Saturday, May 30, 2009

Attention: Bagaholics On A Budget

I am a self-confessed bagaholic. Women, like me, just can't have too many bags. But I never was lured by the glitz of designer bags that carries a heavy price tag. I could not spend more than my one-month's worth salary over a bag I could sling proudly in my wrist or my arms or my shoulders (okay I confess, maybe just a little less than my paycheck). Anyway, hearing that a store that buys and sells and pawns and trades (new concept) designer bags (mainly Louis Vuitton and Prada) just opened in Manila is a news I could not resist. Thanks to Michaela Cabrera for featuring it in Yahoo News here.

MANILA (Reuters Life!) – Handbag lovers addicted to Louis Vuitton and Prada, but on a budget because of the financial crisis, are indulging their cravings at a Manila store that buys and sells used, authentic designer totes.

In the Philippine capital, the cash registers of luxury goods stores are still ringing, thanks to the super-rich who appear immune to the economic downturn. But business is also booming at Bagaholic, located at the New World Hotel in Manila's financial district, whose range spans everything from Louis Vuitton Monogram Denims and Balenciaga Motorcycles to Chanel Bowlers and Gucci Hobos.

"Women in general, especially Asian women are very crazy over high-end designer bags, and I am one of them. So it actually solves my problem. I don't have to buy bags anymore, I can use what I have here," owner Gigi Asok Bambroffe told Reuters.

Several websites offer used designer clothes and accessories, but one-year-old Bagaholic allows customers to try on their purchases before committing to them. And unlike designer stores which often have a fixed-price policy, you can bargain.

Depending on the bag's quality and popularity, Bambroffe sells them for a discount of about 30 to 70 percent of the brand-new item's price.

A used classic Hermes Birkin, which sells new for half a million pesos ($10,600), can be bought for less than 60,000 pesos ($1,270) at the store. A Louis Vuitton Speedy, the store's bestseller, goes for as low as 15,000 pesos ($320), compared to its original price of around 40,000 pesos ($850).

"The price is definitely to die for, because instead of just buying one purse, now I can buy three purses, and instead of just being stuck with one color, now I can actually do more colors," said businesswoman Danielle Parker, who has recently taken to buying more used bags than new ones. With the help of books and her own experience, Bambroffe has developed a keen eye for spotting genuine items from fakes and says only one out of nine sellers would offer a copy.

Most of Bambroffe's loyal customers are professionals and women with rich husbands. Some want to get rid of last season's "it" bag to buy a new one, while others don't mind being slightly unfashionable and buying an older model.She said she was surprised at the number of Filipino women willing to buy used goods. And the designer boutiques in Manila don't seem to see her store as competition, sometimes even sending clients over. "Vuitton actually sent them here to sell their stuff, and they go straight to Vuitton and buy a new one, so I think I'm helping them more than I'm affecting them sales-wise," Bambroffe said, referring to some of her customers.


Streetside Renaissance Hotel (formerly New World)
Makati Ave. corner Pasay Road
Makati City, Metro Manila

Monday, May 25, 2009

I Give Back Birthday Project

In less than a month I will be celebrating my 27th birthday. I feel I am so blessed and instead of being so selfish and think of me and only me on that day I plan to give back this time. Well, given that I will be on vacation on my day would be enough already to make me smile all day. Having time spent away from work and the hassles of city living can be considered bliss in its purest form.

As part of my birthday give back project, "I Give Back", I want everyone to suggest what else could I do to make this day more memorable. Oh by the way, in line with this I am sending a kid to school and I plan to volunteer in a community outreach program as well together with my friends. So, tell me what else could I do...Leave a comment.


1. Anyone can join (anywhere you are as long as you can be reached by a mailman). For entries from the Philippines, package will be shipped through LBC. For international entries, I will be shipping it via regular registered mail so it may take awhile before it reaches you.

2. All you need to do is to leave a comment in this blog post about what else I could do to make June 17, 2009 a rather memorable and worthwhile day for me. Please do not leave your address in my site as this is unsecure. One alternative is to leave your email address so I can contact you for shipping purposes.

