No, A $1,000 Purse Is Still Not An Investment

Around this time last year, we posted an article about how luxury goods companies are marketing their products as “investments” during the recession, rather than indulgences. It’s an interesting way to position four-figure handbags, but a bad use of the word “investment.” The Los Angeles Times’ Your Stylist column recently brought out this meme, describing an expensive handbag as an investment and “your new best friend.” Should it be?

There’s nothing quite like the first grown-up bag that will hang from your arm making you feel polished, put-together and confident: Your new best friend that comes with the price tag of about $1,000.

How much does a purse have to cost to be considered “grown-up”?

I prefer to carry $1,000 worth of electronic gadgets around in a $30 shoulder bag, but this is probably why I’m a Consumerist editor and not a professional stylist.


Your Stylist: Investing in your first grown-up handbag [LA Times]

PREVIOUSLY:
Since When Is Dropping $1600 On A Purse An Investment?

Comments

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  1. Alvis says:

    Can’t beat a surplus canvas gas mask bag.

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Pftt, I make my own… oh.

  3. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    My current bag is a faux-leather laptop bag which, while not ideal, serves the purposes I use it for well enough.

    But if you really wanna drop some serious gold on luggage, nothing beats the ol’ “Bag of Holding”

  4. ramblinwreck says:

    I like to call things like a $1000 purse a tax on stupid people. It’s easy to identify stupid people in most cases because they drive around with stereos worth more than their car or with rims that spin.

  5. Dre' says:

    $50 – $100 because decent laptop bags aren’t cheap.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Ah crud. I read bag and thought purse. My answer is wrong.

      This also explains all the three figure votes.

    • Daemon Xar says:

      Timbuktus are the best. Expensive, though.

      • Newto-Rah says:

        Small Timbuk2 laptop messenger (for my netbook), best 60$ I ever spent (yay ebay, and not having to pay 30$ to ship to Canada). The thing is rock solid, and cleans surprisingly well for a fabric bag (it’s a “Grown” hemp bag)

      • cash_da_pibble says:

        I picked up a brand-spanking new Timbuk2 laptop bag at Goodwill, for $10.
        It’s the best bag I’ve ever owned.

      • Elginista says:

        Yes! I just bought a new Timbuk2 laptop backpack for $79 from Zappos. Far more than I’d pay for a purse, but worth it for a Timbuk2 I’ll use daily for years. (We were issued new laptops at work, and mine didn’t fit in my old Timbuk2 messenger bag.)

  6. xantheose says:

    Being a grown up is over-rated

  7. madanthony says:

    And to think i felt guilty about spending $160 on a Timbuck2 suitcase…

  8. Zarf says:

    I spent $76 on a Targus laptop bag. I looked on the Consumerist beforehand, since they have these awesome articles on Monster and so forth. Unfortunately, I didn’t see anything about laptop bags, or DIY bags at least, until it was too late.

    I like the design of the Targus bag (Especially because if I fail to properly close it, the laptop does not fall out of the bag and tumble to it’s demise), but it was *not* worth $76!

  9. Etoiles says:

    A $200, well-made, nice quality, leather bag is an investment in the sense that you won’t need a new one for ten years, whereas a $20 vinyl one from Target is likely to fall apart under heavy use. It’s kind of like the Sam Vimes “Boots” Theory.

    That said, $200 for quality and $1500 for a brand name are two totally different things, in my book.

    • barb95 says:

      I agree. I have 3 purses I bought for about $250 each and they have lasted me way longer than the average $40 bag. I also buy bags I can wear with every outfit to get the most out of them.

      • Bohemian says:

        I found the typical $40 handbag lasts 6 months to a year before showing deterioration or outright breaking. Meanwhile my unlined vintage Coach bag is a couple of years old (that I have had it) and doesn’t show any wear. I bought it wanting something that wouldn’t fall apart and was basic enough to not look out of style in a year. Best eBay purchase ever.

    • trentblase says:

      It can definitely be an investment. An investment is generally thought of as an outlay of capital for a return. This return can be in the form of income or cost reduction (e.g. lower maintenance). Also, just because something is a BAD investment doesn’t mean it’s not an investment.

      Now, if you’re in the fashion industry, you may very well need to buy an expensive bag to look the part, make connections, and ultimately get a higher paying job. That would fit my definition of investment.

