Could YOUR old designer bag be worth a fortune? Experts reveal the tricks for making a profit as the market booms during lockdown – including investing in Louis Vuitton but avoiding Tom Ford
- Abbey Booth who lives in Buckinghamshire, is the owner of Stories with Clothes
- She advised investing in classic models such as the Louis Vuitton Neverfull Tote
- Charlotte Staerck of Handbag Clinic gave her top tips on buying safely online
- Advised to avoid designers who do own sales and buy between Dec & March
- Also gave top five tips on how to avoid fake bags, including counting stitches
While the high street has suffered due to the coronavirus lockdown, the market for high end goods is still flourishing, with designer handbags in greater demand than ever.
Now luxury experts have shared their top tips for making the most of the marketplace, whether you have a designer accessory to sell, or you’re looking to invest in a piece that will hold its value.
Abbey Booth, owner of personal styling business Stories With Clothes in Buckinghamshire, explained: ‘Designer bags have continued to increase in value over lockdown, and people are looking to invest their money in products that will continue to increase in value, and handbags have become a popular choice.
‘Unlike stocks and shares, handbags offer a reliable, and stable form of investment, that guarantees a return.
‘And people can sell whenever they can, instead of waiting for stocks to open an opportunity. With handbags, people are always looking to buy, so the market is always open.’
HOW TO MAKE MONEY FROM SELLING DESIGNER BAGS
INVEST IN CLASSIC BRAND AND STYLES
Abbey explained that it’s important to do your research before buying a luxury handbag because how the price fluctuates depends on the brand.
Chanel’s classic flag bag currently sell for around £3,420, Louis Vuitton Neverfull Totes retail from £3,420, meanwhile a second hand Birkin bag costs upwards of £21,491.
Abbey said: ‘For example the Hermes Birkin Bag, the Chanel classic flap bag and the Louis Vuitton Neverfull Tote are all proven to grow in value over time.
‘However, in general, any classic bag in a fantastic condition will become the most valuable. These bags use premium materials that are long lasting, durable and reliable, and if they contain these original materials, they will be worth more.’
Abbey revealed black, white and neutral colours are more likely to hold their value than coloured handbags because they are less dependent on trends and can be paired with more outfits.
The key factors to consider when purchasing a designer handbag to achieve a future profit include investing in classic models. Pictured: Hermès pre-owned Birkin 35 handbag on sale at FarFetch for £21,491
IF YOU DON’T GO FOR A CLASSIC, ALWAYS OPT FOR QUALITY
‘Although older, more classic bags are often in higher demand, newer bags from top designers are most likely to grow in value more quickly due to demand and people looking to update their wardrobes.
‘Also, when it comes to handbags, owners will either dispose of newer models quicker, or use them less, so they tend to be in better condition than classic bags, that are kept longer, and used more, making them easier to sell on, and for more money than what was paid for them.
LOOK OUT FOR LIMITED EDITION AND BAGS COMING BACK INTO FASHION
The Dior saddlebag is back in fashion and has gone from being almost unsaleable to selling for more than £1,000
‘It is always worth investing in limited edition handbags, because these increase in value the most, and at a quicker pace due to the demand,’ Abbey explained.
‘Brands like Louis Vuitton are ideal for limited editions, so there is a constant demand for the style, meaning a profit is guaranteed.
Handbag Clinic co-founder and retail director Charlotte Staerck added that although it’s a risk to buy the latest fashion rather than a classic style, you could get lucky if it comes back into vogue.
‘Trend bags will always have their place and you never know which one will take off,’ she said.
‘The Dior Saddle Bag is a perfect example of this as following Dior’s reintroduction of their saddle bag in their Fall 2018 show, the look and style exploded back onto the market and their value rocketed.
‘They went from being completely unsalable, possibly fetching around £300, to selling for £1,000 plus.
HOW TO MAINTAIN
Abbey revealed the dust bag luxury bags are sold with aren’t only important for storing the items but also for proving their authenticity.
Sharing maintenance advice, she said: ‘Always keep it in a dust bag, and away from an area that gets dusty or damp. So I recommend putting them on shelves, rather than stuffed away in the back of a wardrobe. Keeping the original dust bag will also help with re-selling to prove it’s authenticity and show the bag has been looked after.
‘Avoid touching them after applying lotion, hand cream, or washing your hands, as this will cause stains and marks. And if you do mark it, clean it instantly.
‘Protect the interiors. Use plastic bags and don’t leave loose makeup products or perfumes in the bag, and never store food and drink in them. If you have to, always store away in plastic bags.
