Thursday 20 November 2014

Handbag Problem ~ Help Appreciated...

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.

... Pam

Edited to add
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.


  1. Hi Pam! Not feeling very creative tonight but until you get it sorted, perhaps a bag insert? :)

  2. What if you googled the manufacturer and talked to someone on the phone. I realize you bought it from an outlet, but it may not hurt...their product name is in question as it stands. And should it be a knockoff (I hope not), I would think the corporate office would like to know if someone is passing off their product like that. If nothing else, it may shed light on the situation and keep it from happening to someone else. Perhaps they had a bad run of dye in their liners. Maybe they will offer you an exchange for notifying them. Good luck and let me know how this turns out Pam!

  3. I'm with Shirley Ann - you need to contact the manufacturer and ask - she said everything that popped into my mind when I read your post! I think they got a bad batch of lining and didn't know about it when they were putting the bags together. At least you contacting them will get the problem on record :)

  4. Pam I went to their website and clicked on returns:
    They say nf you believe the item to be faulty to contact them first before returning. I would contact them as the others have suggested too. The should stand behind their product whether it came from an outlet store or not. At the very least they should be made aware of their inferior lining in case the same lining is being used in their full price bags in their regular stores. They may exchange your bag for another of similar price or style. I think they would at least look into the poor lining so this doesn't happen again. Good luck and let us know what happens.

  5. Return it to the company, brand names do not want something bad said about their products and for that price they would want a happy costumer. I did that with a Cuisinart mixer I bought a factory outlet, they never even asked me where I bought it.

  6. Check with the manufacturer. Also, some counterfeit versions are very convincing.

  7. I bought a Tilkah bag and still have it. They were shocking when I asked to have a new zip put in. So I took it to a shop where they repair zips. Worse thing ever, a I think I could have done a better job myself. He glued the light lining in place and it shows through and now is dreadfully dirty and the zipper stitches are also coming out

  8. I agree with the others, contact the company. It's amazing what companies will do to keep you happy and ensure that you continue to buy their product. Be sure to tell them how much you love their product and how disappointed you are that it is ruining some of the things in the purse. Ask them if they can offer a solution. Good luck! I hope you'll post how you make out.

  9. Be sure and tell them that you have bought their bags before and never had any problems. That way they know that you are a customer for their bags.

  10. I'm with everyone else, I would contact the manufacturer. By telling them that you have bought their bags before and that the inferior quality of this other bag is not good for business. Just give it a try.

  11. I'm with contact the manufacturer advisers. Just because it's on sale doesn't mean you have to keep what is still a very expensive bag with a flaw that makes it unusable. It is a beauty.

  12. Pam, I agree that you have nothing to lose in contacting the manufacturer but if all else fails either make yourself some dark, zipped pouches to put everything in inside your bag (I like the idea of multiple pouches rather than one big one as it's like having different pockets inside the bag) or make a new lining and tack it discretely to the old one. I think I like the idea of the zipped pouches best and I often do this for a large bag anyway as I can find things better. Hope you find a resolution that works for you.

  13. I would definitely contact the company direct. I can't imagine that they'd want any customer to be unhappy.

  14. I'm with every one else on contacting the manufacturer direct as it is likely that this Isn't a one-off problem. There is an issue here in the UK of outlet shops selling inferior versions that are made specifically for sale in th outlets, but even so I think that they would still accept that dye transferring from the lining was not acceptable. Do you have an equivalent of our Trading Standards Office? If you do and the manufacturer doesn't provide a satisfactory answer they would be my next port of call as this bag is definitely not fit for purpose! Good luck :)

  15. I guess contacting the manufacturer would be a great first step. If nothing else now your dissatisfaction has gone out world wide. Certainly not good for business. We have outlets near us that do sell seconds. Coach is a bag/purse manufacturer that comes to mind, but I know people who have purchased without issue. Good luck! I would be interested to know how you make out.


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