Friday, 23 January 2015

acquisition analysis: vintage coach court bag

I purchased my very first vintage bag: the Coach Court bag in burgundy.

this is the image of the bag that was posted in the ebay listing - pretty good for a vintage bag circa 1980s, yes?

Initial thoughts (why vintage)

I was never into vintage other than the things that my mom passed down to me. I mean, old things generally do not appeal to my younger self, who was more into contemporary designs. And then, I got older and started appreciating timeless designs and this was when vintage bags begin to appear more attractive.

I think this is a good entry point for a vintage virgin. The bag was made circa 1980s, the era that I was born, so it was fitting that it is the first in my collection. I have been sticking to more classic bags lately because I’d like it to withstand the test of time. This bag has withstood the test of time for about 20-25 years and counting, and I am excited to carry it for the next 20-30 years or so.

Why this bag

I first saw this bag on approximately a couple of years ago. I toyed between the Court and the Willis (and for a brief period of time, the Station) before finally choosing the Court for its design. When comparing bags from the same design house, with similar designs like these, I go for the one that I love at first sight, which was the Court. The Willis has been alluring, and is still alluring so if and when I see the Willis in the colour that I want (navy), then I will definitely jump at the opportunity.

I wanted the Court in black, but got the one in burgundy. I like a burgundy-coloured bag because it is my one of my classic colours. When a bag is available for sale in the style that I want, in the colour that I want, within the price range I am willing to pay for its quality, the rest, as they say, is history. So colour, I suppose, is the one element that is flexible for me. If the style is right and the colour is 'one of my colours', then it's a good candidate for purchase.

The purchase

I saw this bag on within its first few hours of listing. I did not have an alert set up for this bag because there were just too many listings available on ebay, but the condition of these bags are generally appalling (but they are cheap, so really, can’t complain). So, I resigned to fate: if it’s a meant to be, it’s a meant to be. Meanwhile, I happily leave this bag on my lust list. I am a lot more relaxed with my lust list these days, a lot of items came off this list within a few months, so I try not to purchase unless the item has been there for at least 3 months. This is some serious waiting, and I find that I make more successful purchases this way. This bag in particular has been on the lust list for nearly 2 years.

Upon seeing the bag, I added it to my watch list and then continued browsing other things. The great thing about this time of the year is that I have plenty of time to browse and evaluate my watch list. I add things and subtract things from it on a very regular basis. This bag survived a few rounds of editing, which made it a serious contender for purchase.

As is the case with buying on eBay, you can never be certain of its authenticity, so you have no choice but to be really good at educating yourself on this. It is not rocket science these days, thanks to the number of people who write articles on how to authenticate anything (plus a Google search). And as a non-negotiable rule on buying anything on eBay: if the photos are not up to scratch, chance is that the seller is not up to scratch. Stay away from people who put a half-assed attempt of selling things on eBay store. These people give me the impression that their goods are not well maintained, because they are seemingly lazy in general. I don’t wish to encourage this sloppy behavior, so I just don’t purchase anything from them.

I took my cue from extrapetite's experience on buying a Coach Court bag. My bag is a good decade older than hers, but there are parallels to our experience. I won’t repeat the steps here, and instead encourage you to read extrapetite’s posting on how to buy a Coach bag.

Despite being a fraction of the price of my black bag, the usual acquisition criteria applied for this bag: good material and construction: leather, durable and affordable for its quality. I want this bag to be reliable and dependable as a polishing touch to my outfits, and again, to be something that I take care and maintained, not babied.

On the brand

Coach has been around for a very long time – for as long as I can remember. I used to have this infatuation with Coach products, which materialized itself in 2008 during my brief stint in the US of A. My taste has changed significantly since then, and I have since sold and/or gifted whatever I bought back then. Coach re-released their classic collection a couple of years ago, which was when I developed this fondness for the brand, and of course, the post from extrapetite on vintage Coach bags.

Other random observations

We walked into Coach at the QVB building the day before Christmas. One of my oldest friends (we had the privilege of growing up together) bought me a purse – he said, I wanted to get you something, and it was on sale. He was open to the idea of me exchanging it for something I wanted if I didn’t like it. I liked his choice because well, he picked it. But we were in front of Coach and it wasn’t too crazy and there was this bag I liked (which was bought my someone else – ugh), so there we were. I entertained myself with the new collection (wasn’t on sale), which I happened to like a lot, and would have bought had it not for the fact that I already have a similar styled bag. When we finally made it to the sale section, I found the zip top clutch that I have been wanting for a year now, in a different color, but I’ve been wanting an orange bag as of late, so… we exchanged the clutch he picked for the orange one, and picked the same styled clutch in pink for his sister.

This means two Coach bags within a week. Santa has been very kind this year.

acquisition analysis is a series of entries that centres on the practical side of how to maximise your marginal utility when spending your money. it is not primarily directed at the financial side of things, rather, on refining my buying skills, specifically on how an item would fit into my life. after all, if it is true that i get to design my life, then it follows that i need to be more critical in both adding and subtracting what's in it. furthermore, i personally believe that in order to maximise one's resources, acquisitions (or purchases) have to be of a strategic nature, instead of a mere time-filler. i admit that at this stage, i am yet to formalise an acquisition process, so one of the goals would be to come up with my acquisition process after i analyse a few of my past purchases. this should make for an interesting exercise because i note that some of my acquisitions do not necessarily stand the test of time. some items that i purchased turn out to be of a terrible quality, despite meticulously taking care of them. lots of lessons to be had!

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