The case of the $3000 purse!

scarlett2001July 19, 2008

No, I'm not kidding! My sister works for the city attorney's office and she just bought a knockoff of some really ugly designer purse. I was kidding her about it because mine came from a street fair eight years ago. (It's cute, kind of a hippie embroidered thing. I get a lot of compliments on it.)

Anyway, she says the ladies in her office actually compete with each other with their fancy designer purses and they pay $3000 OR MORE. Now I have heard about this on Sex and the City but I thought it was some goofy story made up for TV. Apparently some women really do this! And they're UGLY, too. I mean the purses, not the women.

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It's beyond me... For those of us who tend to watch our pennies, let alone our dollars, $3000 for a purse has little to no relevance. I'm sure I could not even FIND a $3000 purse in this town. An old saying comes to mind...more money than brains.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 7:15AM
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OMG, if a Hollywood star has a $3000 purse then I really avoid it even if it went on sale for $3.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 4:08PM
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Now, now.... you have to accessorize properly. How can you deprive yourself of that $3k purse to match those $12k shoes???

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 7:51PM
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Remember when Martha showed up in Court sporting a Hermes-Birken bag? :) She took a lot of flack from the press looking for a story.

Found an old article on the bag...says you can sometimes find them on ebay for a mere $10,999 (about half-price).

When I received a promotion at work I received a Coach bag as a the $500 range 15 or so years ago & I 'thought' that was a big deal. It's a beautiful bag & will last my lifetime and several more. My nearest Nordstroms (Providence) routinely carries purses in the $1,000-$3,500 range. Back in February, I was rummaging around while DH was being fitted for a new business suit & didn't see much of anything, other than wallets, for under $685. Didn't buy anything but had fun browsing. There were others, however, who were actively scooping up several of these rather pricey, IMO, spring bags. I can remember when a $3,000 purse was behind a locked display cabinet in Macy's. Not anymore. Today, it's got to be in the $5K+ range before it's locked up & not just out on the shelves. Inflation?? lol

Price is relative. For some people, a $10,000 handbag is a frugal purchase. I, however, am not one of them. :) But, Meg Whitman, CEO of eBay comes to mind.


Here is a link that might be useful: Nordstrom Handbags

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 12:01PM
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Scarlet--she probably shops in Costa Mesa Mall. They have designer stores there that sell designer everything. The sales are okay, but I never seem to find anything that fits me. Or maybe for that kind of money I expect to look fabulous and thats a tough order.
You can get knock offs of designer bags in the LA wholesale district and they are prosecuted for trademark infringement often so you never know if that bag your sisters buddies claim cost thousands really did. I saw D & G purses in China with the tags on for $30. so I know they are making them.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 9:04PM
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It is crazy what these companies charge for purses. It is even crazier that people are willing to pay for it. When i was in my mis 20's i had a great job with a great paycheck. So i went out and bought a Coach purse. It was around $200. That was expensive 15 years ago. The frugal girl in me could not make sense of that purchase. Which is odd because i really loved purses back then. I returned it a few days later.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 5:47PM
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My family would drop dead from shock if ever I appeared with such a creation ...

... unless I'd found it along the roadside.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 11:51PM
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I was reminded of this thread while reading this Yahoo article "10 THings Millionaires Won't Tell You." In it, they mention that you can rent fancy purses. (See #8 in link.) I'm not much into purses or conspicuous consumption. But if I worked in an office where high dollar purses were the norm, I probably be tempted to spend the $175 dollar monthly fee for a couple of months just to have the latest and greatest in a couple of different styles. It doesn't matter after that because by then everyone has seen what you have and you have to move onto the next new thing.