      Similarly, if you are paying more for quality, you might end up saving money over repeatedly purchasing lower quality goods. I find that there is usually a continuum running from: dirt cheap (poor quality but good ROI) to mid-range (ok quality, bad ROI) to high-end (high quality good ROI) to extreme luxury (high quality bad ROI)

    • Bohemian says:

      Exactly. Spending a few hundred on a well made leather bag that has a basic timeless style is a wise use of money. The bag should last a long time and will be less likely to go out of style. Spending $1000 on some bright colored super trendy bag covered with bling is not an investment. It will be blaringly out of style in a few years and you could get a bag of equal quality for a few hundred or less.

      There is a saturation point where the quality of the leather & workmanship can not get any better, beyond that your just paying for the name.

      • Baxterjones says:

        Yes, 100% agree. I splashed out for the first time ever last year on a bag from Hobo International (the Bonnie). It was the first time I’ve ever spent more than $40 on a purse, and I’m so happy I did. Looks good, goes with everything, holds everything! One year in, and I’m just now going to take it to the shoe hospital for a cleaning.

        I call it my ‘mom’ bag, because it reminds me of every brown leather purse my mom had in the 70s and 80s. If I treat it right, it will last a good twenty years and probably more.

    • Scribblenerd says:

      I can replace that $200 bag 8 times with $25 bags that look good.

      • Etoiles says:

        And if you’re really into fashion or whatever, that’s probably what you should do.

        But if you’re like me, and you want one really, really solid, classic black bag that will go with everything, survive the Metro, survive the summer and winter, stay sewn properly, not fray, etc. etc. etc., a higher-quality bag is going to last longer and suit better than a lower-quality one. I’m not averse to getting the higher-quality bag for cheap (I’ve got a Macy’s gift card left over from the wedding, and have been scoping sales, and am hoping to get a $180 bag for about $30 out-of-pocket later this week, as a reward to myself for a promotion). In fact, I’m all for it. But not counting the ultra-luxury stuff, generally with clothes, shoes, etc. you get what you pay for. A $15 vinyl item from Payless or Wal-Mart is not going to be as good quality as a higher-end (not highest-end) item.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        But you’re still spending $200, so why the hell should you care whether someone wants eight different handbags or just one?

    • JuliB says:

      I think something missing is resale value. I’ve bought both new and used Coach bags (used via ebay). They aren’t cheap – the person got a lot of use out of it, got a lot of money back, and I have a ‘new’ purse to have for a couple of years.

      I’ve sold one, but it was on its last legs, and I got $10 for it. It still made me happy to see it going to good use!

    • Sorta Kinda Lucky Soul says:

      +100 for Pratchett reference

  10. DPGumby says:

    Should it be? Depends on whether it comes with a kitty.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      And that’s the only question that really matters, isn’t it? If it comes with a kitteh, it has to be worth something. Unless the kitteh is part of the upsell.

  11. Xyjar says:

    Everyone knows cars and high-end electronics are the best investments.

  12. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Definitely not an investment…but then again, I’m using a $20 wallet from Target in my designer handbag, and I don’t really care if people know that. It doesn’t bother me that I could be carrying a $1,000 purse with a cheap wallet and shoes I got from TJ Maxx.

    I suspect that it’s only an “investment” to people who buy expensive things to appear wealthy rather than to enjoy them.

    • jesusofcool says:

      Speaking of, TJ Maxx and Marshalls have a pretty fab bag section. I’ve gotten every single one of my purses/bags from there.

      • Al Tuna says:

        Amen. I have a classic Michael Kors leather tote that had an MSRP of $469. I paid around $50. You have to troll the waters quite a bit, but you can find some amazing bags there.

  13. Julia789 says:

    My sister buys bags like this several times a year. She keeps them a few months until the new styles comes out. She sends me some of them when she’s finished with them, for a birthday or Christmas and whatnot. I have kept a couple, the $1200 Gucci makes a great tote bag and fits my laptop. Good stitching and strong handles. The rest of them I give to the local animal shelter, and they sell them on ebay or at tag sales to pay for veterinary bills.

