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How To Buy A Quality Handbag For Less


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Charlotta Squire



When it comes to travel essentials, a quality handbag is a must-have item. Not only does it help keep your belongings organized and easily accessible, but it also adds a touch of style to your overall travel ensemble. However, finding a quality handbag at an affordable price can be a challenge. Many designer brands come with hefty price tags, making them out of reach for budget-conscious travelers.


But fear not! There are ways to buy a quality handbag for less without compromising on style or functionality. In this article, we will explore various strategies and tips to help you score the perfect handbag at a discounted price. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a long-term travel adventure, these tips will help you find a reliable companion that doesn’t break the bank.


From researching brands and styles to exploring different shopping avenues, we will cover it all. You’ll discover how to navigate outlet stores, sample sales, consignment and second-hand stores, and even online platforms to find the best deals on designer handbags. So get ready to upgrade your travel essentials game while saving some money in the process!


Qualities to Look for in a Handbag

Before diving into the world of discounted handbag shopping, it’s essential to understand the qualities to look for in a reliable and durable bag. By focusing on these aspects, you’ll ensure that your purchase not only meets your style preferences but also serves its practical purpose during your travels. Here are some key qualities to consider:

  1. Durability: Choose a handbag made from high-quality materials such as leather or sturdy fabrics. Check the stitching and seams to ensure they are solid and reinforced, indicating long-lasting durability.
  2. Functionality: Consider your travel needs and the specific items you plan to carry in your handbag. Look for compartments, pockets, and organizers to ensure easy access and efficient organization of your belongings.
  3. Size: Opt for a handbag that is spacious enough to accommodate your essentials but not too large to become overwhelming or cumbersome during your travels. Consider both the interior and exterior dimensions, as well as the weight of the bag itself.
  4. Comfort: Look for a handbag with comfortable handles or straps that won’t strain your shoulders or hands, especially if you’ll be carrying it for extended periods.
  5. Style: While functionality is important, don’t forget about personal style. Choose a handbag that reflects your taste and complements your travel outfits.

By keeping these qualities in mind, you’ll be able to find a handbag that not only meets your practical needs but also aligns with your personal style preferences. With this foundation, you can now explore various avenues to find quality handbags at discounted prices. Let’s delve into the exciting world of handbag shopping!


Researching Brands and Styles

Before embarking on your quest for the perfect discounted handbag, it’s important to spend some time researching different brands and styles. This will help you narrow down your options and determine which designers and bag styles align with your preferences. Here are a few strategies to consider:


1. Browse fashion magazines and websites: Fashion magazines and websites are great sources of inspiration and information. Look for articles and features showcasing different handbag brands and styles. Pay attention to popular designers, emerging brands, and timeless classics.


2. Follow fashion bloggers and influencers: Fashion bloggers and influencers often share their favorite handbags and provide honest reviews. By following them on social media and reading their blog posts, you can gain valuable insights into different brands and styles that may be worth considering.


3. Visit department stores and designer boutiques: Take some time to visit department stores and designer boutiques to see the handbags in person. This will give you a chance to feel the materials, examine the craftsmanship, and try out different styles to determine what suits you best.


4. Read customer reviews: Online platforms offer a wealth of customer reviews and ratings for various handbags. Take advantage of this information to learn about the pros and cons of specific brands and styles. Pay attention to durability, functionality, and overall customer satisfaction.


5. Consider resale value: Some brands, like Louis Vuitton and Chanel, are known for their high resale value. If you’re interested in investing in a designer handbag that can retain its value over time, researching brands with good resale potential can be beneficial.


By conducting thorough research on brands and styles, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions during your handbag shopping adventure. With an understanding of what you’re looking for, you can explore various avenues to find the best deals on quality handbags. Let’s explore some of these shopping strategies next!


Outlet Shopping and Sample Sales

If you’re looking to score a quality handbag at a discounted price, outlet shopping and sample sales are two avenues worth exploring. These options often offer significant savings on designer brands. Here’s what you need to know:


Outlet Shopping: Outlet stores are retail locations where brands sell their products directly to consumers, often at lower prices than traditional retail stores. These stores offer a range of products, including handbags, that may be from previous seasons or have slight imperfections. Outlet shopping can be a treasure trove for finding high-quality handbags at discounted rates. Visit outlet malls or check online for brand-specific outlet stores near you.