Here is a link that might be useful: 10 THings Millionaires Won't Tell You

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 9:09PM
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I have to speak up in defense of good bags, not the $10,000 kind, which I agree can be awful looking (who wants something that looks like a small, dull tan colored doctor's bag with a boring grid pattern all over it (think Gucci)? However, 30 yrs ago when we could afford the occasional luxury (that's changed radically!) I got what to me was the ultimate bag of all - not because it was 'designer', but it was Italian, beautiful leather, a couple of neat zip compartments, hobo (or saddlebag) style, and it held everything in the world! Well, while I got a couple of other bags along the way over the years, I've been using this one all along and it has only gotten better, the leather becoming darker, the strap reinforced now, pockets replaced inside, but regardless of what's in style now, I love it, it's part of me, and I know it will definitely outlive me! Sometimes a one time blow-out is worth it... you can buy love :-)!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 6:02AM
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When I got married 21 years ago, I was DYING for a Liz Claiborne purse. They cost $60 and to me it was an enormous amount of money (actually that still is!). My Mother In Law bought me the purse our first married Christmas.

And know what - I hated it! It didn't hold anything and was really impracticle! I only used it a few months and went back to my $5 Kmart special!

I got my current purse FREE at a garage sale and love it - lots of pockets and very organized!

There is a current Progressive Insurance commercial running where they show their rate against 3 other companies and they are like $350 cheaper. The girl in the commercial says, "Hey, that's a new pair of shoes!" I think it's so funny - my entire wordrobe including shoes didn't total $350!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 10:34PM
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About two years ago, I needed a pair of dressy heeled shoes for some affair or other. I don't remember, maybe it was a wedding. I looked and looked, it took trips to about six stores. I finally found a air for $60, and they were the most expensive shoes I have EVER bought! I once spent about $200 on a leather purse in a pricey dept store (rhymes with Stacy's) but it's lasted me about ten years, so I figure $20 a year for a purse isn't bad.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 5:02PM
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Years ago I nervously bought a very expensive (for me at least) pair of high heels with the intention of looking a them and rethinking the purchase for a week. Well I made the decision that I could live without them. I decided to return them. I went to the living room coffee table when I had placed them in full view. Our chow puppy had chewed both heels like a bone!!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 6:59PM
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To each their own but personally I have a hard time spending anything on a purse, but last one did cost about $25. It was on sale and I used birthday gift money.

I know some gals who are into the expensive purses. That is fine. But when you are competing and possibly buying something you really cannot afford because you are trying to keep up or trying to impress, it can be dangerous. One gal I know needed some black shoes for a cocktail party. She searched every store and found nothing. She drove over 120 miles each way to go to the city and finally found some shoes. They were $200 ish but she did get them on sale for around $60. Add in the gas used last year in her SUV... Ask anyone about how she looked at the party, think dark nightclub scene, and I guarantee not one person remembers her shoes. Except maybe the gals she competes against with purses, they would only remember because she probably pointed them out to them all night long. But honestly, they probably only remember being shown the shoes, not what they actually looked like.

I started to get caught up in thinking she probably thought I wasn't cool and hip. Luckily my brain kicked in and took me to Walmart where I found a darling pair of strappy, sexy heels..... for $7 on clearance! Wear them all of the time and feel like a million! And if the dog chews them up I will be really bummed because I spent a whole $7 on them. LOL

I do think that the quality bag for $200 did end up being a wise purchase over the lifetime of the bag. Unfortunatly, some gals are not sticking to one. Smart gals do trade or resell to buy new ones. If you really need to have this kind of a purse this is the way to go.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 12:28AM
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I'm not a gal and I don't carry a purse ... but I thought I'd add that I just happened to check the historical totals in my MS Money last night, and over the last 11 years I've spent a total of $3,800 on clothing. In ELEVEN years.

ONE purse for $3,000 is beyond outrageous!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 2:27AM
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The most I've ever spent on a purse was $32 in Macy's (after the coupon and sale)

Yesterday I shopped half the day with my wallet, cell, beeper and pen in a green cloth shopping bag from Shop Rite. Matched my canvas Keds and garage sale Levi's.

What a fashion maven I am.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 5:39AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Everybody spends their discretionary money differently so I don't think it's an issue to spend that much on a purse if you would rather do that than say take a vacation or buy a small boat. Or do all that if you can afford it.
Certain environments do require a specific look and a cheap vinyl purse won't move you up any ladders if that is your goal. It's called dressing for success and basically not being clueless.
I have a friend who loves to travel. She has been all over the world. She could also qualify most days as a candidate for What Not to Wear. I, however, have been comparatively few places but dress nice - and spend the money to do so. Neither of us have any complaints.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 10:21AM
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Interesting thread.