‘Invest in proper cleaning products, as you won’t ruin the bag or the appearance of it. And when you can, get it professionally cleaned and if it does become damaged, have it fixed professionally, ideally through the brand directly. Once you fix it yourself, or somewhere that isn’t qualified, your bag will lose value.’
She continued: ‘How they are looked after is so important and also bags that have the original materials, such as dust bags as mentioned above. Once replaced, the value can reduce, which is why it’s so important to get it done professionally.
WHEN TO SELL
‘It’s important to understand the market, because designer bags will sell for more if they are popular at the time you want to sell,’ Abbey explained.
Large and classic designer handbags are in higher demand during autumn.
Meanwhile, smaller bags that are lighter and coloured good often sell better in the summer because they can be more stylish and versatile with clothing.
The best time of the year to sell a designer handbag varies depending on the size and colour, but you should buy between December and March because designers such as Chanel increase their prices during the Spring. Pictured: Chanel’s £3,420 flap bag Shiny Lambskin & Gold-Tone Metal Navy Blue
Top tips for buying pre-owned bags
Second-hand designer bag site co-founder and retail director Charlotte Staerck of Handbag Clinic gave FEMAIL her top tips on what to look for when buying pre-owned designer bags.
She said: ‘One of the reasons the pre-owned handbag market has taken off to such a degree is because brands such as Louis Vuitton and Chanel never mark down their products.
‘Buying pre-owned, especially for vintage and cult bags, is the loophole and the sustainable solution.
‘But it’s important to know what to look for which can seem daunting – specially with so many incredible fakes out there’.
1. Buy aspirational luxury brands and classic styles
‘If you’re buying a pre-owned handbag, it’s important to consider the brand and ideally opt for styles that are sure to retain their value.
‘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.
‘Louis Vuitton is a one of our top three bestselling brands alongside Mulberry and Chanel, and I think it is mostly down to its timeless aesthetic and longevity in the fashion industry.
‘Hermes Birkin and Kelly bags are always in high demand – they only make around 12,000 Birkin bags a year and limit sales to a very exclusive clientele so it’s no surprise that these bags are worth far more on the preowned market.
‘Popularity is also a big factor if you’re hoping to get bang for your buck. In the last year alone, ‘Louis Vuitton’ as a brand has been searched for on our website over 15,000 times – it’s in our top three most searched for brands through the Handbag Clinic website, second only to Chanel and Mulberry.
‘The LV Neverfull often sells within minutes of it appearing on our website – we sold one in just nine minutes after posting it recently.
‘The LV Speedy bag is another hugely sought-after style – it was made in 1930 and is still extremely popular today, no doubt fuelled by the fact it is a luxury product but still with an accessible price point’.
The LV Neverfull often sells within minutes of being posted online due to its popularity and is a good investment because it will hold value, even if you buy second hand
2. Bag a bargain is between December – March
‘As with most of the high-end luxury brands, the fashion houses increase the price of their handbags annually in spring.
‘For Louis Vuitton this is normally around 5 per cent but this year we’ve seen as much as 17 per cent with brands such as Chanel – this is due to the COVID-19 impact and the increased cost of sourcing raw materials.
‘December to March is great time to snap up a bag you’ve been hankerig after as it will increase in value on the preowned market post purchase, in line with the fashion houses.’
3. Pay attention to the handles
‘Leather is a skin and is super absorbent and the handles are the worst affected through wear and tear over time given how frequently they are touched.
”The only way to correct this is by replacing the handles, which our highly trained artisans can do. This costs around £149 – so worth bearing in mind as a cost when you’re buying preowned.’
4. Pay attention to the leather
‘It’s important to try and avoid buying a handbag with a dark vachetta (the brown top and bottom trim along with the handles) as it means it’s on its way out and considered too poor a quality to hold its value.
5. Avoid brands with no distinctive style
‘I would advise caution against any brands that don’t have a standout iconic style that have stood the test of time. Miu Miu and Tom Ford spring to mind immediately here.
‘Also any brands which have frequent sales or are discounted by the fashion label itself – this means the value can significantly drop despite being current – this happens a lot with Anya Hindmarch and Jimmy Choo.’
If you’re investing in a designer bag, it’s best to go for brands that have a distinctive style that has been built up over time. Brands such as Tom Ford (pictured left) don’t have the same instantly recognisable look as Chanel, for instance. It’s also wise to avoid brands that reduce their own stock, such as Anya Hindmarch (pictured right) because it reduces the value
What to look out for when buying online
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