I know I just got a new bag a few months ago but after getting knocked up, I decided to get another one while I can still afford it. I’m pretty sure raising a child will take a huge chunk out of my earnings so strike while the iron is hot, right?
This Project is a Bust
Can I vent a bit? I’m so pissed that I was not able to source the first and second bag that I wanted, the Prada Galleria and the Celine Box bag, respectively. Who knew sourcing these bags is this difficult? I’m so fucking frustrated. Initially, I wanted to get the Prada bag at the boutique. Unfortunately, the one I want is unavailable.
Unfazed, I talked to several personal shoppers to preorder this bag but here’s what I learned: apparently, these personal shoppers only prefer sourcing sale items sold from the outlet store, not the boutique. If the product is not available in the brand’s outlet store, they won’t bother traveling to the boutique for the item.
What added to my frustration is that most of these shoppers won’t even admit to this. If you keep asking for the preorder’s price, they will simply ignore your question or they won’t provide a straight answer. If you asked how much the item costs in the boutique, they’ll say something like, oh, it’s out of season or, this isn’t available in the outlet store, and in Madel’s case, she’ll simply say “regular price.” I asked for the bag’s price three times and Madel clearly won’t give me the exact number.
I can take a hint, of course. I didn’t push any of these shoppers to get me the bag if it’s worth all that trouble. One seller has the bag that I want but in the shade Cipria, which is a light beige or blush pink. A red bag is high maintenance enough, a beige bag will attract stains like nobody’s business and I don’t want to worry about the stains. Also, she has the medium and I wanted a small purse. All my purses are medium to large size guys. I want a tiny purse.
Anna of LuxOnline was one of the first sellers that I asked when I was sourcing the Prada bag. She asked her HK contact to locate the bag but since she looked at the outlet stores, her contact came up with nothing. I was crestfallen because I wanted to buy the bag through her but well, that’s life. Anna offered a barely used Prada saffiano bag but I politely declined because I wanted a brand new one.
Since I couldn’t get the Prada bag, I decided to go for my second choice, the Celine Box bag. Again, no personal shopper would take my preorder request and I wasn’t surprised because this is a fairly pricey item. I wasn’t too worried though because I know an online store who has the bag on hand.
When I inquired about the bag, however, I didn’t get a straight answer. All I wanted to know if 1) the bag is still priced the same and 2) if it’s available. Apparently, the seller was stressing over something and couldn’t answer my questions right away. A couple of days later, she texted me to explain, she was opening her designer bag store, that’s why. And no, the bag is no longer available.
After spending three days looking for someone to source a Prada and a Celine bag, I took this as a sign that this project is a bust. There are so many beautiful and overpriced designer bags out there, why focus on these bags alone, right?
So I moved on and decided to get a Gucci bag instead. And just to mix things up, I won’t reveal the bag until I finish the bag review, hahaha! I’m such a tease, I know!
Anyhoo, I managed to snag a pretty Gucci purse via an independent seller: Marga Canon of Canon E-Bags Prime.
If you are a designer bag aficionado then you are probably familiar with Marga and her vast selection of brand new and pre-owned luxury goods. She’s been in the business for a long, long time and I have followed her on Insta from the first day I made my profile. I didn’t get any bag from her then because she used to sell pre-owned bags only. These days, she offers brand new bags too, which is so awesome.
Canon E-Bags Prime: Ordering Online
Ordering the bag was a straightforward process. I just pinged her on Instagram, inquired about the bag then provided an image of the bag. I’m not sure if I was talking to Marga herself at that time but whoever I was talking to, she was polite and she answered all my questions immediately. She gave straight answers about the bag, which is important.
I also loved the fact that the shop offers layaway options for those who’d like to pay for any item they like in increments.
This bag was bought in Europe last May, I was told. It’s brand new. I paid more than 50% of the bag’s price through BDO with plans of paying the rest of the balance once I claim the bag in person. You gotta get an appointment before claiming the bag. Marga has a shop somewhere in the QC area. I booked an appointment to claim the bag.
