What qualifies as “expensive” or “inexpensive” is different for everyone. How much money is too much money to pay for something you want depends on a lot of things, and when it comes to handbags, every person’s perception of a fair price for a particular piece is going to vary widely. What we want to know is where you draw the line.

I have no idea what an objectively “reasonable” price for a handbag might be. I’ve worked in the fashion industry for too long and loved handbags for too long, which has warped my understanding of money and fashion. I balk at paying a hundred bucks for a new rug from Target, but paying many times that for a bag seems like no big deal, which is something I ineffectually struggle to reconcile all the time. That battle was probably lost long ago, though; as Popeye would say, I yam what I yam.

Still, I have a finite number of dollars, just like virtually everyone else. I can understand why someone might pay $30,000 for a gorgeous crocodile bag, and I can thought-experiment my way into imagining that scenario, but that’s far outside the realm of possibility for me. Personally, the most I can imagine spending on a bag is around $1,900–something about the one in front is comforting. An extra hundred bucks wouldn’t make a big difference monetarily, at that point, but it’s a world of psychological difference.

Obviously, I value having a good handbag more than most people on Earth, and I’m lucky that a handbag of that price level is an option for me, even as a rare and saved-for treat. We all have our financial and mental limits, though, and I suspect (or, maybe, hope) mine won’t be budging any time soon.

With brands doing price increases left and right, where and why we tap out has been a hot topic in the PurseBlog offices over the past few months. Most shoppers have an ideal upper limit in their heads–what’s yours, and could you see yourself breaking it for a bag you really love?

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missarewa
7 years ago

I’d say around the 6000 mark. I don’t do a lot of buying, and what I buy I take care of and use. I really exchanged quantity for a few classic, durable and useful pieces that I see myself using the heck out of. I told myself I won’t let myself have more than 10 bags (Excluding clutches) because at that point I won’t be getting enough use out of each one. I won’t go above 6000 unless something changes drastically in my life. Good question Amanda!

Michelle
Michelle
7 years ago

The most I’ve ever spent on a bag is $1500 and that was a one time only thing (it was my, hey I just survived my divorce I deserve a really nice treat type of thing). Most of the time I try to stay under $500. Also, I’m really good and keep a very straight face when my mother says she can’t understand paying more than $100 for a purse.

T Tara Bagnista
T Tara Bagnista
7 years ago
Reply to  Michelle

One day my former boss bragged about getting a bag for $8 at Kohl’s (after several coupons). I just kept silent.

nicole s
nicole s
7 years ago

I have family members who carry bags that are under 20 bucks. They are frayed, plastic, dirty and disgusting. They all love Kohls too LOL! Look I’m all for a bargain, but that’s going too far. I love handbags and just recently picked up a large guccissima sukey in chocoalte brown-love her. Most of the women in my family think I’m a wackjob for spending money on purses. I can’t stand “bagshamers”.

Stina Sias
Stina Sias
7 years ago
Reply to  nicole s

My family is made up of “Kohl’s shoppers” too, consequently I’m embarrassed to admit what I would *really* spend but suffice it to say I don’t get my bags by coupon stacking.

T Tara Bagnista
T Tara Bagnista
7 years ago

Historically, my threshold had been about $2K, reflecting the price I had paid for a Gucci Soho bag a couple years ago for my birthday. That was not an everyday occurrence, though. Recently, I splurged on a Chanel GST and Bottega Veneta Cabat; however, that was due to a better than expected bonus this year (after allocating funds to necessities). In the future, I will likely stay in the range of $1,500 to $2,000, trying to get items on sale whenever possible.

Guest123
Guest123
7 years ago

I’m in a similar spending range as you (roughly $1600 to $2100) — although I’ve gone over for Louis Vuitton and Bottega Veneta. Most recently, I’ve bought the Chloé Faye and Jimmy Choo Ally — I like shoulder bags with a good zipped interior pocket. I agree with you strongly about spending only what I can pay in cash (preferably) or within a month. I’m also very careful about where the bag is made. I’m not paying over $500 for a bag made in China (and I’m not interested in a crocodile bag, croc embossed regular leather is fine for me).

Sophie Proust
Sophie Proust
7 years ago
Reply to  Guest123

I’m also in a similar spending range, though I can’t quite imagine going over $2K – as Amanda said, the one in front is comforting. And sorry, slightly off-topic, but what do you think of the Chloé Faye? I’ve been thinking about buying the smaller size. Thanks!

Sofia
Sofia
7 years ago

No more than $3000.

pinksky777
pinksky777
7 years ago

I suppose I would have to say 2500$, only because that’s the most I’ve ever spent on a bag so far,and I’m 25 years old…. My friends/family think I am a lunatic, but like you, Amanda, I for some reason can very easily justify paying a lot for a handbag, but that rug you spoke of…. I’ll find a hundred reasons why it’s too damn much lol. It all comes down to what you absolutely love, and feel as if you cannot live without!

followme on insta SHANNA_BRUCH
followme on insta SHANNA_BRUCH
7 years ago

my most expensive bag is 4000€ which is about 4400$ so i guess that’s my limit for now. maybe one day, when I get a nice job, i’ll spend more. but I also have another rule: max 1 bag per year.

FashionableLena
FashionableLena
7 years ago

The most that I’ve spent on a bag is $500. I do own luxury babs, but I’m really good at haggling and finding bargains on the second hand market. However, once my job situation is more stable, I will start saving for an Hermes Lindy because that is my holy grail bag.

hheh
hheh
7 years ago

The most I will spend on a bag, at this point in my life, is $500. I want to spend more on a handbag, but I really can’t bring myself to do it. Every time I go to do it, I feel sick to my stomach. Maybe in a couple years when I turn 30, and I’m making a little bit more at my job I’ll be able to stomach it.

O.A
O.A
7 years ago

i think my psychological limit is 5000 as i need to add a chanel and dior to my collection but def no more than that. Once i get those 2, i will likely limit to 2000 since I have a long wishlist

Yazi
Yazi
7 years ago

So far around $1000 or if it must reach a limit then $1500. Of course brands raise their prices all the time so our thresholds will likely increase with each year but it makes me physically sick to spend too much on a bag when I know it’s ultimately a luxury item and there are more worthwhile goals in life..

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