That would be the authentic vintage Chanel bag I bought for $15 at an estate sale.
The sale was being managed by an estate sale company and all handbags were priced at $15. Now, I had already figured out that whoever lived here had major style but it seemed like they had totally pulled out all of the major designer stuff before the sale even started. That was just my hunch.
There were some great bags on that $15 table, each worth well over the price. But there was one particular one that caught my eye. It was buried deep in the pile and pushed toward the back. I tried to hold back my shriek of excitement when I realized there was a really good looking knock off Chanel for just $15. I grabbed my friend and brought her to see. “Umm Amanda, does it seem like whoever lived here would have knock offs?” I giggled and said, “I mean it’s Chanel. A good knock off ain’t chump change.”
But the more I thought about it the more I sensed that she might be right.
“Okay, let’s get out of here” i said as i grabbed the bag and tried to hold it as inconspicuously as possible shielding the logo. I was worried that someone who lived there might see it and realize that it wasn’t supposed to be sold and I knew I wouldn’t be able to argue because, I mean, I get it. It low key felt like I was robbing some poor rich old lady.
When we got to the checkout, I asked if it was really $15. I felt morally inclined to do so and I was worried like the girl checking me out would notice and be like “oh that’s a mistake, you really thought that was $15?” And hysterically laugh and fashion shame me.
“Yep, all prices are final and non negotiable” she said. Oh, did she think I was trying to negotiate down? Huh, maybe this was a knockoff.
So I paid the fifteen dollars and scurried to the car like I was hiding a big secret. “Why are we whispering?” Whispered my friend. And we both just busted out in a loud laugh.
I immediately scoured the internet and was giddy to find that it might actually have a chance at being authentic. We were out on an adventure day and didn’t have any concrete plans for our next destination, so we grabbed some lunch and headed over to a little bougie overpriced vintage shop downtown.
By this time I had dumped my purse and was using and carrying the bag, obvi. We went in and first just started to look though the racks. Within minutes the store owner gasped and asked if she could see my bag. “Oh my god, can I hold it?” She asked. “Umm sure. Is it real?” I chuckled.
She pulled her glasses down her nose and looked at me very seriously. “Well, I assumed so at first glance but if you give me a second I’ll look a little closer.” She took the bag over another part of the counter and used her phone to do what I was probably doing earlier. “Oh yes.” She asked where I found it and looked dumbfounded. She explained that I probably shouldn’t be slinging it around town so casually. I guess it deserved to live preserved in a box in the top of my closet. Or in some museum somewhere.
My friend heard us talking and walked over wearing a hilariously gaudy vintage fur coat she was trying on. “Tell you what, I’ll trade you that coat for the purse. Even swap” the lady said. My friend looked at me and said “Umm, Amanda, this coat is $798.”
“And worth more than that” the lady chirped in. “No thanks,” I said, not really taking this whole thing seriously because it was all just so wild, “I love this purse and want to just use it and be merry” (I distinctly remember using the word ‘merry’).
“Oh please do be careful and take great care of it. And promise me that if you ever do want to sell it that you’ll come to me first” the lady begged. “Sure, of course.” I replied and my friend and I left the little downtown bougie overpriced vintage store once again for the umpteenth time without a single purchase. But this time I didn’t feel nearly as inferior.
And yes, lady who owns that store, I will come keep you in mind if ever want to sell. But for now I choose to use the bag as a functional item, toting my treasured gem around town on average days whenever I feel like it. Oh, and heads up, you’re gonna have to offer me a lot more than that little ball of fur.