The Smart Girl’s Guide to Buying Authentic Designer Handbags for Less

How to buy an authentic designer purse for less

Fashionable women from Milan to Miami know that adding designer cosmetics and bags to your wardrobe for cheap can be the hardest trick of all.

While convenience is a major advantage when you are shopping online, you'll need insider tips to score the best deals on Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Prada, Gucci or Jimmy Choo handbags.

Go big for designer handbag savings.

Designer handbags are great to buy on sale since they are often very expensive and trend-driven. 50% off a $1,000 dollar handbag isn’t cheap, but it makes a big price difference if you plan to keep the Fendi or Prada handbag for at least 10 years.

To get the best online deals, learn the sales cycle at your favorite purse stores. Some online sites feature daily deals on handbags or offer markdowns every 4 to 6 weeks.

Think long-term when buying cheap designer handbags.

If you see beautiful classic pieces, like a silver clutch purse, black basic leather handbag or an exotic frame handle bag – buy them. These classic finds rarely show up on sale, so if you can grab a designer deal on these purses,  buy them now.

Don't buy a purse that has a drastically reduced sales price or because it is the latest designer it bag. Know yourself and buy bags that will be a treasured keepsake in your handbag collection, and will be an accessory that you will really love to carry.

Real or fake designer handbag deals? How can you tell?

Authenticity is an issue when searching for designer handbag bargains online. Unfortunately, if a designer purse deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. If the seller is offering a straight-from-the-runway Fendi purse for 90 percent off the retail price it is a fake.

To make sure that you score true designer deals, ask the seller to send you pictures of the inside and outside of the handbags. Look for identifying serial numbers that will help you verify the designer purse's authenticity via a sales associate or at a luxury designer handbag boutique.

Ask for the next markdown on the designer purse or for a lower price.

When shopping at a Marshalls, Loehmann’s, TJMaxx or another off-price retailer; ask about extra designer discounts. If you are buying a damaged designer item, ask for 15 to 30 percent off the lowest price for addition discounts.

8 ways to buy a designer handbag for less

Have a designer handbag swap.

For divas with a cadre of fashion-loving friends, have a designer purse swap. Scour your closet for impulse buys and designer clothes gone wrong.

Gather 10 or 12 of these gently worn designer handbags for a swap. Have a party; serve drinks and treat yourself and a few girlfriends to designer purses for less…and free.

There are plenty of cheap designer purses available each season. And, there is no reason you cannot indulge in these designer purses for less. For shoppers (who know how to shop and when), it is possible to save money on designer purses for far less than the sky-high retail prices of couture or designer fashion.

Shop consignment stores.

Select a thrift store run by organizations like the Junior League or a church-run consignment store for cheap designer purses.

Determine the best days to shop in the consignment store. Get friendly with the sales associate to get the scoop on shipments of new inventory and upcoming designer sales. Ask about the end of the month blowout sales for extra discount.

Buy designer purses at Goodwill and eBay.

Fashionistas who overspend on Fendi, Louis Vuitton and Moschino secretly sell their designer clothes on eBay. Take advantage of these lovely ladies need to unload their designer wares.

Goodwill has an online thrift store that offers sells cheap designer handbags online for amazing low prices.

Verify an online site's return policies and guarantees before adding designer bags into your shopping cart.

Always check an online website's shipping rates, sales taxes and return policy before buying online. If extra prices are not factored in to the lowest purse price, the online designer handbag deal may not be the best bargain for you.

When shopping under pressure for a cheap designer purse, you'll never find any gems. So, when you see great designer handbag bargains online, do your research before your buy to prevent buyer's remorse.

There are plenty of cheap designer purses available each season.

And, there is no reason you cannot indulge in these designer purses for less. For shoppers (who know how to shop and when), it is possible to save money on designer purses for far less than the sky-high retail prices of couture or designer fashion.

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