    I have one purse, which I bought myself four years ago; a leather Kate Spade on sale for $150. I love it and keep the leather clean and moisturized, it will last me a few more years. The size was just what I was looking for and I loved the handles. I like to buy a purse that is not trendy, more classic style, and keep it a long time.

  14. bigTrue says:

    I picked 50-100 because I bought a really nice duffel bag once that I still own. It’s big enough I fit everything I needed for my second trip to Buring Man in it.

    Designer stuff is stupid. Paying more to wear a logo is stupid. Billboards cost money. I should be paid to wear some comapany’s logo. There are a few things I spend money on, but it’s for quality and durability, not for some LV logo on a purse. At least a 500 dollar Arcteryx backpack is going to last me for the next 10 years and can fit a buttload in it.

    My mom never bought me Martin Francis Gerbough jeans in grade school. It’s lasted until now. Screw that designer crap thats marked up just so some housewives can be catty about who has the current season’s purse or som hip hop fools can talk about their brand new ‘kicks’ that don’t come out till next year. Riiight.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Who says you can’t have quality and designer branding? Sometimes it’s about image, I agree, but Louis Vuitton leather products are very good quality. Their bags, if taken care of, last decades.

      • bigTrue says:

        Except, at least around here (Oakland County, MI) the people who buy and carry LV bags don’t use them for years. If it’s more then a season old, it’s crap in the eyes of the Birmingham/Bloomfield Hills set.

        Thats my problem. If you buy a 500-1000 dollar purse and actually carry it for 10 years, thats no different then me with the 500+ backpack. The people I know who buy the designer clothing/purses/etc (you know, the shop at Macy’s and Needless Markups crowd) don’t do such things.

        Not so much the last couple years, but a few of the higher end communities in the area have one trash pick-up a year when “large” items such as furniture can be put on the curb. I know people who’ve picked up perfect condition, custom made couches and such because those spendy types needed to change the paint color and god forbid they have a couch that doesn’t match perfectly! The whole ‘keeping up with the jones’” mentality is one of the reasons the economy tanked.

        • pot_roast says:

          That’s true. Girls like to say “It’s quality, it’ll last for years” but then when it goes out of style, back to the closet it goes, and a shoppin’ they go.

      • Al Tuna says:

        They may be quality, but that logo print is still fug. I refuse to buy anything plastered with a company’s logo. It’s the definition of conspicuous consumerism, and I want to be paid– not pay for the right– to be a walking advertisement.

  15. Dutchess says:

    I agree on some level. If I buy a cheap item, I use it for a while and dispose of it.

    If I buy a luxury or brand name item and go to sell it later, I can often recoup most of the cost of the item.

    Case in point, bought a bunch of Williams Sonoma dishes last year (granted on the clearance table) for $400. I just sold them on Craigslist for $200. If these dishes didn’t have Williams Sonoma stamped on the bottom, I wouldn’t have got $20 bucks for them.

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      And were they less fragile than Target dishes?

      • Dutchess says:

        You miss the point I can often get nicer things and resell them later and recoup much of the premium I paid for the luxury item (obviously ignoring the time value of money). No they weren’t any less breakable but I guarantee the were a whole lot nicer than anything I would find at Target and I liked them.
        I think the other commenter’s laptop is even a better example.

        • JulesNoctambule says:

          I collect vintage dinerware. I can spend a quarter on a piece in a thrift store, use it for a while and then, if I like, sell it on Ebay to a collector for twenty or thirty dollars (which I have done). You can keep your $400 Williams-Sonoma dishes.

    • adamstew says:

      I use the same logic for my computers. This Apple Macbook Pro i’m using, I paid $1800 for 2 and 1/2 years ago. A quick ebay search shows that I can sell it for about $1000 still. That is a fabulous resale value for a 2 year old computer.

    • megafly says:

      Or, you could have bought some 20 dollar dishes on craigs list in the first place and had $380 more to your name.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        So what if someone wants William Sonoma dishes? It’s not a waste if you really like them and they were of great quality. I’m not going to buy used mystery dinnerware from Craigslist, but I’m not spending $400 on dishes, either. But if other people want to buy dinnerware from Craigslist or buy $400 dishes, that’s fine with me. Just because you think it was a stupid decision doesn’t make it a stupid decision, it’s the beauty of opinions.

