In the early spring I decided to invest in a new everyday handbag. I knew I wanted a something structured, square-shaped, and simple. Then, I recalled a classic designer bag with a lock. A quick Google search let me know that the bag that I was thinking of was the Birkin bag by Hermes. I had seen it a million times, but I didn't know anything about this bag, or that it was one of the most expensive and exclusive handbags out there! Oh, so that's why I'd seen it dangling from the arms of celebrities so often.
(Celebrity pictures from Google Images)
The real thing.
Apparently there was even an episode of "Sex in the City" devoted to the Birkin.
I wasn't loving the Birkin for status symbol purposes. I just really liked its elegant shape and cute lock! Once I realized that the Birkin was only a couple tens of thousands of dollars out of my price range, I started searching Ebay for something with a similar shape and style. There are plenty of Birkin knock-offs online. I could have bought one with that was an identical shape, but I went for one with a slightly different design than the actual Birkin.
Pictures of my bag with and without flash. The bag is pretty matte in normal light, not shiny as it appears with flash.
This bag was about $37 including shipping from China on Ebay. For this price, I expected the quality level to be fair. When I got the bag, it seemed really nicely made. The material did not seem cheap or junky. It seemed like a quality bag! I was pleasantly surprised.
Until further examination, that is... The bag had this weird overpowering chemical factory smell. Have you ever had anything that smelled that way before? I've gotten some shoes like that in the past, and the smell never went away. I also noticed the inside lining had not even been sewn properly and had holes in the corners. I was really annoyed, since I loved the appearance of the bag. I also knew that if I wanted a refund they would make me pay to ship the item all the way back to China. I decided I was not even going to deal with the seller. I let the bag air out for about a week, and luckily the weird chemical smell went away completely. My sister stitched up the lining and everything has been great with the bag ever since.
I really do love my bag, even if it is not top quality. Although I am happy in the end, I guess you get what you pay for... Next time I'll certainly shell out the $10,000-$150,000 for an authentic Birkin bag :-)