Balenciaga remains to be an exclusive brand until today worn by many famous celebrities and important people. You will find an official boutique in most capital cities and fashion-forward countries. Although the prices remain standard, there are several places specifically in Europe wherein you can get the bag for less because of VAT refund policy.
In Europe, you can get a refund for any purchase you make within one of its countries. The rates vary from country to country, but you will get a Balenciaga bag for at least 10% cheaper compared to any other branch in the world outside of Europe.
You have two options to get a bag from Europe. The first one is buying online while the other is by personally purchasing it from one of their stores. The tax refunds for these two are different. In France for example, the tax rate is 20% deductible for all purchases by non-EU residents. If you get it by mail order, you will be entitled with the full 20% refund. But if you buy it personally, you can expect about 12-14% only. If though you get a little more tax refund buy online but you may incur still import taxes in your own country custom. Also bear in mind, the official online Balenciaga shop only ship to France, United States, Japan, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Italy, China, Taiwan and South Korea only. If you are not staying in any of the above countries, you basically cannot buy online.
Some also say that the online Balenciaga shop does not have the complete range of handbags, it mostly carry handbags and accessories from previous seasons. If you are not particularly looking for the latest design, then this would be the cheaper option.
There are also other authorized retailers like Barneys, Mytheresa, Neiman Marcus that sell Balenciaga online. What you should be looking out for these luxury online retailers are they sometimes have flash sales and limited discount seasons. In these promotions, you can get a bag for as low as half the price if you are lucky enough.
You can also try browsing through luxury bag consignment websites as well. Their goods are secondhand and range from usable to mint conditions. Keep in mind to be wary of bogus sites. Keep reading forums to check authenticity. If possible, only consider recommendations based on experience from trusted sources. When in doubt, you can always give a European Balenciaga boutique a call.