Making money from handbags - do you have a 'high demand' bag in your wardrobe?

Designer handbags appreciate in value every year by an average of 13 percent, outperforming stocks and shares investments, research suggests. Handbag Clinic CEO Charlotte Staerck exclusively shared her top tips for playing the handbag market, telling about the best designer bargains on the resale market just in time for Christmas.

Chanel recently announced that it will be rationing its sales in an attempt to restate themselves as the handbag powerhouse.

This move has seen the resale price of these iconic bags skyrocket with the market expecting to hit an all-time high.

Additionally, the pandemic has compound price hikes for luxury goods as factories shut down during lockdown.

With price increases on individual bags rising as much as 21.1 percent and as scarcity became a concern due to the limited production, the preowned market for specific bags is growing far beyond what was expected.

Handbag Clinic, a luxury handbag restoration and resale retailer, has said more and more of their shoppers are playing the handbag market just like they would the stock market.

But what bags should potential investors be looking into and how does one even start on the handbag resale market?

Ms Staerck suggested those looking to buy a bag as an investment should first research its rarity and popularity.

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Making money from handbags - do you have a 'high demand' bag in your wardrobe?
© GETTY Woman holding three different handbags

She commented: “It’s super important to consider the brand and whether it’s considered to be an investment piece. Aspirational luxury brands such as Hermes and Chanel will always hold their value and often be worth more on the preowned market because of their superior quality and scarcity.

“Bags like the Chanel classic flap, the Hermes Birkin, the Hermes Kelly, and the Louis Vuitton Speedy are always in high demand.”

Ms Staerck said popularity is important to ensure that the owner will actually be able to sell their bag when they want a return.

By analysing searches on the Handbag Clinic website, Ms Staerck said that the brands growing in popularity were Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Mulberry.

She noted that in particular, LV Pochette Accessories are one of the most sought-after styles of the year and often sell within minutes of appearing on the Handbag Clinic site.

Ms Staerck also advised that due to Chanel’s rationing: “Their most popular styles, the Chanel Classic Flap Bag and also Coco Handle will be exchanging hands on the preowned market for record amounts over the next year.”

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Although handbags may be an incredibly alternative way of investing, it is still an investment nonetheless and as such, a steady eye must be kept on the market to buy and sell at the correct time.

Ms Staerck suggested watching fashion influencers on social media could provide a big insight into what styles and brands are trending.

However, trends can be as fickle as the stock market, with some lasting for a long time while others break out and die within hours so choosing the correct trend to jump on is vital.

She said the general best time to flip a handbag is Autumn: “The best time to flip a handbag on the preowned market is NOW. The Fashion houses hike up the prices on their evergreen styles annually in spring.

“Savvy handbag collectors and investors like to snap up the most coveted styles before this, knowing that it will increase in value post purchase in line with the fashion houses.”

When selling items like handbags it is suggested to restore and thoroughly clean up the item in order to get the best possible value.

Making money from handbags - do you have a 'high demand' bag in your wardrobe?
© Handbag Clinic Before & after photos of two restored handbags

Ms Staerck commented: “Restoration treatments can perform miracles adding hundreds and even thousands of pounds onto the value.”

When restoring vintage items especially it is vital to ensure that the company doing the restoration is properly equipped and qualified to do so.

“Restorative work is not necessarily the process of making something look brand new again, but instead, using our specialist techniques conservatively to restore and retain that vintage feel – giving the bag a new lease of life whilst maintaining all the branding and the all-important vintage aesthetic.”

Finally, when it comes to actually selling the bag, sellers should thoroughly vet the platform they intend to use.

Ms Staerck told sellers to look at platforms which frequently stocks and shifts a large volume of the brand they have.

She also warned that a store or platform with no reviews should be a red flag for sellers.

For those looking to get a bargain on designer luxury rather than play the handbag market, Ms Staerck listed some of the best bags to purchase on the resale market right now:

Classic Chanel bag

Retail price: £7,570

Resale price: £5,395

Louis Vuitton Monogram design MM

Retail price: £1,180

Resale price: £825

Hermes Birkin & Kelly’s

Retail price: Roughly £2,800 as they are hard to buy new.

Resale price: £2,195

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