Sunday, November 25, 2012

Coach - Outlet Vs. Boutique - My Opinion

So I've talked to many people about designer bags over the years and I've heard and seen this topic brought up several times. What is better outlet bags vs. boutique bags.

Truthfully to me I'll pick outlet bags and accessories any day over boutique. For me it's common sense, why spend $300-$400 and up for a handbag when I can go to the outlet and get bags and accessories for nearly nothing. If I choose to spend $300-$400 I can get more bang for my buck at the outlet. I love a good deal and I'm the kind of person that when she shops, she likes to buy many items at once. The more I buy at one time the happier I am. I'll admit several years back when I first got into designer bags and had no clue there was a outlet within driving distance of me I purchased from Macy's. However only bought 6 Coach items there before I learned of the outlet and I have never bought anything FP form Coach again. Also you can get a lot of the FP Coach items for a deep discount at the outlet anyway. I have heard though they are supposed to be cracking down on the FP items going to the outlet, but who knows if that is true. However I don't go to the outlet for the FP items, I go for the discounts on whatever it is that I see and like. I don't discriminate, if I like it I buy it, could care less if it was originally a FP item or if it is a MFF bag. Could care less if it's siggy or leather or something else. If i'm in love with it, it's coming home with me and i'm going to happily carry it with pride.

A lot of people like to get snotty about the issue and claim that boutique bags and items are better and that MFF bags are not real Coach bags and that they would rather pay $400 at the boutique and claim quality. To me that is just a bunch of nonsense, for several reasons. The number one reason is I have had 0 issues with quality and I own many outlet items. I carried one MFF Coach bag for 2 years, every day. The bag was my workhorse bag and everywhere I went it followed. It's still going strong today, no quality issues to report. I just happened to tire of the same look every day and switched out. I've bought tons of items from the outlet and never had any problems. Also it says Coach on it don't it? You bought it from a Coach outlet didn't you? Then to me it's a real Coach bag. You know the old saying... if it walks like a duck, looks like a duck and quacks like a duck...then it probably is a duck. Well this kind of applies to outlet bags for me. Some people claim it takes away from the feeling you get of buying a boutique bag. Well you couldn't prove that by me, because I get overly excited going to the outlet and if anything love my outlet buys just as much if not more then the few boutique bags and accessories I have.

Some people do claim that it takes away from the exclusivity of owning a Coach bag, and on that topic I may agree. Yeah it's not exclusive anymore EVERYONE has a Coach bag. Did the outlet help, heck yes it did. I really don't know that many people who don't own one. The people who I know that don't own them, simply just don't care to buy Coach, or any other designer bags for that matter. However the exclusive thing can be used with Louis Vuitton as well and to my knowledge they don't have a outlet. I see Louis Vuitton bags a lot, seen Gucci a lot as well this week but they have a outlet (sadly no outlet near me). So truthfully, does price really matter when comes come to exclusivity...maybe I'd say about 50%, however if someone wants something bad enough they will pay the price to get it. So are bags exclusive to some extent due to price...yes, but not always. I've seen everyday people from mothers with 5 kids to famous people who own Louis Vuitton bags or really just about any designer bags you can think of. So outlets are not always the reason for lack of exclusivity. If the outlet didn't exist would Coach diminish in popularity, yes to some extent it would. however as I said if people want it, they will buy it, no matter the price. A person just has to want it bad enough to buy it. Those of us who love Coach will yes pay high prices when we must to get what we really want. Would I pay high prices if no outlet existed, heck yes I would. However I'm not forced to do so with Coach so I do not.

Will Coach ever do away with the outlet stores. Absolutely NOT! Why you ask? Well Coach makes most of it's money off the outlets, and as we all know where there is a dollar to make, people will make that dollar. Do I think they will stop sending FP deletes to the outlets, maybe...who knows? It is possible that they may do that. Do I care? No! Will that make me stop shopping at the outlet and buy boutique bags and accessories more often? No! Only way I'd purchase from the boutique is if I really love it and just HAVE to have it. Even then I may not decide to purchase.

I have a Coach boutique about 40 minutes from me, and the boutique has been there oh I'd say about a year and a half now....never stepped foot in it. I couldn't even tell you what the inside looks like. However I am thinking of going there after Christmas ONE time. There are two items I do want and if they don't sell out before I can get the items there is 1 charm and a umbrella I do want. I would just order online from Coach but can't stand to pay shipping if I don't have to. Now I've been going back and forth with myself on this issue because it will cost me over $100 for the two items after taxes. I don't know if I will go though with it when I can take myself right back to the outlet and get 3-4 maybe even 5 items depending on what kind of discount I can get for the same amount of money. I may even be able to find the items at the outlet, especially the charm. For me to throw down that kind of money for two items when I have other options you know I REALLY like the items.

To me the outlet makes more sense then the boutique. However I guess it's all a matter of opinion, and as we all know everyone has those.
That being said what are your opinions on the whole Coach outlet vs. boutique bags issue? Boutique, Outlet or both? Toss your two cents in and lets discuss!

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