Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Shelley Rossetter, Kameel Stanley, Keeley Sheehan & Keyonna Summers

Baby's First Coach Bag: A Story of Persuasion, Outlets and Triumph

coachbag.jpgI couldn't believe it.

In a recent post about my quest for a new purse, I threw in the hypothetical and highly unlikely scenario in which I'd maybe consider a Coach bag over a cheap bag. It was mostly a fantasy. I don't have that kind of cash to throw around on a bag, and I figured you devoted Deal Divas readers would feel the same way.

Color me stupid. Turns out, you smart and savvy shoppers are are also maniac Coach devotees. "In a word - Coach," wrote dahockeygrl. "It will outlast 10 bags you buy for 20% of the cost." And Classical wrote, "My Coach bag is about five years old and it still looks new even though I don't baby it." You all encouraged me to try the outlet for sales.

I was still skeptical, but I talked it through with my boyfriend's sister, Melissa. She is a coupon-clipping Coach addict as well, who days later, got an e-mail alert the outlet was having a super-secret online sale. She relayed my dilemma to her mother, who insisted on giving me some early birthday money to use at the sale. Melissa gave me her Coach password. It was on.

I was freaking. I'd never spent more than $30 on a bag in my life. My brain swelled a little at the prospect.

I wanted a cross-body bag, and the outlet was offering some nice styles. But they weren't leather, and if I was going to spend that much on a purse, it better dang well have been leather. I closed the browser window. Couldn't do it. I went home that night and told the BF that I chickened out.

Then, he got Boyfriend of the Year. Just do it, he said. Pick a nice leather one even if it doesn't have the right strap. I could buy a cheapo cross-body bag anywhere. And I had birthday money and tax return money, so why was I thinking about it so much? HE'S SUCH A WISE FELLOW, YOU GUYS.

So the next morning, with 14 minutes to spare in the sale, I picked an Ashely Carryall, a model made for the outlet in a sandy color called Dune with a nice, long shoulder strap. The retail price? $348. On the sale? $153.

I have to tell you guys, clicking "purchase" was the biggest high EVER. I realize this is not altogether healthy. This is how shopping addicts probably feel. But whatever. For the next hour, you could not TOUCH ME.

The box arrived a short time later. I got home from the gym all sweaty and gross and ripped into it. (That's me up there looking tired and backlit by the TV in this happy moment.) It was such an ornate affair. The return receipt was enclosed in an embossed envelope. Even the plastic wrap was pretty.

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They left the original price tag on, just to make me feel good, I'm sure. I realize since this is an outlet model, it would never have really retailed for this price. But I take this to its value compared to other Coach models.

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And here she is, in all her glory.

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It's so soft. Even my guy let out an expletive when he touched it. And so far, it's holding up to all the abuse I regularly give my bags. The other day, I found my dog's half-chewed rawhide bone inside it. The Coach bag didn't even blink.

If you want to be alerted of super-secret Coach outlet sales, go to Coach.com and sign up for e-mail alerts. You'll be first to know about these flash sales, and you too can wade into the false high of luxury purse shopping. Thanks, guys, for the encouragement.

I still need that cross-body bag, though.

Deal Diva Stephanie

[Last modified: Thursday, June 2, 2011 4:57pm]

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