If you've ever bought yourself a Cellini leather handbag, you'll know they're not cheap, but they are beautiful handbags that look great and are made to last. They're an Australian brand, so I'm not sure if they're available elsewhere. I recently purchased the bag pictured on one of those shop till you drop shopping bus trips.
I go on one trip almost every year. It's a FUN day spent with friends, being driven around to factory outlets all over Sydney. The bargains are incredible and the day raises money for charity at the same time.
I was very happy with my new bag. From memory, this one retailed for around $250 and I paid much less than half price. It was still a lot of money, but well worth it, or so I thought. The size is hard to gauge in the photo, but it's quite a large shoulder bag.
There's a problem with the lining, however. The dye comes comes off on the contents of the bag. I have never had this happen with my old Cellini bags, or with any other handbag, for that matter. I first noticed the dye on a packet of tissues that were in the bag. The outside tissues started turning black. Most of the contents of my bag are black or dark colours, so I didn't notice any dye on them, but I could see signs of the dye on a light coloured makeup bag.
At first, I couldn't work out where the black was coming from. I found it hard to imagine that a good brand would choose lining fabric of an inferior quality, so maybe the black was coming from something else.
To test, I rubbed a couple of clean tissues against the lining a couple of times, and, sure enough, black appeared on the tissues. My next thought was that the bag was an imitation. Ummm - I don't think anyone would go to the trouble of having fabric made with the word cellini, nor the hardwear and the leather. Maybe it's a second? Even so, I wouldn't expect dye to come off.
I Googled the problem, but couldn't find anything.
So, what to do? If the bag had been bought at a normal retail outlet, of course I'd return it, even though I no longer have the receipt. I tend to throw receipts out straight away. Perhaps my credit card statement would have sufficed.
However, I doubt very much that I could return the bag to a factory outlet and certainly not without the receipt. I'm sure I recall a sign saying there were no returns.
Maybe I can take the lining out and replace it. It's a lot of work and I'll never get it to fit, or look like the original.
The top row of stitching can't be unpicked, as it holds the zipper in, but maybe I could cut away the parts that are stitched to leather and unpick the rest.
As well as an internal zippered pocket, there are open pockets, edged with leather.
And there's a pocket on the outside, lined with the same fabric.
What would you do? I really would value your opinions as to how I can make this bag usable again.
I sent an email to Cellini and received a very prompt reply, saying they are going to investigate. Cellini will pay to have the bag posted back. I'm very impressed with their attention to the problem and the service I have received.