Sample Sales: Sample sales are events where brands sell off their sample pieces, prototypes, and excess inventory at heavily discounted prices. These sales usually occur during specific times of the year and are often announced via social media, newsletters, or brand websites. Sample sales offer a unique opportunity to snag designer handbags at significantly reduced prices. Keep an eye out for these events and be prepared to act quickly, as inventory can sell out fast.


When shopping at outlets or sample sales, keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Arrive early: The best deals often go quickly, so be sure to get there early to have a wider selection of handbags to choose from.
  2. Inspect the merchandise: Check the handbags thoroughly for any defects or damage before purchasing. Outlet stores may offer lower prices due to slight imperfections, but make sure it’s something you’re willing to overlook.
  3. Know the brand’s retail prices: Research the original retail prices of the handbags you’re interested in. This will help you determine the actual discount and whether it’s a good deal.
  4. Be prepared to make a quick decision: Outlet stores and sample sales can be busy and fast-paced. If you find a handbag you love at a great price, be ready to make a purchase decision on the spot.

Outlet shopping and sample sales can be exciting experiences, allowing you to find high-quality handbags at a fraction of their original prices. Just be sure to stay vigilant, do your research, and be prepared to act quickly when the right opportunity arises. Next, let’s explore another avenue for finding discounted designer handbags: consignment and second-hand stores.


Consignment and Second-hand Stores

If you’re open to purchasing pre-owned handbags, consignment and second-hand stores can be excellent options for finding quality designer bags at discounted prices. These stores specialize in selling gently used or vintage items, including handbags from luxurious brands. Here’s what you need to know about shopping at consignment and second-hand stores:


Quality Selection: Consignment and second-hand stores curate their inventory carefully, ensuring that the items they carry are in good condition and meet their quality standards. While the handbags may have been previously owned, many of them are well-maintained and can still provide great value.


Affordable Prices: Handbags sold at consignment and second-hand stores are typically priced significantly lower than their original retail value. You may even come across rare finds or limited-edition pieces that are no longer available in stores.


Authenticity: Reputable consignment and second-hand stores authenticate all the items they sell before putting them on display. This ensures that you’re purchasing a genuine designer handbag and not a counterfeit. However, it’s still a good idea to familiarize yourself with the brand’s authentic features and serial numbers, so you can personally verify the authenticity of the bag.


Flexible Negotiation: In consignment stores, there may be a possibility of negotiating the price with the seller. This gives you an opportunity to potentially secure an even better deal on the handbag you desire.


When shopping at consignment and second-hand stores, keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Do your research: Familiarize yourself with the brand’s designs, features, and prices before visiting the store. This will help you recognize authentic items and evaluate pricing.
  2. Inspect the handbag: Thoroughly examine the handbag for any signs of wear, damage, or missing parts. Check the zippers, hardware, and stitching to ensure they are in good condition.
  3. Ask for a certificate of authenticity: Some consignment stores may provide a certificate of authenticity for high-end designer handbags. This can provide you with peace of mind knowing that the item has been verified.
  4. Be patient and persistent: Consignment and second-hand stores may have a rotating inventory, so if you don’t find what you’re looking for on your first visit, keep checking back periodically.

Consignment and second-hand stores offer a sustainable and budget-friendly way to own a luxury handbag. By exploring these options, you may find hidden gems that suit your style and budget. Now, let’s explore the world of online shopping for discounted handbags.


Online Bargain Hunting

Online shopping has become a popular and convenient way to find discounted designer handbags. There are several avenues to explore when it comes to online bargain hunting. Here are some strategies and platforms to consider:


Flash Sale Websites: Flash sale websites offer limited-time sales on designer items, including handbags. These sales often feature popular brands at significant discounts. Some well-known flash sale websites include Gilt, Rue La La, and HauteLook. Keep an eye out for their handbag-specific sales events to snag great deals.


Online Marketplaces: Online marketplaces like eBay and Poshmark provide opportunities to buy pre-owned or new handbags directly from individual sellers. You can find a wide range of designer handbags at various price points. When purchasing from these platforms, be sure to read the seller’s reviews, carefully examine product photos, and communicate any concerns or questions before making a purchase.


Designer Websites: Many designer brands have their own official websites where they sell their handbags. Keep an eye out for seasonal sales, promotional events, or clearance sections on these websites. Signing up for newsletters or following the brands on social media can also provide insights into exclusive discounts and offers.


Social Media Groups and Forums: Joining online communities, social media groups, or forums dedicated to designer fashion and handbags can lead you to valuable insider information. Members often share tips, sales alerts, and even personal experiences with purchasing discounted handbags. Engaging with these communities can help you discover exclusive deals and connect with like-minded individuals.


