How to Buy Affordable Clutch Bags

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How to Buy Affordable Clutch Bags

Affordable clutch bags are a great way to look the part at a formal evening without having to deal with the cost. Most clutch bags are small East-West designs in a rectangular shape. Clutches do not feature any handles and women typically hold them in their hand or under their arm. Despite their simplicity, buyers can find a wide variety of styles of clutch bags in different price ranges. The prices of these bags are usually affected by the materials used in their construction or the type of clasp used to secure the bag. When shopping for a clutch bag, buyers can usually find them in local retail shops, boutiques, and on eBay.

Clutch Bag Materials

Clutch bags are small so they need to make a big impact with the type of material and colour used. Essentially, manufacturers use two types of materials in the construction of eye-catching bags: natural and manmade. Natural materials tend to be more expensive because of the effort put into growing or harvesting. Manmade materials are easier to produce and are more durable, reducing cost.

Natural Materials

Clutches made from natural materials, unless constructed of widely available fabrics, are higher in price compared to manmade materials. However, it is still possible to get an affordable clutch bag made from natural materials. A fabric bag made from cotton, linen, or even hemp is both attractive and moderately priced. Silk, leather, organic fabrics, and satins are higher-quality fashion fabrics and are more expensive. Buyers who are willing to purchase used or pre-owned clutch bags may be able to find one constructed of these pricier materials at a discount. Less commonly seen but affordable materials to consider include bamboo, straw, and even recycled clothing.

Manmade Materials

Plastic polymers produce many synthetic fabrics, meaning they never decay, are resistant to mould and fungus, are unattractive to insects, and resist stains and wear. These materials stay in use longer, helping to keep the price of a buyer's investment down. Consider manmade fabrics, such as polyester, nylon, rayon, and even acrylic or vinyl.

Closure Type

When looking at clutches, buyers may notice that these bags have different types of closures. Because clutch bags are relatively simple in design, the closure type can have a great impact on how the bag looks and on its longevity and durability.


Nearly everyone is familiar with the zipper , a popular closure used on all types of clothing and bags. A small zipper to secure the top of a clutch is one of the most effective closure types. A zipper creates an effective seal to keep small items from slipping out of a bag. Plus, a zipper can be partially or fully unzipped as needed. Zipper closures are very common and affordable.


A clasp is a slightly more formal and decorative closure used to secure a structured clutch bag. Usually, a single clasp placed at the centre of a hinged frame on a clutch secures the entire length of the frame. A clasp can fold with a hook and loop or it can be a ball-and-socket clasp with two slightly overlapping metal balls, one placed on either side of the frame, that slide around each other and snap into place. Clasps are very strong but can wear out with regular use or if the clutch is too full. Highly decorative clasps can increase the price of a formal clutch bag.


A magnet closure hidden within the fabric of a clutch bag is ideal for more formal bags or minimalist styles. Magnet closures consist of two attracting magnets sewn into the edges of a clutch bag. When a woman brings the edges together, the magnets stick together, helping to keep the clutch closed. Magnets never wear out, but they are not as strong as a clasp or zipper and may pop open if the bag is too full.


Button closures are cute and casual. The button closure works exactly as a button on a piece of clothing and works with a flap on clutches. Unless the owner reinforces the button hole on the clasp, it can slowly stretch out with time. Commercially made clutches do not commonly use button closures. However, buyers may find button closures on custom-designed or handmade clutch bags.


A snap closure uses a small snap fastener to secure the opening of a clutch bag. When ready to close the clutch, bring the two edges together and the stud securely snaps into place inside of the socket. Snap closures are sturdy and long lasting, but may pop open if a clutch handbag is full.


The drawstring handbag is a type of clutch that resembles a small pouch with a drawstring opening. This type of closure does not usually add a lot to the price of a bag, but drawstring bags are popular in name brand designs. More expensive fabrics used in the construction of these bags can drive up the price.

How to Buy Affordable Clutch Bags on eBay

Clutch material and closure type are both very important to the appearance and cost of these small handbags. Lean more towards manmade materials to find the best prices on new clutches, but look for affordable bags made from natural materials if you opt to purchase a pre-owned clutch. A good place to look for these bags is eBay. A number of eBay sellers provide both new and used handbags of a variety of materials. The eBay search engine is a good way to find the exact material and closure type you desire within moments. If you want an even bigger discount on your purchase, the eBay Deals section may provide an affordable bag with free shipping or other savings.

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Another type of bag to consider is a convertible evening bag, which can go from a clutch to a bag with a strap. Since women can remove the strap when not needed, but reattached it when it is, it works for multiple occasions. The strap is ideal when a woman is on the go and does not want to always carry the bag, and the strapless design works for more situations where she is mostly seated or stationary.

Choose a Material

Material is one of the big factors that affects pricing on a bag. Higher-quality materials cost more, but they also typically last longer than their lower-grade counterparts. Unless a woman uses the bag for a single occasion, it is better to choose a durable material. Leather is costly but strong and durable when well cared for. Satin is another strong option to consider; both work well for formal looks. However, faux leather and faux suede are also available in varying degrees of quality.

Skip the Detailing

Avoid embellishments, such as sequins, beading, and even embroidery. Damaging these delicate details hurts the look of the bag or even lead to needing a replacement. Plus, the lack of detailing makes it easier to coordinate with multiple outfits and keeps the look timeless. Coloured crystals, multi-coloured beads, and metallic accents can all clash with jewellery and other accessories. Avoid painted leather or metal accessories, which eventually chip.

Choose a Color

To get the most out of one bag, choose a neutral colour that works with just about any colour of outfit.Grey, white, cream, and black are neutral and coordinate well with a variety of other colours, so women can wear them with several options.

Other Ways to Save Money on Formal Bags

Apart from choosing a durable bag that lasts for several years, there are other ways to save money on a handbag, from choosing used bags to paying attention to sales and changing seasons.

Consider Used Formal Bags

Secondhand bags are a great way to get high-quality items, even designer bags, on a budget. Since they are for only special occasions, formal bags do not see much wear as everyday bags. However, there are quality issues with which to contend. Since materials, such as leather, need care to maintain, it is essential to check the condition of a pre-owned bag. Make sure the exterior is undamaged and stain-free. Also check that the seams are intact and that the lining of the bag is in good condition.

Look for Inspired-By Bags

While designers, such as Prada, Gucci, Coach, and Chanel, set the styles, a great way to get the designer look without spending a fortune is to look for bags inspired by major names in fashion. They do not, and should not, look identical, but they can still capture the same feeling. Plus, many of these inspired-by bags are still made by great brands with quality materials, so they last a long time.

Pay Attention to Seasons and Sales

Fashion is seasonal and trends continually change. Another way to score a deal on a handbag is to pay attention to the changing of seasons when shops and online sellers start clearing out their inventory to make room for new items. Keep an eye out for timeless styles and colours, and no one can guess that the bag is from last season or even last year. Another source of bargains is sellers who pick up overstock items to sell at below retail.

How to Buy Affordable Formal Bags on eBay

Shop on eBay to find a great selection of affordable formal bags that complement any occasion. Locating bags is easy; just enter a keyword, such as "leather clutch bag " into the search box and press the search button. Check the seller's feedback history before you buy, and keep an eye out for top-rated sellers who have earned recognition for their excellent service. Be sure to visit the eBay Deals page for special offers onfashion and beauty products. You can also browse items through eBay Stores, where sellers list all of the items they have for sale in one place. By shopping smart and choosing a good quality bag with a timeless design, you can make even a pricier bag more affordable.

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