        To put this into perspective, a similar briefcase could be had from combat straps (a local leather worker) for just under 1000$, while one in exotic leather could be had for under 2500$.

        In addition, most of LV’s bags are machine stitched vs saddle-stiched, which to me is another sign of lesser quality.

        When purchasing a luxury product, most of the price is derived from the brand’s cachet and their advertising expenditure.

      • bryologue

        Amen on the saddle stitch. I just began learning saddle stitching leather as a hobby, and man, it was a test of patience and skill. I have the highest respect to all these leather artisans doing it by hand for years! Mad skills!

  • Staci

    A mixture… 1 $1,000 bag that would be my every day tote / work bag, like an LV Neverfull or Givenchy printed tote. I carry this bag the most, so I usually splurge on it. 2 $250 bags, like a Kate Spade book clutch and a Rebecca Minkoff Mini MAC for an evenings out. 1 $500 bag, like a Mansur Gavriel bucket bag for weekends, shopping and running errands. Plus some inexpensive but unique pieces like a handmade tote from India that was $20 at a market, and a vegan leather clutch from the Ukraine. Now, can I please have an additional $6 or 7k to add a Chanel Boy Bag and Givenchy Antigona??

  • AshleyG

    I’ll take four bags for $500, Alex…

  • Finem Lauda

    One bag for 2000, I think, because I’m the kind of purse lover who has a “holy grail” bag, therein I use it the most. All my other bags get neglected!!

    • Mel

      100% !!!

  • Virginia

    One 2k bag. With a year experience on TPF, I’ve learned the better quality works best for me!

  • cbl

    i’d wait to save up another $2k and buy a $4k bag :)

    • anon

      Exactly! I’ve come to a realization in my purse collecting in that I’d rather save up for a long time past the $2k mark for a very expensive bag like Chanel. And one day, very very far from now, a Hermes.

  • realitytvjunkie

    If I had $2k to spend on purses, I’d want a $2k bag. But reality is that too many bags that are popular and desirable are way over $2k now. (i.e. celine, chanel, chloe). Can I truly get an “it” bag for $2k? The answer is no.

    • Guest

      I disagree. You can most definitely get an “It” bag for <$2k. Mansur Graviel is a perfect example. You're only spending 1/4th of that price for one of the hottest bags at the moment. Phillip Lim had his moment in the sun (and I think they're still pretty desirable), and those aren't going to set you back more than $750-1k. Michael Kors 'Selma' or the 'Miranda' from his high-end line are still hot sellers and you could buy BOTH of them and still spend less than $2k! Nowadays there's a much larger selection of 'IT' bags to choose from with choices to fit nearly everyone's budget!

    • anon

      I disagree. Price, to me, doesn’t determine the it factor-it just shows your affordability I guess in owning one.

  • JC

    With the ridiculous price increase and decrease in quality of most high end designer houses, I’d rather use $2k towards an EUC preloved bag. More bang for the bucks!

  • elisian

    Love Staci’s answer. I’d also mix it up, buying pre-loved where I can to stretch my dollar further.

    My ideal split:
    – up to $1200 on pre-loved Fendi or Celine everyday tote bag/satchel in a nice neutral (2Jours pop up for about that much on eBay and occasionally at TJs/Rack!)

    – $350 for a Kate Spade clutch – as fun and “out there” as possible
    – $150 for a vintage Gucci backpack
    – $400 on inexpensive fun bags: vintage PVC carryall/duffel (from Prima Clase, Celine, or Bally’s); Dooney & Bourke backpack; Gucci fanny pack

    I’m not interested in bags that show status/logos, so a showy $2000 bag isn’t appealing to me. But if I found the right pre-loved, still-puffy Chanel double flap… well… I might throw caution to the winds after all.

  • Mel

    One for $2K not only for the quality and how beautiful, but also because it gives me a weird sense of pride to know that I CAN purchase it for MYSELF with MY earnings and MY hard work instead of running to daddy and ask him to buy it for me

  • Sandy

    The more expensive bag every time. I believe in investment pieces that you will love for years to come.

