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TOP 5 HANDBAGS TO INVEST IN 2023 | Best investment bags to buy

What's more glamorous than government bonds, less volatile than equities, easier to maintain than vintage cars and sustains a healthy return on investment? Discover the designer handbags with the top resale value in 2022  –  guaranteed the best value for your money.

Pegged as a safer investment than stocks and shares, sources state that preloved designer handbags have outperformed the price of gold and appreciated by an average of 8% over the last decade. Before you get too excited, there are a number of factors to consider before your handbag can be granted the status of a bonafide asset class. Our criteria is based on longevity of production, annual price increase and retained value on the secondhand market. Determining the unicorns of investment-worthy handbags, our guide is here to help you make smart decisions, whether you’re buying or selling designer handbags

1. Hermès Mini Kelly 20

HERMÈS MINI KELLY II 20CM BLACK MATTE ALLIGATOR LEATHER WITH GOLD HARDWARE

Hermès’ Mini Kelly's are at the forefront of the most investment-worthy handbags for 2023. Currently the highest in demand on the secondhand luxury resale market; the Mini Kelly exhibits the most profitable returns in 2022. Hermès Kelly 20 Sellier bags are estimated to resell between $20,000 - $40,000 on the secondhand market, versus their original retail price which starts at $8,500. Assuming a secondhand value within this range, you could expect a return on investment (ROI) anywhere between 200% – on average – and all the way up to 300% for more exclusive models. Thus, you could earn up to double or triple the original price if you sell your Mini Kelly on consignment. Of course, this is given it is kept in excellent condition or if you choose to sell immediately after purchase. 

The mini Kelly incorporates a front flap with a turn-lock closure and padlock. Characterized by a more angular structure than the Birkin, this true investment piece can be carried by hand – with its single rolled top handle – as a cross cross-body or a shoulder bag. It is the perfect size and addition to an evening look

Why the bag holds its value

In addition to functionality, the legacy of the bag’s name was granted by the story of Grace Kelly using the handbag to hide her baby bump from the paparazzi. 

Demand for mini styles has skyrocketed in the secondhand market. In particular, models with exotic leather are the ones to sell now for a favourable return on investment. Due to a limited number in circulation, the allure for rarity makes them most sought after, and thus, the most expensive models on the secondhand market. These models start from $27,575 at Hermès' retail price, and resell for double or even triple the price. On average, they resell around the £69,000 mark, so you’re looking at profit upwards of £41,000! Talk about handbags as an alternative asset class. Sell yours now.

2. Hermès Birkin 25

Hermès Himalaya Crocodile leather Birkin bag 25cm silver hardware

To no one's surprise, second top of the list is the infamous and widely coveted Hermès Birkin 25. Given that the handbag industry as a whole has downsized bags, the Birkin 25 is the most sought after and the hardest to get ahold of. Their average retail price is £10,145, which would yield an outstanding 250% return on investment if you bought a Birkin in the early 2000s. Sources state that standard Birkin's, which currently retail around $13,200, sell for 157% of their original value on the secondhand market. When it comes to guaranteeing a healthy return on investment, the Birkin 25 will always be your best bet…if you can get your hands on one, that is. 

Why the bag holds value

Since its birth at the hand of Jean-Louis Dumas in 1984, the Birkin has tightly secured the title of ‘most coveted handbag’ for the past 40 years. In fact, the calculated strategy behind the Birkin's relentless success is a true phenomena. A combination of rich heritage, exquisite craftsmanship and inaccessibility gave Hermès, and the Birkin, a position of unparalleled superiority in the luxury retail space.

Imagine buying a Birkin for £2000? Well, that’s how much they retailed for in their first year of production. Since 2019, the Birkin has increased in value by 76% and has seen a 14.2% price increase per annum. In fact, the Hermès handbag index even outperformed the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index (KFLII) for alternative investment assets – including art, whiskey and stamps – between 2010-20. By placing strict restrictions on the number of Birkin's produced per year, the coupling of exclusivity with annual price increases is why we see Birkin's breaking price records at auction today. For the highest return on your investment, lizard and crocodile leather are the ones to sell now.

3. Vintage Chanel Classic Flap 

Vintage Chanel double flap bag Lambskin leather with 24ct gold hardware

Timeless, classic and iconic; vintage Chanel classic flap bags are always a smart investment. The older a Chanel bag, the more expensive it gets on the premium resale market. Whilst newer ones retain about 60% of their value, vintage flap bags retain upwards of 85% of their original listing price. If you’re investing in a classic flap bag, do ensure it was manufactured prior to 2008. All models post 2008 only have 18ct gold hardware, whilst vintage models have 24ct gold. 

