Dooney and Bourke. Coach. Vera Bradley. Daniel Nicole. Loungefly. Kate Spade. And my favorite – Harveys. Just a few of the Disney licensed manufacturers that produce collectible Disney bags, purses, wallets, and so many other bag accessories. I was never a purse person until about 9 or so years ago, when a small, blue Dooney and Bourke crossbody in the sketch pattern was on sale online at the Disney Store (now shopDisney). It became my favorite park bag, as it was the perfect size to keeps essentials at hand and not buried in a backpack. Then about a year later, another Dooney in the sketch pattern showed up on sale, and then in 2015, I decided to purchase the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Dooney purse at the Expo. That started my fall into Disney purse collecting and I haven’t looked back.
There are so many brands of Disney purses available, and the best part is that the price range is quite wide. Bags may be as low as $15-20, while there are many that will go into the thousands on the resale market, and everything in between. There are leather purses, vegan purses, super durable ones (even better the washable ones – I’ll get to that), and ones that you must pamper. Some are so beautiful that they are like art. There are so many styles – totes, crossbodies, hip packs, back packs – that you are bound to find one that works for you. Plus you get bring your Disney flair wherever you go.
So who are Disney purse collectors? There are thousands of us out there. We follow our favorite brands on social media, we join together in Facebook groups to talk about upcoming releases or buy and sell to each other, we form bonds with women we never met in person, and even better, we find ones that ‘get us’ so we become friends in real life. We call each other purse sisters and we look out for each other. I’ve had countless strangers give me a heads up when they found a purse for sale that I was looking to buy, and I’ve done the same right back to them.
I had to learn a whole new set of acronyms. I come from an engineering background and I thought my career liked them, but nothing like purse collectors. Just to name a few:
- OOAK – One of a kind
- ISO – In search of
- NIP – New in package
- NWT – New with tags
- EUC/GUC – Excellent used condition/Good used condition
- HTF – Hard to find
What do we do? Most of us chat in Facebook groups. You can find a Facebook group for your favorite brand just by searching. I’ll give you a few where I hang out for buying, selling, and trading – Disney Dooney & Bourke/Harveys/Vera Bradley (one of the largest at nearly 30,000 members), Loungefly Buy Sell Trade, HARVEYS SEATBELT BAGS AND ACCESSORIES, HARVEYS Seatbelt Bags Junkies. Before you join any group, read the rules. Some groups are what are called ‘pay it forward’ groups, where you cannot sell a bag for more than you paid for it. Other groups will allow you to sell a bag for market value. Some allow you to auction, similar to eBay. Some have strict requirements for the photos you include. Regardless, you still need to remember the old phrase your grandma taught you – buyer beware. You need to ask questions (smoking home? Pets? Does the price include shipping?), make sure you look at the photos, or ask for more if they don’t show the inside where stains happen or corners that can wear. Most importantly – know how to pay so you are protected. I only pay for bags using PayPal’s merchandise payment, known as goods and services, which offers me buyer protection if the seller flakes out or is a scammer. Don’t let someone you don’t know ask you to pay via Facebook, Venmo, or other apps that don’t offer that protection. But you are going to have a lot of fun and probably spend a lot of money too.
Not interested in buying/sell, but still want to make connections? Join a group like Disney Purse Pals. This group does not allow purses to be posted for sale so the chat is always super friendly, and you will KNOW when a new release is going to happen, as this group is all over it.
We also go to event releases. My favorite brand of all is called Harveys. They are a small local business in Santa Ana, CA, only about a 15-minute drive from Disneyland. The owners, Dana and Melanie Harvey, are fun, exuberant about their brand, and have releases geared towards the joy of their customers. We are close to a cult following, and flock to releases at their store, online, and at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. I have friends that have slept on the sidewalk waiting for a release at their store, and I personally got up at 2 am to drive 375 miles to Downtown Disney District for a Nightmare Before Christmas release at the Dress Shop. Their releases include gifts with purchase and photo opportunities with Dana and Melanie. It’s a great brand to support, all the work happens so close to Disneyland (American made!) and they create amazing bags. They are made of seatbelts, which makes them super durable, and even better is they are WASHABLE! I do not feel like I need to pamper my Harveys bags because they can take it and it washes right out. No need to worry that a summer thunderstorm at the Magic Kingdom will ruin your bag. Don’t need a bag? Each of their Disney releases will include accessories, like wallets, coin purses, key chains, and even pins that start at $12.
We also share in our trials and tribulations. We support someone that has to sell bags to pay for medical bills. Or listen when someone was scammed by a seller or had to work when an online release was happening and couldn’t get the bag they wanted. Or most recently, dealing with the debacle of shopDisney releases. If waiting for hours trying to get Star Wars merchandise on May 4th was your experience, that is exactly how the Minnie Main Street Attraction releases have been as well for friends trying to get the Loungefly each month.
Come join us! We are friendly, supportive, and you might just find a few lifelong friends, just I have done. Oh, plus you will look FABULOUS with your new Disney purse.
If you want to create a trip to buy your own Disney bags, be sure to contact Patricia at All for Dreams Travel. She provides expert advice, and her service is FREE!
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