Monday, March 11, 2013

Be Frugal, Buy a Coach

There was a time, back in the mid-1990s, when I was not really known for my frugal ways.  Gasp, yes it is true.  Fueled by "real" money from a job as a law clerk for a high powered east coast firm, and a work schedule that was non-stop, I was known to shop for entertainment.  My friends and I would engage in some "retail therapy" at the store.  A little here, a little there, and quickly the debt grew.

And then there was the day in March 1996, the worst day at work I have ever had.  I mean ever.  Horrible. I was in New York City, working on site for "the client".  No friends nearby.  I left the office and headed to Lord and Taylor.  Lord, that is the wrong place to go when you are emotional about work.  My work bag had broken around that same time, and I decided to perk myself up with a new bag.  I poked around a bit, but nothing seemed right.  And then I saw "it", Coaches' Beekman Brief.

The moment I laid eyes on the bag I had dreamed about for years, the sale was done.  I'll take it.  The only frugal aspect of this purchase was my opening and Lord and Taylor credit card to save 10% on the purchase.  Back then the bag sold for $500, so it was worth opening a card to save some cash.

Fast forward 17 years.  My beloved Beekman Brief resides on the floor of my closed, towards the back.  The key latch in front pops open now, and the strap hardware has come undone.  Unusable, but not something I can put in the pile for Goodwill.  Once again I've had a series of inexpensive shoulder bags, now called computer bags, that break.  Sick and tired of spending $50 on something that barely lasts a year, I start thinking about getting a "nicer" bag.  A post on Facebook yields many suggestions for bags that are eco-friendly, and waterproof.  I look on-line.....$200 gives me pause.  Why invest in another bag when I already invested in one that needs some TLC?  Out comes the Beekman Brief, and off we go to the mall where Coach has a store.  I handed the clerk my bag and $20 cash.  In four weeks time it will arrive, via UPS, on my door step.  Fixed for no extra charge.  A lifetime guarantee.  So yes, be frugal buy a coach.  Not all coaches, but "a" Coach.  It will last a lifetime.

So, when you buy a Coach bag and you are willing to use it for decades, it can be considered a frugal move.  I would advise you not to: 1) shop when emotional; 2) buy on impulse; and 3) buy a new bag with each new season.  Thanks for reading, and feel free to post on comment on items that cost a pretty penny, but give years of quality use.


  1. You bought the bag that broke back in Wisconsin before you moved to D.C. This is where your friends in D.C. were imaging where you went back home to get the cheap bag.

  2. The only thing it is missing is the word "bagel". Living out east, I was routinely asked to say "bagel", apparently it was funny. Movies such as Fargo and Grumpy Old Men really highlighted our Midwestern accent. Cute clip! Those cheap bags were actually purchased in the knock-off stores so common in DC and NYC.

  3. is it really true coach repairs any bag for $20. How would you know if it was done properly. ? I'd be afraid to let it out of sight.

    1. Yes, the bags have a lifetime warranty. I took my to a brick and mortar store (i.e. the storefront at the mall). I handed them cash, they gave me a claim check, and off it went. It's a national company that stands behind its product. As for fear, I am not attached to my belongings that much. Life can happen, and if it were lost, that would just be life. But it wasn't. It was returned and fixed by the company that makes it, perfectly.