Gimme that Handbag: Coach vs Beyond The Rack

Aeryn Lynne

I want to start this discussion by stating that I do purchase from both sites. Despite my thoughts on this one topic, I do enjoy shopping at Beyond the Rack (BTR) for various items, such as clothing, shoes and jewellery.  There is one area of BTR though that boggles my mind so thoroughly, that I’m making a blog post about it. I’ve actually touched on this subject before (you’d think I really didn’t like BTR), but I’ve now got real-time examples to show you on how cray-cray the discrepancy of price really is if you want to purchase a Coach handbag from either of these two stores online.

These images came from both sites, only a few days ago, when Coach Factory Online had one of their frequent sales and Beyond the Rack had one of their many handbag sales running at the exact same time.

So ladies, lets start with Exhibit “A” (Wow, I think I’m gonna start channeling my inner Jane…  what?  Am I the only one watching Drop Dead Diva?) :

Madison in Cherry Red

Coach vs Beyond the Rack - Madison in Cherry Red

Despite the brightness of the bag in the image provided by Beyond The Rack, the two bags are exactly the same.  In everything but price and in the business that is selling the product.  If you’re not familiar with BTR, their business is based on being able to sell authentic brands at up to 80% off the retail price.  So they’re not going against their own policy when selling the Coach Madison Leather Maggie Shoulder Bag in Cherry Red for 16.7% off their suggested retail value, but look at how Coach is pricing their own merchandise.

Once upon a time, Coach suggested the Cherry Red bag was worth $358 when it was first introduced (and BTR managed to round up that original number nicely, for simplicity I’m sure,) but are now stating possibly a year later that it’s worth $255. Even that sale price is cheaper than the price that Beyond the Rack is asking for.  The kicker is that Coach reduced the price even further (across the board on all of their bags, not just this one), and still can’t manage to sell all of their stock, yet BTR is sold out.  Granted, BTR may have five of these bags whereas Coach has fifty to sell out to the public (example only, I’m not sure on their respective quantities, but I’m sure Coach has more of their own stock.)

Given that this sale occured on the same day, two women are going to be all excited about receiving this gorgeous shoulder bag, but one of them will be $120.50 richer than the other.

If you’re thinking this is probably just an isolated issue, ’cause hello! the Madison Maggie’s are super cute and popular, well…  I got more.

If it pleases you fabulous Honours, I’d like to present a couple more gorgeous handbags, Exhibits “B” and “C” for your viewing pleasure:

Madison in Metallic Gold

Coach vs Beyond the Rack - Madison in Metallic Gold

Again, the exact same purse (though BTR’s pic is “enhanced” somehow), this time with $151.69 price discrepancy.


Kristin Embossed Python Hobo Handbag

Coach vs Beyond the Rack - Kristin Embossed Python Hobo

Yep, that price discrepancy really is a whopping $201.49!  You could by another, albeit cheaper, purse and have some change left over if you picked up your Coach bags directly from their outlet.

Now a few things to consider are the currency ($ value) and shipping and handling charges, particularly if you’re Canadian.  Beyond the Rack is a Canadian company hailing from Saint-Laurent, Quebec Canada (and still carry the logo, despite that Rogers site having been disbanded a few months back,) and if you never heard of Coach before (where have you been?!?), they’re based in Jacksonville, Florida US.

A few days ago, the Canadian dollar was up by like .02 cents over the American dollar – so you can consider these prices to be more or less at par.  Shipping, on the other hand, is about $10 more expensive when purchasing from Coach.

BUT, and that’s a really huge BUT from where I’m standing, is that it can take less than a week for Coach to deliver the goods, whereas you have to wait for your order to first arrive at Beyond the Rack (they place their overall order to Coach, fcol), and then for BTR to send that item to you once they’ve received and processed that item.  So you’re looking at a rough 3 week waiting timing for your fab bag to arrive.  I actually placed a non-fashion order back in May, and am still waiting for the item to arrive to BTR, let alone find it in my mail box.

Still waiting for my mattress topper to arrive.

As I’ve stated before, I’ve purchased from BTR before, and right now they have some really fabulous wedges on sale for $14.99 that I WANT and am about to BUY.  But please make some informed decisions before purchasing anywhere.  BTR is actually not the only company guilty of over-pricing Coach handbags; the same can be said for both Amazon and eBay, but they’re not necessarily in the biz to sell you fashionable items at discounted prices.


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Aeryn Lynne

The Geek at Geek Life
Living in Superman's Metropolis (aka Toronto, Canada), Aeryn Lynne found a way to entirely over-share everything she loves, and make a career out of it! Ultimately a geek, she waxes poetically over technology, fights for fashion-equality, squees over comic art, and literally sparkles, thanks to her makeup addiction.
Aeryn Lynne

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17 Comments on “Gimme that Handbag: Coach vs Beyond The Rack

August 20, 2012 at 12:08 pm

What a fraud! I’ve been duped before. That’s why I price compare even when it’s a daily deal site.
Oh, and you’re not only one watching Drop Dead Diva. I am addicted to Jane!

August 20, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Wow- I am always so good at trying to catch these hidden deal ‘mark-ups’. Sometimes you trust a place for it’s value, so you don’t even think to go to the source. I’ve noticed a lot of times, when something hits BTR, the company is either discontinuing it, or clearing old stock. This means, as you pointed out, you may find differing prices. I think this is in part due to the fact each deal site has it’s own fee breakdown for the companies. Obviously, the costs are much less for the company if you buy direct from the source. ‘Deal sites’ are advertising methods and do charge (often per sale, and by percentage of face value, not sale price) the company. It can be hard for the big companies to make a dime on the sale sites, though great for the exposure! I think, as consumers, we are programmed to think we will always see the highest prices at the brand source itself, not true!