  16. aka_mich says:

    This should be a public poll so we can see who votes for the “More than $1000″ and proceed to ridicule them without end.

  17. RunawayJim says:

    I spent $40-50 on a small laptop backpack from LL Bean. They last forever and if it breaks, they fix it or replace it for free. That’s what I call an investment.

    • Coles_Law says:

      $45 for my L.L. Bean backpack. I’m pretty sure that thing could withstand a tactical nuke.

    • Wolfbird says:

      Yeah, that does sound like a great deal. I’ll look into that next time I’m in the market for one.

      • keck314 says:

        You should’ve taken it to the nearest LL Bean store. I had a backpack in a very similar state: I got it in 1998, and took it everywhere I went through high school, college, and grad school. It finally failed on a camping trip in Maine last summer, not far from their flagship store in Freeport. On my Dad’s advice, I took it in. I was gobsmacked when they replaced my beat up twelve-year-old bag it with a brand-new backpack for free.

        So yeah, from then on, if I need something that they sell, I’ve bought it from them.

        I do still miss that old backpack though! :

    • Etoiles says:

      My LL Bean backpack from 1997 finally got tossed about 4 months ago. I basically beat the crap out of it, using it as a main travel bag for years after I finished school. Looking at three (small) holes in the bottom, and seeing that all of the lining had long since worn out, I finally decided to replace it with a new LL Bean backpack. That I’d just been married six weeks earlier and could justify one with new initials was what pushed me over the edge. ;)

      But I got, what, 12+ years out of that $35 backpack? Made it totally worth spending $40 on another one.

    • lilyHaze says:

      My LLBean backpack (purchased for $30-$40 in the outlet) has gone through 10+ years of hard labor (middle school through college). I still have it and everything is working correctly (zippers, pockets, etc) even if it’s a little dingy.

      I’ve contemplated deliberate murder on the backpack so my parents would buy me a new one.

  18. misterfweem says:

    Every time I read a story like this, I can’t help but to think of the luggage scene from “Joe Versus the Volcano.” Starts at about 1:52.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96tXkKFLXS4&feature=related

    To those who buy such spendy accoutrements, I say: “May you live to be a thousand years old, sir.”

  19. Cant_stop_the_rock says:

    I answered $50-100, but that was for a wallet and not a bag. Most of my previous $25 wallets in a year or two. My $75 wallet is going on 5 years now.

    • Sajanas says:

      One of my friends got away with just using an empty mints tin for a wallet for a long time. All I usually use are cards now anyways, the whole shebang could easily fit into a thin metal container.

      • JulesNoctambule says:

        I saw a woman using a vintage business card/calling card slim metal box for that purpose the other day, and I thought it was quite the good idea.

  20. aloria says:

    $1000 on a quality handbag that will last you the rest of your lifecan be passed down as an heirloom? Not exactly an “investment,” but if it keeps you from spending money on another handbag ever again, why not?

    $1000 on the latest, trendy “it bag” which will be out of style in a couple of seasons and which you’ll want to replace with another trendy bag? Silly, unless you’re loaded. However, I don’t get people ragging on those who buy expensive bags. Some people collect stamps, some people have expensive hobbies, some people dine out all the time… and some people buy luxury goods. If they can afford it, who cares?

  21. dreamfish says:

    If you don’t spend $1000 on that purse, the consumer economy will tank.

  22. pantheonoutcast says:

    If you need a thousand dollar bag to make you feel “confident,” “grown up,” and “put together,” then you are not grown-up, put together or confident. My everyday messenger bag cost $35 from Eddie Bauer over ten years ago; it can carry a week’s worth of underwear and two camera lenses, has visited three continents with me, and has survived an accidental dunking in the Adriatic as well as an encounter with an errant motorcycle in Kathmandu.. The strap has been replaced twice, there is a small hole in one corner that I’ve patched with duct tape and stitching, and it has a faint but distinct aroma of incense and salt water.

    I trust my $35 bag more than I trust any human beings I may be traveling with. That is a ‘best friend.”

