How Do I Choose the Best Cheap Luggage?

Gregory Hanson

Shopping for cheap luggage usually involves making some tradeoffs, with the specific tradeoffs varying depending on where and how the luggage is purchased. Overstock or discontinued luggage of average or good quality is often available, but specific styles or sizes may not be available. Luggage sets offer lower prices per piece, but may include unnecessary items. Relatively low-quality luggage is typically quite inexpensive, but may not be as appealing or as durable as more expensive luggage. Used luggage of excellent quality can often be found at very reasonable prices, but will typically be battered, worn, and in a style that is likely no longer popular.

Expensive luggage may or may not be handled with care.
Expensive luggage may or may not be handled with care.

One common way to purchase cheap luggage is to shop for overstock, outlet, or closeout items. Many websites specialize in this sort of merchandise. Reading through customer reviews before buying is probably a good idea to ensure that a given site is legitimate. Outlet malls often have good prices on products that are slightly flawed, but basically sound. Closeout models may not be available in every style or color, but are often much less expensive and are offered even by very highly-rated manufacturers.

Some inexpensive pieces of luggage are not strong enough to withstand the rough-and-tumble process of air travel.
Some inexpensive pieces of luggage are not strong enough to withstand the rough-and-tumble process of air travel.

Buying in bulk is almost always a good way to get a better price and one way to get cheap luggage is to buy a luggage set. These sets typically offer a noticeably lower per-item price, but will usually include more pieces than a normal traveler needs or wants. Splitting a set two or more ways is often feasible and a good way to get more luggage for a lower price.

Some consumers may be willing to sacrifice quality when shopping for cheap luggage. If luggage is only going to be used once or twice, or if it will only face light duty, then buying lower-quality luggage can be a viable alternative. Much of the cost of higher-end luggage comes from durability and strength, qualities that are probably not needed for a suitcase that will be used two or three times and then stored for decades. Low-quality luggage is usually a bad option for more serious travel, however.

Purchasing used baggage can be an excellent way to get high-quality, cheap luggage. Ironically, much of the baggage lost by air travelers is re-sold if unclaimed. Good-quality luggage can often be purchased in this fashion at a steep discount. Other sources of used goods, such as estate sales and secondhand stores, are also good sources for durable, if dated, used luggage. Some people may even prefer such luggage for its vintage charm, although care should be taken to make sure that bags meet modern air travel security requirements.

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Discussion Comments


If you buy a luggage set that is too cheap and poorly made, you may not save money in the long run. Luggage that is made of cheap materials like vinyl or plastic is very likely to be damaged easily. Inexpensive luggage may also have zippers that break or quit working. It is also very likely that the linings in cheap pieces of luggage tear and even fall out.

If you have these problems with cheap luggage, you will most likely find yourself buying new luggage again in a shorter period of time than if you had originally purchased a quality luggage set. Do yourself an favor and don't spend an extravagant amount of money on luggage, but don't buy the cheapest set on the market either. A set that is moderately priced should last you for at least 10 years or longer, which is a good deal.


Another good way to save money on luggage is to buy individual pieces when you find them on sale or at discount prices. Though your luggage pieces may not match, buying them this way is often less expensive than waiting for an entire matching set to go on sale.

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