We recommend opting for caviar leather. As it’s the most hard-wearing of all Chanel leathers, caviar flap bags tend to hold their shape and stay scratch-free after years. You can always expect a higher resale value for handbags that are kept in excellent condition. 

Why the bag holds its value

Chanel increased their prices by a staggering 21% this year. With their prices expected to keep surging up-and-up, you can guarantee an impressive return on investment by the end of 2023. The classic flap bag has already appreciated by 132% over the last decade. If you’re contemplating buying a preloved Chanel bag now, we recommend that you act quickly before the price increases. Shop second hand Chanel bags here

4. Dior Saddle Bag

Navy blue Dior Saddle bag with gold hardware

Just below the 'unicorn' tier of luxury handbag investments - ChanelHermès and Louis Vuitton - stands Christian Dior.

The Dior Saddle bag typically holds its value well, making it a great choice as an affordable, yet investment-worthy designer bag. If you bought a Galliano-era saddle bag back in the early 2000’s, you could expect a 109% return on investment, and according to Forbes, the bag currently exhibits an 89% average value retention in 2022. We recommend putting your money on the current season matte black calfskin or vintage Galliano-era saddle bags.

Dior matte black calfskin Saddle Bag

Why the bag holds value 

If you stay on top of the trends, there’s a strong likelihood that you'll get your money back, or more, with a smart handbag investment. The revival of y2k fashion has made this the case with Dior's Saddle Bag. Unsurprisingly, the price of the original vintage Dior saddle bags have sky-rocketed on the secondhand market ever since its re-release in 2018. That’s your reminder to look after your vintage designer handbags! Today, you can expect to pay between £1000 - £3000 on the secondhand market for vintage models. Hard to find vintage Galliano saddles, such as the Newspaper mini saddle bag from his 2000 collection, will be listed for more – expect to pay upwards of £5000/£6000. Although it might not seem tempting to sell whilst your handbag is trending, the guaranteed return on investment is worth it.

5. Bottega Veneta Cassette cross-body 

Bottega Veneta Green Padded Cassette Bag

One brand to keep an eye on is Bottega Veneta. According to the CLAIR Report, the luxury Italian label has attracted renewed interest from the Gen Z and millennial market under the updated creative direction of Daniel Lee. The signature Jodie – ‘it bag’ of 2022 – sold like hot cakes this past year, so, it’s safe to say that BV’s signature bag has become a respectable competitor to the Prada Re-nylon and Fendi Baguette. However, when it comes to which handbags sustain the highest resale value, BV’s oh-so-chic Cassette cross-body outperforms the Jodie by 12%. With an average 82% retention value at resale, the Cassette makes a smart investment for those looking for a clean-cut and modern-day take on BV’s signature intrecciato weave. Having already outperformed the likes of Balenciaga, Celine and Givenchy on the CLAIR Report’s 2022 brand value index, we can only expect the average resale value of Bottega bags to keep moving up-and-up in the new year. 

Why the bag holds value

Although the general philosophy has been that you need to purchase a handbag in neutral tones for it to be deemed investment-worthy, you’ll be glad to hear that Bottega has changed the narrative. BV’s cassette surged in popularity for its vibrant hues – Bottega green, bold blues, punchy corals – as maximalist style and dopamine dressing have peaked demand for colourful designer handbags. If you sell your Bottega bag on consignment, take it from us, colourful models sell best at Sign of the Times. The brighter the better. 

Daniel Lee has done a flying job at keeping the brand relevant whilst staying true to its roots. The cassette cross-body captures Lee’s capability to embrace Italian refinement whilst modernizing classic silhouettes. The epitome of understated elegance, the vibrant hues and padded intrecciato weave makes the ‘pillowy’ bag stand out against its fashion contemporaries and delivers the modern woman a practical piece that can be worn as both a shoulder or cross-body bag. Everyone’s loving it, Margot Robbie and Hailey Baldwin included!  

A final note

Check out our investment pieces edit to be spoiled for choice with our selection of Hermès, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Saint Laurent and more designer staples that you’ll love now and wear forever. Can’t find your dream bag? Our personal sourcing service is at your disposal to help you find your dream, investment-worthy handbag. Alternatively, sell with us to start seeing a return on investment for your designer handbags – we offer up to 80% commission on high-value handbags and take all the hassle out of your selling experience. All you have to do is WhatsApp us and we'll handle the rest. 

 

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