I remember 20 years ago how much I coveted a Coach bag. There was nothing more i wanted in the world, but the price just seemed insurmountable.

I got one from my then-boyfriend for Christmas, and I loved it.

I still have that coach bag, and several more. I was always hard on purses, and in my job where I have to carry a lot of heavy junk, coach bags lasted when other bags went kablooey.

Granted, now I shop in coach outlet stores and get the bags discounted, and I don't buy them very often.

But this is one of those cases where for someone like me, who used to go through cheaper purses like a knife through butter, a more expensive, well-made bag made sense.

Sometimes spending more is the most economical solution (but the title of this thread IS the $3,000 purse, so in light of that, maybe I am a penny pincher!)

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 4:24AM
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I use the same bag just about forever so to pay $200.00 for the perfect Coach bag is well worth it. Boils down to value. Even if I was married to Bill Gates, I would not feel right spending the equivalent of some people's yearly salary to make a fashion statement.

It is to each his/her own, but I would feel guilty about spending money, IMHO, so foolishly. Then again, Hollywood types are so self-centered, it comes naturally to them. They may get $10 mil for a movie but the rest of us have to work our entire lives for a fraction of that.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 9:15AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I consider bass boats, deer hunting, golf, not clipping coupons or shopping loss leaders, wasting food and premium bed sheets foolish. 3,000 for a purse is steep, but if you've got that to spend on a bag, who's to say what is or isn't foolish?

    Bookmark   October 22, 2008 at 1:25PM
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Marge is right about the knock-offs; I bought a knock-off of Prada's "Fairy bag" at the Berkeley flea market a couple of weeks ago for 30 dollars. It looks great, and I'm getting a lot of compliments on it. I can tell that some of the people doing the complimenting are dying to ask, "Is that really a Prada?" -LOL

Here is a link that might be useful: Prada's Fairy bag (the real thing) -only $3,000.00!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 3:03PM
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About 12 yrs ago when DIL was new to us she fell in love w. a Coach bag. It was $99. at the BX, which I thought was outrageous. But it would last her forever & she would never need another purse, etc, and she loved it. We loved (still do) her so we bought it for her for Christmas. Now she has about 20 "cute little purses" that I don't even want to know how much they cost (not 3K, I'm sure) but DS is a surgeon, we didn't pay a penny for his education & they are buying a home with room for me when I need it. Not a bad investment I guess.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 10:10PM
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Could you put yourself into God's (shoes?) ... O.K., "mindset" ... for a moment, would you, please?

Some of your grown kids are watching their kids starve because they've been driven out of their homes by armed brands of brigands (or, sometimes, foreign armies) ...

... while bands of pirates off the coast are high-jacking the ships bringing relief supplies, demanding ransom.

... and other kids walk for a couple of hours daily in order to sleep in the city, for their parents fear that the armed brigands will come during the night to grab the kids to force them into an army ... sometimes being ordered to shoot their own parents, etc.

Or others of your kids are being raised by grandmas, (or, 10 or 12 years old or so, are forced to look after their smaller brothers and sisters themselves) because their parents died of AIDS.

While some others of your grown kids are spending $3,000. for a handbag, to use to carry around small items that are needed while travelling.

Don't you think you might cry a few tears (if God cries)?

ole joyful

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 4:40AM
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If you make tons of money, buying a $3,000 purse is no different than buying a $1M house. It's all relative. And that money you spend goes into other people's pockets, not set on fire.

Let's not lose all sense of perspective here. There are not that many people buying $3,000 purses that somehow more orphaned AIDS victims are put on the street because of it. Fewer expensive purses won't solve the world's problems.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 12:45PM
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I am all for looking your best yet have a problem with people who only see you or judge you by "how much you (may have) paid for a purse,etc.

People need to "wake-up" to the fact are much more than your purse,shoes or clothes. Who you are on the "inside" is much more important. Those that focus on the "outside" look are usually lacking in self worth and need "things" to make them feel worthy or better than others. Competition in this manner is totally "ego" based and I feel prevents one from connecting with what is really important. "Just who is this person behind her/his outer appearance?"

