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Where to Find Discount Authentic Designer Handbags and Purses

Updated on January 3, 2013

As women, I think we are born with the urge to carry an elegant designer handbag. There is just something about the statement of style and tasteful sophistication that comes along with carrying a gorgeous Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Coach, Prada, or Burberry handbag through the mall that you just can't get from any other piece of clothing or accessory. While we may want to own several of each, let's face it; they are very expensive and not something we can all afford to pay retail prices for.

Does that mean you have to settle for an average department store handbag? Not a chance! You just have to know exactly where to look to find the best deals so you can buy a designer handbag or purse at a deeply discounted price. This is one area of fashion where buying pre-owned can save you a ton of money!

Where to Buy Cheap Designer Handbags

Many women are afraid to search the secondary market for designer purses fearing they may end up overpaying for a product that isn't real. Ending up with a name brand bag that is not authentic can quickly ruin what would otherwise be a fun and exciting shopping experience.

If you want to avoid the fakes, there are a few precautions you should take whenever you shop. First, don't ever buy anything from a street vendor that the seller claims is a name brand. More times than not, what looks at first glance like an authentic bag will turn out to be a poorly made replica. By the time you discover that your bag isn't real, the merchant has moved on to a new location. Next, don't pay with cash. Always make your handbag purchases with a credit card or PayPal which will give you a strong and secure buyer protection program.

One of my favorite places to shop for deeply discounted handbags is eBay. This allows you to take advantage of two of the best buying situations you can ever hope for.

The first is finding the reseller who has a ton of money and goes through designer clothing and accessories like the rest of us go through disposable razors. Believe it or not, there are more people like that out there than you think. Many of them will think nothing of spending $1200 on a brand new designer purse and selling it on eBay for $200 a few months later.

The second situation that can set you up for an amazing deal is the desperation seller. These are people who for whatever reason need to sell something so they can get cash fast! They will sell almost anything they own at a rock bottom price to get cash for another need or more immediate want. In some cases, you can even find items that are still new with tags and in their original box.

Before making a purchase, make sure the listing clarifies that the item is authentic. One of the biggest reasons I like to use eBay is that they are very strict about removing people who sell items that are fake. This adds an extra level of buyer protection that you don't get anywhere else.

Many of the major designers such as Louis Vuitton, Coach, Burberry, and others are members of the VERO program. This program allows manufacturers to sign up as verified rights owners for their trademarks and remove any listing that violates those rights. As a buyer, it's kind of like having a highly trained group of experts on constant patrol to remove items that are not genuine and leave only the real thing behind. Many people are unaware of this activity going on in the background but it does end up being very advantageous to potential buyers. The guide below will provide you with an overview of some of the most popular brands and a starting point for your search.

Louis Vuitton

In the world of handbags, few things make a stronger statement of style than carrying a Louis Vuitton. They are well known for their quality and exquisite designs. The classic monogram bag has traditionally been the most popular but they have several other styles that have been good sellers including the Damier, Mahina, and EPI. Their products are very versatile and can be the perfect match for a casual outfit or an elegant gown.

The unmatched bold designs make Louis Vuitton a standout favorite and symbol of status worldwide, year after year. They are my personal favorite and there are few things on this planet that get me more excited than finding a cheap one in great condition! Because of the high quality, this is one brand where you can buy a pre-owned bag and as long as it was well cared for; nobody would ever know you bought it used.


Designer bags from Burberry are another favorite among the fashion savvy shoppers. The unmistakable traditional check pattern is recognized around the globe as a symbol of style and quality craftsmanship. The classic check style is available as a tote or sling and continues to be very popular every season.

One of the things I like best about Burberry is that their products are very seasonally neutral. You can very often carry the same bag in the summer and in the winter and have it not look at all out of place. I can probably count on one hand the brands that can consistently do the same. While their everyday purses are fantastic, Burberry also offers a wide variety of leather bags suitable for even the most formal of occasions. If you are looking for something small and understated, they even have several classy wristlets to choose from.

Coach Bags

Coach has been around since 1941 and was founded as a family owned business known for maintaining high standards of quality materials and workmanship. Coach has long been another popular favorite when it comes to luxury purses. They make just about every style and color combination you could possibly imagine and each and every one has that signature C that lets everyone know exactly what you are carrying.

Their most popular handbag collections are the Julia, Madison, Poppy, Peyton, Kristi, Charm, and Beach although you can still find the occasional vintage or discontinued bag if you are lucky. Coach products have stood the test of time and are still considered one of the top luxury brands when it comes to designer purses.

Verifying Your Purchase

How do you know if it's real? Below you will find several quick video guides to help you learn to identify some of the most popular designer bags. They will show you exactly what to look for and point you in the direction of what kinds of questions to ask a seller if you are uncertain about an item you are thinking about buying. This should give you a solid background in quickly spotting and avoiding items of questionable authenticity.

Helpful Guide to Identifying an Authentic Louis Vuitton Purse

How to Identify an Authentic Coach Handbag


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    • mysisters profile image


      8 years ago

      Great Hub. I agree that you can sometimes find good deals on authentic handbags on Craigslist or Ebay. Another place to look is at reputable consignment shops so then you can distinguish and take a look at the handbag in person to determine whether its authentic or fake.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Enjoyed your hub. I love handbags, especially designer.

      Even with jeans and a t-shirt, when I am sporting a designer bag - I feel so darn good! Thanks so much.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Does anyone know a tradesman who can make a handbag for me out of the alligator skins my husband caught, hunting alligator? I am thinking it should be a company that is based in NY. Any referrals would be helpful.

    • lender3212000 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Beverly Hills, CA

      I agree, Craigslist is best saved for those who have experience in identifying authentic merchandise. eBay is usually a better option for most people as it has much more "buyer friendly" policies.

    • DesignerHandbags profile image

      Jenny Wolf 

      9 years ago from Point Pleasant, New Jersey

      I recently was burned on Craigslist, they run free over there and the rules are nonexistent. If you absolutely must go to Craigslist, do your homework or bring someone along who knows handbags, the fakes are getting harder and harder to spot, and once you have it home, ITS YOURS!!! No Returns!!! Jenny

    • lender3212000 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Beverly Hills, CA

      You can also try Craigslist as well. I sometimes hesitate to recommend that one as it isn't as well controlled as eBay and tends to have a greater chance of running into bags that aren't authentic. As long as you know how to identify the real thing and are careful, it can be a great resource. Your chances of finding what you are looking for will be much better if you live in or near a larger city and have a bigger pool of sellers to pull from.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      any recommendation for the web sites besides e-bay

    • Maggie-May profile image

      Nadine M AuCoin 

      9 years ago from the Island of Cape Breton to the Eastern Shores near Halifax, NS

      The title grabbed me! Thanks great advice for little isolated me!!! Maggie


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