On the cost of handbag rehab

Remember my vintage Celine ‘bourgeois bag’ I bought from Rellik in June? Well after barely a few outings, I realised one of the tiny screws from the clasp had come loose. Before I had a chance to get it mended, the wretched screw had fallen out altogether. I decided to take it to the Celine shop in Bond Street for a bit of handbag rehab. After admiring the bag, the sales lady agreed to send it to Paris for repair. Two weeks later she called to tell me the cost would be £60. “Sixty pounds? But all they have to do is replace a screw!” I wailed incredulously. “Why does that cost £60?” I told her not to bother with the repair and to just return the bag. She decided to find out the reason for the excessive charge and let me know. A few days later I had heard nowt. Eventually, after a bit of toing and froing I got a call. Celine had decided to fix the bag for free and it would be winging its way back into my arms shortly.

I have to say, at every turn, the staff at Celine were unfailingly polite and helpful (if a bit slow) and I’m thrilled that my experience resulted in a happy ending. But I have to question this business of high-end brands charging high-end repair fees for their goods. If you’re spending hundreds or thousands (in the case of Cartier watches and suchlike) of pounds on their goods, would it hurt their profits too much to throw in a free repair every once in a while?

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5 Responses to On the cost of handbag rehab

  1. Libertygirl says:

    Good for you! I’m still reeling at being charged $40 to replace a hinge on my CK aviator sunspecs. Thing is, they were freebies, I broke them by sitting on them so CK were never going to mend them for nowt, and buying new ones would have been $150 on some dodgy net shop so….

    Diesel tho on Bond St mended for free, and threw in a very nice hard case, when a screw fell out of my Chrissie pressie ones from the press office (& I hadn’t told the store they were a press gift) xx

  2. hebden says:

    I’m sure they don’t now but I believe that LV used to repair things for free. I seem to remember my mother getting something repaired there in the 80’s and not being charged…of course, this is through a haze of memory so I could be way off base…

  3. WendyB says:

    Honestly, I would expect them to repair for free anything you bought from them directly. I think it’s going a bit out of their way to repair something you bought elsewhere even if it is their brand. Who knows what it’s been through, you know? I’m glad they did it and that you held out for it but I’m just saying…I’m not surprised at the charge or anything.

  4. Rollergirl says:

    Thanks for all the comments. WendyB, don’t you think £60 is a lot to replace a screw though? I was disputing the cost more than the fact I had to pay something. I totally didn’t expect them to repair it for free, but I thought £60 was a lot. But then, maybe they have to cover their costs – it has to be sent to Paris for starters – so maybe it’s a flat fee of £60 whatever the repair is…Well I’m glad they’re doing it anyway!

  5. The Glossy Editor says:

    Picture of the bag pls! And yes 60 is too much for a screw! If they are going to charge an arm and a leg repairs should be free. Surely there apparent 12X mark-up should cover the cost??

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