Buyer Beware

Posted: November 15, 2013 in Ramblings

I’ve learned some kind of a lesson recently. Not sure what lesson, but something.

For several years I’ve been trying to find a handbag with no obvious modern elements: no logos, buckles or other bling, no funky colors, made of leather. This has proven surprisingly difficult, until this year when I finally found a gorgeous one on Etsy and ordered it.

When the handcrafted bag arrived, I was thrilled. It’s gorgeous, very well made, and a great size – big enough to carry all my things without being gigantic. I immediately put all my stuff in it and went to Safeway, and that’s when the love affair ended.

1. There’s no organization at all. It’s just a big empty bag. I’d known this before ordering, of course, but hadn’t appreciated the annoyance of having all my stuff jumbled up in the bottom of the bag. And of course the thing I want (phone, lipstick, wallet) is always at the very bottom of the pile.

2. It’s heavy. Nearly three pounds when empty. Loaded, it’s so heavy that I get a headache when wearing it cross-body. “Don’t wear it cross-body,” I hear you say…

3. It is made of a hard, ‘molded’ leather, and has a half-flap closure. Because it’s hard and molded, the flap wants to stay flapped shut even when the button closure is open. If I don’t wear it cross-body, I need at least three hands! One to hold the bag, one to hold the flap up and out of the way, and one to rummage around at the bottom of the pile and find my stuff.

4. The button closure is very stiff and requires two hands to open, though the maker tells me this will loosen up in time.

5 (a corollary to #1): Since there’s no organization, I’d need to spend money on a protective cell case, and maybe a cosmetics bag or something.

So, in a nutshell, I hate this gorgeous, well-made bag, that cannot be returned.

Like I said, I’m not sure what lesson I’ve learned. Only buy bags I can see/test beforehand, I suppose…?

If any readers think they might like this bag, please contact me via email. I don’t want to be nasty and point fingers here on the web; the craftsmen who made it have been very helpful to me. It’s simply not a style that will work for me. I paid $189. It has a long crossbody strap and a shorter shoulder strap (you can’t attach them both at the same time), and it is black with black hand-stitching.

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