What could be more glamorous than corporate stocks, easier to maintain than a sports car and less volatile than NFTS? A well-chosen luxury handbag. And it’s still a good investment.
“Designer handbags have become a real asset class, especially classic styles from brands that retain or increase their value over time,” said Danielle Gumina, Content Writer at Fashionphile. “The average value of the Chanel Double Flap has increased by 50% between 2020 and 2022, while the Hermès Birkin 30 has increased by 41% over the past two years.”
The second-hand market has become a go-to destination for shoppers looking for seasonal bags and vintage styles, often at discounted prices. Even purchased used, these accessories still offer a return on investment. And more and more shoppers are buying bags to store and trade, rather than just carrying them around.
“More and more customers are buying with resale value in mind from the start, which is one of the biggest changes we’ve seen with the adoption and ubiquity of resale,” Noelle Sciacca , Head of Fashion at The real real, said. “They can recover [a percentage] of their original purchase if they choose to resell, which can help justify the splurge.
Classic heritage brands will always remain highly sought-after investment products, she adds: “The resale prices of Hermès, Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton are still up 17% from 2019, indicating that these bags are still a solid investment.
So which bags are worth it in 2023? We surveyed the world’s top used bag dealers, asking for their opinions. Here’s what they had to say.
The best luxury handbags to invest in second-hand
TheRealReal’s Sciacca is calling Louis Vuitton City bag, which has been growing in popularity since its resurgence on the Fall 2022 catwalk, stands out. She also cites the popularity of small business-style tote bags, such as the Saint Laurent‘s Nano Day Bag, Chanel’s vintage shopping bags and Dior‘s mini Lady Bags.
There also seems to be a big appetite for bags at the other end of the size spectrum: Tirath Kamdar, Managing Director of Luxury at eBay, suggests keeping your eyes peeled for the Saint Laurent Icaruswhose searches on the site jumped 215% in the second half of 2022.
The trend of reissues means that everything old is new again, especially when it comes to handbags. With the A2K revival stronger than ever, Gumina notes early-year artist collaborations (think Takashi Murakami X Louis Vuitton) and recent projects like Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama make revisiting these launches a safe bet. The Patent Bag Kusama Infinity Dots Butterfly 30 Red and the Fendi Sequin Baguette Sequins (a “sex and the city” base) both have great investment potential, she says.
And while the new year will inevitably usher in new trends, the brands that made a splash in 2022 still have power.
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Kamdar confirms that, “From the first weeks of 2023, research shows that the Dior saddle bagFendi wand, Hermes Kelly and Louis Vuitton Fast are already among the most sought-after styles.
Vestiaire Collective is highlighting a handful of models from last year that remain sure bets, namely: Speedy, Neverfull and Pochette by Louis Vuitton; Pradaby Tessuto; Jackie Vintage and GG Marmont from Gucci; and Lady Dior.
There are also some exciting newcomers earning their place on the It-bag fashion map. Tirath is calling Telfar as a prime example of a newer name offering an impressive return on investment: in the last year alone Telfar searches on eBay have been more than 11,000 times per week. Circle of Telfar bag in particular boosted by more than 3700%.
Meanwhile, TheRealReal’s Sciacca screams Luarwhich proves to be bankable on the secondary market.
When to buy
As with most things, investing is all about timing. During the pandemic, most second-hand platforms have seen prices skyrocket for ultra-luxury brands like Hermès, Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. Without the ability to go on vacation or dine out, many people with disposable income have shifted their assets to handbags. But according to Gumina, those prices are finally coming down.
“The average resale value has dropped by 14% for Chanel bags in 2022, by 12% for Louis Vuitton bags and by 24% for Hermès bags”, she specifies. “But these brands continue to be top sellers at Fashionphile.”
Among many categories, luxury bags are singled out for their risk-reward proposition.
“Amid economic uncertainty, we are seeing luxury accessories increasingly seen as an investment. We found that almost half of the interrogates luxury buyers keep an eye on the current value of their luxury accessories, and 80% of luxury buyers surveyed consider the value of their luxury accessories to be the same or less volatile than their other assets,” says Kamdar.
In other words, if you’re considering investing in a handbag, now is the time to buy one, before it sells out. Scroll below for some of the best to bid on now.
Saint Laurent Icare, $930 (current auction), available here
Christian Dior Tan Leather Saddle Bag, $790 (current auction), available here
Hermes Kelly 32 Calfskin Cadena Handbag, $3380, available here
Telfar Round Circle Bag Black, $1000 (current auction), available here
Louis Vuitton Vernis Kusama Infinity Dots Papillon 30 Red, $1495, available here
Fendi Nappa FF 1974 Embossed Mimosa Baguette, $2350, available here
Christian Dior Lambskin Cannage Medium Lady Dior Navy, $2295, available here
Louis Vuitton Monogram Multicolor Mini Bag HL Speedy White, $1450, available here
Chanel Caviar Quilted Medium Double Flap Black, $5420, available here
Hermes Togo Birkin 30 Feu, $14,495, available here
Louis Vuitton Monogram City GM, $833, available here
Louis Vuitton Monogram Multipli-Cité, $786, available here
Gucci Horsebit Glam Hobo, $376, available here
Saint Laurent Nano Sac de Jour Tote, $1295, available here
Chanel Caviar Shopping In Chains Tote, $2300, available here
Christian Diori Mini Diorissimo Lady Dior, $1,925.00, available here
Prada Tessuto silk handbag, $380, available here
Gucci GG Marmont Velvet Shoulder Bag, $640, available here
Gucci Jackie Vintage Handbag, $494, available here
Louis Vuitton Pochette Accessoire leather handbag, $755, available here
Opening Ceremony x Luar Ponyhair Handle Bag, $186, available here