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      What’s hilarious is that I see people who have horrible, horrible fashion (we’re talking pantyhose with sandals, too-tight pants, horizontal stripes with vertical stripes, etc.) carrying really expensive designer bags. And I see people who are dressed to the nines carrying cheapo purses. Balance, people! Stop dressing like hobos and stop carrying purses from the bargain bin at Wal-Mart! If you strive to look nice, be a well-rounded dresser and don’t spend too much money on one thing. It’s glaringly obvious when I see someone practically wearing rags and carrying a $700 purse, or a woman who is wearing a really expensive pantsuit and is carrying a knockoff.

      • Baxterjones says:

        THIS! May I hire you to be my personal stylist? I can pay in Diet Cokes.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          What a coincidence! I love Diet Coke! And pencil skirts, and 60s jackets, and boots.

      • Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

        Even worse are the people out with all new designer clothes on, and their kids trailing behind them, dressed like ragamuffins. I’ve seen both men and women culprits; it makes me sad for the kids. At least my daughter matches me in the cheap clothing department!

  23. Commenter24 says:

    Booq laptop bags/case FTW! Not cheap, but super high quality and amazing customer service is something goes wrong with the bag (Stitching comes out, etc.). Not substantially more expensive than Timbuk2, and higher quality/better design IMHO.

  24. Angus99 says:

    I spent $40 five years ago at an online surplus/sporting goods outlet for my laptop bag. It’s mil-spec, tough as nails, and has stood thousands of miles of travel abuse. The bag is in the Army digital camo, ACU, and is carried with a shoulder strap. It has four external pockets. I have lost track of the number of times I have been stopped in airports now, and asked about it. The weird thing is it splits along two lines – soldiers, who want to get one for themselves, and (what I think of anyway) as fashionistas who think it’s something special. I bought it because it was relatively cheap and I hoped it would be tough – I am as unfashionable a geek as you are likely to find.

    • ARP says:

      As much as I’d like to get a surplus bag (I had one in college that I could not kill), I tend to travel to locations where military gear may be viewed with suspicion (Ethiopia, Middle East, etc) or may imply that you’re in the military or American. I try to get travel gear that has small/no labels. Timbuk 2 fits that definition well as they are well built and only have their swirly logo.

  25. Hermia says:

    Most of my favorite bags came from secondhand shops or places like Marshalls / TJ Maxx. I can’t imagine spending that much on a bag. That’s insane. The most I’ve spent was just under $100 for a good laptop bag, but for a purse? $40 max. Preferably under $30.

    @Alvis – LOVE the army surplus stores. They do have good bags.

  26. nbs2 says:

    I got a near $50 Jansport when I was going into 7th grade. I’m still using it. I’m 30.

    The only work it has needed was a replacement zipper, which was covered by their lifetime warranty. They repadded the pads and cleaned it while they had it, which made it seem like new when I got it back. Only ways to tell it wasn’t were the older design and the Made in USA on the label.

    I do want to eventually be able to spend $500-600 on a bag – specifically a saddleback leather bag.

    • SenorBob says:

      Saddleback bags are definitely drool-worthy. I’ve been eyeing the messenger/backpack for quite a while.

  27. goodfellow_puck says:

    *HURL* I hate women like that. Pay ridiculous amounts to wear some stupid designer’s name all over a supremely huge and ugly bag. What a waste.

    • nutbastard says:

      word. i once ran into a chick who was dirt poor but had these $1300 sunglasses, and she yammered on about how she gets into VIP sections of clubs and all this other pretentious petty horse shit. literally made me nauseous.

  28. James says:

    Reminds me how every “special edition” crap magazine dedicated to Obama or a recently deceased celebrity at 7-Eleven or checkout stands bills itself as a “Collector’s Edition”

  29. Snakeophelia says:

    Depends on what you need the bag for. All of the handbags I carry to work cost $200-$300. That seems to be the price range in which you get something that is stylish, un-trendy (no bling), roomy, and made of good leather.

    If I want something more fun for outside of work, I’d still rather go to Marshall’s and buy something for $50 that was originally $150, than buy something that cost only $50 to begin with. Once you’ve had the handle break on a bag while you’re on SEPTA, and your stuff goes flying everywhere, you’re done with cheap bags.

  30. Wolfbird says:

    My purse is awesome. It’s the Rockstar duffle bag what came with the special edition of GTA (the one with Niko in it). I never played the game, but I’m a geek’s girlfriend so it works. I nicked it from an ex boyfriend so it was free.

