stephmodo: Getting a Good Deal on a Quality Handbag

Getting a Good Deal on a Quality Handbag

• 12 November 2009

Confession: I love a nice handbag. Why? Well, a nice handbag has the ability to dress up a Target t-shirt or even pajamas at times; although the latter usually represents a more challenging situation :) I also appreciate how it makes me feel a little more polished (this can be a real struggle with little kids as many of you may know). Long ago I gave up my dress slacks and heels, but I'll be darned if I'm going to give up my nice, leather handbag. It doesn't have to be a designer name, and the more understated the better, it just has to be real. I'm interested in quality that will last several years as I tend to keep pieces for a really long time.

I decided to try my hand at Ebay and it turns out, this is an excellent place to scour for secondhand leather (even designer) bags. I found a bag that I loved and after a little trip to the cobbler for a conditioning, it looks pretty darn good! If you decide to take the same path, I'd recommend going for a black handbag. Cobblers have a much easier time gussying up these bags given the lack of color-matching they have to do. If you bought a bag in say brown, it might be tricky for a cobbler to cover up the scuffs if they don't have an exact match of polish.

Here are a few "pre-owned" pretties on Ebay right now. You won't want to miss these auctions:

Marc by Marc Jacobs

Miu Miu


Cole Haan

Marc Jacobs

Vintage Aurielle

Yves Saint-Laurent

Since you never know what is going to pop up on Ebay, I'd recommend checking often, or recording a saved search. Once something pops up on Ebay that meets your criterion, they send you an email. It's pretty slick and if you are looking for something specific, like I was, it's a real time saver.


  1. Fabulous bags! I also have to say that I was seriously in love with your boots you were wearing during your family photoshoot--where were those from? Love your style as always.

  2. Those boots were the one thing I bought for myself this summer in Paris. I took advantage of the semi-annual sale in July and got to Comptoir des Cotonniers just after the second markdown. Talk about luck!

  3. Love that black bag! Off to check out Ebay! You're such an enabler ;)

  4. Great bag and great idea, but I'd like to put in a word or two for vintage brown leather. As someone who has done vintage leather for years, what I've found is that brown leather distresses in a much more aesthetically pleasing way than black leather.

    If you don't want it distressed, your black leather is a good idea, but the history and warmth of a beautiful brown leather that has seen the test of time can be amazing. You can go with the aging instead of fighting it, and everyone will be envious of your one of a kind vintage leather.

  5. Good post! I am in the market for a well-made handbag and ebay is a great idea!

  6. May I ask what a typical cobbler's fee range would be? It sounds like a great idea.

  7. For an all-over conditioning my cobbler charged $20. Typically for shoe repair he charges 6-14 dollars, usually in the 6 to 7 dollar range. Hopefully that gives you an idea of what to expect from your local cobbler!

  8. Thanks! I hope they're as reasonable here in PA! I'm going to begin my ebay search now. :)

  9. I have found fabulous handbags on ebay and also craigslist too! Good idea


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