How to Shop for your First Authentic Louis Vuitton Handbag,

Hurray! You've saved or splurged and now it is time to invest in the most important part of your wardrobe, your status bag. By carrying the coveted LV bag on your shoulder or arm, you are displaying to the world your impeccable sense of style and taste. You are now among the ranks of fashionistas, models and celebrities to carry the only handbag that never goes out of style. In the next few paragraphs, you will learn how to confidently make your first authentic, designer Louis Vuitton purchase, care for the one you have and plan for your next LV addiction.

The first step is to determine your budget. There is no such thing as a cheap Louis Vuitton. Your budget will determine whether you will buy canvas or leather, a clutch or shoulder bag or a classic or limited edition bag. Your initial bag investment could cost between $575-$1275, depending on the size and material.

Buy Authentic. Only about one percent of LV's that you see on the street and online are real, so buy from a reputable source. The only place to purchase new bags online is the official site of LouisVuitton. Other trusted sources include Fashionphile, a company which asserts that their bags are inspected by two authenticity experts before being sold. Buy from Ebay or consignment shops with extreme caution. Many Costso wholesale stores are selling Louis Vuitton, but Louis Vuitton clearly states that they are not an authorized reseller. Louis Vuitton does not consider these bags to be authentic.

Have patience with your purchase and shop wisely. LV does not have sales, coupons or discounts. Louis Vuitton does not sell wholesale, or at deep discounts. Go into your purchase expecting to pay full price.

Know your bags. Try the bags on and pay attention to the details to find the style that best reflects your personality. The Speedy ($690 and up) is an excellent choice for a first bag, The Speedy bag is by far the most popular style. The handbag, which has been Louis Vuitton's trademark bag since 1896, is comprised of Monogram Canvas which is waterproof, flexible and sturdy, and features rounded, comfortable leather handles, sturdy golden brass hardware, and a roomy interior.

If you prefer a smaller bag as your initial purchase, take a look at the Eva Clutch ($550), inspired by supermodel Eva Herzigova. The versatile bag features removable leather and chain straps to wear three different ways.

Only buy if you absolutely, love, love, love the bag. LV bags are meant to be loved and adored. Visit your LV boutique often. Develop a relationship with your Sales Associate so that you will be notified of upcoming special bags and special events.

Treasure your bag. To clean the leather, wipe with a soft, dry cloth. Never use soap or solvent. When not in use, store in the lush felt bag that came with your purchase. In case of any accidents which damage your bag, call the store, who will advise you on what to do next. Don't try to fix, repair or alter your bag. Louis Vuitton bags can be fixed or repaired at any Louis Vuitton store where LV bags are sold.. The bag will be repaired in store or sent to a Louis Vuitton workshop and sent back to the store.

Enjoy your LV experience! While your purchase is being wrapped, expect to be offered champagne, sparkling water or a comfy chair. Many LV owners even receive thank you notes from the Sales Associate after their first LV purchase. Your Louis Vuitton experience doesn't stop with your visit to the boutique! By calling 866 VUITTON, a sales associate will rush to help you find exactly what you are looking for, transfer you to any LV store and handle all arrangements to ship it to you. Heat stamping service while you wait is complimentary for all customers that are interested in adding a personalized luggage tag to your bag.