    I have no idea why anymore would pay more than 50 bucks for a purse. Luggage, protective cases or specialty backpacks are a bit of a different story, but a handbag? It’s just going to go out of style in a season anyway. No thanks.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Well, I have to look professional so I carry a purse that is suitable for my age and is stylish. And I choose purses that are pretty timeless in nature – at the very least, they’re not going out of style in 5 months (hence, I didn’t jump on that weird jelly shoes and bag bandwagon). But I don’t have many purses that are over $50 and I feel like in some cases, you get what you pay for, so cheap materials go into cheap purses. But even a $20 purse can last longer than I had thought possible because I take care of my stuff.

  31. giax says:

    I’ve spent around $ 150 for some backpacks – but those are classic, hold my laptop, and I will use for years.
    Handbags… one is enough, and that was around £ 20 in 2004.

  32. Cantras says:

    I spent $20 (well, no, it was christmas, my mom spent $20) on ebay on a hello kitty organizer. It holds all my cards, my cash, various odds and ends, and change. I’ve used it 3 years now, I think? Hello kitty’s nose is a little discoloured, and the ziplock-style-zipper on the change holder almost came off once but i put it back.
    Now, it *would* be a junk wallet on one point: it was an organizer, it came with calendar pages, they were good for a year only, and this thing was actually ordered from japan and the pages are some metric size I haven’t been able to find. BUT spiral-bound index cards fit on the rings just fine and i actually get more use out of that than i did the calendar. Yay!
    I bought a $25 sling bag at Acen maybe… 7 years ago? And it has been my every day bag ever since. It is just now getting to the point where maybe I should get a new one, and that’s mostly because various netted-enclosure parts are losing their will to live. It would probably have worn out sooner because the shape sags when you put stuff in it, but I put a clipboard in it and that keeps it stable.

    also, I must link this: http://www.violentacres.com/archives/325/would-this-fashion-retard-carry-a-louis-vuitton-purse/

  33. Blinkman987 says:

    I paid $100 for a wallet that I’ve used for a decade. I figure I’m freerolling at this point.

    As for bags, I have a $120 REI 40L backpack with trampoline back. That’s my “carry on” if I’m vacationing internationally. I have a $100 Timbuk2 laptop messenger bag, and I want a Tom Binh bag for funsies and a Chrome bag for cycling.

    MEN LIKE BAGS TOO!

    • TWSS says:

      The Tom Bihn bags are fabulous, and made in the US! I almost bought one of their laptop bags but ended up with a Tumi instead (better laptop placement/access, IMO). Their Western Flyer is on my list for when my Rick Steves convertible backpack bites the dust. Which will probably be never. :(

  34. Outrun1986 says:

    Definitely not an investment. In this case you could buy a whole lot of cheap purses/bag and get several years out of each one for $1000 and still be well under the $1000 threshold. When your talking cost per year you would have to get an awful lot of use out of that 1000 purse to justify its purchase.

    You could easily find a purse in the $0-100 range that will last a very long time. $100 should also get you a backpack that will last a very long time and I do agree that it is definitely important to get a good backpack if you will be using one a lot. I don’t see any reason to spend more than $100 on a very good purse or backpack though.

    Personally I would like to vouch for Dakine purses and bags. They are virtually indestructible. Mine cost $20 and I have had it well over 5 years with heavy use. After a little soap and water it looks as good as the day I got it which means I will have it for many more years including the 5 I already used it for. I purchased another Dakine purse from ebay for $8 shipped for variety and I am sure it will last the same amount of time. I would highly recommend purchasing this brand if you are looking for durability. There aren’t a lot of counterfeit Dakine bags around as far as I know so feel free to purchase second hand or from ebay.

    I also have a gray Nintendo wallet with the original NES controller on it that I bought at Gamestop for around $6 in 2003, its still going, again with heavy use and it does not even have one single mark on it. I would say that’s another pretty good value right there since it looks just as good as the day I bought it.

  35. NarcolepticGirl says:

    The most I’ve spent… probably $20 on a messenger bag.

    I have no room to complain about people wasting $1000 on a purse, though. I probably spend that much on cigarettes in a year.