August 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Wow! I found the same thing with J. Crew and their factory stores. You can get a great quality cardigan at the original store, on sale (plus an additional percentage off sale items) for $15! The same style cardigan, in cheaper fabric, is on sale for $20 at the Factory stores. Why?

Shelley Zurek
August 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I DO find the COach site to have some of the best prices on their bags!

August 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Thanks for sharing this – I have found this to be true before as well – unfortuantely it as after I had purchaed the more expensive one!

RachelJ SuburbanStyleChallenge
August 20, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Wow! This is definitely some good-to-know stuff that I probably would have never even noticed. Thanks for sharing this… I’m definitely going to keep it in mind next time someone tells me about BTR!

Aeryn Lynne
August 23, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I totally love BTR for other stuff… if I can be patient and wait a few weeks (to months) to receive those items, lol. Always steer clear for their bag “sales” though. 😉

August 20, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Wow, what an eye opener! Thanks for letting everyone know about this! You just assume these other sites are cheaper.

Aeryn Lynne
August 23, 2012 at 2:42 pm

BTR is cheaper in a lot of different instances, but for some reason, bags just aren’t their forte when it comes to bargain prices. *shrugs* Glad I could shed some light though! 🙂

melissa weintraub
August 20, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Thanks for sharing. Complete eye opener!

Aeryn Lynne
August 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm

No prob! 🙂 At first I thought I was imagining things in the price discrepancy between both sites, and then they just happened to have the exact same bags on sale at the same time, which I’ll admit to being a bit gobsmacked when I saw the differences.

Two little cavaliers
August 20, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Oh my goodness that is crazy! Thank you for pointing that out to us. I don’t get new purses all that often but you could practically get two for the price of one!

Aeryn Lynne
August 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm

I could say that I don’t purchase bags all that often, but then I’d just have to look at my closet to call myself a liar, lol. 😉 I didn’t think I had a lot of bags until the hubs pointed it out one evening. What a guy. But yeah, when you’re ready to pick up a new one, always check a bunch of sites to find the right price that works for you!

Aeryn Lynne
August 23, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Totally pays to do research for everything! 🙂 And seriously, those little words “Btw, our prices are reduced even more.” is like a whispered “come hither” for me, rofl.

January 24, 2013 at 7:37 pm

What a ridiculous post! Just another “wanna-be” fashionista who doesn’t really know what she is talking about, at all.

#1 – BTR does NOT purchase its stock from Coach or any other handbag manufacturer. Handbags and other sale items are supplied by outside vendors.

#2 – It’s stupid to assume that vendors get bags for the same price you see in the hugely discounted Coach Factory sales online. Vendors don’t buy bags for less than what Coach sells them for. (This is pretty simple business sense,) And duh, of course Coach has more of its own stock. Why do you think they put it on sale?

#3 – Try to buy one of those “Almost Gone” bags in a Coach Factory sale, for the low price shown. They sell out quickly so you can’t just buy one there, for a lesser price.

#4 – Not everyone is invited to the Coach Factory sales, so it’s pretty hard to buy a bag if you don’t have an invite to the sale.

#5 – The “second” price shown in the Coach sale is their first discounted price off retail (not what they “think the bag is worth now”.) Also, FYI, the retail price IS the retail price of the bag, not what Coach “suggested” it might sell for. It IS what that bag sells for, brand new.

#6 – Vendors for BTR supply their own photos for the sales. THAT is why the photos look different (not “enhanced”) from the ones on the Coach website. (Pretty easy to see that the backgrounds are different colors.)

#7 – Favorite styles sell out no matter what brand they are. The Coach Red Maggie is NOT available anywhere else, because it has sold out. COULD you have bought one in that one Coach Factory sale? Maybe…if you had been quick enough. My experience has been if it says “Almost Gone” on the Coach site, you are unable to order it from them. If you missed out on that, then your ONLY option is to buy it off BTR, eBay, etc., unless of course, as you suggest, you want to buy a “cheaper” handbag.

#8 – Any business is in business to make money. Unfortunately businesses aren’t here to make sure you can get whatever you want, for as cheap as you want it. If you see something cheaper elsewhere, then buy it there. That doesn’t take much time to figure out.

#9 – There is a saying: “Something is worth what someone is willing to pay for it.” Someone people are obviously not cheapskates, because BTR handbag sales perform extremely well and usually sell out.

#10 – Don’t write blog posts about a topic you know nothing about. What you know is how to be cheap. You quite obviously don’t know anything about basic business, BTR, handbag sales or anything pertaining to this post’s topic.

PS – Being cheap isn’t pretty.

Christine Lee-McNaughton
February 12, 2013 at 10:26 am

Oh, wow! Thanks for sharing this post with us 🙂 I’m a huge purse and handbag addict, so this is really interesting! I only have 2 Coach bags, but am lusting after a few more. LOL!

Suzanne Giroux
March 30, 2013 at 1:17 pm

What a great post as I have found this with other items on BTR. You really must do your due diligence and search a few other sites before you buy. I am not knocking BTR as I have made purchases from them and they are quick in delivery and great on returns but basically buyer beware.


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