If a rich aunt or a well-off grandmother ever gave you the privilege to raid their closets, hold on tight to their Hermès Birkin bags. That’s right – head over to the bag closet and get your hands on as much Hermes as you can grab, because as it turns out, the designer handbags on your hands can be more valuable than a piece of diamond or two.
The Unexpected Gold Mine
Fortune recently released an article ranking luxury brands on their resale value and ability to hold on to their worth. Brands such as Hermès, Christian Louboutin, and Chanel continue to hold their value the longest, which makes sense for those who can afford them to purchase these investment pieces.
This therefore reaffirms that putting your money on luxury pieces such as the Birkin may pay off in spades in the future. In fact, last year a pink crocodile-skin Birkin handbag with diamond and 18 karat gold hardware was auctioned off at a staggering $223,000, breaking a world record for auctioned handbags. That wasn’t the only time a second-hand luxury fashion item has fetched astounding prices. In 2014, another diamond-encrusted Hermès Birkin sold for $185,000.
At the end of the day though, we’re still talking about handbags. What do you think makes the Birkin so expensive?
Legend has it that the Hermès Birkin handbag was inspired by Bristish actress Jane Birkin. On a plane ride, Ms. Birkin met Jean-Louis Dumas, then Hermès chief executive, in 1981. During the plane ride, Mr. Dumas watched as Ms. Birkin tried to stow her bag into the overhead bin, only for the straw bag to open and drop the contents on the floor. At this, Ms. Birkin grumbled to Mr. Dumas that she can’t find a decent weekend bag.
The conversation became the inspiration to the Birkin legend. In 1984, the Birkin handbag was released and was an instant success. It is crafted with the finest materials, so much so that each bag can take up to 18 hours to be made. It is, quite simply, a piece of art.
Unfortunately, Ms. Birkin wasn’t impressed with the bag – she thinks they’re “bloody heavy.”
The Iconic Bag
Yet while Ms. Birkin wasn’t that enthusiastic about her namesake, the rest of the world was. The Birkin bag was quickly embraced by the fashion industry and celebrities, socialites, and the elite all wanted their hands on one.
Alas, the Birkin isn’t made for everyone. Only a handful bags were released each year, and there is a waiting list for those who want the bags that is as long as six years.
You cannot simply walk into a Hermès store and ask for a Birkin, even if you can probably afford it, as it’s probably not in stock.
It’s not even in the company website, so you can’t order it online! To add insult to the injury, Hermès never offers sales, nor does it ask celebrities to use its handbags for photo ops. It is, quite simply, a beautiful bag that you would want to have, but one that’s elusive and hard for you to get your hands on. Just think of the ultra-rich who have many of these Birkin babies – people like Kim Kardashian who has been photographed several times using her Birkin collection.
The easiest and fastest way to get one is to win it at auctions, where you will probably be competing with a lot of other bidders who are eager to get one for themselves. After all, if you can get one, that means you have the right connections and the money. It then became the ultimate symbol of affluence for women.
Another way is to try your luck with pre-loved luxury bags sellers. Aside from competing with other bagaholics, opting to buy from these types of stores require an extra ounce of due diligence. Because you’re not buying directly from Hermès, there’s always that danger of being fooled into buying a counterfeit bag. Of course the last thing you would want is to be seen toting around with a fake Birkin. That’s why you need to exert extra effort in learning about the details of the bag, determining the authenticity of the piece, finding out the reputation of the seller, and evaluating the condition of the bag.
So if you have money to spare and you want an investment opportunity that is guaranteed to yield positive results, then look no further than the Hermès Birkin. Its exclusivity reassures you that you are holding an investment piece, one that is going to be worth significantly more than how much you bought it for today. What’s more, the manufacturers promise a “repairable for life” warranty, indicating that the Birkin can be passed down in your family as an heirloom.
It’s a good idea to pool all your money for investment and buy a Hermès bag – and if ever you run short on cash, you can sell them to institutions that buy luxury goods and designer handbags, such as Biltmore Loan and Jewelry. You’ll get a fair appraisal of your item’s worth, receive an offer that’s usually higher than market’s standards, and be able to walk out of the office with cash on hand.
Think of the Birkin as your security bond. You can pass it down to your family so that its value can grow over the years, and if ever you fall on hard times, then you can easily sell it to an institution like Biltmore Loan and Jewelry that will give you top dollar for it.
If you want an investment opportunity, then you can certainly cannot go wrong with a Birkin.