Most people don’t buy luggage on a whim; they buy it because they need it. Could be that their old suitcases don’t wheel as easily as they once did, or that zippers are broken or the material on the suitcases is beginning to fray.

If your suitcases are really old, buying new luggage can be a money saver in the long run if you’re a frequent airline traveler. That’s partly because old suitcases used to be heavier than the ones made today, and airlines charge extra for checking in heavier bags.

There are many choices among luggage retailers, including department stores, online stores, and specialty shops. You’ll want to consider things like the brands they carry, the breadth of the selection, and the prices. Which will provide you with the most satisfying shopping experience? 

The Consumer Reports National Research Center surveyed nearly 65,000 annual subscribers from January through March 2016 about their satisfaction with luggage and luggage stores. More than 8,200 respondents had bought luggage within the past year.

Among those who had bought luggage, Macy’s and Amazon were the most popular retailers, each with about 9 percent of buyers. Costco and Kohl’s were close behind, with 8 and 6 percent, respectively.

Our ratings covered 13 luggage retailers: Amazon, Costco, eBags, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Marshalls, Ross, Samsonite, Sears, T.J.Maxx, Target, and Walmart; 4,400 survey respondents bought from them.

Top Luggage Retailers

Overall, 80 percent of our readers were highly satisfied with their shopping experience at these 13 retailers. Amazon, eBags, and Costco were among the highest rated; Target and Walmart were among the lowest rated.

Amazon and eBags earned high marks for all rated categories. While the survey respondents were happy with the prices at Costco and the quality of the luggage they bought, the retailer scored low ratings for selection and quality of service.

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Shopping Online vs. at a Walk-In Store

About 92 percent of online luggage shoppers were highly satisfied with their shopping experience compared with 76 percent of walk-in luggage shoppers. In fact, the online shoppers were happier with all aspects of buying luggage. Even though the respondents reported higher satisfaction with their online shopping experience, 73 percent percent of respondents who purchased luggage last year made their purchases in a walk-in store. Only 27 percent bought online.

Among the respondents who rated the 13 retailers, 21 percent bought their suitcases and other luggage at either Amazon or eBags, which are both exclusively online vendors. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the survey respondents gave high ratings to these online retailers for all aspects of purchasing luggage.