Buying from online sellers is, no doubt, risky. The worst that could happen is 1) you’d get a fake or 2) you’d come across swindlers. I’ve experienced both that’s why I don’t recommend buying anything pricey online unless you are dealing with a reputable seller.
In my case, I only deal with sellers who have a physical store and those who accept credit card transactions (apart from the usual payment methods). This way, every transaction has a paper trail and you can get your money back somehow. In case you file a complaint, you know where to find the shop and the seller won’t disappear on you.
This is why I risked dealing with a lesser-known online store, Bag R’ Brand. Admittedly, the seller is not as popular as Exquisite Manila, Lux Online or Canon E-Prime bags so I did have reservations about buying from Bag B’ Brand. But it’s actually a legitimate business with a physical store and everything, a rarity among online sellers.
I chronicled my buying experiences not to gloat but to help consumers find legit sellers online and avoid scammers. Also, Bag R’ Brand had zero online presence so if you want to learn more about the shop and the seller, you won’t find much info online.
Here’s a first-hand experience.
The owner of the store is Ms. Ara de Gracia. The shop has been operating since 2009. Bag R’ Brands offer a plethora of luxury goods including brand new designer bags, preloved designer bags, designer shoes, high-end watches, and jewelry.
This is not a sponsored post, all my bags were bought using my own monies.
Bag R’ Brands: Ordering Online
Bag R’ Brand’s ordering process is pretty straightforward but my case wasn’t normal so I’m not sure if they have a different process in place. Usually, sellers would require a 50% down payment and then the balance is paid after picking up the item. I insisted on reserving the bag first and then settling the bill in person weeks later.
In all honesty, I didn’t pay the first 50% because I wanted to be careful (I was dealing with the seller for the first time) while trying to secure the bag at the same time. Had I waited until my next trip to Manila to get the bag, I’m pretty sure someone would’ve snagged it by then. As you know, I am no longer based in the city so I cannot simply show up in Manila whenever. Since we were planning on a quick visit in the third week of the month anyway, we decided that this is the best time to pick up the bag too.
I was expecting the seller to decline my request but she agreed to reserve the bag for a fee. The reservation fee was deducted to the total amount of the bag, of course. I paid the reservation fee via bank deposit and that was it. I asked for the shop address even if it’s already posted on their social media profiles, which she freely provided (Marga Canon, better take note). It’s in F1 hotel in BGC in case you’d like to book an appointment. I also asked about the shop’s operating hours, booked an appointment and that’s it.
I’m aware that there are online vendors who mix fakes with authentic bags and hyperaware that Prada bags are the most replicated purses in the market so it’s not like I dived headfirst here without doing my homework. I asked Ms. Ara for detailed pics so I can check the bag, particularly the metal feet, the logo plate, the sides of the bags unclasped, and the leather tab inside the bag. Ms. Ara was more than happy to send close up snaps of the bag and all its glorious details. I was planning to have the bag authenticated by someone overseas but seeing and feeling the bag in person, the authenticity of the bag is obvious. Not that I’m an expert or anything but if you’ve owned several designer bags, certain details of the bags stick out if they are fake. I will go into detail once I’m done with the bag review.
Overall, Ms. Ara was extremely easy to talk to. She had no qualms about showing the finer details of the goods she sells to erase all doubts. Ordering the bag was an easy breezy process.
Getting the Bag
It didn’t take us too long to find the Bag R’ Brand store because it’s located in a swanky business district. When we got to the store, however, it was closed. Thankfully, they were not really closed, there were peeps inside the store. One of the SAs ushered us in when we said that we were there for an appointment.
Ms. Ara welcomed us to the shop and I saw these beautiful bags on display. Was pretty much sidetracked for a moment. She said that at least 3 buyers were inquiring about the bag, one of them even wanted to pay off my reservation fee (dude wtf, no bueno). Really not surprised because this bag is hard to find in this material. Thanks, Ms. Ara for not giving in, hahahaha!
The bag was handed to me and I inspected the details of the product quickly. Had a nice chat with Ms. Ara and the SA but alas, I forgot to ask for more info about the bag! I forgot to ask where the bag was bought, what their return policy was, etc. mostly because of this damn pregnancy brain. Also, they seem to be doing an inventory and I didn’t want to take more of their time. My only regret is that I didn’t take a picture with Ms. Ara so you guys can see the face behind the name. Also, I forgot to take pics of the other bags, jujuju.
Anyway, the bag appears to be brand new and unused. I felt that I had to highlight these because I know some sellers who pass off slightly used bags as brand new. Never happened to me but I’ve seen some scathing reviews out there. The condition of the bag is pristine, although I can tell this bag has been kept in storage for a long time. There were certain details that caught my eye and I will go through each one once I’m done reviewing the actual bag.
The bag came with the care cards, authenticity card, shoulder strap, and dustbag. It didn’t come with a paper bag but it was packed in a sizable Bag R’ Brand eco-bag. Didn’t mind the lack of paper bag because I throw these out anyway.
Overall, getting the bag was a pleasant experience and Ms. Ara and her SAs were so friendly. Customer service is great. I just settled the bill, signed the paperwork, and left with the bag. That’s how it went down. I felt that Ms. Ara tried her best to be as transparent as possible.
My experience with Bag R’ Brand was a great one. I thought Ms. Ara and her SAs were warm, friendly, and most importantly, they offer the real deal. Sure, the shop isn’t as popular as other stores but obviously, that didn’t stop me from getting my dream bag and I’ve no regrets.
Will I repurchase? If given the opportunity, I would totally buy more bags from Bag R’ Brand. I’m actually eyeing another bag from their collection but that can wait until the baby comes. Two bags in a span of two weeks is a little too indulgent for me.
Curious about the bag I bought? A few blogs ago, I mentioned an unnamed Prada bag (not the Galleria Saffiano Lux) that I tried and failed to source several times because it was either phased out already or it’s always unavailable in stores.
Well, well, well.
One of these highly coveted bags somehow ended up at Bag R’ Brand and in the most perfect colorway too. I couldn’t believe my luck. The timing was perfect too. I feel a bit guilty, buying two designer bags in just two weeks but TMI, I was having an extremely shitty day when I came across the listing and took it as a sign that God loves me and it’s going to be alright. It’s shallow but I just had to get it guys. I will do a reveal on my next post 🙂