There are many reasons to purchase a designer handbag – status, fashion, quality, craftsmanship – however, for many the purchase of a luxury handbag is also an investment. The majority of designer handbags are much like high-end vehicles in that the second the leave the shop or boutique they begin to lose value. However, there are some notable exceptions to this rule, namely Hermes and Chanel bags. Unlike other designer bags, these brands have actually steadily increased in value over the past few years and are noted as smart investment pieces.
These investment bags have long been a secret of the savvy investor who has sourced and purchased particular styles, materials, limited editions, and one off bags to resell on the secondary market at a later date. But, how do you know which bags will increase in value? What should you look out for on the market if you are considering an investment purchase?
Although there can never be any guarantee that a certain bag will increase in value, there are certainly ways to make an educated guess and provide the best opportunity for a higher resell value. Below we will take a look at some of the characteristics to look out for and why investing in an ultra-luxury handbag may be the smartest decision you’ve ever made.
For the purposes of this blog, we will look at two of the most popular investment brands – Hermes and Chanel. Hermes have long been the most sought-after and desired makers of ultra-luxury handbags. This desirability has allowed the French boutique to steadily increase their prices over the last three decades, in many cases far exceeding inflation. Let’s take the Birkin Togo for instance. In the last five years alone, the Birkin 30 Togo has increase from a retail price of $6,000 to a retail price of $10,900. This is almost a 100% increase in the space of only five years!
This has been happening since the release of the Hermes Birkin in the early 1980s. Due to factors such as the infamous waiting list to get ones hands on a Birkin and the huge demand for these bags, the prices on the secondary market for this exact bag are almost identical to the prices for a new bag from Hermes. In fact, many bags sell for more on the secondary market as this is the only way many women will have the opportunity to get their hands on the iconic and desirable bag and they are willing to part with whatever money it takes.
The same can be said for Chanel. The prices of Chanel bags have been steadily rising over the last 25 years. In 1990 a Classic Medium Flap Chanel bag was retailing for $1,150, however, today that exact same bag cannot be found for under $4,900. This huge increase in value is also reflected on the secondary market, in particular for limited edition or special order Chanel bags.
Tips When Purchasing an Investment Bag
So, we know that Hermes and Chanel are the two brands with the most consistent and favorable increase in price year on year. However, just simply purchasing the first bag you find without any thought process won’t guarantee an increase in value a few years down the line. There are certain things to look out for such as:
One of the most important considerations when purchasing an investment bag is the color. Yes, a bright pink bag may immediately catch the eye and look stunning, however, will that bright pink still be a fashionable color five years down the line? Probably not. For an investor, a neutral color such as black, brown, or gold has a much better chance of holding or increasing its value in the secondary market over time. These colors will always be in style and will always complement the outfit of the wearer. Although seasonal colors are eye-catching and seem like a great buy at the time, be sure to consider the possibility of that color becoming out of date and hard to shift in the future.
Limited edition bags are an interesting prospect as they provide an excellent opportunity for investment, but only if the right styles are chosen. With limited edition bags, you want to find a style that appeals to the widest range of potential buyers as possible. Yes, that whacky limited edition bag may look great and stand out, but is it really something that will sell as easily as a different limited edition that features a special logo or stylish customization? There is no guarantee that a limited edition bag will still be in demand a few years down the line, however, as the number of bag collectors increase, the chances of shifting a limited edition bag are much greater.
Patience is a Virtue
One of the most important things to remember when purchasing an investment piece is patience. Patience is required when sourcing the right bag for investment. Don’t just jump in, but a bag, and immediately expect a return. Take your time to find the bag you feel has the best investment potential. Take advantage of services such as the Baghunter Bag Concierge service which helps you source almost any bag in any material and style. It is extremely important to buy a bag you are happy with and confident will provide a return in the future.
The second aspect of being patient is the wait after you have made the purchase. Don’t buy a bag and expect a return immediately. It may take a few years for your investment to grow, so be prepared to wait. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t use your bag as long as you…
Maintain the Condition
When reselling an investment piece, the most import factor in determining the resell price is the condition. If you keep your bag in pristine, excellent, or even very good condition you can expect an excellent return. However, if your bag is full of scratches or watermarks, you won’t get the most from your investment. If you’re never going to use the bag, ensure it is stored safely and properly and taken out of the box to breathe every few weeks.
Secondhand Bags Are Investments Too
When searching for the perfect investment piece, remember that secondhand bags can also be a worth and excellent choice. If you find a secondhand bag at a reasonable price and in very good condition, it could be one of the best investment opportunities you will find.