PR Hoists Monied Labels (With Con) Whereas Consignment Shops Drop Prices In Free Fall

Quiet money is napping; high-end consignment shops have got the goods! A Louis Vuitton bag retails for $1,800; consignment shop Encore Plus, doesn't do stratospheric sales. It's got Vuitton bagged for $1,150. ALTI spiked heels step high for designer Christian Louboutin -- at $1,495 retail; "con" shops sell that brand shoes for $750.

The first thing you notice in a chic boutique is a whole table of handbags surrounded by Manolo Blahnik, Louis Vuitton and Jimmy Choo shoes. If you dream of owning arm candy from LV, Chanel or Hermes that cost thousands new, offeirng up to 75 percent off gently-used designer duds, accessories and jewelry for women and men.

"Many of the items were only worn once," avowed Paulette Cooper Nobel, Palm Beach author of "Bargain Shopping in Southeast Florida," a guide to 250 consignment and thrift stores ($17.95 at ShoppingInPalmBeach.com).

At Couture Upsale Consign in Ft. Lauderdale, owners Sandra and Tomas Wedle guarantee the handbags they sell are authentic. They are delighted to show you how to spot a fake.

Noble says you don't have to spend a hundred to look like a million. "You can't return merchandise so thoroughly check to make sure it's in good condition before you buy it." Adding, "If you see it, buy it, because it won't be there tomorrow!"