I admit that ones appearance does make an impression at first. I ask this many of you have met someone that was dressed to "nines" only to find out that there wasn't much on the inside?

BTW, when I was married I could afford to buy whatever I wanted yet always looked for bargains. Since my DIV over 20 years ago, I now only shop discount stores and clearance sales. I manage to dress well enough and don't envy those that can afford more or better. I live without any credit cards or worries about keeping up with the "Jones'"

I feel that most on this form already know that the outside crap is not important. Maybe this will help someone new.


    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 2:38AM
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I think everyone knows how much they can spend on what. If they have the money, why not spend 3000 on bag. I don't care and I am not yealous person and I don't judge others on what they have or how much they spend. I have better things to do.
If I could afford 3000 dollar bag, I'll buy it too.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 1:57AM
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I hope if I could ever afford 3000 for a bag I'd find something better to spend that money on! A few hundred for a well made bag that will last years, sure, but not for "fashion". I am much more into value, regardless of the relativeness of income/expense. I LOVE when someone compliments me on an outfit I put together from Goodwill finds =D

Funny thing about that Prada fairy bag - my Mom sent me an email that she could get me this great Prada knockoff for me. I thought, are you serious? No way. Call me a reverse snob if you like. But she convinced me to look at it, and I did like the fairy picture so I said go ahead. Now I carry it daily because it perfectly fits the back support I need to take with me everywhere! But it IS a knockoff and probably won't last into next year.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 8:35PM
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Would you beg a Chinese guy for $5.00 to buy a meal?

That's what the Western world is doing, especially the U.S.

Not making enough to pay the bills in the lifestyle to which we've become accustomed (including paying high prices for wars) ...

... we're running up huge debts.

And ... going deeper into debt every year.

Our million dollar houses, surrounded by 2 - 10 acres of lawn (which should be producing food), cost large amounts for servicing with utilities (water pipes, sewer pipes, gas pipes, electrical lines) ...

... and we've neglected renewing that infrastructure (some of the sewers in the town where I lived until recently were still of the old timber kind).

We suburbanites have to travel everywhere by car (and have convinced ourselves that it's too dangerous to let our modern kids travel their quiet suburban neighbourhood by bike) ... using up the rapidly-depleting petroleum (that took millions of years to develop, but which we've been using for just slightly over 100 years).

They say that for the whole world to consume at the rate that we have been for the last less-than-100-years would require the resources of four planets.

Four planets that we don't have available.

Is it fair for us, who have three cars per driveway, to tell the Chinese, who have about one car per one hundred driveways ("driveway" -what's that?) ... that they have to cut back on pollution-generating systems, when we produce far more per capita than they?

Also, when they use electricity to sew a purse in China (whether it sells for $3.00 or $3,000.00) and use fuel to provide (often slight) heat to the factory, then use quite a lot of petroleum to haul it across the Pacific to sell in the Western world ...

... who should have the charge for the pollution and global warming relative to that transaction charged to their account ...

... the producer?

.. or the consumer?

When we use huge machines to dig up the Tar Sands in Alberta, and steam to warm it so that the bitumen will flow, then process it some, and ship it over the border to the U.S. ...

... whose pollution and global warming account should be charged ...

... the Canadian, who produced it?

Or the U.S. one, whose people consumed it?

A farmer can tell you that you can get away with abusing the land for a while, in the mistaken illusion that you're in charge and can do as you please.

Shortly, Mother Nature will rise up and kick you a good swift one in the backside.

We've been abusing our world for some time.

The piper will have to be paid - and it looks as though the day of reckoning is approaching.

Our highly-paid jobs are disappearing.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 9:36PM
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I don't see much joyful about you, Joyful. You'd depress a hyiena!

Do you get off doing that? Or is it just all the cliches strung together that gives your leg a tingle?

I don't get people like you at all.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 2:12AM
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I just bought a used Dooney & Bourke leather purse (used, I am going to use it too) on ebay for $10.00 plus 7.95 shipping. It's very similar to one I bought new for $230 in 2001. Quite a deal!


    Bookmark   November 4, 2008 at 2:48PM
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