3. Winners will be chosen randomly on the 16th of June and winners will be announced on my birthday, June 17. Watch out for the announcement in this blog as well.

NOTE: Bloggers may opt to blog about this contest to spread the word...I would love it!


1. A Twilight Saga Book (in Trade Paperback by Stephenie Meyer) There will be 4 winners for this prize: 1 Twilight, 1 New Moon, 1 Eclipse, 1 Breaking Dawn - I've decided to award this whole package as the 1st prize.

Isabella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Isabella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Isabella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balance precariously on the point of a knife—between desire and danger. Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite.
2. TIME For Kids Almanac 2009: Filled with more must-have facts and stats than ever before!

3. The One Minute Manager: The World's Most Popular Management Method: The One Minute Manager is a concise, easily read story that reveals three very practical secrets: One Minute Goals, One Minute Praisings, and One Minute Reprimands.

4. The Face Shop Essential Mask Sheets

So, what are you waiting for? So easy to join. Thank you in advance for taking time to leave a suggestion or two.

Image Credit: Leonard Chien

Sunday, May 24, 2009

New Discovery: Polyvore.Com

I have found a site that I am addicted to right now. It should be a staple website in every girl's browser Favorites. Polyvore was founded in February of 2007 and it has converted girls and boys into their own fashionistas. Current statistics shows that Polyvore gets three million unique hits per month and the registered users are numbered at 650,000 plus me. If you wanna read more about the Polyvore dynamic team, click this link. Currently, they are looking for software engineers.

Since I discovered it a few days ago, I have been actively creating sets whether at home or in the office (breaks of course) and joining contests. I received a few comments already about the initial sets that I have finished working on. I say it is therapeutic as well. It keeps me occupied and my creative juices just continuously flows and flows. I have actually written about my first set the day I discovered it. Read about it here.

Polyvore is a free, easy-to-use web-based application for mixing and matching images from anywhere on the web. It is also a vibrant community of creative and stylish people. Polyvore lets you create sets composed of individual images using an easy to use, drag and drop editor. After you have created a set, you can publish and share it with your friends and the Polyvore community.

I say it is HIGHLY ADDICTIVE given that I love mixing and matching and oh did I forget to mention I love shopping too? This is my crack. My own high in my house-office-church-mall-kinda life. This is my online closet...And one more thing, Polyvore let's you shop, create, explore and gain friends too.

Here are some sample sets I have created:

Pink Wedding

All You Need Is Love

I Love Weekends!

Go ahead and explore how creative you could be...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Skycable Broadband 15 Day-Trial Free

I have internet connection back at home. I am on cable connection, Skycable's broadband connection. I got a little flyer in my mailbox and thought I'd read through it and what do you know it offers a 15-day trial. Good heavens! Free things still exist.

To avail of the 15-day trial absolutely free:
- must be a Skycable subscriber
- must have at least one-year tenure with Skycable - must be in good credit standing
- call 6310000 for more details

I called the contact person on the list last Saturday and before 5PM, someone came over to let me sign an application form and then around 10AM on Sunday, I have broadband connection at home. Well, I think that is what you call service. I have always been a fan of Skycable customer service and PLDT clearly lacks this. So now I am thinking to just ditch my PLDT service (read: they require 2-3 weeks for reinstallation). If I push through with Skycable, I only need to pay the Php1000 deposit for the cable modem and Php999 for the first month. If I have my PLDT reinstalled (because I transferred to a new place), I have to pay Php1500 for the DSL connection and Php1200 for the phone line. Only problem with Skycable is I won't have a phone line to use to call for late night deliveries, water deliveries, and all those type of things. So, I might max out my mobile phone limit again if this happens. But thinking of the savings I could get plus avoiding any chance to deal with PLDT's crappy service, I think I am better off with Skycable. Ahhh, I still have 13 days to decide. Wish me luck!