Return to Sender | Madewell Transport Satchel

madewell transport satchel review | petitely packaged

Everyone needs a quality bag for work and for play. I’ve spent many moons searching for one to fit all my needs. It needed to be large enough to fit my 13 inch MacBook pro yet small enough not to dwarf my petite and slender frame. After crossing bags off my list, reading blog reviews, and watching YouTube videos, I was sure I had found the one!  with three interior pockets, zip closure, removable adjustable strap, two handles, leather, under $200, and 15 2.5″ height the Madewell Transport Satchel fit all my needs.

It Was Over Before It Began

Looking back, it was God’s way of telling me this wasn’t the bag for me, but I was not listening. The day I decided to purchase the bag, September 1st, was the day it sold out on Madewell’s site. I was certain it was a mistake, so I took to Twitter.


I immediately ran to Nordstrom’s site, because I knew they also carried Madewell products, but they were also sold out in English Saddle. But every few hours I would stalk both sites in hopes of the finding the bag. One morning around 6 AM luck was on my side. I hastily found my birthday code in my email, entered my credit card information, then prayed it wasn’t a fluke.



Lust Fades Quickly

The satchel arrived 6 business days after my order, much to my delight. When I first opened the box I was elated. The bag I had lusted after for months was in my possession. The lasted all of 10 minutes because then the inspection began. That is when my bubble was burst. The handles and removable straps were pieces of unfinished leather which I knew would irritate my skill and cause pilling on my clothes. The bottom of my bag showed signs of wear. Each corner had worn away. Worse of all, the leather felt cheap. It took some time to make the connection, but the quality felt the same as my vegan leather tote from Street Level.

Street Level Mini Tote in Madewell Transport Satchel Review | petitelypackaged


Don’t get me wrong, I love the quality of my Street Level tote, but I would never pay almost $200 for fake leather. What’s the point when I could have the real thing? Which is why I was so disappointed with my Madewell bag. I have leather clutches and totes from J Crew, so I assumed the quality would be similar but I was mistaken.


Blemishes and sign of wear on Madewell Transport Satchel |



Unfinished leather strap on Madewell Transport Satchel Review |



Return to Sender

Even though the Madewell Transport Satchel holds a cosmetic bag, MacBook Pro, book, Beats, and various accessories it does not have my heart. So I had to pack it up and hand it back to USPS and return to sender. It’s such a shame, because this was my birthday gift to myself and feels as though I wasted my gift from Madewell.


Madewell Transport Satchel with You Can't Touch My Hair

With the help of Purse Forum and few other bloggers, I have found some suitable alternatives I’ll happily drop a few coins on.


Until Next Time,

Aitza B


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My reasons for returning the blogger beloved Madewell Transport Satchel. | My reasons for returning the blogger beloved Madewell Transport Satchel. |

  • I felt your pain throughout this entire article! It can be really difficult to find the perfect bag or satchel. I lucked out and found a perfect one at my local Winners store, but I would love to have a beautiful leather bag like the one you are searching for. I hope you find what you are looking for one day soon!

    • Aitza B

      It was a big let down, but I think I’ve found a worthy replacement. I’m also thinking about getting the dupe from Old Navy because I enjoyed the structure and it’s under $30. Thanks so much for commenting

  • Ugh That’s so awful. I’m sorry that happened to you. That’s the one bad thing about buying things online. As addicting as it is you never really know how it’s going to be once a gets to your door. I hope you have better luck next time!

    • Aitza B

      It truly is. Normally I have great luck with online shopping but the one time I really get my hopes it’s a flop. I guess that’s life lol.

  • Thanks for sharing your experience Aitza. I completely understand what you went through. I am petite too and I know how hard it is to find a perfect size satchel. I love madewell clothing but never tried their accessories.

    • Aitza B

      Madewell clothing is so high quality which is why I was surprised by the bag. I guess I’ll have to stick to clothing and find somewhere else for petite friendly bags. Thanks for much for commenting.

  • The name is so fitting! This bag looks beautiful and looks very high quality!

  • I can’t say I can relate because I have no patience for shopping, but I know that if I had actually taken the time and this happened, I would have some major anger issues to deal with. You seem very gracious throughout the entire process 🙂

  • It must have been such a disappointing experience. I can totally understand what you have gone through.