Amazing Rue La La Tumi Sale — Up To 40% Off!

Yesterday I posted about my carry-on conundrum, as I’m in the market for a new bag. Specifically, I’ve been eying the Tumi Alpha Frequent Traveler (22″) and Tumi Alpha International (20″) bags, and have asked which you guys recommend. The overall consensus is that the Tumi Alpha International is the better option. Even though it’s advertised as being 20″, the actual dimensions are 21.75″ x 13.75″ x 9.5″, meaning it’s just about the maximum allowable carry-on size. So I’ve decided to buy that bag, as I shouldn’t have any problems carrying it on for either a domestic or international flight (while many foreign carriers will require the Tumi Alpha Frequent Traveler to be checked).

I figured I’d have to wait for a sale to buy one, as the bag normally costs $595. However, as luck would have it, Rue La La has a three day Tumi sale, valid through 8AM PT on Wednesday, November 13, 2014.


The 20″ Tumi International is one of the bags on sale, and it’s marked down from $595 to $359.90. I’m still trying to make sure this is actually the Alpha. The original price seems to indicate it is, but it doesn’t explicitly have the word Alpha in the name.


The updated version of the Tumi T-Tech that I’ve had for a few years and that has served me well is also on sale. It usually costs $345, but is on sale at the moment for $209.90.


This is the lowest published rate I’ve seen on either bag, so at this rate I’ll gladly pick up the Tumi Alpha International. There are tons of other Tumi products on sale, also mostly for 40% off. I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen that much of a discount on Tumi bags. Usually the highest I’ve seen is 20%, and sometimes maybe 30%, but I don’t recall ever seeing a 40% discount.

If you’re not yet a Rue La La member you can join using my link, and I’ll get a $10 referral credit after you make your first purchase (though feel free to post your referral link in the comments below). Rue La La charges $9.95 for shipping, but when you pay for shipping once it’s free on other purchases for 30 days. For most states there’s not sales tax either.

Rue La La also has an extended holiday returns policy, so if you order now you can return your bag through January 15, 2014.

Update: Per reader Sam in the comments, this gets even more attractive through an Amex Sync offer, whereby you get a $20 statement credit when spending $100 or more on a Rue La La purchase through December 31, 2013. That brings the cost to the Tumi Alpha International to under $350 including shipping!


  1. Ben-Just an FYI, the bags the Rue La La and these other sale websites sell are Tumi Alpha but are not really the same. Tumi makes a cheaper version to sell to these websites. I have bought one and returned it. You will notice difference in quality and also note that there is not a section for the traditional complimentary monogram. The monogram doesnt matter that much to me, but it shows that it is not the same bag. Tumi will have its own sale this month.

  2. @ Wilhelm IV — Thanks for the heads up, that’s surprising. I’m not surprised you can’t monogram them since I assume they’re purchasing them in bulk from Tumi and they’re already in Rue La La’s warehouse, but surprised to hear the quality is different. I tweeted them for clarification.

    Thanks again for the heads up!

  3. An alternate (crazy) idea is the Tumi Outlet. Doesn’t seem so far:

    10600 Quil Ceda Blvd., Tulalip, WA 98271

    I’ve purchased all of my Tumi bags from their outlets – it’s all first quality, though sometimes old styles. Usually 20-30% off, and often will deals for way more off.

  4. I’d never buy from RLL. Tried to get my daughter a “Butter” sweatshirt. What we got was so obviously fake. We got our money back, but who needs that!

    Take a look at Eagle Creek. I love their stuff and certain lines have lifetime warranty (even if the airline craps up the bag)

  5. Tumi outlets have INSANE Black Friday deals if you can swing that… Last year we got a couple ballistic nylon carry-ons for ~$140 each marked down from ~$450. Somehow 3 different promos stacked up and it worked out. Lots of great deals all over the store if you can wait a couple weeks.

  6. I think whether or not the sale website items are the same depends on the item. I have bought Tumi items from Gilt before and have found them to be normal, “real” Tumi quality (in one case I replaced an old bag I’d bought direct from Tumi with the same bag in a different color from Gilt, so I would have noticed if something had changed).

    However that was for a limited-time item that was at the end of its product life and Tumi was probably getting rid of inventory; for evergreen items like the Alpha bag it wouldn’t surprise me if they manufactured a cheaper line for sale sites since they’re never going to need to discount it. But at the same time, I would be surprised if Tumi manufactured a much lower quality bag under the same title, as that could be quite damaging for their brand.

  7. @Lucky- if you can wait, Tumi has sales every few months or so (maybe quarterly?) that are usually at least 20% off styles or colors that are being discontinued, and the Alpha bags are usually amongst the sale items.

  8. @ Gene — Interesting. Surprising to me Tumi wouldn’t require the name of the product to be modified or something, since ultimately it’s their name on the bag. I’ve followed up with Rue La La to get clarification on this and will report back.

  9. Be aware on fake TUMI. Few friends bought TUMI online and got fake one. I would not buy anything unless from TUMI authorized dealers or resellers, IMO.

