What I Got for My Birthday: My Experience Ordering from a Personal Shopper

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Yes, I’m a summer baby and I recently celebrated my 34th birthday 🙂 and no, there was no grand celebration at all. I just asked my mom to cook sopas or macaroni soup for me instead of the traditional noodles or pancit (for long life) plus my husband got me a cake! It’s really just a simple celebration, which is exactly what I wanted.

Now my personal gift, that’s another story. I give myself a special treat every year. Last year, I got my bag K, and this year, I want to grow my designer bag collection.

The plan was to buy the bag in Hong Kong. I will fly to HK next week with the hubs for a mini-moon. The problem is, we’re not bringing a lot of stuff with us and I didn’t want to get the bag and think about where to store the massive box and paper bag or pay additional fees for hand carrying said items.

You see, when we got our LVs in Japan, I did not ask for the box because it won’t fit my luggage. My sister is luckier because her luggage is larger so she was able to keep her box. I found out that if you hand-carry these items, you’ll get taxed at the airport and I didn’t want to spend more money than I should. And so, my first LV lacks a proper box and it’s been bothering me ever since. I know, first world problem, but if you’re careful about storing your bags like me, you know my pain.

Anyhoo, I figured that I’ll just buy in the store but since pricing differs from EU to PH, there will be a slight delay even when I saved up for months. I was hoping to wear the bag during our trip so I decided to ask an EU-based personal shopper to get the bag for me during my birthday month. Luckily, the bag is on-hand! Here’s my birthday treat:

It’s the Givenchy Nightingale in evening blue! I wanted something blue this year because it’s currently my favorite color! Isn’t she beautiful?

Personal Shopper: My Experience

Okay, so this is my first Givenchy bag and I didn’t know what to expect! I will discuss the bag in detail in another post (mostly it’s just an excuse to babble on and on about this piece)

I got the bag from a personal shopper – Madel of @MadeLoveLuxe on Instagram and the experience was pretty straightforward.

My forays into online shopping are at least 99% successful. I say 99% because I got scammed by a seller last year and I was pretty much paranoid about buying anything from another online seller. I didn’t write a post about the experience because the whole thing stresses me out and I was basically kicking myself for being so naive.

Anyway, Madel was different because 1) she’s been around for a while now, 2) her Instagram account is full of comments from actual people, real customers, and interested buyers, and 3) communication is constant and reassuring. Thankfully, she understood where I’m coming from and adjusted our arrangement to ease my mind.

Granted, Madel was not the only EU-based personal shopper I knew, I’ve asked around. A couple of sellers have the same bag in the same size/material that I liked but Madel is friendlier and more accommodating. Most personal shoppers tend to respond curtly and it’s off-putting for people like me who are all too willing to entrust thousands of pesos to a person she barely knew.

Madel is really nice. Plus, she can produce the rest of the bag’s inclusions, very important.

Now before anything, I paid in cash as opposed to preordering the item. I didn’t preorder because 1) this is the first time I’m spending this much money online and I was wary of the whole thing so I wanted something on-hand and 2) I just didn’t have the patience to wait for months.

The Meet Up

Madel was out of the country so our arrangement was slightly complicated. I kept badgering her to hand over the bag on the third weekend of March. Since she’s not here in the PH, she had to ask her relatives to meet me. Thankfully, her cousin Mariz was available for the meetup. It’s surprising because Madel’s whole family came to meet me, even her mom and little bro. They were very sweet and so warm. I actually stayed for like, 20 minutes just chatting with them, I enjoyed our brief interaction.

As for the arrangement, it was classic kaliwaan wherein I pay in cash as soon as I got the bag. Tags, care cards, and dust bag must be provided together with the bag. We met somewhere in the metro at a specific time and that was it. I asked to check the bag first before I handed the cash and once satisfied, I paid. Easy peasy.

The Bag

The bag is brand new, not preloved. It came with: tags, leather swatch, strap, dust bag and paperbag.

The receipt was not included and if I’m being honest, I was a bit disappointed. I collect the receipts, you see. But as long as the bag is authentic – which it is – then the lack of receipt isn’t a deal breaker.

I got the size “small” but there’s nothing small about this bag. The size is similar to my everyday bags and you can fit a ton of shit inside!

I checked every nook and cranny for scuffs, loose threads, weak stitches and what have you, the bag was in perfect condition. It’s surprisingly hefty too. Mariz was kind enough to teach me how to attach the strap (it’s not your ordinary strap) and that was it.  Here are a couple of modeling shots, pardon the messy hotel room, I was giddy with excitement!

While nothing beats the experience of picking a designer bag from a boutique, I didn’t feel like I was missing out when I chose to get my ‘Gale from a personal shopper. I actually recommend it. Of course, just make sure you’re dealing with a trusted seller so you won’t get scammed!

I will be writing a separate review on the bag because this post is getting too long. But for those who are interested in this particular style, it’s definitely one of the most easygoing bags I’ve ever used. So functional, roomy and stylish!

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Tina Lee

Tina Lee-Almazar is a writer with an insatiable appetite for all things bright, shiny, and beautiful. She's a beauty junkie, a shopping connoisseur, a book collector, a purse addict, and a budding mom-tepreneur. Tina has a long-standing (and well-documented!) but one-sided love affair with cats. Special talents include: the ability to eat again an hour after eating, shopping at 3 different malls in 1 day, and taking a 3-hour power nap every day including weekends.

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