  36. NarcolepticGirl says:

    Also, I don’t see that as an investment – as the type who pay huge amounts on purses/clothing – tend to wear whatever is “in style” which changes every season.
    And they usually have several of them so they can match their outfits.

  37. Scribblenerd says:

    I paid $100 for my Timbuktu rain-proof backpack.

  38. SpendorTheCheap says:

    The most I’ve ever spent to get new bag was $2500. . .but that was for my vasectomy.

  39. miss_roxxan says:

    Just last night I tried to convince my boyfriend (and myself) that a $400 Marc by Marc Jacobs bag was an investment. “I’ll use it so much more than I use my other bags. I won’t need any others!” Haha. This post has horrible timing.

    • BridgetPentheus says:

      it’s all relative, do you have $400, are all your bills paid, do you have savings? I don’t splurge often but I will admit I have bought myself handbags that are $200 and you know what, I use them much more than any of the cheap ones I used to buy on sale at Macys/Target etc, they hold up fabulously and I’d never do it if I didn’t have the money to pay for it. If you buy something timeless and classic that’s quality made I think it’s better than 5 purses in a year to replace the cheap ones that usually get thrown out. I’m all about saving money and not spending more than you have and having an emergency account but after all that if you can’t treat yourself to what you see as a treat then what is it all for?

  40. cbutler says:

    GAP sling canvas back pack I bought a good 10 years ago for $30. Still works great to haul around my 17″ VAIO. Its the only thing made by GAP I find to stay in one piece.

  41. fpage77 says:

    I’m a man I don’t buy no purses.

  42. Michael L. Yeates says:

    My first comment after years of lurking… Hello… I’m here to defend against the haters.

    So I listened to too much rap music and got a half decent job and blew $8 more than my rent on a LV wallet. These things happen.

    Was it excessive? Maybe a little. Would I have regretted buying another $20 Fossil wallet that would fall apart within a few years? Definitely. Would I probably have been okay with a nicer $100-ish wallet from Nordstrom that might last for a very long time? Maybe, hopefully at least. I shopped around, they had potential for wear. After 2 months of use do I regret my purchase? No way. Do I see myself ever buying another wallet again? Probably not. Was I ever thinking that I was making an investment? Haha, no, maybe in a decades-off heirloom sense? but even then not really…

    I’m sorry but if you’ve never taken a close look at the craftsmanship and quality of material present in authentic designer goods and then go talk shit on the internet, you’re being ignorant and not contributing. On the other hand, if you think you’re not overpaying just a wee bit when you spend $450 on a bag, you’re deluding yourself a little bit. (Let alone $1k+, but honestly at that point you start to get into the raw cost of material–very fine leather mostly; a $1k bag is probably gigantic with a lot of bells and whistles, not some little simple hand thing). This is not a black and white situation.

    In summary, my new LV wallet owns and I’ve already been made fun of by my nerd friends more than you folks could ever do! :D

  43. TWSS says:

    I have three bags – an $800 Longchamp shopper I paid $180 for at Nordstrom Rack, a $160 Tumi laptop messenger, and a $15 vintage gold clutch. The Longchamp is sofa king fabulous that I’m never tempted to buy another bag (and I get SO MANY compliments on it), the Tumi will probably last me longer than my career, and the clutch only gets deployed a few times a year for formal occasions so it doesn’t need to be especially sturdy.

    Then again, I’m a firm believer in having very little of very high quality. The concept of cheap, disposable fashion, including handbags, seems bad for the environment and encourages abusive labor practices overseas.

  44. Soda says:

    I just dropped $120 on a bag earlier this morning. Granted, it was to carry my golf clubs, but still, it was pricey!

  45. TheGreySpectre says:

    does my backpack for week+ long backpacking trips count as a bag, because if so then I’ll spend up to 500, if not I will spend up to 100 for things like a nice laptop bag.

  46. SNForrester says:

    People can spend their money however they see fit. I really don’t care. We are all judging each other based on random purchasing decisions. Most people think their choices are correct and other’s are wrong.

    With that in mind, every one of you who doesn’t think exactly like me is off their rocker. Obviously.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      With that in mind, every one of you who doesn’t think exactly like me is off their rocker.

      That happens in a lot of the posts jere. Either everyone else is an idiot for not thinking or doing the exact same thing they do or they’re claiming that they literally can’t even understand that people have different opinions or priorities they do. “I don’t understand how someone can like the color blue!!!”

