Thursday, January 28, 2016

One Pouch For All

You might have figured that I like to organise the contents of my bags, which is why I'm such a big fan of Samorga inserts or the Mulberry Multizip Pouch. It doesn't always have to be that complex though and sometimes a simple zipped pouch to keep a few small bits and bobs together is all you need.

The Mulberry Mitzy Pouch is a really good size: big enough to hold more than a few coins but small enough to fit into smaller sized bags without taking up too much room.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Family Get Together

Sometime you search for a bag forever and never find it. And sometimes several come along together. 

I've done individual posts on the Mulberry Kelly in small, medium (though I thought it was small at the time) and large but now I happened to have all three sizes here together, so I thought I'd do a quick size comparison. 

Don't get confused by the picture, unfortunately the one in the printed teak leather is not included as she found a new home. It is roughly the same size as the large black one - though the black one is less structured and more slouchy. If I was to compare to the Hermes Kelly, I'd liken it to the Kelly Retourne as opposed to the Sellier, which is more structured.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Most Mulberry Of All

Mulberry have done lots of bags, many of which  are well known.  Some could be called iconic, such as the Alexa, the Roxette or the Cara but none is as closely linked to the brand as the Bayswater. The shape, the flap closure, the postman's lock; even people who don't really know their handbags will instantly recognise her as a Mulberry.

My Mulberry Bayswater has forever been waiting for her curtain call. For some reason I kept ignoring her - at least as far as filming a review goes. (Maybe because I know that she'll stay put, whilst others that I reviewed were moved on fairly quickly.) I've not actually used her that much, simply because I haven't needed a formal bag that holds that much stuff. I also, up until very recently, had a 15 minute walk from the trainstation to my office, and didn't fancy lugging a fairly heavy bag around. I'm now in a new job, where I hop on a tram for most of the way from trainstation to office, so think she'll get more chance to be taken out.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Avoid Buying a Fake Designer Handbag

Buying a secondhand designer bag can be quite intimidating, especially if you're not particularly familiar with the brand. The thought of handing over hundreds of pounds for what you hope is the bag of your dreams but may well turn out to be an overpriced, cobbled together knock-off isn't a particularly comforting one. I've given you some tips on what to do if you bought a bag where you are not sure whether it's genuine or not. So what can you do to even avoid getting into that situation? As long as you follow a few simple guidelines you should be absolutely fine.

Buy where you know bags are checked
Check out trusted sellers of pre-loved designer handbags. These are well established and trusted businesses, where you know you'll only ever buy the real thing.  Another great place is the Facebook selling pages, where admin and members keep an eye out and shoot down any post that might list a fake.

Avoid sites where fakes are prolific
Gumtree, Shpok and local selling sites may well offer the odd genuine designer bag at a bargain price but they are teeming with fakes and if you are not confident (yet) in judging whether you are buying the genuine article or not, you're much better finding another place to buy. Ideally the ones stated above or, at the very least, eBay, which is actually better than it's reputation.

Familiarise yourself with the brand
I'm no expert but by looking at as many Mulberry bags as I could, I now can spot at least the most obvious fakes. If you are after a specific model, find out which leathers and finishes it was produced in. A great resource for this is the Purseforum, where you can find threads for most handbag models with photos of their various finishes. As I said previously, this forum is well worth signing up for, as it will provide you with a wealth of information and the opportunity to ask other members who live and breathe that brand. 

Another great place to look at lots of different models are the Facebook selling pages I mentioned above. Firstly, you will be able to have a gander at many different models and secondly, you can reach out to other members for a second opinion. Do check the pinned posts though, as some pages do not welcome authentication requests. I would also always advice to getting the bag authenticated professionally once you have received it. Check out my post on how to do that.

eBay? Check out the Seller
If you are considering a bag listed on eBay, have a look at the seller's profile. What does their feedback look like? Somebody with a low feedback score isn't necessarily bad but negative feedback should ring alarm bells. Have they sold much before? And if so what? If it's a mixture of clothing, accessories and the odd bag, you have hopefully found somebody who is weeding out their wardrobe. If it's the same kind of bag again and again you'd do well to stay clear; I mean: how likely is it that somebody has one unwanted designer bag after the other? Also worth looking out for: a new profile, where all their positive feedback was gained by just buying or selling items that are worth pennies only.

Always pay by Paypal "Goods and Services"
That way you are protected, should your purchase turn out to be a fake - or possibly not even turn up. Raising a claim is pretty straight forward and Paypal take their buyers' protection seriously.

Have your bag authenticated
If you are looking at a bag that is listed on eBay you can ask the Purseforum to authenticate it for you before you purchase. However, this can take a day or two and if time is ticking you may well not have enough time. You can also contact a paid service but, again, you might be up against it time-wise.

What I would do: 
  1. Try and judge for yourself whether the bag looks good to you. Compare it to the pictures you find at the Purseforum and other resources stated above.
  2. If you think it's ok, buy it and make sure you pay by Paypal "Goods and Services".
  3. As soon as the bag arrives, take pictures and send them off to an authentication service.
Hopefully all should be fine and within a couple of days you will not just have peace of mind but also a handy certificate that you can file and pass on with the bag, should you ever decide to sell her on. Be happy and enjoy your bag.

If the bag is deemed to be a fake, open a Paypal "significantly not as described" (SNAD) case. This is really straightforward and Paypal will guide you through that. Do give them a call if you need any extra help or advise, they are really helpful. They will explain whether you have to return the item or destroy it and latest when delivery is confirmed (make sure you post accordingly) will refund you. Learn from the experience and move on. 

Hope you found this helpful - do share your experience!
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