How to buy a new handbag without breaking the bank

I was watching How to Shop Well for Less last week and couldn’t believe how much it’s possible to spend on a handbag! I’ve never spent more than £15, I’m sure! But maybe I’m the exception and many people might not be able to find the bag of their dream on a budget. Here are some ways to shop while staying thrifty…

LOOK FOR A VERSATILE BAG

My first tip is to look for a bag that you can wear in several different ways. For example, if you fancy one of this season’s top handle bags look for one that comes with a detachable body strap so that it can turn into a satchel as needed and serve two purposes. If you buy a bum bag, opt for one that features a multi-strap. This style of strap provides you with the chance to wear the bag at the waist or as a cross-body bag, so you get two different looks from the one bag. 

CHECK OUT THE INTERIOR

It is very important that the bag you buy is practical. You want to be sure that you can fit everything you need into it. So, look at the interior from a critical point of view and ask yourself if there are enough compartments. Also, make sure there is somewhere secure and easily accessible for you to stow expensive items like your keys and phone.

OPT FOR NEUTRAL COLOURS

Choosing the right colour is essential. If you choose wisely you will be able to use your bag virtually every single day. Often, the best approach is to buy a bag in a neutral colour. If you do this you should find that your handbag fits in well with most of the clothes that you currently or are going to own.

SHOP AROUND

Before you buy, take the time to have a look around and see if you can buy it cheaper elsewhere. Also, check to see if you can find a voucher or discount code. If you are planning to buy your bag online consider using a price watcher extension. There are several available for both Chrome and Firefox.

FANCY A DESIGNER BAG? BUY AN INVESTMENT ONE

Fortunately, these days, you do not have to buy a designer bag to be able to look good. There are plenty of mid-range and low-cost handbags in the shops that are just as well designed. But, if owning a designer bag is something that you really want to do, you could always save up to buy one. If you do that, take good care of it. Clean it regularly, never put it on the floor and stow it in a dust bag when not in use to protect it. If you do this, you can usually sell it on when you are finished with it. In some cases, you will be able to make a considerable profit when you do so!

BE PREPARED TO UPCYCLE

As you can see from Pinterest, there are dozens of ways to upcycle a bag or purse. All you have to do is to use your imagination and  your craft skills. There are some really great how-to videos available online and picking up the materials is easier than you think. For example, if you need replacement straps and handles you could salvage them from bags you can pick up from local charity shops.

Let me know if you have any advice for buying well for less, and if you’ve found any bargain handbags out there by leaving me a comment below – I’d love to hear what deals you’ve found!

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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