Why That Designer Bag You've Been Eyeing Up Could Actually Be a Good Investment
by Meredith Morris
May 6, 2019 .4 min read
Are designer handbags a guilty pleasure of yours?
If so, did you know that your current designer bags or future designer bags can be considered an investment piece?
What that means is that instead of your bag losing value over time after purchasing, your designer bag could still hold it’s original value or could have potentially increased in value.
But not all designer bags are truly considered “investment worthy." Investment-worthy pieces are typically classic pieces that can live through all the trends, due to its high demand.
Luxury bags that are designed to fit the trend of the moment typically have a hard time retaining their value.
Today we’re focusing on pieces we know you can make your money back if you ever chose to resell.
Hermès Birkin + Kelly
The first bag, the true Mecca of handbags, is the Hermès Birkin.
From the moment you purchase a Hermès bag, the value of the bag increases, and it’s all thanks to the Hermès business model.
Their model? Keeping quantities limited. This tactic allows them to create such an incomparable level of scarcity and exclusivity, therefore fueling their power and notoriety.
From the rumored Hermès waiting list, limited stock, and celebrities like Victoria Beckham, Alessandra Ambrosio, Kate Moss and the entire Kardashian-Jenner clan sporting their coveted bags (more specifically the Birkin and Kelly), it’s no wonder why Hermès can charge a pretty penny for their pieces.
Oh, and that rumored waiting list? There’s no such thing. Instead, you can expect to wait a certain period of time before your sales associate offers your dream Birkin or Kelly. The time frame can vary depending on your relationship with your Hermès SA (sales associate), the amount spent at Hermès over a period of time, and also this thing called pure luck.
The Birkin was originally conceived when actress Jane Birkin complained about not being able to find a good leather weekend bag while on her flight with Hermes’ boss Jean-Louis Dumas.
The Kelly bag was made to pay homage to Grace Kelly, who famously used it to shield her first pregnancy from the paparazzi.
When it comes to making the best long-term investment with Hermès, the Baghunter suggest investing in a Birkin or Kelly bag that has a neutral color such as black or etoupe.
The Baghunter also says short-term investors can look into more “seasonal colors" and notes that no matter the type of investment, long-term or short-term, the condition of the bag will affect its resale value.
Today, both Birkin and Kelly bags can retail anywhere from $10,000 to $150,000 and can resell up to $223,000 depending on the material of the bag, hardware, and condition.
Louis Vuitton pieces, in general, are typically always an excellent investment. In particular, the Louis Vuitton Pochette Métis and Neverfull GM and MM bags are the ones you expect to always retain its value.
The Pochette Métis has been offered in various materials but it’s the classic Monogram that remains the most popular, so popular, that it has a waitlist. The classic Monogram currently retails for $1,830 while their most expensive Pochette Métis in Monogram Empreinte Leather retails for $2,770.
The Louis Vuitton Neverfull has also been able to introduce various materials, including limited editions and unique artist collaborations. And with such high demand, periodic price increases have also been introduced.
The classic Monogram Neverfull GM currently retails for $1,400 but now includes a removable zippered clutch that can be carried separately or can act as an extra pocket within the bag. In prior years, the bag was only offered as a standalone piece. It was only within the past couple of years that Louis Vuitton introduced the removable zippered clutch.
Just about ten years ago, the Chanel medium flap in caviar leather retailed for $1600. Today, you can expect to purchase the same style bag for just around $4900. And depending on the leather and hardware on the bag, you can expect the bag to either retain or increase in value.
This style bag was introduced in 2011 but has become a mainstay. Five years ago, these bags retailed starting at $2500, and today you can expect to purchase your very own for around $5100.
“If you want to be sure that your bag will continue to gain value over time, stick with the basics. Go with a classic black Chanel flap bag made in lambskin or caviar leather. The crazy thing is that Chanel continues to raise the retail price on these styles every year or two. So if you bought your jumbo flap in 2006, it cost you £1399 ($1823.32). If you buy that same bag in 2015, it will cost you £4287 ($5587.25)!"
The Fendi Baguette, in particular, is truly enjoying it’s second wave to fame this season. Silvia Fendi first created the bag in 1996, and it gained popularity when Carrie Bradshaw from Sex And The City sported the bag heavily throughout the show.
In 2019 alone, the Fendi Baguette generated a massive spike in searches globally – 174 percent. And according to Vestiaire, an online marketplace for buying and selling authenticated pre-owned luxury fashion, since January 2018, sales of the Fendi Baguette increased by 558 percent, with the average selling price increasing by 15 percent.
Like the Fendi Baguette, the Dior Saddle Bag is also enjoying its second wave. Last summer Lyst named the bag the ‘Hottest Women’s Product’ due to a spike in online searches increasing 957 percent in 48 hours. Dior took part in an influencer marketing campaign to announce their relaunch of that bag, which included 100 Instagram high profiled influencers to be exact and could have very well played a massive role in the increase in online searches.
John Galliano first debuted the bag in 1999 and was an instant success. Maria Grazia Chiuri then reintroduced the Dior Saddle bag in February 2019 during the brand’s FW18 show in Paris.
Not much of the original design has changed. The infamous asymmetric shape remains the same, the curvy foldover top, and the front strap with embellished gold-toned hardware including the brand’s letters. What has changed however is the bag’s size. The bag can now accommodate an iPhone and other various other essentials.
If designer handbags are a guilty pleasure of yours, you might as well make it an investment. Decide whether you want your bag to be a long-term or short-term investment and access what you’re willing to gain or lose from that investment. If you’re looking to make a short-term investment, you have some room to play. If you’re looking to make a long-term, stick to the classics. Remember, investment-worthy pieces are typically classic pieces that can live through all trends, while trendy luxury bags are designed to fit the moment of style and usually have a hard time retaining their value and make for a hard resell.
Meredith is a Philadelphia native with a bachelor’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Duquesne University and has worked in digital marketing for over seven years. She’s passionate about writing to women to help them feel more confident in their financial lives.