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  1. #1
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    Adopting old Tom Bihn bags

    So, I have this habit of finding returned or otherwise perfectly good items that no one else wants and giving them good homes. My TV was a return, shoved to the back of the shelf at Best Buy. My desktop is a refurbished iMac. My youngest cat was abandoned on the railroad tracks locked in a bird cage as a kitten. *rubs beneath her chin*

    This happened to apply to Tom Bihn as well. On the verge of ordering one of the new Imago colors in time for my upcoming trip to Liverpool, I happened to check Ebay and discovered someone wanting to sell their old ID in black/olive, a horizontal Brain Cell (sized to fit a 15" MacBook Pro, which means it'll hold my MacBook just fine) in black, and four organizer pouches (a mini, a small, and two medium.) I placed a bid and, as of last night, the ID has been safely purchased and will be on its way to a new home where it will most likely be given a gift of an Absolute Shoulder Strap (I'm not sure if it has one or not), and used with lots of love. It's funny because I started out with wanting to get a medium café bag, then upgraded to an Imago in my mind for my trip to Liverpool (I wanted a single bag I could switch between day bag while we're out and then also carry the laptop as needed so there's less to carry on the plane), then the ID when I saw the auction and did a flurry of research. I really shouldn't read the forums, they influence me!

    Anyhow, I browsed through the forums and noticed a couple of Ebay auctions, but not folks mentioned they ever gave someone else's Tom Bihn purchases a second chance at a good home. Has anyone else ever bought an older Bihn bag off of Ebay? If so, how was the experience?

    (And for the record, this definitely won't stop new purchases since I may supplement the ID with a small café bag and I definitely want more pouches. Oh, and an Aeronaut. And the future field notebook. I think I'm getting addicted. In any case, I want to see how the ID handles on my 5'4 frame first as an every day bag.)
    Last edited by DQBunny; 10-01-2009 at 02:17 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by DQBunny View Post
    Anyhow, I browsed through the forums and noticed a couple of Ebay auctions, but not folks mentioned they ever gave someone else's Tom Bihn purchases a second chance at a good home. Has anyone else ever bought an older Bihn bag off of Ebay? If so, how was the experience?
    hi dqbunny,

    it wasn't an ebay purchase, but my cousin inherited my five+ year old smart alec backpack. if i may speak for him, he's extremely pleased with it.

    the design has been refined over time. for example, the open organizer pockets on the inside of the smart alec at the top have been replaced with two large pockets that are closed with a zipper; the organizational pockets that hold pens, a pad and iphone have been relocated to the side zippered compartment; one of the side pockets has been modified to accommodate water bottles in a more friendly way; the side compartments are now closed with splash proof zippers rather than with zippers with a flap over them. still the design from five+ years ago functions and looks as good as it did when it was new.

    you'll find that many of the tom bihn products have evolved for the better over time. so one benefit of getting a current design is that you are getting the benefit of those refinements.

    but you can't go wrong with any tom bihn product, regardless of when it was made. take as testimony some of the tom bihn products from the 1990s that have appeared in auctions or that folks have found pictures of.

  3. #3
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    I believe I'm getting the current design of the ID, just an older color combination, as well as the Brain Cell (the ID is from summer 2007 and the Brain Cell last summer, so I could be wrong on both of these.) I'll probably upgrade the Brain Cell to fit my smaller MacBook, but possibly not.

  4. #4
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    My first Tom Bihn purchase was a second hand purchase. I bought a large cafe bag off ebay (which now belongs to my boyfriend, and he loves it), and then later a freudian slip, before I finally bought my Imago (and my subsequent other bags).

    The bags are very hardy, so you'll probably be happy with the condition of the ID. And I heartily recommend buying more stuff later!

    In terms of the ID on a 5'4" frame, it should be fine. I'm 5'3" and when I finally went to the store, I don't recall the ID being one of the bags that made me go "Woah. Way too big for me!"
    Owner of:
    Imago in Cocoa/Cocoa/Wasabi, Large Cafe Bag in Black/Wasabi, Various organizer pouches, Shop Bag in Steel Dyneema (love it!), Synapse in Steel/Steel (love it too!), and a Medium Cafe Bag in Plum/Wasabi.

  5. #5
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    for me, i think the most challenging part about getting any used bag from ebay/craigslist/other unknown source would be that it carries the smell of the person who used it before you.

    i don't mean smell in a bad way - though a strong odor can be an issue. and i don't mean perfumes or anything like that - though that also can be an issue.

    each person, each home, has a certain smell to it. for example, i find that the way a close friend's home or clothes smell to be a very comforting smell because there is familiarity there. you feel this comfort, you feel welcomed when you walk into their home. so there is a positive association with that smell.

    but when the smell is one you don't know, coming from someone you don't know, there is a bit of weirdness.

    i'm sure i sound totally crazy right now. you can just as well let that bag hang on a clothesline in the sun and any smells will go away. sorry for the ramble...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by timarelay View Post

    The bags are very hardy, so you'll probably be happy with the condition of the ID. And I heartily recommend buying more stuff later!
    I actually treated myself to a new small café bag today with my nicer than normal paycheck. I think my co-workers thought I was crazier than usual because I'd broken out the small measuring tape included with my knitting stuff and was measuring my current purse to see if I wanted to go with a small or a medium café bag. Finally went for the small for now, will see if it still suits after getting my day to day stuff in there.

    maverick, the biggest concern I had was if it was in a smoker's home or not, and it doesn't appear to be. It was mostly used in an academic setting, so if it comes to me smelling of books, I'll have no issues at all!


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