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Sunday, November 23, 2008

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Designer Purses At Bargain Prices - Shop Online Shop Vintage

By Bernadette Karr

If you've ever walked into one of the famous fashion houses on 5th Avenue or Rodeo Drive, you know how wonderful it feels to admire the latest designer handbags in person. From the softest lambskin handbags to colorful snakeskin wallets and deerskin clutches, there is never a shortage of handbags and accessories to add to the wish list.

One could spend days admiring designer handbags made in various shapes, styles, colors and materials. That is until you notice the price tag and nonchalantly make for the exit with your mortgage payment (or rent check) still in tow.

With the average cost of designer handbags skyrocketing from the hundreds to the thousands, few can afford to drop $2k on the latest must-have creation from Chloe, Chanel, Marc Jacobs and Yves Saint Laurent. So what is a fashionista, who doesn't have a trust fund, private jet or penthouse apartment, supposed to do when looking to purchase a new designer bag at a reasonable price?

Before you decide give up eating for a month, apply for a second job or max out your credit cards, there are ways to find designer handbags at below-retail prices (and it doesn't involve purchasing a knock-off).

Let's face it finding an authentic new Chanel handbag at a discount is like looking for a needle in a haystack or more like trying to find a pair of black Christian Louboutins in a size 7 at the Barney's warehouse sale. Seems too good to be true, right? Not if you know where to look. Smart shoppers know that you can always find a deal and paying full price should never be your only option.

Shop Online.

If Chanel's your forte than check out, which was recently recognized by as the top of three Web Sites to carry authentic Chanel handbags at off-retail prices. From the classic quilted style to elegant evening bags, eFashionHouse sells a variety of brand new handbags from Chanel (did we mention they're guaranteed authentic) at 10-50% below retail. And if Chanel isn't at the top of your list, the site is divided into five stores and carries hundreds of designers like Chloe, Marc Jacobs, Gucci, Tods and even local LA designers, like Rachel Pally, Pietro Alessandro and Alexander Zar - all at below-retail prices.

We contacted eFashionHouse and asked how they do it -- sell these high-priced items below retail. 'Our goal is to provide a resource for people to own high-end designer fashion accessories without paying full retail price,' said Anna Miller, eFashionHouse owner. 'We are constantly looking for new ways to provide resources for people to obtain designer merchandise at prices 20-60% below retail. It's our mission, vision and purpose!'

Other dot com online stores that are known to sell authentic designer handbags are Overstock and Ebay. Overstock sells more general department store merchandise making the designer items limited and higher priced. Ebay can be a challenge unless you are an expert Ebay shopper. Auction sites are largely unregulated and are not always what they appear to be. For instance you can purchase a designer handbag that is guaranteed authentic and find out it is in fact not authentic. Or you can bid on one thing and when it arrives the item is an imitation of what you bid on. To protect your self from buying counterfeit bags (which not only are illegal but are known to support terrorism and child labor), you should always shop from a reputable site that provides guarantees of authenticity and have a longstanding reputation for selling authentic items online.

Vintage Shops.

Another option for buying designer handbags at prices below retail is to peruse your local vintage shops however there is never a guarantee that you'll find what you're looking for and you will most likely be buying a used handbag. Vintage is always a hot trend but make sure the bag is in good condition and is truly authentic. There are some online sites that carry authentic designer handbags, like LuxuryVintage and JillsConsignment.-both dot com online.

You could also drive to an outlet mall a hundred miles away to find your next designer purse but who has the time or the patience. And don't even get me started on renting a designer handbag, from worrying about bacteria to the outrageous weekly fees, I'd rather save my money for six months than put my hard-earned income toward carrying a purse that's been who knows where.

Finally if shopping for a new handbag at below-retail prices still seems too high, there is always the option of layaway. Certain sites like previously mentioned, eFashionHouse, offer layaway plans which provide customers the opportunity to pay over time according to their budget.

Expect a Reply.

About The Author

About the Author.
Bernadette Karr is a free-lance writer and has worked in communications as a management consultant for Fortune 500 companies throughout the world. She can be reached at the email listed above.
Please send your comments in confidence to the author. For more information about online shopping for off-retail priced designer fashion contact the author directly at

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Fashion design differs from costume design due to its core product having a built in obsolescence usually of one to two seasons. A season is defined as either autumn/winter or spring/summer. Fashion design is generally considered to have started in the 19th century with Charles Frederick Worth who was the first person to sew their label into the garments that they created. While all articles of clothing from any time period are studied by academics as costume design, only clothing created after 1858 could be considered as fashion design.
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