Price Comparison Websites: Utilize price comparison websites to compare prices across different online retailers. This can ensure that you’re getting the best deal on the handbag you’re interested in. Some popular price comparison websites include Google Shopping, Shopzilla, and PriceGrabber.


When shopping for discounted handbags online, it’s important to practice safe online shopping habits:

  1. Research the seller: Before making a purchase, check the seller’s reputation and reviews to ensure they are trustworthy and reliable.
  2. Read product descriptions and condition information carefully: Pay attention to the details provided about the handbag’s condition, measurements, and any signs of wear.
  3. Verify authenticity: Familiarize yourself with the brand’s authentic features and serial numbers to ensure the handbag is genuine. Ask for additional photos or information if necessary.
  4. Check return policies: Review the seller’s return policy to ensure you have the option to return or exchange the handbag if it doesn’t meet your expectations.

By exploring online platforms and following these tips, you can uncover amazing deals on quality handbags from the comfort of your own home. Next, let’s discuss some additional tips for finding discounted designer handbags.


Tips for Finding Discounted Designer Handbags

Finding discounted designer handbags requires some insider knowledge and smart shopping strategies. To help you in your quest for the perfect deal, here are some additional tips to consider:

  1. Sign up for newsletters and loyalty programs: Many retailers and designer brands offer exclusive discounts and promotions to their newsletter subscribers and loyal customers. By signing up for these newsletters and loyalty programs, you’ll stay informed about upcoming sales and receive special offers.
  2. Shop during seasonal sales: Keep an eye out for seasonal sales, such as end-of-season or holiday sales, where you can find significant markdowns on designer handbags.
  3. Consider off-season purchases: Buying a handbag for a specific season during its off-season can often lead to discounted prices. For example, purchasing a winter handbag during summer or a summer handbag during winter can save you money.
  4. Explore online sample sales: Online sample sale websites like The Outnet and MyHabit offer exclusive discounts on luxury designer items, including handbags. These sales usually have limited quantities and time frames, so act fast.
  5. Check out local thrift stores and charity shops: Local thrift stores and charity shops can sometimes be treasure troves for finding unique handbags at bargain prices. These stores often have a rotating inventory, so visiting them regularly can increase your chances of finding a hidden gem.
  6. Consider lesser-known brands: While it’s exciting to own a handbag from a well-known designer brand, don’t overlook lesser-known brands. These brands often offer high-quality, stylish handbags at more affordable prices.
  7. Always compare prices: Before making a purchase, compare prices across multiple retailers or platforms to ensure you’re getting the best possible deal.
  8. Follow social media influencers and bloggers: Influencers and bloggers often collaborate with brands and may have exclusive discount codes or information about upcoming sales. By following them on social media, you’ll be in the know about any potential discounts.
  9. Consider renting a designer handbag: If you’re looking for a one-time use or want to test out a designer bag before committing to it, rental platforms like Rent the Runway and Bag Borrow or Steal offer the option to rent luxury handbags at a fraction of their retail price.

Remember, patience and persistence are key when searching for discounted designer handbags. It may take some time and effort, but the thrill of finding the perfect handbag at a great price makes it all worth it. Happy handbag hunting!



Investing in a quality handbag for travel doesn’t have to break the bank. By employing a combination of strategies, you can find discounted designer handbags that meet your style preferences and budgetary constraints. Whether you opt for outlet shopping, sample sales, consignment stores, online bargain hunting, or a combination of these methods, there are plenty of options available to help you score the perfect handbag at a fraction of its original price.


Remember to prioritize key qualities such as durability, functionality, size, comfort, and style when selecting a handbag. Through researching brands and styles, you’ll gain valuable insights into the market and make informed decisions based on your preferences. Outlet shopping and sample sales provide opportunities to purchase discounted designer handbags, while consignment and second-hand stores offer pre-owned options that are both sustainable and cost-effective.


Online shopping opens up a world of possibilities, with flash sale websites, online marketplaces, and official designer websites offering great deals. By practicing safe online shopping habits and utilizing price comparison tools, you can ensure that you’re getting the best prices on authentic designer handbags.


Lastly, keep in mind the various tips and tricks shared throughout this article. Sign up for newsletters, explore seasonal sales, consider off-season purchases, and don’t overlook lesser-known brands. By staying vigilant and persistent, you’ll increase your chances of finding the perfect discounted designer handbag that suits your travel needs and personal style.


So, gear up and start your quest for the ideal travel companion that combines fashion, functionality, and affordability. Happy handbag shopping!