  • LVMama

    1 expensive bag for me – I’ve used my classic LV monogram Speedy 35 everyday for over 5 years. Well worth the money and no need to switch out bags – it goes with every occasion. Love it! :)

  • Nivia

    I’d rather buy one of $2000. Certainly !

  • annabelle

    high price bags are better for the long run.

  • Sylvie

    my roomate’s step-aunt makes $64 hourly on the laptop . She has been out of a job for 6 months but last month her check was $16798 just working on the laptop for a few hours. learn this here now–See here

  • Bipasha

    I would opt for the four $500 girls. I hate to limit myself to one, no matter how fabu it is. To this date I have never seen a bag that was worth my exclusive devotion. I fall in love with a bag, wear her endlessly, and then one day I’m minding my own business and voila! Love! Amore! Pyaar! I have to have her! She is coming home to join her sisters as soon as she can. I can’t do that if I’ve just put down 2K on a bag. So the four $500s are more my speed.

  • Alexis

    From my experience 2k and 1k bags are more durable and well made than the cheaper ones. They are usually of very good material and hardware. Plus, I find the that the cheaper ones are usually copies of the more expensive ones.

  • ariss

    I think we’re lying to ourselves if we think a high price tag equals quality these days.

  • Joana Richard

    Well, If the 4 bags are very very good quality yes… Because not every 2000$ brand have a excelente quality, only good quality…
    I really dont know…

  • Renee

    I’ve debated this myself over the years. Here’s what I’ve realized, I love so many styles of different handbags that I am always looking to find another one. It’s like some insatiable need! This is when I tell myself I would rather buy more bags with my money, than blow it all on one that cost 2,000.
    HOWEVER, after I’ve added that Michel Kors, Tory Burch, Coach.. Whatever to my collection and TRY and convince myself I’m satisfied with these bags,
    I start my hunt for that Louis, Prada, Gucci.
    Whenever I’ve bought the very high end designers,
    I’m much more satisfied and love my bag for a lot longer.
    So is guess the answer is, spend 2,000 and get the one fabulous bag.

  • Marina Harbor

    I would definitely buy one of 2000 or two of 1000 , Never four of 500. ( I just never can find a bag that I really love in that price range) But I guess it all depends what you are lacking at your closet at that particular time!. If it was today I would buy a Saint Laurent wallet on chain and a Mansur Gavriel bucket bag.

  • FashionableLena

    I like to switch bags according to my mood or what I’m wearing, so I would hate to limit myself to just one bag. I’ve been lusting after some Loeffler Randall bags, and they are in the $500 range. I’d like two of those and maybe one of those Gucci crossbody bags with the two big Gs that everyone seems to love.

  • Kitty

    I would buy one $2,000 purse. I usually don’t switch my handbags that often. And my purchases usually involve a lot of research on what would go with my closet and style the best. Plus research on the durability and quality of the handbag. And I never take the plunge unless I’m a 100% sure. So this sometimes means waiting a bit to purchase a purse. And so far this has worked for me, I love my collection and I don’t regret any purchases. :)

  • diyanifa

    i would choose a $2000 bag for my everyday use once a year, also $500 bag also once a year to add my variety style of bag.

  • Kandra James

    All of the above.

  • Rhonda

    I would buy four bags if I could get LV, Chanel, Dior, and Hermes at $500.00 a piece. However, since that will never happen I would opt to buy one bag at $2,000. Also, when I purchase I always think about the resale of a bag as well.

  • Charlotte

    $2000 on a good quality classic bag since I carry mine for years.

  • Redhead

    I am at present deciding if my first Chanel bag ever should be a Jumbo flap in calfskin in basic black. I am a lazy lady who does not like changing bags over as I always leave something I need!! Behind. I would rather have one $2000 bag than 5 others. Up until recently have had major love affair with Louis Vuitton, but just one Chanel is on my bucket list????