    If you live in NJ and NY area, TUMI has outlet in Woodbury Commons and had amazing Black Friday sale in the past. Mostly on older models though

  10. Another to note that I have seen Tumi bags numerous times at TJ Maxx at prices lower than the sticker prices in the past 6 months. I can’t say I saw the aforementioned bags but certainly it is worthwhile to browse one by you. (Personally, I don’t like their design of frame inside the bag space, which the space becomes smaller. For the opposite reason (meaning more space inside), I much prefer Briggs & Riley for my personal taste.)

  11. I don’t see where Rue calls this the alpha. It’s “Part of the Gen. 4 Travel Collection” which appears to be different.

  12. While I can’t comment on whether these are the same quality TUMIs, I’m certain that the pictures of these Alpha carry-ons are slightly different from what’s selling at today. The ones shown on RLL seem to be styles from 5-6 years ago, with a shiny rubber strip in the front, and the old zippers.

  13. FYI, I want to second the advice about the outlet store in Tulalip. (North of Seattle) I was in there over a domestic holiday and the Alpha Deluxe Briefcase was discounted from $795 to $350, I couldn’t resist. And you get to try out the products.

    Since Rue La La has extended returns, I’d say get what you want, but swing by the Tumi Outlet on Black Friday to compare. I get the feeling Rue La La is selling “older styles” as mentioned in the comments above.

    My only complaint with my Alpha Deluxe Wheeled Brief, it is too much briefcase! ha.

  14. I have purchased Tumi from Gilt and also Ebay multiple times. Every time all of my pieces were shipped directly from the Tumi warehouse in NJ.

    I believe I purchased Tumi from Rue La La before as well, but I can’t recall if they shipped it or if it came directly from Tumi.

    Either way, I would say I am 99.999 % sure the Tumi sold by Rue La La and Gilt is legit. They both have Tumi sales every couple of months.

  15. Silly question, but what makes these worth the money? Build quality is great I’m sure, but does it come with other benefits like a lifetime warranty or replace feature? I’ve always had no prob going to TJ Maxx and getting something decent for $70 and using it for years….

    Everyone here seems to agree they are great bags. I’m just looking to understand the value.


  16. I hate to be a party pooper too, but RLL does not offer but old and lower quality Tumi items.
    Saks off5th, Nordstrom Rack and even TJMaxx are offering some Tumi products that are real. But please stay away from RLL or Ebay.

    It is sad that these companies are risking a wonderful brand name for the sake of volume. I skip pretty much every outlet out there since they are flooded with low quality products made specifically for their outlet stores. ( Coach, Ralph Lauren, M Kors, True Religion, etc). Even Brook Brothers sells cheap low quality stuff.

    Thank goodness Tumi outlets are selling the real deal even if it is last years model and even better news is that Tumi will be offering a sale in the next week or two and includes their own website. Please sign up and you will be notified.

    ( eBags was a good choice at 36x. Great mileage and real products. The price was the same as Tumi and the item was shipped by Tumi itself )

  17. Like a previous commenter mentioned, this is the Gen 4 Fxt, it’s the precursor to the Alpha series by about five years but Tumi started producing it again as an outlet and discount (Gilt, etc) item to stock those places I imagine.

  18. Lucky, I’d urge you to look at a Briggs & Riley bag instead of Tumi. They are practically bullet-proof and come with a fantastic warranty. Also, IIRC, the 20″ one can be expanded, so if you ever need more room and are willing to check it, you’re set. I’d also suggest a Tom Bihn Aeronaut or Western Flyer for a super-functional, non-wheelie carry-on. (And Tom Bihn is a Seattle company. Synergy!)

  19. FWI-the current Tumi brand/company is not the same ownership that created the original quality Tumi. The brand has been greatly diluted with third-party licenses, outlet inventory and tiered quality/pricing. If you go with the brand you should check out the quality of the item personally before purchasing it.

  20. Here’s some more info. on the the Gen 4 v. Alpha Tumi lines – they are similar but not quite the same thing, apparently.

    I confirmed this with a call to the nearest Tumi outlet, which also said their price on the 20″ Gen 4 international carryon is $499 (25% less for brown). They said they don’t carry Alpha at the outlets, and that Gen 4 is the “outlet” version of the same product.

  21. Can’t speak to RLL quality, but here’s a recent example of Tumi sales. In Sept, I got a Tumi Vapor Medium Trip Packing Case (ret. $595) for $265 with free shipping plus sales tax during one of their online sales.

    And I picked up several Tumi ballistic nylon (Gen 4 FXT) at TJMaxx about 4 years ago. See TUMI there all the time now – but this sale was even better than TJM prices.

    My original TUMIs – back in 2003 – a 24″ pack case and big old wheeled garment bag – were “free” courtesy of commemorating 25 years of labor in a shall-remain-nameless Fortune 500 shop!

  22. Tumi has two major disadvantages: (1) The warranty service has become pretty degraded. (2) The brand is well-recognized world over, and almost screams, “I am rich, steal me!” I would suggest looking into Briggs & Riley for similar quality, better warranty, and more discreet name.

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