Buying: It’s all about the brand
Luxury handbag collectors typically invest in the so-called “holy trinity” of handbag brands: Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Hermès. These are the three brands that are the most sought after, and generally yield the highest returns.
Hermès Birkins regularly make headlines by repeatedly smashing auction records – most recently, in May of 2017, a white Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Birkin adorned with 240 diamonds on 18-karat gold hardware fetched a world record-breaking price of US$380,000 at Christie’s in Hong Kong. The previous two world record holders were also Birkins, which, according to BagHunter, have actually proven to be a safer investment than the stock market over the past 35 years, delivering 14.2% average annual returns during that period.
Another star performer is the Chanel Medium Classic Flap bag, which has seen its value skyrocket by 70% since 2010, outperforming US housing prices, the S&P 500, and inflation.
If you are considering investing in one of these “holy trinity” handbags, it’s perhaps safest to stick to their respective classic styles – the Chanel 2.55, Hermès Birkin, and Louis Vuitton Neverfull – as these have stood the test of time and are consistently in demand.
Beyond these three fail-safe brands, others worth considering are Céline, Dior, Goyard, Givenchy, Mansur Gavriel, and Gucci; or if you prefer more specialist brands, you may want to look at Judith Leiber and Mouawad, which are collector’s items in their own right.
Aside from brand, other factors to bear in mind when buying a luxury handbag are the rarity of the piece (keep your eye out for limited edition designs or special collaborations) and whether it features exotic skins (for example, crocodile, python, lizard, or ostrich) – as both of these factors can increase the bag’s resale value. Other things like special materials used on buckles or clasps, diamond or gemstone embellishments, and even embroidery can help drive up the handbag’s price as well.