  47. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    The most I’ve spent on a bag is about 100 dollars, but I ALSO make my own at home. Christ, sometimes buying the materials is almost as expensive as just breaking down and buying a new bag. My favorite bag was 14 dollars, including shipping, from EBay.

  48. Anne Boleyn says:

    Dude, every lady has their own bag. It’s called the “secret panty pocket.” If you are female, you know what I’m talking about.

  49. SacraBos says:

    I’ve bought her a Coach bag, and when it broke, they fixed it for free. Sometimes that extra price you pay gets more better quality and better service. It might outlast both of us.

  50. Economists Do It With Models says:

    Investments, by definition, are things that you purchase because you expect them to generate a return. Now, I’m pretty sure that your Marc Jacobs bag is not going to actually increase in value any time soon, especially if you are actually using it rather than sitting it on a shelf. And if the bag generates a return for you in some other way, you are hanging out with the wrong people.

  51. RDSwords says:

    I’ve got a pair of LowePro camera sling bags that were about $100 each, but they are pure function for me (not a fashion statement). I have one configured to carry my medium format camera gear, and the other configured to carry my 4×5 camera gear. They are phenomenal bags, very well constructed. If you have a real need for certain qualities in a bag (like a quality briefcase or satchel for work) then by all means pay a little more for better quality, but there really is no need to be dropping $500+ on a purse.

  52. cybrczch says:

    $70 for the laptop bag.
    Besides that, $1.00 for some of the reusable grocery bags, the rest are repurposed freebies from conferences

  53. byron says:

    I bought an 18$ Quest backpack from walmart in 1996 when I was in college, and Im still using to today. I travel all over the world for my job, and it goes through hell. Thats an investment.

  54. redwall_hp says:

    If it depreciates in value, it’s not an investment.

    But wait, since they’re trying to sell “investments,” shouldn’t the SEC and/or FDIC be investigating them?

  55. thisistobehelpful says:

    However, if you find a designer bag in Goodwill and resell it, yes it’s an ivestment. Ferragamo stuff keeps ending up in my Goodwill store.

  56. Yo Howdy says:

    Now I feel stupid for spending so much on this watch:

    http://www.amazon.com/Breguet-Complications-Tourbillon-5335BR-9W6/dp/B002T4V3W4

  57. JulesNoctambule says:

    My everyday handbag is a simple, black Gap bag I found at a thrift store. No logo, no exterior branding, plenty of pockets and a strap just the right length. I paid two dollars US, and when I got home I found a UK 1 pound coin in the pocket! Given the exchange rate, I came out rather well.

  58. rhdins says:

    That reminds me of a commercial I heard on the radio the other day. It said “A Bullfrog spa isn’t a luxury, it’s a tool to enhance your health and productivity” I told my wife, “A new Corvette isn’t a luxury, it’s a tool to enhance my productivity!”

  59. StoneColdCrab says:

    I am very much a one-purse kind of girl; I don’t go changing purses with my outfits. I always pined for a LV bag, just to have one, you know? I figured it would go with everything, and thus be one of those expensive, yet “worth it” purchases. And when I got one, I was thrilled. But then a weird thing happened. I always felt so conspicuous when I carried it, like why am I carrying a 1K bag at the local grocery?

    Then I found/fell in love with a ruffled purse in a soft platinum leather, only 25$ at Marshall’s. Can I tell you how many compliments this purse (still) gets from random strangers? This never happened with the Louis. And on those days when I think maybe I’ll switch back to that expensive purse, without fail someone compliments the ruffles. Universe kicking me in the ass, I guess.

  60. aaron8301 says:

    I blew $90 on a nice leather purse for my wife…. because it has a holster inside for her gun. For me, my $20 pants have pockets.

  61. Winteridge2 says:

    Uh, would that purse be full of money? Otherwise, one would be nuts to buy it. It’s a bag.

  62. Intheknow says:

    I’ve had a few expensive bags over the years, but have you ever tried to sell one? Even in excellent condition, the value is nil.

  63. nerble says:

    Buy what you want if your kids won’t be missing out on lunch money. On the other hand, that’s not an investment, it’s an overpriced hunk of cow with embroidery.