Overall, the experience was a stark contrast to the nightmare of sourcing a Prada or a Celine bag for three whole days.
I will be writing a separate bag review as always but I can say that I got the bag in perfect condition. It has all the inclusions, including the leather swatch, the care cards, dust bag, and paper bag. Marga and her team authenticate every luxury good that comes through their door and feeling the bag in person, I know it’s the real deal.
I wish it came with the original box though. That would’ve been perfect. I know for a fact that this particular color is sold with a limited edition packaging. Jujuju. Still, I got this at such an amazing price that I can still buy another bag! I have plans of getting a Prada leather tote in a couple of months. I have the exact design in mind but I tried hunting it down before to no avail. I think the style has already been phased out but I will still try to source it. If that won’t work, perhaps a YSL Lou camera bag is in my future.
Getting the Bag
Initially, I opted to pick the bag up in person and pay the balance at the same time instead of having the bag shipped to my address. The ordering process was pretty straightforward but the only thing I didn’t like about it involves setting the appointment. I know the shop owner doesn’t mean it but not letting your customers know the address of the shop after receiving the initial payment seems a little excessive to the point of looking shady. Also, they were requiring customers (even those who paid for the goods) to present 2 government IDs:
I’m positive that the shop owner has her reasons for the extra security but I wish they would explain the reason why the extra security was needed in the first place.
Sure, I got a brief spiel (image above) explaining that they could not divulge the address of the shop unless I send over 2 IDs apart from the payment but the explanation is so flimsy to me. They ask so many things from their customers for an information that they could easily provide after receiving the payment. Parang utang na loob ko pang itanong ng ilang beses saan ang office when I told them I am coming from Tarlac and my schedule revolves around said appointment. So I gotta know where I’m going well in advance.
What I’m trying to say is, there is a better way of explaining the situation other than sending an automated spiel to customers. Because money is involved. People need the assurance that they are not dealing with some fly by night shady biz. I sure as hell need one when I’m sending money to an online vendor that I’m dealing with for the first time. The shop asks for a lot of things even when the item has been partially paid. What for? Was it because the shop is actually a house or something? Who knows man.
I never came across this kind of process before and to be quite honest, it was so off-putting. Kasi, you’re the one who’s so cautious about the store only to find out that it’s you that the vendor is wary of even when you made the payment na. It’s kinda ridiculous.
Anyway, the weather was so bad in Manila that I was unable to make it to our scheduled appointment. I asked Marga to ship the bag instead and she did as soon as she received the rest of the payment.
Guys, I dislike the idea of shipping anything that cost more than 20K and I don’t recommend this to my fellow shoppers. I heard all the horror stories of couriers stealing expensive shit and luxury items never making it to their intended destinations. That’s the reason why I wanted to get the bag myself, I really didn’t want to deal with the risks that come with shipping a designer item.
Also, having the bag shipped to my address as opposed to being claimed at the shop means I won’t be able to inspect the bag and point out flaws when I see them. Sure, I got a brand new bag but still, this is something that I do even when I buy stuff from the boutique. Yeah, so I was really bummed out about that. I had no choice but to put my faith in humanity, hoping that I didn’t pay a lot of money for a lemon.
Anyhoo, after paying my balance, the bag was shipped on Monday. I received the bag on Tuesday afternoon, which was pretty impressive.
Buying anything pricey online has its risks guys, and you have to deal with a reputable seller to avoid making an expensive mistake. I did my own research, of course, so I am quite confident about forking this much money for a bag sold by a seller that I never met before.
Overall, I am satisfied with my purchase. Was the situation ideal? Heyl naw, I wish I bought this bag at the boutique but it’s sold out. I wish knowing the shop’s address was easy, it ain’t. I wish I got to pick this bag up in person to check it myself but fuck this weather. Still, I managed to get a pretty purse at a great price, my collection is growing, and I’m now wearing this purse for dinner so all’s well that ends well. Up next, the reveal and review!